Monday, June 30, 2008



H is for hubris; A for arrogance.

Just say NO! to HA!

Via Bob's blog, NOBAMA.

Via American Digest, George Carlin on global warming. Rated R for language, but well worth a listen.

This is going to be a travel day for me to Salt Lake City but I may take a large detour tomorrow when I am originally scheduled to drive on to Jackson, Wyoming. Life is full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns however. Time will tell.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday, Reflections

"In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself…for even if I could conceive that I had completely
overcome (pride), I should probably be proud of my humility."

— Benjamin Franklin

Don't believe in hell? Think again. Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City writes on the Importance of Hell in the latest Redeemer bulletin. Take time to read this timely, sobering piece. It's not a message anyone wants to read, or hear or even give, but it is in the Bible over and over again. Each of us, individually, must decide whether to take this message seriously or not.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Obama's Foreign Policy Stand with Dictators?

Saw this t-shirt on a hiker in Boulder last week. Where else? Ugh...

Colorado River Near Grand Junction

My thoughts and sensibilities turn to streams and rivers as spring turns to summer here in the West. Driving down the spectacular Colorado watershed Friday, after leaving Evergreen, driving through the Eisenhower Tunnel and down into the grand valley below gave me the perfect opportunity to gaze at another one of the country's most spectacular river systems draining the Western slope of the Rockies. A weekend visit with friends here in Grand Junction afforded me this tour. (BTW, Grand Junction is a wonderful, affordable and beautiful small city with amazing outdoor recreation opportunities.)

The Colorado is running high, muddy and very fast as the late spring/summer runoff picks up steam. It's a time to watch rivers but not yet go near them, even to kayak. Certainly not fish. Lots of melted snow coming down too hard and fast.

When I get to Wyoming soon and start to wet a line, I first go far, far up into the high country on the smallest of streams, which clear and calm down first. That's where the big fish come to wait out the heavy stream flow below. As the runoff continues, fishermen slowly come down to the medium and finally the large water at the end of the summer. Brooks Lake Creek: One of the best early season, small trout streams in America. Certainly one of the most beautiful. I've taken many a beginner fly fisher here to learn to catch fish on a fly. No one ever wants to leave the stream! Once on, they want to stay for 12, 14, 16 hours at a time. That's how you know they're hooked. I've had to learn the fine art of getting them back to the car.

Meanwhile, back to the political runoff:

Bill Hobbs has commentary.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fred Barnes on Bob Corker's Energy Niche in Congress

This in Thursday's Weekly Standard on Senator Bob Corker's energy pre-eminence in the Senate.

Corker is first and foremost a realist, a businessman and man who likes to find solutions that work in the real world, rather than in some faraway fantasy land based on hope and if onlys.

I don't necessarily agree with all of Bob's positions on energy---more on that later---but I do think his expertise in the Senate is truly invaluable. He is a credit to his profession and the niche he is carving for himself in the energy arena is important.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yes! Supreme Court Gets It Right on Individual Gun Rights in D.C. and Beyond

Saturday update: IBD, Obama Riding High in the Straddle.

Almost makes today's massive stock market plunge more palatable to know the Highest Court in the Land got it right on gun rights, reaffirming an individual's right to bear arms (as enumerated in the Second Amendment), even in the District of Columbia. The decision effectively overturns a 32-year ban on hand guns in the District, as it should have.

This is especially good news after the Court's pathetic decision yesterday banning the death penalty for child molesters.

This from today's Washington Times:

"The Supreme Court this morning struck down the District's 32-year-old ban on handguns, ruling that the right to bear arms as guaranteed in the Second Amendment applies to individuals and not only to militias.

"In a 5-4 decision, the justices' landmark ruling affirmed a decision by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in March of last year that gutted much of the District's stringent gun statutes. Justice Antonin G. Scalia wrote the court's majority opinion.

"In sum, we hold that the Districts ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense," Justice Antonin G. Scalia wrote in the court's majority opinion."

I mean who in the world decided 32 years ago that individuals in the District were exempt from the 2nd? And what, praytell, took so long to challenge this absolutely unconstitutional and nanny state decision? Well anyway, good for us now. Good for the individual rights of the citizens of D.C. and good for the Supreme Court.


Second Amendment.

Another Reason to Avoid Denver This Summer

Some 20,000 - 50,000 war protesters might want to camp out at a Denver city park this summer during the Democratic convention at an event called "Tent State University:"

"The city issued an assembly permit in the southwest corner of the park for Tent State University to bring a tribe of college kids from across the country for an "alternative university" Aug. 24-28.

"Come to Denver to end a war!" declares the Web site for Tent State University, which describes itself as "a positive, youth-led initiative to fund education instead of war."

Tent State will be a staging area "to experience real democracy," protests and classes teaching nonviolent anti-war tactics and strategies, the Web site says.

While the city said the permit is for "approximately 20,000 participants," chief Tent State organizer Adam Jung said he dreams of luring up to 50,000 protesters if he locks up hot music acts ranging from political hip-hop to Southern honky-tonk.

The hang-up: Overnight camping is illegal in the park."

Tent State University. Can't think of anywhere I'd rather not be this summer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Institution of Language

More on the basic institutions of society---language, marriage, money and measures, for when two or more individuals gather together----and why it's time to stop and think long and hard about what changing any of them for any special interest or minority group means.

I couldn't agree more with this sentiment on the above truck. I am in compassion fatigue over special interests wanting--- demanding---our country's bedrock institutions be changed for their interests.

And yes, I'm talking about changing the definition of marriage. I'm not so much against gay marriage as I am against messing with the basic building blocks of my culture, my society. We're playing with real chaos and confusion when we start diddling with these institutions. Change one institution for any one interest group, and we open the floodgates for changing all for various reasons.

Heard another great expression yesterday on compassion fatigue: it's called empathy deficit disorder. Sometimes it's not such a bad thing.

Again, rights are for individuals. Institutions are not for individuals. Institutions for the Greater Good of Society and should never be open to change to appease a small, minority group of people. We do so at our great peril.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wednesday Update: Coming Into the Country, Climbing Mount Sanitas, Regrouping with Old Friends

UPDATE: Got this book handed to me last night during a lively and wide ranging discussion with David, my good, good friend and conservation colleague over a glass of red wine. He pulled it out of his brief case and said to me with great glee, "I know you're not going to like this, but I picked it up in the airport recently and think Soros makes a lot of since. I like the guy."

I winced as he grinned and asked him to tell me the bottom line of what he likes about George. He went on to say Soros thinks we're in a macro bubble since right after WWII and also now in a more immediate credit bubble. With the growth of the developing world he, Soros, no longer thinks current economic theory and free markets can predict the future. Thus, Soros has undertaken a new paradigm of economic (non) theory.

Chaos anyone?

I can't totally disagree with any of that, especially since mankind has never been able to predict the future with certainty. Only our own hubris makes us think we can.

Now if we can just get George Soros to convince Al Gore of the folly of predicting the certainty of climate change, then maybe we can make some progress here on planet Earth. It's not going to happen though, since Al has too much money, power and prestige at stake on his own theories.

Meanwhile, David loaned me Soros book to peruse as I turned in for the night.....I took it, laid down and without further ado, fell sound asleep, here in the beautiful hills over Boulder. And I slept like a baby, even with a book on nouveau economic theory on the foot of my, futon.


I've been coming through Boulder, Colorado for decades now on my way to Wyoming. It's a great place to begin to get acclimatized to the higher elevations of the Rockies. I have long-time good friends and colleagues here that I met in Washington, D.C. doing conservation work in the eighties and early nineties and so it's always interesting and challenging to be back, especially since I've become a dreaded conservative.

In many ways, I'm considered a heretic since I've jumped off the band wagon of man made global warming and the extreme need of social engineering through government regulation and judicial fiat. While I don't dispute that we may indeed be in warming trend, I have taken a different path towards so-called solutions.

This change has been difficult for them and for me. For a while, we all distanced from one another and just didn't talk about it. In the meantime, I accidentally made other friends in Colorado who happened to be conservatives (in Evergreen and now Grand Junction where I'm also going for short visits before arriving in Wyoming) and love connecting with them here too.

My liberal friends and I ran into each other at a conservation weekend in D.C. about two years ago, sat down and talked and decided to stop letting politics and the environment get in the way of our enjoying the friendship we've had for so long. In many ways our paths have diverged since then such that we will never spend gobs of time together like we once did. Still, counting each other as good and ole friends is well worth the efforts on all our parts.

I made it clear I wasn't willing to be harassed over politics etc, and had no intention of doing that to them either---that isn't my nature anyway.

Yesterday, I and the wife of my former conservation colleague, and a good friend in her own right, got together for a climb up Mt. Sanitas early in the morning. It is a dazzlingly good push for me coming from a low altitude but we made it with flying colors. Great fun catching up and talking about our families and mutual friends. On the way down I slipped on some scree and twisted my ankle. She insisted I get a new pair of light weight hiking boots which I did. I

I am now at their home in the hills over looking Boulder nursing a sprained ankle and having a wonderful peaceful time. It's possible to be still friends, but it takes some doing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sunday, Remembering the Sixties


Heard this on the radio in the car and thought it was well worth posting.

Dennis Rice, a former follower of Charles Manson in the sixties and federal prison inmate, tells the story of his profligate days and how he eventually came to Christ. Today he is married with six children and works as a prison evangelist. What a difference a genuine conversion makes.

(Photo above, in the Flint Hills of Kansas which I adore. Never seen them greener or lovelier. The corn crops are all in tact here and growing strong, as far as the eye can see.)

Group Fights Back at Gore With Hot Air Balloon Tour in Nashville

From The Tennessean on Saturday morning:

"A 70-foot-tall hot air balloon was launched and sent floating toward the Belle Meade home of former Vice President Al Gore Friday, emblazoned with large, white letters that read: "Global Warming Alarmism: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes, Less Freedom."

"The launch and flight over Gore's home was part of the national "Hot Air Tour," organized by the libertarian group Americans for Prosperity. Its aim was to point out what the organizers describe as the folly of concern over global warming."

I want to make a correction: It should read the folly of concern over man made global warming.

Hot Air Tour.

Honk! If you Think This Country Will Go To The Dogs Under Obama


Change: what we'll have left in our pockets when Obama gets through taxing individuals and businesses for our own good, since he and government bureaucracy will know what's best for us.

Putting our domestic energy needs in perspective.

From Rain to Spectacular Sunshine and High, Muddy Water in the Midwest

On the Katy Trail near Rocheport, Missouri, and in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. Beside needing some good exercise, I wanted to look at water levels in the area. The Missouri River here is high but not in extreme flood state. I crossed the Mississippi near St. Louis several hours earlier and it too was swollen and had crested. But I've seen it much higher there too. Perfect temperatures too!

The Missouri River and Watershed has to be my favorite large river systems in this country. Coming out of the confluence of several rivers in Montana, including the the Madison, the Jefferson and the Gallatin, it forms the massive body of water you see above as it flows over a thousand miles, finally giving itself up to the Mississippi River below where this picture was taken.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Taking Issue With Arguments for Same-Sex Marriage

I've wanted to do a post on the issue of gay marriage for a while. Because my position is so sticky and frankly politically incorrect, even among many of my conservative online colleagues, I've procrastinated writing it.

Yesterday, Gerard Vanderleun at American Digest, a man I respect and agree with on many issues, put up a post on gay marriage entitled Just Do It. He wrote the piece in 2006, but revised it this week to commemorate the new California ruling allowing same sex unions in that state.

I want to make a few comments first with respect to Gerard's piece, and second with regard to the whole issue of gay unions and the institution of marriage.

I intend to make it brief and want to set aside my religious and moral predilections here:

Gerard's piece makes two points which I take issue with:

First, he opens that he no longer cares who sleeps with whom and quotes Dorothy Sayers with the following:

"I'm with Dorothy Sayers on this one:

"'As I grow older and older
And totter toward the tomb,
I find that I care less and less,
Who goes to bed with whom.'"

I agree none of us should be concerned with who goes to bed with whom---a complete waste of time---unless it's our spouse or a next-door-neighbor who's bringing farm animals into their home late at night and waking us up in the process. That could conceivably make it our business.

What I really disagree with here is that Gerard equates who's having sex with whom---a human behavior/drive/function----with who's marrying whom---a basic institution and building block of society. You simply can't equate the two; it's like comparing apples with digestion. While I don't have time to fret over who's sleeping with whom, I do have time to worry over who's marrying whom.

Human behaviors, longings and predilections are not the same as human institutions. To confuse the two is to make a large scale error. Behaviors gratify the passions and wants of individuals while institutions exist to benefit the greater good of Society with a capital S. Marriage has a purpose greater than sexual realm fulfillment and greater still than even individual happiness though it's great when that happens. And while this is all obvious, in some ways it's not as understood as we might think or hope.

Marriage is not a individual right; it's an institution for the greater good and should not be open for negotiation to special interests of any kind.

Perhaps the greatest reason for the high divorce rate, in my opinion, in modern society is that people confuse their personal expectations for individual gratification with the demands of an institution like marriage. We want constant comfort and gratification to be an inalienable right and when we find out it's not, we want to shuck it or change it, as if it was designed to be a behavior gratifier for the individual. Marriage is an institution for the greater good.

Anyone who has stuck it out through thick and thin in marriage---unfortunately that's not me---knows that the institution of marriage can be a tough ride at times, but it can produce depth and maturity like no other human structure that's ever been devised by God or man.

Secondly, I disagree with Gerard's argument that gays should be given the right to marry in order to experience the possible right of divorce. This would allow gays to suffer the way many of us heteros have through our own failed marriages. The implication here is that gays will learn the truth that marriage ain't no panacea.

While, I don't disagree with Gerard's contention that marriage is not always a rose garden and can be fraught with plenty of thorns, I don't find any of this---that marriage is an equal opportunity disappointer---- a compelling argument for or against the redefintion the institution of marriage. Nothing in his piece sways me.

So for now, I'd like to leave it behind and tread on why I think the redefinition of the institution called marriage is a bad idea whether it's for gays or any other two-, three- or more-some.

But first, I want to get general and define a human institution. According to Wiki:

"Institutions are structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals. Institutions are identified with a social purpose and permanence, transcending individual human lives and intentions, and with the making and enforcing of rules governing cooperative human behavior. The term, institution, is commonly applied to customs and behavior patterns important to a society."

The operative part is that an institution exists for a human purpose and permanence that transcends individual lives and intentions, with rules that govern human behavior to achieve those purposes.

What are some basic human institutions?

First there's the instituion of language for common communication.

There's the institution of currency and banking for common work and exchange of goods and services.

There's measurement for common discerning size and volume.

And there's the institution of marriage the basic building block of the family and society. It accomplishes the basic need of perpetuating the species and growing the next generation in the most elegant, efficient and safe ways possible.

My point here is that human institutions are the solid bedrock on which society is formed. It is a fundamental organizing principle . It is meant to be permanent. It is meant to bring order. It is for the expedious good of the Whole. It is not for the modeling and shaping of minority special interests. Not my special interests. Not yours. But today, through our own careless, we're allowing it to happen.

I don't like special interests messing with the basic building blocks of my society.

I'll go at this again in another post soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back to the Bears

Last month, the U.S. Department of Interior listed the Arctic polar bear on its threatened but not endangered list. While this is a lesser listing than endangered, it does mean the bear could be expected to be upgraded to endangered sometime in the future.

Environmentalists considered this listing a victory not only for the polar bear but also for its radical agenda of keeping America's energy companies from extracting oil and gas from the vast reserves the U.S. has in Alaska. This agenda is also connected to stopping the flow of America's supplies in order to supposedly slow down the growth of so called global warming.

Soon after the polar bear's listing, Alaska's governor Sarah Palin announced her state will sue to challenge the bear's new designation, claiming the listing is unfounded and based on unsubstantial science and could needlessly hold up much needed energy exploration there.

So what are the facts and what are the myths around the polar bear?

Myth: The polar bear is endangered because its numbers are dwindling.

Fact: The number of Arctic polar bears has steadily risen---about 40%---since 1970. Today, its population stands at 24,000. In the mid-50s, the polar bear population was between 8,000-10,000.

Canadian wildlife research director Mitch Taylor recently told The Scotsman in Edinburgh that the increase in the polar bear population "is really unprecedented and in places where we're seeing a decrease in the population, it's from hunting and not from climate change."

In other words, the species of polar bear is thriving in its current habitat and its listening as threatened at this point in time is unprecedented and unwarranted, based in the unprecendented hype and whining of the radical environmental lobby.

Myth: The polar bear's ice habitat is disappearing and will lead to the demise of the bear altogether in coming decades. According to a World Wildlife report published April 24 of this year, the Arctic ice and polar bear habitat has shrunk from 13 million square kilometers to just 3 million.

Fact: According to IBD statistics, the WWF omitted the fact that by March of 2008 Arctic ice had recovered to 14 million square kilometers---the highest ever recorded.

To repeat: the ice in Alaska this March was the highest ever recorded.

Don't you just love the way we cherry pick our facts to make our case?

Myth: We're in a steep period of man-made global warming and we can only expect disaster ahead for the polar bears and their habitat specifically and mankind in general in the decades ahead.

Fact: We may well be in a warming phase but it's highly controversial as to whether or not it's man-made. In all events, the Arctic polar bear has gone through and endured many other global warming and cooling periods, thousands of years before the dawn of Al Gore, the SUV and the current high-tech age we're now in.

While all reasonable people should want to save the polar bear and its habitat, we should never let its protection preclude the safe production of the rich energy resources in the Alaska and the Arctic regions.

It's not an either/or choice as radical environmentalist claim, but rather a both/and.

Bigfoot Al's Energy Consumption Up 10% Over Last Year's at Nashville Home

Despite all the so-called energy saving measures at his Lynnwood Boulevard home around the corner from me in Nashville, the Gores used 10% more energy this year than last according to Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

And that's not even counting all the energy it took to bring in hundreds of trees last summer---many full grown with big balls---and equipment, often tying up traffic for hours in all directions using a cast of dozens, as well as adding geothermal, solar and more efficient lighting systems. No telling how much energy was consumed that will never show up on those electric and gas meters at their home.

Don't forget also Al and Tipper have numerous other homes and apartments scattered about the land---a farm in Carthage, Tennessee, a home in northern Virginia, an apartment in New York and maybe one in California. Knowing Al, he's probably got a houseboat in in Antarctica---just in case the creeks rise and all. Don't get me wrong, as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with having all the homes you want and can afford. It's just that Al's advocating a tighter and tighter energy belt for you and me.

It's the old adage of do as I say and not as I do. Reminds me a little of the Elliot Spitzer debacle---prosecuting prostitute rings while having his hand in the till.

This man named Al has a major carbone printe de foote.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Photo That Launched a Thousand Global Warming Summits


Almost makes you weep just to look at em, doesn't it? Polar bears. Stranded on disappearing ice floes. Out of luck. Out of food. Out of time. You can almost hear the death rattles.

It's a planetary emergency. Call Al. Perhaps he can arrange for some food to be airlifted. Or maybe we should call Hank Paulson and have him arrange for Goldman Sachs and The Nature Conservancy to buy up Arctic Ice floes with brokered carbon credits.

Dwindling. Victims. Of us. Of man-made global warming. Of CO2. Here's the proof. See above. This photo proves it. Here it's featured rather prominently at the new Newseum in Washington, DC (the MSM's dazzling tribute to itself, as it too goes into rapid extinction) for all the school children and tourists to see the fright.

It's over for the bears now. Right?

Er, wrong.

Tomorrow when I'm not so drained from the hot weather and a miserable cold, I'm going to finish this little story on the truth of polar bear extinction.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunday: Aslan and Lucy in Prince Caspian

LUCY: I knew it was YOU but the others didn't believe me.

ASLAN: And why would that stop you from coming to ME?


Friday, June 13, 2008

Osprey Chick Growing Fast Outside Dunkeld, Scotland

(UPDATE: Thin in resume, thin with excuses, thin skinned and quickly exasperated, we can only hope, hope, hope that if Obama is elected the next president, he will change, change, change some of the ways he's been operating during the campaign. Great piece by Jennifer Rubin at Pajamas this morning.)

Meanwhile back in Scotland change and growth are happening:

There is only one hatched chick in the nest at Loch of the Lowes this year. Yet how quickly it is shooting up to be a fledgling! Osprey parents are the best kind and these are no exception as they watch over and feed it fresh trout daily.

Now you can click just once to go directly to the live webcam viewing 24/7.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Of Men and Bubbles

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

---Charles Mackay, author of the 19th-century classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841

Don't Fear the Bubbles is a well written piece on the little touted benefits of financial bubbles and the speculators that drive them. Such bubbles are ultimately indicative of a rapid transformation of markets in times of greatest change.


Larry Kudlow whacks John McCain on his energy stand as well he should. Then Larry reiterates the economic issues of utmost concern in the November's presidential election in Friday's IBD:

"Public worry No. 1 is now oil, jobs and the economy, with the inflationary woes of the U.S. dollar right underneath. The candidate who can connect with these issues will win in November. But so far neither Barack Obama nor John McCain is dealing with the new political reality."

So where is Mr. Hope and Change in all this? It appears he doesn't have a clue. The only hope and change he offers are the tired, ineffective policies of more and greater government intervention and the demonization of the true drivers of free markets and expansive economies.

Here's hoping John McCain will take Kudlow's advice and begin to address the #1-3 economic issues troubling America: oil, jobs, the economy and the dollar.

Arab SWF Buying the Chrysler Building in NYC


Last week I wrote a post here on Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) and how they're now the Big Gorillas of global financial markets. SWFs are funds of countries filthy rich in oil revenues (especially in the Middle East ) which want to diversify their holdings around the world. They have boat loads of money to invest. It's important to note that most of these funds are in countries and regions that are NOT democracies. Most, though not all, are Arab/Muslim funds.

Yesterday came news of the Abu Dhabi SWF negotiating to buy the fabulous Chrysler Building in New York for $800 million, small change for that fund, no doubt. This is my favorite tall building in the city, down Lexington Avenue in Midtown.

Not sure that this kind of foreign investment on American soil should worry us at this point---it's certainly not the first time---- but it appears there's nothing we can do about it anyway and it's only going to increase in the coming years.

One of the reason's I'm in favor of dissolving the death (inheritance) tax or at least keeping it low as it currently is---is it often forces heirs to put their family businesses or properties on the block just to pay those death taxes. That's when a giant foreign SWF can swoop in and take advantage of a sale, often under duress.

What happens when an SWF comes in and wants to buy The New York Times (that might be an improvement)? Or Fox News? Or Exxon Mobil? Interesting questions that we should ponder.

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson, Mr. Swinging Global Finance, comments on SWFs investing in America here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Change in Real Time All Around Us

A must read article in the WSJ on real time change and what the presidential candidates should know. Obama, the candidate of change through government intervention and regulation, doesn't have the corner on it at and never will:

"In fact, the U.S. economy (really, the global economy) is transforming at an absolutely astounding rate. We're living in Internet Time, where policies and their consequences travel the world at the speed of light."

"For the economy as a whole, overall U.S. business productivity rose 2.7% at an average annual rate during the decade ending in 2007, 1.7% in the decade ending in 1997 and 1.4% in the 10 years through 1987. Change is everywhere, and it's accelerating."

"The problem, if it really is one, is not foreign competition or evil financiers. It is technology and productivity. In the 10 years ending in 2007, durable goods manufacturing productivity averaged an annual growth rate of 4.8%. In other words, if real growth is less than 4.8%, the sector needs fewer workers year after year."

Carla, Please Get a Hold of Yourself, Deary

Every now and then someone says something publicly that embarrasses me for them, their family and friends and even me. You wonder what in the world they're thinking and then you realize they're NOT thinking. Just emoting from under a spell. As my grandmother would say, it's in very poor taste.

Carla's current effusion on her new hubby---you are my junk---Nick is just such a statement. It's what I call TMI, too much information. Never mind that she's obviously taken leave of her higher mental faculties and is inhabiting her lower energy centers. She's wildly attracted to the man who is now her husband and her 31st? lover. She has also come under the spell of an even greater aphrodiasic: power.

She's setting herself up for a fall somewhere down the road. And I don't look forward to hearing her bleat when her junk wears off.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



I'm not a big tomato person, except when they're in season in mid-summer into fall. Then who doesn't love homegrown tomatoes from local gardens and produce stands? I could eat them morning, noon and night with salt, pepper, olive oil. Also occasionally buy Roma tomato at Krogers in the off season for cooler weather stews and soups.

This scary salmonella outbreak in raw tomatoes we're having is a by product of the new global supply. We can now get any food like tomatoes, from anywhere at anytime of the year. There's no need to wait to eat foods in season anymore. We can have it all, all the time. But is it really healthy?

With all this coming from everywhere now, I wonder why outbreaks like this don't happen more often? Meanwhile, I'll wait for local tomatoes to come into season and forgo the foreign ones. I only hope this outbreak is contained so that more people don't get sick or die.

There are few things as miserable as food poisoning.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday, The Wise Judgment of Solomon

KING SOLOMON clears up who a baby's real mother is by a fascinating process in this story from 1Kings 3:16-27:

16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

19 "During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne."

22 The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours." But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.

23 The king said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.' "

24 Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. 25 He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."

26 The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"

27 Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."

HT, OneYearBibleBlog

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Never Say "Foregone Conclusion"


Two foregone conclusions in one day bite the dust and kiss goodbye the sweepstakes they were aiming for formerly as front runners.

Hillary ended her presidential bid. Lessons for front runners.
Big Brown let it all go at the Belmont this afternoon---coming in last---ending all hopes to take the Triple Crown. Big disappointment. Was it the heat that caused him to lose his drive, or just a bad day?

From the Sunday Washington Times article:

"In fact, Big Brown did have nothing left in his big tank. The grueling schedule finally caught up to the big colt around the second turn when, for the first time in his six-race career, he didn't respond when Desormeaux asked for acceleration.

"Unable to catch eventual winner Da' Tara and unlikely to finish second or third, Big Brown was taken out of the race by Desormeaux near the end of the second turn and finished last, becoming the 11th horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown's opening two legs, but lose the 1 1/2-mile Belmont."

Roman Warming, 800 Years of Global Temperature Rise

Lest we forget, the Earth has always warmed up and cooled down, warmed and cooled, without man's help or involvement. And now we're wanting to spend $45 trillion in this country to make it stop. What hubris.

Global temperature fluctuations---larger weather patterns---are nothing new. Looking back in history we see a regular pattern of warming and cooling. From 200 B.C. to A.D. 600 saw the Roman Warming period of 800 years; from 600 to 900 A.D. the cold period of the Dark Ages lasting 300 years; from 900 to 1300 was the Medieval warming period lasting 400 years; and 1300 to 1850, the Little Ice Age lasting over half a century.

What a weather ride it's been and nary an SUV or coal fired power plant in sight.

Since our forebearers were coming out of the little age age when it last started warming up around the time of the Civil War, wouldn't it make sense that perhaps we're in a normal weather pattern of warming now?

What if all weather patterns were primarily caused by the sun and cycles of sun spot activity? What if CO2 levels were really a lagging indicator of warming (coming years after warming had comenced) instead of the more popularly held belief of it being a leading indicator? These are thoughts worth pondering.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More Silk Shantung For A Weary World

Riffling through a Talbots catalog that arrived in the mail a little while ago, I saw a fabulous black and white photo of a woman in a two-tone silk shantung dress, as she lounged by the pool. Can't copy it onto this post, so will link to it. Amazing the impact of really fine black-and-white photography. Think this one on pages 70-71 of the model and the dress is dynamite. And I don't say that very often.

Love the name shantung. My mother used to talk about it in such exalted, mysterious terms. Shantung being a heavy fabric with a rough nubby surface, made of spun wild silk.

What woman doesn't love to put on anything wild or spun? Wild silk, wild, spun cotton, wild burlap and even wild, spun polyester? Especially dresses.

We need more silk shantung as we go into our long election travail. And black and white photos like this. Hillary might do well to endure her present sorrows in a shantung dress by a pool somewhere. Surely she could use some rest and relaxation at this point.

Silk shantung. It's a woman thing.

Why Lieberman-Warner Cap and Trade Bill Would Wreck Our Economy

Michelle Malkin: No question where she stands. Make your voice heard: Senate switchboard number is 202-224-3121

UPDATE: That's all? Well, if the U.N. says it's so then it must be so, right?

From Heritage Foundation:


This is all about the new national and global, politically correct obsession called C-A-R-B-O-N. It's a boondoggle of epic and unheralded proportions. It will sink our economy with higher taxes, lost jobs, and higher energy costs at a time when we baby boomers are collecting our cushy entitlements. And it's going to be a tsunami of trouble for us, our children and grand-children, if we're not careful.

It and all its clones in the Senate and House need to be defeated. It won't be easy if the Dems take both houses of Congress and the presidency. Surely there are easier ways to allay our carbon fears and fetishes than this.

This a clear case of the cure being worse than the so-called disease, a disease that is far from being conclusively diagnosed. Of course Mr. al-Gorda wouldn't agree, nor would Mr. arl-Marx. They like controlling the masses to suit their agendas. And this is a doosey of an agenda. Don't think al-Gorda doesn't have his new green investment fund at-the ready to make millions and billions off all the companies this kind of bill will empower through heavy-handed government bureacracy.

Meanwhile, the mass of taxpayers---that's you and me---will be footing the bills in the form of higher energy costs, lost jobs and more taxes. Below, Mr. al-Gorda awaits heavy-handed government regulation:

al-Gorda's excellent investment adventure for staying ahead of the carbon hysteria curve: to become fabulously wealthy beyond our wildest dreams he needs for us and our politicians to get and stay hysterical about global warming, otherwise known as weather.

Do your part for al-Gorda's pocketbook: Be hysterical! Be very, very hysterical. Pull a global warming stunt like this one. Anything for the cause.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Going On My Summer Reading List Today

A review.

A word from the author.

What Are Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) and Why I Care


Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) are BIG funds of countries like Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with lots of excess capital to invest because they're rich in oil revenues and want to diversify their wealth into every market sector, in every part of the world. SWFs are now the biggest, richest funds and players in the global financial markets, displacing institutions, corporations and individual mega-investors like Buffett, Gates and Soros as the biggest dogs in global finance.

And their preeminence represents an historic change in global markets that affect all of us and our economies.

What SWFs are and how they came into being is a subject worth our knowing about since they may soon own larger and larger chunks of our country's hard and soft assets. This week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson went to the Middle East where some of the worlds biggest SWFs are headquartered to stir up more interest in their investing in our U.S economy. Some might say Paulson went to beg these big SWFs to help bail us out of some of the current financial strains in our economy today, mostly a result of the devalued dollar policies of the past dozen years.

Why is Paulson approaching these SWFs, you ask? Eric Weiner writing in in Mortgaging America for the LA Times ( I hate to quote from such a liberal paper, so consider the source) gives his version:

"Today, the real power in international finance is held by rich countries, not wealthy institutions, corporations or private investors. And these countries are flexing their increasingly bulging muscles through investment vehicles known as sovereign wealth funds.

"Sovereign wealth funds, or SWFs, basically are mutual funds that invest the excess capital generated by a region or country. The first one was established by Kuwait when it still was a British territory. After World War II, as Kuwait was negotiating independence, its leader, Sheik Abdullah al Salem al Sabah, asked the British to help him create a fund that would invest the nation's oil profits. The Kuwait Investment Board, which eventually became the Kuwait Investment Authority, today has about $250 billion in assets and is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world."

"As the British Empire crumbled, the government created similar funds for many of its territories and colonies (including the islands of Kiribati, which profitably exported guano for fertilizer). Meanwhile, other countries with growing wealth started setting up similar funds, such as the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Norway and Russia, as well as China, Singapore and South Korea, which had highly productive economies that also generated lots of excess capital.
"Still, it's only recently that SWFs have become major players on the financial stage. In 1990, the funds held just $500 billion in assets combined. Today, that figure is about $3.5 trillion. For comparison purposes, that's more than all of the assets controlled by all of the hedge funds in the world. And by 2012, the figure will be at least $10 trillion, according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund."

Read the whole thing and let the implications begin to sink in. Weiner continues:

"The new power of SWFs has been on graphic display during our recent mortgage crisis. They've essentially rescued the international financial system by injecting tens of billions of dollars into troubled banks. Citigroup, for instance, raised about $20 billion from a consortium of SWFs from Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Singapore. UBS secured nearly $10 billion from a Singapore fund that now controls 9% of the bank. Merrill Lynch took in about $11 billion from SWFs from Kuwait, Singapore and South Korea. And even august Morgan Stanley got $5 billion from China's SWF.

"These investments are steadying global financial markets by ensuring that none of these key banks goes under. But there are important questions to ask about the increasing influence that sovereign wealth funds have over our economy. As SWFs grow in size, they will be in a position to control large swaths of the global business world. That means foreign governments, which control the funds, will increasingly own sizable stakes in companies in such important industries as computer technology, aerospace and biotechnology.

"These kinds of investments raise "profound questions" of geopolitical power, as former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers pointed out a few months ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Summers' essential complaint is that there is no way of knowing if there is a political agenda behind a country's investment in these essential industries."The SWF's are by and large run by a collection of rogue states - dictatorships and pseudo democracies like: Abu Dhabi, dictatorship; China, communist dictatorship; Norway, western democracy; Russia, pseudo democracy; Singapore, dictatorship; Kuwait, dictatorship; Saudi Arabia, dictatorship; and Japan, pseudo democracy.

Should we care that these countries' SWFs are coming to the rescue of and bailing out American businesses and homeowners? I for one am a bit concerned that a short-term fix could turn out to be a long-term problem as in a loss of freedom and sovereignty for our country and its political process down the road. At any rate it's something I'm going to think and write more about in the months ahead.

One of Clooney's Exs?

Oh. No. It''s.......Cindy........ still campaigning....... after all these years.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Heat and Humidity's Got My Goat

Returned to Tennessee a few days ago and have been a bit lethargic (to put it mildly!) ever since. It's always that way when the real 90+ heat with 100% humidity sets in for the first time. After several good weeks on the road with cool weather, I've come back and collapsed, as in dropping the ball on all fronts. I'm moving in slow motion. Will try to get back to more frequent, energized posts soon.

Meanwhile, I finally downloaded some pics languishing in my camera. Posting a pic of HD below gives you some idea of my current state of ennui. Still, Gagdad Bob over at OneCosmos roused me out of my heat prostration today with one of the cleverest, funniest lines of the year: "Let the dead bury the tenured." I'm still chuckling over this and will be for days even though it's sapping my energy, Bob. Please try not to be so damned clever all the time, will you? OKAY, now back to HD and my regularly scheduled dulldom. (Yeah, you can't get much duller than HD and the Holland Tunnel mentioned in the same breath.) A Home Depot located near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey. Drove into Manhattan on a Saturday morning to see my kids several weekends ago, thinking there wouldn't be much traffic. Heh! did I ever call that wrong. After waiting in line for what seemed like hours, I finally started driving down into the tunnel. ( Now that's really exciting.)
Segways in front of the EPA in D.C. Where else? Where but?

That's the same EPA that would one day very soon rule our world. Rule us all through the new Religion of Carbon---carbon emissions, carbon offsets, carbon trading, carbon credits, carbon shaming, carbon awards and carbon myths. Get ready folks, it's coming, cause the EPA knows what's best for us. Forget the dollar, carbon is about to be the new U.S. currency. Oh yes it is.

The goats at the top are on a little farm up in the Hudson Valley, outside Rhinebeck, NY. Thanks, 2E, for another great visit.
From the new Newseum in Washington comes some great quotes. This one from Richard Nixon. Not quite as good as "let the dead bury the tenured," but close.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Robert Novak on Scott McClellan


This piece by Robert Novak is well worth a read, if for no other reason than it once again shows that Scott McClellan's book offers nothing new, just another stanza from the exhausting, overworked Democratic song book based on grim fairy tales that have never, ever been substantiated and never will be. Still the Democrats sing, sing, sing it anyway, thinking if they croon it long and hard enough, maybe it'll just make it come true.

Novak writes:

"In claiming he was misled about the Plame affair, McClellan mentions Armitage only twice. Armitage being the leaker undermines the Democratic theory, now accepted by McClellan, that Bush, Vice President Cheney and political adviser Karl Rove aimed to delegitimize Wilson as a war critic. The way that McClellan handles the leak leads former colleagues to suggest he could not have written this book by himself."

And where might McClellan's help cometh from? Why, one Peter Osnos, of course. Peter Osnos, a liberal writer with an axe to grind saw gold in them thar hills.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I love to listen to Dr. David Jeremiah's sermons online. Here he talks about child-rearing. And what happens when we fall short both as parents and adult children when we're less than stellar role models.

Another sermon of Lon Solomon at McLean Bible Church in Tysons Corner, Virginia: At the end of Moses' life, the Israelites are getting ready to cross over into the Promised Land. Today, they're detouring into a terrible land of fiery snakes. Lon talks about the fatal problem of our innate sin nature and what God wants us to do about it.


"The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people.You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal,and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn.... But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden."

— C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

(Quote from Redeemer Presbyterian Church's recent Sunday program in New York.)