Monday, December 7, 2009

Global Warming and the Towel of Babel (updated)

Genesis 11:1-9 (New International Version)

The Tower of Babel

1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

I've been thinking a lot about "climate change" lately, or, as it used to be called, "global warming." Climategate, the shocking scandal in which the researchers in the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University were found to be manipulating and destroying data that did not fit with their preconceived notions, has been in the news a lot this past week. Well, at least all the actual news sources. The mainstream media reminds me a lot of the dodos from Ice Age 1 (would post a clip, but I can't find it anywhere online-stupid copyright laws!). They're running around, trying to save themselves (and asking for federal bailouts) while destroying their sustenance and making sure the current generation doesn't spawn a new one.

But enough about the idiotic media! It struck me as we ducked snow (in south Texas!!!) and the forecasters are warning about a cold winter ahead that this whole apocalyptic business is nonsense. First it was that the earth was warming, and then, when the snowstorms hit and the hurricanes didn't, it became "climate change." So, what is changing? Not the temperatures, because that's been proven false. Not the frequency of storms or sever weather. Climates change gradually (or suddenly, when there's a volcanic eruption), as anyone who has studied history knows. Minnesota used to be covered in glaciers. Greenland was, when the Vikings discovered it, green land. The Sahara Desert was once a jungle. Yes, climates change, but man is not a factor.

All of this brings me to my point. Don't you find it interesting that just as the world is in a frenzy to do something about global warming and punish those who produce wealth and goods that we are in one of the coldest years on record in some places? We almost had snow right after Thanksgiving, which is unheard of down here. Man is busy displaying his hubris (the Israelites, not the Greeks, should have invented that word), while God gently reminds us that it is He, not man, who shapes the world by wind, rain, snow, and a myriad of other mechanisms.

As I write this, a cold, cold rain is falling. Message received, now can we please get some warm, sunny days? ;)

Update: Sarah Palin, a woman who we should all admire, has more to say on Climategate.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Coming In From The Wilderness

Hey, thanks, Kiwi! Very first blog award. Quite sure I don't deserve it, being that I never update.
Well, hey, look at that! An update....

No, I won't leave you like that. ;) What has been going on besides the Yankees buying the World Series? (Rarr rar rar rarrrrr) Three thoughts on that: The Dodgers were on a skid right before the NLCS. The Phightin' Phils put up a good phight. And the Yankees have basically told baseball players worldwide that steroids are, indeed, okay to take. Seriously, how is it fair that Manny gets yanked for fifty games while A-Roid and Jeter are touted as the pinnacles of success? We need some serious soul-searching in the MLB.

But, enough about those losers. On to the winners! Tuesday night, the GOP wons the gubernatorial races in Virginia and, shockingly, New Joisey. The voters in New York sent a message to the party leaders: RINO hunting season has officially started. The DIABLO candidate (Dafyyd ab Hugh's term for Democrats In All But Label Only) also undermined RINOs across the country by endorsing the Democrat, who, sadly, ran on a more conservative platform than she did.

I was going to post pictures of my new hobbies, but a) those are for Christmas presents and b) Bel chewed through my camera cord. While it was attached to the computer. Shorting out my USB ports, briefly. Sigh.....

Pooky is considering a few jobs in exciting places, which his wife is thoroughly encouraging. Military life can get quite interesting sometimes.

Just for future reference, the only Jane Austen novel I have not read is Mansfield Park. (Yes, I know I'm supposed to underline that, but Blogger won't let me.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

When the Facts Don't Matter

I was on Facebook last night, and was about to change my status when I stopped and thought about how badly my liberal friends would freak out. I decided not to change my status, and I regret that, but it's got me to thinking about how we can convince others that individual liberty, freedom, and responsibility are not abstract concepts but integral to the daily lives of Americans.

I have liberal friends. In fact, I have a lot of friends who grew up in conservative households and went to the same (relatively) conservative college as I did, but have fallen into the trap that the government should provide everything for them. They're swamped with student loans, new baby bills, and the majority opinion that Obama can still save them.

It's hard to stand up to your friends. I've always been a conservative, and it's not as blind of a a faith that I feel liberalism is. Liberalism requires ignorance of facts, and conservatism requires analysis of facts. The fact is that government intervention in wages has driven the companies that my friends want to work for to not hire more employees. The fact is that the government's meddling in the insurance process has made the whole process more expensive and inefficient. The fact is that the government's supplementing of college loans has caused tuition to skyrocket, without a corresponding rise in quality of education. The government is not the solution for our lives, and a man who makes pretty speeches full of empty promises is not going to save us from the wreck the government has made of our lives.

But I think the key to my friends' indignation is pride (which goes before the fall, unfortunately). It's much easier to feel better about yourself when you talk about how you're making America better by talking about Hope and Change, how you're a champion of "social justice," and how you're post-racial because you voted for someone based on the color of their skin. (Yeah, I went there. Prove me wrong.) Admitting you're wrong when you're a twenty-something who's been told that you're the key to the future is a hard thing. I'm curious to see how many of my friends will admit that they were wrong, and how many will sink into blind faith in the government. Facts can be painful things.

Oh, and what my status was going to be? A rebuttal to the saying "No one in America should go broke because they get sick." Rush said the other day, "No one in America should die from rationed health care because America is broke."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Do You Has What It Takes?

To suffer through a long and convoluted catch-up post? I doubt it, but I owe it to Kiwi, who is going to have a cow over this post's title until I tell her it's a quote from the Strong Bad Email "homestarmy." That'll make her be quiet for awhile....
Well, what has been going on this summer that is so important that I can't update my blog? Lots of things. The most important one happened a few weeks ago, but I will give you highlights of the summer:

We went to Corpus Christi, TX for the Protestant Men of the Chapel retreat in May. I got to see the ocean for the first time and we had a blast on the USS Lexington.
In June, we made a trip up to Iowa for a family reunion on my dad's side and had a blast with everyone (including stealing Rapunzel and Kiwi). I ordered a Dodgers shirt for the occasion, which you can see here:
Around July 4, we hosted the family vacation for Pooky's family. We hit Sea World, the botanical gardens, the zoo, a waterpark, and just about anything we could think of in and around San Antonio. Here is Pooky's nephew, trying to order room service. Or trying to get someone, anyone, to talk on the phone with him:
Right before my in-laws descended, we realized that we had water dripping out of outside wall and that needed to be fixed. The plumbers tore an unnecessary hole in our interior wall only to discover that the problem was a leak in the ground piping. It was all done and patched over within 24 hours, but this was not a pretty sight:
In August, Pooky decided that the window of opportunity for introducing a housemate for our American Bombay, Hex, was narrowing, and we should get a new cat soon. Meet Belphegor, the queen of the house:
Oh yes, she dominates us all. Especially Pooky, who is now her personal slave. Hex has taken to crashing out on my computer, which can be.... troublesome, at times:

So, that's what's been keeping me busy lately. Hopefully, this fall things will calm down a bit (and cool off-this two-year drought is getting old), and I'll be able to update more often.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Theory, But Not A Conspiratorial One

So, based on a few things that came to me this morning upon waking up, I've come up with a theory that I'd like to flesh out and get out there. Pooky thinks I've lost it, but hey! I never had it to begin with! So, here goes:

Most, if not all, popular dramas glorify people working for the government.

Definition of a drama: An hour-long television show that focuses on more serious issues that is scripted. May be based on a "true story," but not a reality show.

Definition of popular: Shows that are high in ratings and DVD sales.

Definition of glorify: Main characters are cast in positive light or so we can identify with them.

Definition of working for the government: People that are either directly under the government or have to deal with it every day. For the latter part, an example would be a main character that works for the government that interacts with the other main characters.

Now, for my examples:

ER: Just finished, I realize, but one of the most popular TV shows of all time. Where do they work? County General.

Law and Order

House: The teaching hospital is run by a university.



The Closer


The Shield

West Wing: If this doesn't glorify government, what does?

Raising the Bar

Burn Notice: Yeah, I know, he used to work for the government. But he's trying to get his job back!

Cold Case


This is just what I could come up with off the top of my head and what Yahoo! says is on tonight. I tried to put Lost on the list, being that whatever organization it is that's mysteriously behind everything (Wiki says it's the DHARMA Intiative) acts like the government, but I don't think it really fits.

What does this all mean? I don't think it's a grand conspiracy, but I do think Hollywood needs to branch out further than "We're doing reality shows now!" The typical liberal view of things is that government is the only thing that can save us from ourselves. By glorifying those who work for it, they can make us forget the horrendous experiences real people have when they actually interact with the government. I.e., when you're dealing with the Post Office, trying to get Medicare to fully reimburse you, dealing with traffic court, or all those poor souls deluded into thinking you get to carry a gun and do cool stuff when you're a Crime Scene Investigator who suddenly realize it takes 15 years of college to get to that point.

Will we ever see the real side of government from Hollywood? Probably not. Any time the main character gets stymied by it, they become a maverick and somehow get the respect of their superiors for "getting the job done." As anyone who has butted heads with bureaucracy can tell you, that's not how it works.

It's all fiction, but I thought I'd make the general populace more aware that what is on TV is not an accurate portrayal of reality. As if you didn't know that already!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Picture time, Kiwi style

Ok, Kiwi, the 4th picture in the 4th folder was of Pooky and myself, so I couldn't do that. I chose the next one, which was this:

This one's a little difficult to explain. When we lived at Goodfellow AFB, our hotel was next to the clinic, which was next to an open area of a pond and scrub grass. When they built the base, they unknowingly enclosed in a few herds of deer, which will randomly wander around base and get hit by cars. I was walking to the hotel after dropping Pooky off and saw them by the parking lot, so I attempted a picture. This is one of the better ones out of several. The deer down here aren't that big, but he's in the middle of the picture. Look for four skinny little legs. I think he was nibbling on that bush and I startled him.

And now, for a super-cute picture of Mykle and Savannah (she's pretty worn out from her baptism):

I'd post more updates about my life in general, but I'm still fairly groggy, so you get a nephew and niece picture instead.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spring is Coming!

Yes, I realize it's 35 degrees as I write this, and it's going to be in the upper 60s today, but our temperatures are stabilizing as spring is coming! My goal this year is to do something with the patch of dirt that's supposed to be a lawn. Anyone got any tips on what to do when half your lawn is covered in acorns? I'm absolutely positive that the tree we have next to our house is the biggest tree in Texas, and also leads the way in dropping acorns year-round. Some things were just never meant to be transplanted...

I imagine that this blog will become my main ranting source in the next four years, mainly because my husband is in the military and does not appreciate me undermining his commander-in-chief. I appreciate his efforts to stay neutral, even as he disagrees strongly with a lot of Obama's policies so far. He agrees with me, though, that a lot of what Obama has done so far is to give concessions to the Left while trying to reconcile those positions with the sharp dose of reality that comes with taking the highest office in the land.

Take closing Gitmo, for example. Obama says he'll close it within one year, but left the loophole that CIA black sites can hold prisoners temporarily. Gitmo is one of the main sites that we use for housing detainees temporarily. I'm guessing the CIA review panel that Obama just created will find a new home for these detainees that will essentially be black sites with new names. The CIA has its political side that has to look pretty for the cameras, but the last thing they want is another giant black hole on their record like 9/11. Also, the military now considers terrorists "unlawful combatants," which means under the Geneva Convention, they can shoot first and ask questions later.

Also, Obama's political capital just took a huge hit with the passing of the $1.1 trillion "stimulus," which 177 House Republicans and 11 Democrats opposed. Despite all the cajoling, wining and dining Obama did with the House Republicans, and for all of his "bipartisanship," they listened to the constituents melting their phone lines and emphatically rejected him. Message to Democrats and, ultimately, Obama: You own this. When it's proven that this pork-laden bill did nothing for the economy, all eyes will be on you. You can say you tried to save the economy in your re-election, but this was not the way to do it. Kudos to Republicans for coming up with an alternative bill!

On a lighter note, I'm learning how difficult it is to keep up on blogs when BloggerCat decides he wants to go to the end of the page by hitting the space bar with his paw. Silly cat reads faster than I do...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kiwi, This One's For You

My brother had his fifth son, Mykle Benjamin,

and we got a cat, with the Pooky-inspired name Hexadecimal.

I think we may have gotten the better end of the deal.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Aftermath of the Holidays

The light posting, while shameful, has been mostly due to the hectic pace of the holidays. I'll try to get to political rantings later in the post.

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. We're over a thousand miles from family, so we got invited to the house of one of Pooky's coworkers, along with about half his shop. We participated in Operation Homecooking, taking along two Army students from the Defense Language Institute from Puerto Rico that weren't doing so well on their English tests and stuffing them full of food and Wii games. Seeing the tired joy on their faces as they made their way out to the car made it all worth it.

The day after Thanksgiving, Brandon and I exchanged gifts, since we were leaving on December 17 for home and coming back on our anniversary. My husband loves extending Christmas as long as possible, so we've had the decorations up for at least two months now. After holding him off from opening our stockings all week, I found out he'd stuffed mine with an Iowa coin bear, a stuffed kitten, a small magnetic penguin (long story), and the Princess Bride on DVD. Turns out he'd wanted to watch the DVD all week, hence the bugging. Men are soooo patient..... I gave him a whole variety of chocolate things and some cocoa mix. The mix was for his gift of a travel mug with the caffeine molecule imprinted on it, along with three geeky shirts (thank you,!). He got me one gift: a white gold amethyst necklace, to go along with the already-given bracelet and wedding ring. Naturally, this caused many happy noises. We spent the rest of the day finishing up LOTR, as is our tradition.

We went back to the Land of Below Zero Temperatures and Five-Foot Snowdrifts for Christmas, surviving two snow storms and record windchills. We got pretty much everything we wanted for Christmas, along with some great anniversary gifts. I have to say, Christmas Songs by Jars of Clay is wonderful. I can't stop listening to it, which means, unfortunately, Redemption Songs by them and Revelation by Third Day aren't getting listened to. I was worried "Little Drummer Boy" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" wouldn't be as good as the originals, but they're almost better, if that's possible.

We spent our anniversary stuck in the Dallas airport for four hours while I battled with the nasty bug Pooky's nephew gave me. Our plans for going to the Riverwalk once we got home were postponed a day, and, naturally, when I started feeling better, Pooky got it even worse than I did. He wound up missing a day of work, but not much gets done between Christmas and New Year's at the shop, so he didn't miss too much.

He was feeling well enough to get on the road for 10 hours on New Year's Day to go and retrieve the car his uncle had towed down to Texas for us. I found out how boring the desert really can be when you don't have someone to talk to and you can't get much on the radio. Oh, and someone forgot to check the battery of the mp3 player before handing it off to me, so it got even more dull. I think it would have been more "scenic" had I not had to drive and it wasn't the dead of winter.

So that's our holidays-a lot of traveling, but lots of gifts and family time. It was good seeing all eight nephews and the expectant mothers (two more little ones coming within the month). Oh, and any Iowan can positively tell you that global warming is something we wish would happen.

I'm not terribly hopeful after this past election. My husband is going to give Obama a fair shake for the first few months, and I'm trying, but it's very difficult after all the positions he's taken and his Cabinet choices. I agree with Pooky that militarily, Obama won't do too much damage, but I worry about the domestic side of things. The Freedom of Choice Act isn't just a horrible idea because it lifts resctrictions on abortions, but it also takes away every state's right to legislate in that area. It's a slippery slope on more than one level, and I don't have the confidence that Obama will stand up for Federalism, one of our key founding principles. Card Check is also something that worries me. Unions are no longer necessary in America, and this is just another way of keeping them alive.

Speaking of bloated unions, bailout-mania disgusts me. The stock market is risky, and sub-prime loans are even more so. Deal with it, people. Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.

I said that Obama's Cabinet choices worry me, and I'm being proven right even before he takes office. Richardson's out, Browner's got a lot of baggage, Holder's confirmation hearings will be embarassing should Marc Rich come up, Rahm Emanuel still has a cloud hanging over his head from his communications with Blagojevich, and don't forget that Obama's saddled himself with Her Majesty of Whitewater fame. I'm wondering who in the world would hire his vetting team after this fiasco. Of course, the Left rewards incompetence, so they're set for life.

Have a good one!