In the jargon of good and evil

I have recently had some interesting discussions with Liberal friends that got me to mulling a fundamental question of good versus evil. My thoughts on this did not crystallize until a recent [insert superlative, here] “French conversation” dinner with Book and Charles Martel that kept lapping up to the fringes of my swirling thoughts on this question. Here is what happened:

At my church recently (one wherein my parish spans the full political spectrum), I was voicing my opinion to some friends that, of all the people in the world deserving of my sympathies, “the Palestinians are probably last in line”. A woman burst out furiously from the church pantry and scolded me for not knowing anything about what I was talking about, that the Palestinians were oppressed victims of Israeli perfidy. A short conversation with her was enough to demonstrate that she really didn’t know anything about the Palestinian-Israeli situation other than typical Leftwing propaganda. She and others in the conversation, for example, did not know that Israel’s war of independence occurred in 1948, that there was no “Palestine” before 1948, that virtually all Jews were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries upon Israel’s creation, that more Palestinians have been killed by other Arab states than by Israel, that 20% of Israel’s citizens are Muslim, enjoying full political, economic and religious rights and serve in the military and government (the only Middle Eastern country that recognizes such minority rights, btw), etc. However, what shocked me was how incapable these good women were of seeing the evils represented and committed by the Palestinians. In their view, each act of violence and mayhem committed by the Palestinians and Arabs …against each other as much as against Israelis, was excusable as expressions of victimhood. Since then, I have noticed much of this same dynamic at work in many issues embraced by the Left.

Have Liberals (including religious Liberals) lost their capacity to distinguish between Good and Evil? If so, then we truly are living in a time of Biblical prophesy. What say you?

Cargo cults and E-cons

During WWII, New Guinea natives noticed that whenever Allied soldiers built airfields, airplanes would magically appear out of the sky bearing gifts. Thus, reasoned the islanders, all they had to do was to build airfields to propitiate the gods and magic airplanes would appear bearing gifts. Sounds logical.

Ha, ha, ha…silly islanders! But hold on…who are we to laugh? We practice the very same logic in our society today. Consider the ever-lengthening string of taxpayer-funded environmental “green energy” companies going belly-up busted broke. Here’s a recent list of these taxpayer-funded E-conomic disasters (up-to 34 and growing fast):

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obamas-taxpayer-backed-green-energy-failures/

Quite clearly, our own environmentally sensitive natives believed that all one needed to do was to build bricks, mortar and steel into modern-looking structures, pick an environmentally friendly “technology” with a cool sounding name and, voila! Magic benefits would come out of thin air – endless BTUs of cheap, pollution-free, guilt-free, Gaia-approved energy that defied the laws of physics, engineering and economics. What did fall out of the air was never-ending wads of taxpayer cash.

Thus did the E-natives expropriate $-billions and $-billions of other peoples’ labor and monies to build their false idols and propitiations to Mother Gaia. And, now…nothing! The money is gone and the losses pile up as useless junk. Just as with the airport idols in New Guinea, Gaia remained strangely silent.

There is, of course, one very big difference between this modern chain of events and that of the New Guinea islanders. And that is this: the sharks and grifters (E-cons) who took their cuts from those $-billions of taxpayer funds in the form of inflated salaries, over-generous pension plans, consulting fees, legal fees, subcontracts, illegal equity payouts, Washington lobbyist budgets, Democrat party donations and union crony deals. Somehow, I suspect that these variables did not factor in the New Guinea islander cargo-cult politics. With bankruptcy, the paper-trail remnants of these shady, underhand practices will pretty much be shredded from public view.

The New Guinea Islanders may have been guilty of faulty logic and misplaced idol worship. The modern day cargo-cult environmentalists have been just as guilty of false-idol worship, but, supposedly, they had “education”, “science” and “reason” on their side.

However, herein lies the critical difference: today’s Gaia’s acolytes have waged a far-more corrupt and damaging game than any New Guinea native ever did, through the enormous waste of resources that can never be recaptured by a world that is currently bleeding capital in a time of desperate need. That lost capital will not be available to drive the economic growth that this world needs.

I can only hope that some day, soon, this growing list of E-con-driven bankruptcies will be submitted to extensive forensic audit in the public domain to cast light on those who benefited from this exploitation of the Gaia cult fantasies and to detail just how the taxpayers got shafted in this growing list of debacles.

Let there be a full accounting.

Then, bring out the pitchforks.

A Crowley set-up on Libya?

There is something about how the Libya question was raised in last night’s debate that smelled awfully like Chicago, yesterday.

When Pres. Obama raised his objections to Romney’s challenge on Libya with Candy Crowley, he appeared to imply that Crowley had already read the transcript of the Rose Garden speech that Obama gave immediately after the Benghazi attack. Crowley indicated that she had. So, how would Crowley happened to have read and “memorized” that particular Rose Garden transcript in advance of the Town Hall debate unless she had been prepared in advance for a) the question and b) for Obama’s response? It is also interesting how she scrambled to steer the discussion away from Libya the moment that Romney began to drill down on this headline issue. I believe that this exchange was totally set-up.

Here is the outtake video on the exchange. What do you think?

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50133287n&tag=contentMain;contentBody

There’s something happening here…

I just went to get my (overdue) haircut at the hair salon, deep in that hardcore-Democrat lair that goes by the name of Cook (“Crook”) County, Illinois. The woman who has cut may hair for the past 20+ years works in a working-class hair salon that tends to employ lower-middle class women, many single, and a few (mostly gay) men. I would generally characterize them as pro-labor union, conservative lifestyle-but-religiously Democrat voters who stay marginally aware of political issues. They tend to be very suspicious of business people and wealthy people. The woman who cuts my hair has known me for a very long time and we have kept up with each others families as our kids grew up. So, at this point in time, we have pretty much lost any pretenses in the wide open discussions that we’ve had over the years. Often, we disagree but we always have great discussions. Our standing joke is that, before every election, I tell her that she is a true Republican in her personal and family values but that she just can’t help herself from voting Democrat.

This time, she brought up to me that she had not watched the debate this week but that, the day after, the overwhelming sentiment at the hair salon was that Romney wiped the floor with Obama. I was shocked. But, how many of them would have supported Obama to begin with, I asked. “All of them”. I asked her how many of them would actually vote for Romney now, based on that debate, however. Her reply, “all of them!” She, too, will vote for a Republican President for the first time in her life. I asked her why. Her response, “I would have been willing to give Obama another chance if he had just kept things the same. But he has caused so much damage, I just can’t do that this time.”

Somehow, I suspect that she and her coworkers haven’t shown up yet in the polling statistics, yet.

War’s enablers

So why would the Obama administration overtly lie about what transpired in Libya?

Because, on the anniversary of 9/11, Al Qaeda won a “battle” and this administration could only pretend otherwise.

What most of the pundit media seems to have missed, including the inestimable Mark Steyn and John Bolton, is that it isn’t just that fact that the Obama Administration’s foreign policy has failed but that they have effectively reversed years of successes against our declared enemies won through blood, sweat and tears. Under George Bush, we vowed to hunt Al Qaeda down to the ends of the earth. There would be no rock or cave in the world under or in which they could hid from us. We would find them and we did find them. In appreciated, GW Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were excoriated. Today, after 3-1/2 years of Obama’s foreign policy delusions, Al Qaeda has been resurgent and, on September 11th, they scored an important “victory”.

I don’t blame Obama and his acolytes. They are what they are. I do blame those people who voted them in that actually believed, after 9/11, that we could simply pretend our enemies away with fluffy speeches, acquiescence to their demands and the freeing of Al Qaeda prisoners. Today our enemies are resurgent and, with the help of the Obama administration, empowered. Not just our enemies in the Middle East, but those in the Pacific as well.

It looks like those people who spent the first decade braying “no more war!” have pretty much guaranteed that we will face war for decades to come. Whether we have the collective national will to survive, crush our enemies and win, only time and events will tell.

The Obama administration couldn’t tell the truth. To do so would require that they admit that the GW Bush Administration was right and that they were horribly, horribly wrong.

The Obama question

Whilst driving the upper Mississippi valley recently with my brilliant spouse, she asked me the most trenchant question of this election season: can anyone think of a single foreign or domestic program enacted by Barack Obama that has been successful…at least, from the perspective of the people of the United States?

Anyone?

Progressive violence

The news today that a “Gay Marriage” advocate attacked the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., shooting a security guard in the process, got me to pondering this question: has any act of political violence in the U.S. ever been associated with conservatives or Republicans?

On the Democrat /Progressive side, of course, we have violence against blacks, babies, Tea Party rallies and Republicans; political assassinations; lynch mobs; KKK; Nazi party; Communist party; Black Panthers, Weathermen, enviro-terrorism; animal rights terrorism; campus violence against Jews; Occupy Wall Street…

So, again, I pose the question…is there any political violence in the U.S. – anytime and any place – that can be attributed to Republicans and/or conservatives?

The roots of Progressivism’s appeal…or not?

David Foster just posited that “We should have a discussion thread on the sources of the emotional/intellectual appeal of “progressivism” and how, if at all, these factors can be countered.”

Bookworm’s aficionados have been all over this issue in a multitude of scattered comments, but let’s let all hang out. It really is the core question of the hour. On to you…

Global warming and volcanoes

Sometime ago, I posted a comment that referenced data that suggested a link between La Nina /El Nino events and underwater volcanic activity.

Basically, these volcanic events have to do with the puzzling appearance and disappearance of hot water masses in the Pacific Ocean that affect the flow of currents and, consequently, air masses that affect our global climate. The Pacific Ocean is rimmed by highly active tectonic ridges and volcanoes. This model certainly makes more sense than to claim that parts-per-million changes in the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere have massive changes on ocean water temperatures. Among other events, recent major droughts in the southern U.S. and Brazil and limited monsoon activity in southern Asia have been linked to La Nina activity.

Here is the article that I referenced:

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/18084

This is interesting because of the recent upsurges in tsunami and earthquake-generating tectonic activity around the Pacific Rim’s “Ring of Fire”. Shifting tectonic plates (an idea bred by skeptics in 1912 that only gained currency in the 1970s) would be expected to generate more volcanic activity.

And here, from the BBC, comes a story that suggests an unusual degree of recent submerged volcanic activity creating “weird”, hitherto unrecorded effects. Pumice is a stone, created by volcanic activity, that actually floats.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19207810

Incidentally, at a meeting that I attended this spring, a climatologist predicted that the La Nina events linked to the hot summer and drought experienced in the southwest and south-central parts of the U.S. would end by late-July as an El Nino event began to develop. He was right on the money. The rains of August have returned to the Midwest.

Oil boom!

Just recently, I happened to drive through the southern end of the Bakken Field in North Dakota on my way to Montana. I can tell you that an oil boom in the making is absolutely awesome to behold! There is black gold in them thar hills!

The I-94 freeway was a solid line of trucks ferrying equipment to the oil fields. Low-level hotel and motel rooms are booked 4 years out and cost in the upper $-100s per night. Everywhere over North Dakota’s (very attractive, in my view) rolling western plains you see oil storage tanks and pumps blending (yes, blending…they are not ugly or obtrusive) in the countryside. The crush of people from all over and construction in small-but-fast-growing towns like Dickinson and Williston is energizing. Oh, if I was young again…

I met a semi-retired petroleum engineer in Alberta that was working on the Canadian tar sands development. I asked him what he had heard regarding the size of the Bakken oil field. He indicated that, pessimistically, it contained 1x the reserves of Saudi Arabia, while the optimistic projection was 3x the Saudi oil reserves. Plus, there are all the other oil fields out there waiting to be developed (e.g., Western Colorado) and the natural gas fields scattered throughout the country.

Interestingly, he also told me that he thought the Obama administration made the right call on the Keystone Pipeline in that the forced redirection of the pipeline would be much more responsible (environmentally speaking), given the shallow ground water tables in Nebraska.

I don’t believe that this can be stopped. Cheap energy is at hand and it will change our country and the world.

Lost children

DQ and Bookworm have started something here, between their recent posts on “thoughts for the day” and how to instill values in children.

I look at so many of the really nice kids that I meet in our neighborhood and in our church and they are, to put it simply, utterly, totally, hopelessly lost! Many of them have college degrees and still have no idea of what they want to do. They have no idea of how the world works. They are college graduates and they live at home. They wait for someone to help guide them (i.e., parents). Many of them are hopelessly in debt. I would have to conclude that our generation’s parents have failed them.

In a parenting seminar at our church, I mentioned that my wife and I often played “good cop, bad cop” roles, but that we always had each others’ back when it came to disciplining our children. One (really top-drawer) mother raising three really great kids piped up, “Why do I always have to be the bad cop? My husband is such a pushover”.

Recently, I asked my 20-something son, an already highly decorated soldier, why he thought that so many of his peers were in such straits. He thought about it and said, “because everything was just given to them”. Is that the whole story?

So, those of you with experience with kids as mentors or parents, what would your advice be to parents today, so that their children don’t end up so lost.

Let me start if off: tell your children that nobody owes them anything. Everything good that they enjoy in life is a gift.

Over to you…