Thursday, September 29, 2011

What if Mother Nature Wants Global Warming?

Mother Nature's Carbon Emissions
Lightning Strike Forest Fires

(c) 2011 by Tom King

There's nothing quite as surreal as a bunch of banjo players arguing about anthropogenic global warming. Fortunately the discussion takes place on-line. If we were all in the same room someone would likely get the El-Kabong treatment. If you don't remember Quick Draw McGraw, the cartoon horse/sheriff, you won't get the El Kabong reference. Trust me the El-Kabong treatment is painful, especially when banjos are involved.

What got me into this was being still hacked off at environmentalist meddlers who sicked the feds on Gibson (the guitar and banjo maker in Nashville) about some imported rosewood fingerbords.  Anyway after 19 pages of dueling web-links and some serious name-calling and one schmuck getting banned from the Banjo Hangout, I have a question or two for the Anthropogenic Global Warning (AGW) folks.

Since the beginning of the industrial age, granted, man has been pumping out carbon and other greenhouse gases from manufacturing, transportation and other things. But, at the same time, some things have changed that should have reduced the total output of greenhouse gasses:

1.We went from using horses and oxen to using mechanical cars, trucks, tractors, etc.. This would have reduced the number of horses drastically AND thus the amount of horse manure produced by said horses and thus the amount of methane-rich horse and oxen flatulence released into the atmosphere. I've never seen anyone attempt to correct their pollution statistics to include that reduction in pollutants. They used to have guys running all over the big cities with little barrels on wheels scooping up horse poop. They dumped those somewhere and the huge steaming piles had to have kicked a whole lot of methane into the atmosphere. Where are the calculations that take into account that we don't have that going anymore.

2.We fight forest and prairie fires. Hardly a fire starts these days that we don't jump on and try to put out. Back in the 1800s, prairie fires, set by lightening used to burn whole states worth of acreage, uncontested, blanketing huge parts of our country with thick clouds of carbon-laden smoke. I haven't seen any studies that correct pollution or carbon production statistics for the reduction in carbon emissions caused by modern wildfire fighting efforts.

3.As settlements have moved west, areas that were once strictly grassland have been planted with trees to act as windbreaks and landscaping for homes and cities, vastly increasing the number of trees in formerly treeless areas. I have seen estimates that the total acreage planted in trees has actually increased in the past couple of centuries, given man's propensity for tree-planting around his home and the massive tree-planting done by forestry products companies in an effort to restore these resources to harvest again at a later date. What impact has this had on conversion of CO2 into Oxygen and other organic materials and thus the amelioration of atmospheric CO2.

4.There has been a huge reduction in the past 150 years in the size of the great herds of bison that once roamed the prairies. It seems there is an assumption that domestic cattle replaced the bison at a 1 to 1 ratio or less, yet I see no evidence of modern herds of cattle that cover tens of thousands of acres and strip the prairie and lay down carpets of buffalo poop as the great buffalo herds once did. The methane production of a heard of a million or so of those big hairy beasts must have been incredible. Now that they are gone and replaced by their much smaller bovine relatives, where's the correction for what must surely be a reduction in methane production since the huge buffalo herds have gone?

5.The change in home heating and cooling techniques from the smoky wood-burning chimney (some houses had literally dozens of fire-places) to electric, oil and gas heat. Which produces more smoke, modern heating systems or a huge collection of chimneys burning 24/7 in the winter. The cities have certainly had clearer skies since we quit burning so much wood (and more trees were spared from the ax in the process). Has anyone corrected pollution figures from that?

I mean, we assume that we produce more pollution now, but the world was a pretty gritty place just a century or so ago. Horse poop everywhere, inefficient chimneys pouring smoke, vast bison herds, unchecked wildfires burning millions of acres per year, untreated sewerage from cities pouring methane into the atmosphere. Seems to me we should take that into account when we run the numbers on carbon pollution.

Also given that we are carbon-based life forms, you have to wonder if we reduce carbon "pollution", is that for sure a good thing to do?
  •  Do we need a little carbon in the atmosphere to support life?
  • If so, how much is enough and how much is too much?
  • Just because it was "X" amount of atmospheric carbon last century, how can you be sure that's the right amount, especially when, at best, you can only estimate what carbon levels were two, three or ten centuries ago?
It seems to me almost as if some of those on the environmentalist side hold that Earth has deliberately produced certain species and certain mechanisms specifically to take part in creating balance and harmony in nature.  Noted environmentalist, Danny Glover (insert snicker here), says Mother Nature struck Haiti with an earthquake because we didn't get serious enough about global warming at the Copenhagen conference. Environmentalists sometimes seem to be arguing that man is unbalancing those natural balancing systems through his manufacturing and his use of machines for travel (except, of course, for machines being used by Al Gore for travel since he buys carbon offset credits and that makes it okay to fill up the stratosphere with jet aircraft exhaust).

But what if, Mother Nature produced man specifically because there wasn't enough carbon in the atmosphere?  What if she needed us to put out wildfires, cut back on the number of buffalos or evolved us because the beavers weren't building enough dams and she needed some creatures that were really, really good at backing up rivers?

I'm just askin' the question.

What if we're supposed to be warming up the globe?

Monday, September 19, 2011

No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition

I've had it up to here! Now, imagine me holding my hand horizontally just below my chin to indicate where I've had it up to. Everybody's got a pet conspiracy theory to flog or some new "shocking revelation" in their latest book  WELL, THERE IS A CONSPIRACY GOING ON BUT IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK.  The conspiracy theories and wild talk are little more than a smoke screen to divide us, to confuse us and to hide what's really going on. My favorite book says this:

  • For our struggle is not against human opponents, but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in the darkness around us, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenly realm.  Eph. 6:12

Just quoting that text like I seriously believe it makes me one of those "fundamentalist" Christians that the Georgia chairman of an atheist group, which I shall not dignify by naming here, claimed ought to be "exterminated".  His words not mine. So much for a kindlier tone.

As we engage our brothers and sisters in debate over the issues that face our nation these days, let us remember who it is that seeks to confuse and divide us and for what purpose he wishes to do so. If that confusion and division leads us, in the name of safety and security to accept a huge, intrusive and powerful government as a necessity, then we get what we deserve.

When the children of Israel wanted a powerful King like the other nations had, God warned them that a king would take their daughters for his concubines, take their sons for soldiers, their food to feed his armies and their money to pay for weapons
.  He warned them that the kings would take their liberty, their land and their labor and return them only illusions of safety and security. We stand between two belief systems that offere us clear choices - small government or large; freedom or imagined security; independence or dependence. 

That we as a nation are still standing despite the determination of the forces of "hope and change" Progressivism, is a tribute to the tenacity of the American people and the quality of what our forefathers wrought. Voices on every side call for compromise, for acceptance of the inevitable and for handing over our freedom in exchange for promises of security and safety that Paul Simon aptly described as a "pocketful of mumbles".

Michael Palin of Monty Python fame, famously said, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition."  I fear the folk who are buying the rhetoric of "hope and change" thinking the kindly government is going to make their car payment for them are going to be in for a nasty shock. Palin was right. No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.*

Tom King - Puyallup, Washington

* And, in case someone wants to draw a link between fundamentalist Christians and the Inquisition, remember please that the Inquisition was a policing arm sponsored by the Roman church and government authorities and they were punishing "heretics" many of whom were convicted of believing the same things fundamentalist Christians hold as principles of faith. If you wonder why fundamentalist Christians fear government, look to what the government sanctioned to be done against us under the Inquisition. And, like I said, "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh, Goody. Another 9/11 Truther Article

It's what I just live for....
by Tom King (c) 2011

A friend sent a link to me today to an article on (Oh, joy, oh rapture) The "Truth" about 9/11 and why we are all stupid if we deny that it was a government conspiracy.

It just never gets old with the "truthers".  They're almost as much fun as the "birthers" and the Elvis Ain't Dead Society. Got another link to a rambling post about how the truther's have it right and everybody else has it wrong.

I'm expected to believe that the same government that can't keep a Congressman's dalliance with the House pages quiet, managed to suppress all hint of the planning of a highly complex domestic terror attack from thousands of police officers, FBI, CIA and NSA agents (not to mention NCIS). I'm supposed to believe that technicians wired hundreds of carefully timed explosives without detection in a building that is full of people 24 hours a day - an explosives demolition job I might add that would require hundreds of expert demolitions people working surreptitiously without detection. And of the thousands involved in the conspiracy, I should also accept that no one talked about it to anyone beforehand; no one warned his Uncle Lou or his Cousin Bob (the sane one, not the crazy one that was recently abducted by aliens and returned to Earth with mind-reading powers); no one noticing that truckloads of unsupervised dynamite or C4 or whatever the latest exotic explosive touted by some impossible to follow up "expert" was being purchased and carried up into a building that had already been targeted once for destruction by Al Quaeda. What? Was Pres. Clinton responsible for that one and I missed the broadcast on KNUT - Paranoia Radio.

Oh, and you'd have had to actually find hundreds if not thousands of Americans who could live with their consciences about killing thousands of their fellow Americans - men, women and children in cold blood - not to mention the hijackers to fly the planes into the buildings to "fake" the attack. Now what exactly was the hijackers' motivation again?  Let me get this straight. They WANTED a nice war in Iraq so that 26,000 Al Quaeda soldiers and leaders could die at the hands of soldiers, SEALS and marines.  Oh, I know what it must be.  They all had Halliburton stock that was going to jump right up after 9/11. The flaw in that is that everybody's stock kinda dropped like a stone after 9/11 and besides they were dead so it's not like it would matter to them.

The truth about 9/11 is that if you hit a skyscraper with 70,000 or so pounds of fully loaded commercial airliner, then burn the upper stories with a full load of highly volatile aviation fuel, that skyscraper is likely going to fall down once stories start pancaking down on one another. The real miracle is that the whole thing didn't fall over sideways, but remained upright.  It was BECAUSE it was so well-engineered that the building remained upright - silly engineers were afraid some hurricane or high winds might tip the building by applying too much lateral force so the thing was structurally designed to remain vertical which is why they collapsed the way they did.

The truth about 9/11 is that people would rather believe in some vast government conspiracy that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and which nobody could ever hope to get away with in the first place, than to deal with the appalling fact that a handful of nut cases with the will and the determination and what, to an Arab oil sheik is but a handful of change could reach out and murder 3000 people without warning. It could happen at any time, anywhere, no matter how hard we try to protect our borders, no matter how hard we try to appease anyone out there who happens to be mad at us.

The best we can do is go over there and murder THE TERRORISTS in their beds. Oh, wait, that's what we're trying to do. Going after the actual guys who did this stuff - now there's an unusual idea. (By the way, I'm NOT advocating the slaughter of innocent Muslims I want to be very clear on that).

The HUGE surprise about this article was the Ron Paul ad at the bottom. I'm just totally shocked. I always thought those guys were so sane and rational................oh, wait. That was Rue Paul supporters I'm thinking of.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Open Letter to President Hoffa

September 7, 2011

James P. Hoffa
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
25 Louisiana Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Mr. Hoffa:

You, sir, seem to have no idea who the members of the Tea Party are.  We are not corporate shills. I’ve never received a dime to attend any rally or event, nor been offered any incentive to cast my vote in a certain way – something the Teamster’s Union can’t say with any honesty.  If your recent call for the Teamster’s “to take the son of a bitches out” was designed to intimidate me and other Tea Party members, you badly miscalculated. You have only succeeded in mobilizing us to further action.  All you accomplished was to encourage us to keep our ammunition a little closer and a little more accessible.

Nobody in the Tea Party I belong to declared any war on the unions or on your puppet president. We did however show up to vote last time and we’re going to do it again.  We’re sick and tired of the damage you and our cronies in the Democrat Party are doing to our country.

You can label us, you can threaten us and you can try to intimidate us, but wouldn’t it be better to listen and find out what our concerns are?  Your father thought he could use the Mob to help the union. Maybe you believe you can use the Democrats and the Liberal/Progressives in the same way.  You’re mistaken.

Once they are through with you and have the Worker’s Paradise in place, they’ll have no further need for the Union Brownshirts. Remember the night of the long knives. It’s happened before and it can happen again. Capitalism pays the workers that pay the union dues that keep you in that nice big office of yours in Washington. Don’t kid yourself like your old man did or you could wind up like he did. And it won’t be little old ladies from the Tea Party who did it.  Remember Leon Trotsky. Tyrants have no use for troublemakers.

I’ve sent you a nice unused bag of Lipton Tea.  Make yourself a nice hot cup or better yet, some iced tea and try and remember that the Tea Party folk are regular Americans just like your membership.  We will fight for your right to exist and to speak and to vote the way you wish, even when you call us “sons of bitches”.  The threat, however, was a bit much. We would appreciate it if you’d remember why we fought the Revolution in the first place.  Believe it or not, we’re on the same side.

Tom King
Puyallup, Washington (late of East Texas)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Round in the Browser Wars?

Okay, what's going on. My Firefox Web Browser keeps crashing. They've sent me two updates in the past 24 hours and so far every time they do it gets better for a bit and then I get an XP update from Microsoft and right afterward, Firefox starts crashing again.

It's starting to look fishy.  I can't work because the website I sell stories to won't stay on-line, I keep losing my pages I pull up for research. The only thing I've successfully posted are some comments on Facebook and a weblog about how to get rid of doggie pee pee circles on your lawn.

I always suspected Microsoft changed some features of XP and Windows 2000 to deliberately disable WordPerfect, the primary competitor with Word. I had to give up WordPerfect finally and they were the best as far as word processors went back then.

I've always defended Microsoft, but they need to make sure when they do updates that they let software makers know well enough in advance to get updates out in a timely manner. The reason I chose Windows over Mac was the vast amount of software that was available because Windows made it easy for developers to write programs for Windows.  Please don't tell me Microsoft is trying to go proprietary with it's operating system.

I really don't want to have to learn how to use Linux.

I'm just sayin'

Tom King

P.S.  In the words of Gilda Radner's SNL character, Emily Litella, "Never mind."  Finally I took down removed Comcast's ID Guardian software and the problem went away.  The folks at Mozilla finally got back with me about a week after I finally figure it out and uninstalled this bloated and unnecessary piece of software. Live and learn. I really need a new computer - something with about 10 megs of RAM...