Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Next POTUS, Fred Thompson

I'm really excited. Up until the last few days any effort I would have put forth for the GOP standard bearer in '08 would have been half-hearted at best. As stated in a post just a couple below here, the best of the lot seemed to be the ex NY Mayor, but there is plenty not to like.

Slowly, but surely, Fred Thompson is being drafted. He doesn't seem to be doing much overtly to get the nomination, but plenty is being done for him. He is a true conservative, has gravitas, no personal issues that we know of, and great name recognition.

If he decides to enter the race, this blogger believes he would be unstoppable. See the first poll on his chances.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Change the Divorce System NOW!

Spent half an hour on the phone yesterday with a business friend who is in the 4th year of a nasty divorce. He has spent over $100,000 in attorney's fees, and he isn't done yet. More important than the money is the emotional toll on he and his daughter, now 15.

I probably had the easiest divorce in history. It cost me $100 in attorneys fees. My ex-wife was the travel agent who booked the honeymoon of my current marriage some 20 years ago, and is still our travel agent today.

What do these two divorces have in common. My friend agreed with me that divorce is the worst thing that he has gone through in his entire life. It creates anger, resentment, bitterness, disruption in our lives at every level. In almost every case, careers are disrupted, often times businesses are hurt or even destroyed, KIDS are badly damaged, friendships are ended, and financial consequences to both husband and wife are commonly devastating.

There has to be a better way. I don't have a really cool new idea here. However, I believe that with all of its shortcomings, the fault method of divorce was better than this no-fault approach. It sent a message to the community that you don't just dissolve a marriage because you're "unhappy" or "not in love" anymore. You don't even quit because of one or two "mistakes" on the part of one or the other spouse. You don't give up because one spouse hasn't met all the "needs" of the other. Our current system says: Unhappy? End it. Everybody knows the consequences of such an approach, but nobody's doing anything about it.

One Blogger's Opinion on Global Warming

A friend and frequent visitor to this blog, Kathy, has asked me to succinctly state my position on the global warming debate.

1. Almost all evidence points to 1 degree of warming at ground level over the past 100 years. More than half of this warming occurred during 1900-1940, followed by cooling from 1940-1980. Another warming trend started in the '80's. While there have been substantial changes in the way we monitor these ground level temperatures, and today's technology and number of monitoring stations is substantially greater than those of 100 years ago, my personal belief is that we are in a warm period.

2. Almost all evidence points to a very minor increase in atmospheric warming. Again, we are better at doing this now. However, models based on CO2-as-culprit theory would suggest that atmospheric warming should be greater than ground warming. My personal belief is that we are in a warm period, but not caused by CO2.

3. Ice core studies strongly show that we have been warmer than this in the past without significant negative and some positive impact on ecosystems. My personal belief is that we can get 2-3 degrees warmer without too many problems and potentially some great benefits.

4. There are very credible models based on cyclical sun patterns that would suggest that our current warming is caused by solar activity, and that CO2 concentrations increase a few years after this kind of solar activity. I personally believe that this model has the most credibility. These models show a coming global cooling starting around 2010.

5. The amount of CO2 created by humans is dwarfed by such things as volcanoes, cow-produced and termite produced gases, and the release of CO2 from natural sinks. While humans do produce CO2, it seems unlikely that the amount comes close to having the impact suggested by the CO2 model theorists. I personally think we should modify our CO2 footprint for a lot of reasons.

6. I believe that there are mountains of evidence that the earth is self-healing, which is also an extremely strong argument for the existence of God. This self-healing effect has been working for either 10,000 years (young earth) or millions of years. It might stop working during this generation or next, but such an argument seems over-the-top crazy to me. One example is the very carbon sinks mentioned above. Organisms on the ocean surface grow like crazy when there is more CO2, they ingest and hold on to the CO2, thereby reducing atmospheric CO2. When the CO2 gets to a low level, these organisms begin to die off, thus releasing stored CO2 into the atmosphere and there is less being ingested and stored by these creatures.

7. Bottom line. Humans should work hard to reduce pollution of all kinds for many and varied reasons which are obvious. Humans should be seeking to develop energy resources that are not dependent upon potentially limited resources. I have covered this in detail here. We should not be risking our economies or the developing economies of the poorest countries based on the questionable science of Al Gore or the UN.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Biased Reporting or Confusion - Either Way It Says A Lot

Source: University of Copenhagen
Date: March 10, 2007

Climate Change: Could It Be Random?

Science Daily Severe climate changes during the last ice-age could have been caused by random chaotic variations on Earth and not governed by external periodic influences from the Sun. This has been shown in new calculations by a researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University.

The temperature curve through the Greenland inland ice sheet shows 26 dramatic and abrupt climate shifts during the last ice age that lasted more than 100.000 years. This curve shows the climate shifts during 40,000 years. The climate shifts appear to be periodic, but mathematical computer simulations shows that they are probably chaotic and random. (Credit: Peter Ditlevsen)

Several large international projects have succeeded in drilling ice-cores from the top of the Greenland inland ice through the more than 3 km thick ice sheet. The ice is a frozen archive of the climate of the past, which has been dated back all the way to the previous interglacial Eem-period more than 120.000 years ago.

The ice archive shows that the climate has experienced very severe changes during the glacial period. During the glacial period there were 26 abrupt temperature increases of about 7-10 degrees. These glacial warm periods are named Dansgaard-Oeschger events after the two scientists first observing them.

The global warming we experience presently will cause a temperature increase of perhaps 2-5 degrees in the next century if greenhouse gas emissions continue, researchers claim. This will lead to increased sea levels and more severe weather with terrible consequences. The temperature rise during the glacial period were much larger and happened much faster.


This is very important for understanding the cause of the climate changes and especially for predicting climate shifts. If they are random and chaotic they are fundamentally unpredictable.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University of Copenhagen.

So, which is it? The entire article is about the possibility of randomness, yet the writer has to insert his own bias about the current climate change.

HT: Norma

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Last Days by Joel Rosenberg - Book Review

If you like TV programs like "24" or books by Ludlum, and I didn't convince you last time with my review of "The Last Jihad," then I will be trying 3 more times. The second book in the series is "The Last Days." Like any good series, it takes up where "Jihad" left off. John and Erin continue their heroic exploits as the constantly find themselves in harms way. Like "24," the action is taking place in the current political climate and offers a glimpse of a possible future ourcome of the global power struggle.

The characters are almost as well written as Stephen King's. The background research is definitely on par with Ludlum. The intensity keeps you up until the wee hours on a regular basis.
This is a buy-and-keep. It is a bit hard to find in major bookstores. Usually available in the better Christian bookstores (The second book is overtly Christian, but should still be very, very interesting to those who don't like "Christian" fiction.

Lightbulbs Create Political Confusion

The left-leaning Los Angeles Times editorial page has today asked the California State legislature to NOT outlaw incandescent bulbs. I am totally shocked!! Liberals are perfectly happy to ban all kinds of things they don't like or think might hurt a moth in some swamp. Why wouldn't they be willing to reduce energy consumption through lighting by some 80% by taking a 19th century technology off the market? The answer to that question is even more astounding.

The LA Times is worried that such a ban would stifle innovation and limit consumer choice. Is there a chance that the West Coast newspaper of record has been infiltrated by editorial writers from National Review?

But alas, they just want a different limitation. They want to set target energy use levels that all light bulbs must meet by date certain (say 2012.) General electric says they are already working on various bulbs that would do everything that the legislation proposed by the Times is asking. Let the free market work, for heaven's sake.

But, once again, I am forced to keep on saying it. The government is not free market. I am 100% in favor of requiring all government purchases of bulbs to be fluorescent starting tomorrow. There is a law I can support, but which will never see the light of day.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Tide IS Turning RE: Global Warming Debate

I could just feel it in my bones. If you overhype something, eventually there will be a backlash. I think the backlash is beginning, and those who are absolutely convinced that man-caused GW will result in horrible consequences in the next 50 years are about to be sent back to undergraduate school for a remedial course.
No less a source than the NY Times writes an almost balanced article on the subject. If you are intrigued by GW or by MSM media bias, you must read this article. It actually quotes some of the GW skeptics and clearly shows where Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" is full of hyperbole and distortion (don't call it lies). Then it ends with this, a quote from a Princeton Prof: "...But in terms of the big picture, he got it right.”

If you mess with the science, totally distort almost every fact, leave out important aspects that fly in the face of your agenda, and you're President Bush, you lied. If you're Al Gore, you got it right.

Now, if you'd like to see a completely biased, but very well done documentary from the other side, the skeptical side, go here. It 75 minutes long, but it is fantastic in the way that it completely devestates the GW agenda, and shows it to be a monumental rip off. That's why it is called: The Great Global Warming Swindle

Those of you who have bought this junk science, watch the documentary and tell me why its wrong. The credentials of the scientist they interview are at the very zenith of their various disciplines.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Don't Send Presents

I read one of those viral emails the other day having to do with birthdays. You've probably seen it. When your under 10, half birthdays really matter. Up until 25 you can't wait until you get older. After 70, you're proud of how old you are again. After 100, you start counting the 1/2 years again.

Wellll, I know I'm weird, but I have always looked forward to getting to the next stage in my life. I also can't help but be fascinated by aspects of aging that most of my other friends and associates of the same age don't find that fascinating.

When I turned 50, I realized that I was starting to count in reverse. In other words, looking at family history and such, I figured I had 30 really good years left. I realized that a person could have an entire career in that much time. I began to ponder that possibility. One thing was certain. Those years were not going to go to waste.

As the calendar turns, I'm hitting 59 this Friday. The last 9 years have not been a waste, but I won't boor you with the details (2 daughters married, 4 1/2 grandkids . . . whoops.) On the other hand, my dad is turning 87 this year and my mom 81. So I've decided that I still have 30 good years left. And I bet my forecast is closer than the UN forecast on global warming.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Problem of Evil

In over 20 years of debating atheists, the most common complaint they have against the Christian God usually revolves around how a omnipotent God could allow so much evil in the world. Even more problematic for most is that God was the author of what they see as evil, especially in the Old Testament. The Great Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the utter destruction of some cities or people groups, including the take over of Jerusalem.

I have done my best to offer answers to these issues over the years, but I found a great essay that really pulled things together in a very different way. The article pointed out that in every case God:

1. Had clearly declared years in advance that certain things were going to happen, therefore putting people on notice with regard to his intent.
2. Had given many opportunities for either changing their ways or moving out of the way.
3. Had provided evidence of his mercy.
4. Had even given last chances near the time of the destruction
5. Made it clear that these actions were judgments in response to horrific behavior. Usually this behavior was sexual and violent.
6. Meted out the same exact consequences to the Jews when they were judged to be behaving badly.

Interestingly to me, it seems as if this is exactly how God works in our individual lives, and how He has promised to work at His future coming.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Reversal "...Global Warming...Over-hyped and an Environmental Concern of Second Rank" -Claude Allegre

I just keep feeling like the whole GW thing stinks to high heaven. It's one thing when you think other folks are just wrong, but are doing what they're doing with good hearts. In this case, however, I think there is power, money, prestige, and political motives that are driving this entire debacle. Call it my gut. Here's the latest.

Claude Allegre, one of France's leading socialists and among her most celebrated scientists, was among the first to sound the alarm about the dangers of global warming.

His break with what he now sees as environmental cant on climate change came in September, in an article entitled "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" in l' Express, the French weekly. His article cited evidence that Antarctica is gaining ice and that Kilimanjaro's retreating snow caps, among other global-warming concerns, come from natural causes. "The cause of this climate change is unknown," he states matter of factly. There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the "science is settled."
HT: Drudgereport.com The whole story

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Science Is NOT God

The most important issue civilization will answer during the next 100 years will be whether there is a God who is personally involved in daily affairs of man, or if we will rely on scientists to determine how we live and behave. While it is unlikely that all of us will agree on one or the other, one will dominate.

I have argued here and in many atheist and naturalist blogs and forums that while I love science and the fruits of scientific endeavor, we can't turn it into our God. The main reason is that no matter how much we may think we know about the way things work, we will never know the "rest of the story." A very small amount of new information can make major changes. A HT to Norma for this fantastic original reporting:

I invite you to read the first 5-10 pages of any issue of Nature. Here's what I noticed today:
  • The fat metabolism of Drosophila (fruit fly) is a mystery. . .
  • They still haven't figured out the influence of genes vs. environment in disease, and some studies are "controversial."
  • Astronomers' galaxy theories are in need of a new model because of new observational techniques.
  • "despite intense investigation. . ."
  • "it is a mystery. . ."
  • "new techniques reveal. . ."
  • "will test the hypotheses that . . ."
  • "previously unknown changes. . . "
  • "reveal an unexpected connection in. . ."
  • "more widespread consequences than previously predicted. . . "
  • "may play a role in climate change (this was not human related). . ."
  • "long running debate in how . . . "
  • "the nature of how this works is unclear. . ."
  • "the reason for this variation has been something of a mystery. . . "
  • "there is only one fossil of this 150 million year old species available for analysis. . . "
  • "Even some of the most accomplished scientists are in the dark about the most basic information underpinning their work. . . "
  • "The plant with the largest flower (a metre across) has no roots, leaves or stems and has no DNA clues on how it is related to other plants. . . "
  • the question of whether this property plays an active role in tumors has remained under debate. . . "

Presidential Straw Vote

If the election for POTUS were held today, and instead of just two candidates, you could choose among all the folks who are currently being considered, who would you vote for?

That question was put to me yesterday by a friend of mine who enjoys politics as much as I do. I thought about it for a few seconds and startled myself with Giuliani. Then as I created this post I realized I couldn't spell his name, not even close enough for Google to correct me. Do you think there is time for a complete dark horse to come and save us from this sad list of potential leaders of our country?

The reason I chose Giuliani is because he clearly is a leader. He has vision, style, and folks want to follow him. But he has so many negatives. Unfortunately, however, after him we just don't have much to look at. Romney would be my second choice, but why do I feel like he's Bill (take a poll - change my opinion) Clinton in Republican clothing. McCain has aged out, and I never liked him for the job when he was younger. Too self-righteous.

Brownback? Acts like an extremist. Condi? Needs to get married and run for a lower office first. Otherwise I like her among all considered candidates. Newt? Would probably be good at it. I would vote for him ahead of Giuliani, but I think he's unelectable because of too much exposure.

Then there's the folks on the other side of the aisle. If Obama has the credentials to be president, then so do I. I've written more books than he has. He is so far to the left that Ted Kennedy couldn't vote for him. Hillary? Uhhhh, NO! And if it were between Hillary and Edwards, I'd actually vote for Hillary.

My friend then suggested that all of this made him think Gore should run. After he wrestled the gun away from my head, I suggested that all of this made Powell look perfect for the job. Do you think his wife would let him do it?