Olympic Effort

I love the Olympics! I can’t wait for it to come again – summer or winter, I love em both. To me, the Olympic games epitomize what’s great about the American ideal: sacrifice, competition, commitment, reward. These athletes put more time in training that we do in our 9-5’s, living on a dream to become the best. They don’t give up, they work through injuries, setbacks, whatever, just to be able to compete against other athletes to see who’s best.

There is no other arena that I can think of that can at the same time show the agony of disappointment and the joy of victory. Take the 100m hurdles, for example. The pre-race favorite, Lolo Jones, hit the 2nd to last hurdle and lost the race. Watching her reaction as she crossed the finish line, one could feel the agony of what she was going through: she knew she had the race in her hand, she knew the gold was hers, and wham, she came up 2 inches short on a hurdle and it was gone. Poof! But then, Dawn Harper, who was the third USA qualifier during the Olympic trials, had a break out personal best run and finished golden. She was amazed, stunned, and just couldn’t believe it. All the work she put it, the commitment, the sacrifice, the competition, and then the reward. I love it!

How long will this last, I wonder?

More and more, competition is frowned upon as having no compassion for those that can’t compete at the same level.  In the guise of being tolerant of everyone’s feelings, we’re allowing people to strike down that which makes us all better: the desire to succeed!

Competition makes us better, it forces us to do things we otherwise would not have done in order to improve. It teaches us how to sacrifice; how to commit. If we’re all told that no one is to be better than someone else, what happens to the those ideals? They do transcend athletics, after all.

And then there’s the great evil: reward. Great effort should results in reward. Yet more and more we see less emphasis on being rewarded. We have little league teams now where everyone gets a trophy, just for participating. There are no awards for those that went the extra mile. When I was in 9th grade, I was on the freshman football team. At the end of the season, the coaches handed out letters to everyone (letters, for those of you that don’t know, go on letter jackets, and one is supposed to earn these by playing). I remember it like it was yesterday, everyone got them – even the jerk offs who didn’t try and didn’t give a damn. To me, the letter was worthless, and I never acknowledged it, even to this day.

Am I alone in this feeling? I think not, but the voices are growing more and more subdued.

Simply put, if there is no reward, there will be no effort, there will be no commitment. Without reward, one can not have competition, and there will be no success. Of course, I think that is exactly what a certain group of people want: all of us at the same level, none better than anyone else, none higher in stature. My insides just scream at this prospect, but I can’t deny the fear that it’s coming.

In the mean time, I have the Olympics to watch, and I can marvel at someone’s ability to do something so much better than I could ever hope to do.

What a farce

I came across an article that just happen to discuss three of my favorite pet peeves (global warming, UN, and wealth distribution). How in the world could I NOT comment on it!

The myway.com site was putting up an AP article (press to read) that, in a nutshell, says that the UN feels America should pay the poor countries to compensate for the losses they will endure due to the effects of global warming. It goes on to state, that since America is a rich country, and since America contributes to global warming but the poor countries do not, America should cough up the dough.

What a joke.

First of all, the entire discussion of global warming as it pertains to being caused by human beings is still in flux. Oh, I know that the mainstream media outlets have accepted this lie and are so unwilling to consider the alternative (that it is part of a natural warming/cooling cycle) that they spew this garbage to the (at best) uneducated and (at worse) the lazy. But, the bottom line is that there is not a global agreement amongst the scientific community on this THEORY, and the continued movement to adjust our actions is ridiculous.

My biggest problem with this, however, is the thought that America should be the Mother Theresa to the world. I’m so sick of this idea that at times I want to scream at the ceiling, fully aware that it would have the same impact as if I were somehow able to discuss this matter to people that could make a change: absolutely nothing.

We have so focused on others, that we have forgotten our own. Real problems are occurring in America that need attention (the loss of our manufacturing expertise, the weakening dollar, more and more socialized agendas, and the monstrosity of government just to mention a few). Our foundation as a country is crumbling underneath us and we’re actually talking about carbon-trading as a mechanism for providing capital to developing countries.

For the life of me, I just do not know why we continue to support this farce called the UN.

Bring me a bucket. My lunch is coming back up…

Environmental Mis-conceptions

I came across a press statement release by the Hudson Institute http://www.hudson.org
that I found interesting, relating to one of the pet peeve’s I have towards the whacko liberal left. Among other elements, the statement says:

A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares. More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun’s irradiance.

And quoting a fellow at the Hudson Institute, Dennis Avery:

Despite being published in such journals such as Science, Nature and Geophysical Review Letters, these scientists have gotten little media attention. “Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics,” said Avery, “but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see.”

What I find interesting, and for that matter, irritating, is the fact that the statement shows that there are a large amount of scientists out there that basically are not being heard, or worse, simply ignored, in order to support what I believe to be a pre-conceived idea to support a political position.

Further, co-author of a book with Dennis Avery (Unstoppable Global Warming) Fred Singer, states in the same statement:

“We’ve had a Greenhouse Theory with no evidence to support it-except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events,” said co-author Singer. “On the other hand, we have compelling evidence of a real-world climate cycle averaging 1470 years (plus or minus 500) running through the last million years of history. The climate cycle has above all been moderate, and the trees, bears, birds, and humans have quietly adapted.”

Why are these ideas being ignored? Why can’t the opposing side be presented without the presenters being ridiculed as merely puppets for big oil? What are so many willing to undergo huge and expensive measures to correct a problem that is not shown to exist by the scientific method – remember, over and over again, we’re being told that we have consensus among the scientific community, but I have yet to see anything that relates to the hypothesis, experiment, observe, study, results process that the scientific method demands.

And yet, more and more people subscribe to this idea. I think it’s a result of being inundated by a media complex driven by a liberal mindset that won’t present the opposing view simply because it differs from their own agenda.

But, do I blame the media for this? Not really. I blame those who accept this drivel, too lazy to do anything else but accept a spoon fed pack of mis-information. There’s a saying: “repeat a lie enough times and it becomes fact.”

It appears to me that the lie is becoming fact right before our very eyes.

NPR, PBS, and your money

Every now and then, I swallow a couple sedatives and visit the moveon.org web site. I figure it’s my duty to head over there, if only to confirm in my own mind my views. Needless to say, it provides fodder for discussions in arenas like here.

At any rate, there’s a current campaign to elicit fellow liberals out there to send an email to congress demanding that they do not cut the funding for PBS. As they quote in their email that will be sent:

Congress must save NPR and PBS once and for all. Congress should guarantee permanent funding and independence from partisan meddling.

Isn’t this just like a liberal?

The thing we lose sight of is that when they refer to permanent funding, they’re talking about OUR MONEY. Funding, as we hopefully all know, comes out of the taxes we all pay. So, those wonderful people over there at moveon.org want us to be forced to support PBS – they just don’t view the money stolen from us as OUR MONEY, they view it as THEIR MONEY to spend as THEY wish.

Don’t get me wrong, I have listened to NPR from time to time, and I do agree PBS produces quality television, but do I think I should be forced to pay for it, at the point of a figurative gun? No.

If we reduce the funding of PBS, it just means that they will have to pursue other forms of funding. We might end up seeing formal commercials on the broadcasts. We might have to endure the funding drives on a more freguent nature. And, to be honest, we might end up seeing PBS folding.

Will I be sad to see that? Yes. Does that change my view? No. If PBS can’t survive without government funding, maybe it didn’t deserve to remain alive at all.

The point is, funding should come from those people who want to watch the programs – they have to be the ones that are willing to invest in it. They shouldn’t have to force those that don’t even watch to pay for the support of it.

I can hear it now: “PBS provides a public service and therefore requires us all to pay our fair share.”

Yes, just like a liberal…

Don’t ever be late!

I got this in an email from my dad, and I couldn’t resist posting it.

A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner.
However, he was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited. “I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place.

The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen
a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way
out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss’s wife, taken illegal drugs, and gave VD to his sister.

I was appalled. But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that and I had,  indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.”

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and  gave his talk. “I’ll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived,” said the politician. “In fact, I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession.”

Moral: Never, Never, Never Be Late!

Party Time

Ah yes, election season is being thrust upon us. Tomorrow is the date for the Iowa Republican straw poll, and for some reason, I started thinking about our party system and how we all identify ourselves, politically.

For a long while, I had thought of the party system as one of the problems with our political climate. It is simply to easy to lump everything into Republican vs Democrat against which we base our decisions. There are too many people out there that would never vote for a Republican just because they were a Republican, and vica versa with those that are Democrat.

This is a problem.

Take myself, for example. I strongly support state rights, gun rights, lower taxes, less federal government, the repeal of Row v. Wade, and getting the US out of the UN. Some people might think this makes me a Republican outright.

They would be wrong.

I’m also in strong support of repealing the drug laws, revoking capital punishment, and a foreign policy that stops the meddling in the affairs of other countries.

My point is that I’m a hodge-podge, if you will, of various political points of view that could be construed as Republican in one light, and Democrat in another. What if I decided one day to run for office? Into which category should I go? History has shown that other parties will not succeed, and I would want to succeed, thus, I would have to choose one of the two main parties.

On those days that I’m waxing philosophical, and pipe dreams are allowed, I envision the day where there is no straight ticket voting option, no party affiliation next to the candidate, and the voter is actually an educated voter and fully knowledgeable about the individual on whom they are about to vote.

But, I wake up, reality sets in, and I’m stuck with the realization that the party’s over.

Convienent Lies?

I was wandering around on the site of a favorite author of mine, James P. Hogan, when I came upon a link to an article put out last year by Marlo Lewis, a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in response to Al Gore’s “documentary, ” An Inconvenient Truth. You can find that article here: Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore.

In it, Marlo gives a point by point response to the assertions that the former Vice President makes in his film. Admittedly, I have not yet had a chance to read the entire document, but in reading the very first section, I was amazed by a fact that would point out the amount of misinformation coming out of the whacko liberal left.

Marlo states:

Comment: Water vapor, not carbon dioxide (CO2), is the most important greenhouse gas. Computing the exact contribution of each type of greenhouse gas to the overall greenhouse effect is complicated, because the gases “overlap” in some of the spectra in which they absorb infrared radiation. Taking the overlaps into account, RealClimate.Org concludes that “water vapor is the single most important absorber (between 36% and 66% of the greenhouse effect), and together with clouds makes up between 66% and 85%. CO2 alone makes up between 9 and 26%, while the O3 and the other minor GHG absorbers consist of up to 7 and 8% of the effect respectively.”

Gore editorializes when he says that we have “vastly” increased the amount of CO2. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is so small that CO2 is referred to as a “trace gas.” Over the past century and a half, atmosphere CO2 levels have risen from about 280 parts per million (ppm) to about 380 ppm – from roughly 3/100ths to roughly 4/100ths of one percent of the atmosphere.

So, in essence, Marlo is stating that CO2 has risen by the amount of 1/100th of one percent of the atmosphere in the last century.

Let’s put that in perspective.

Say the atmosphere is a giant vat filled with 10,000 marbles. In the last century, the amount of CO2 has risen from 3 marbles, to 4. A whopping grand total of a single marble.

Yet, when you hear the whacko left talk, they speak as if the air is saturated with CO2, and you NEVER hear any discussion on the effects of water vapor. The first I heard of it was reading the article that I’ve linked. Granted, I may not be the worlds most informed individual (the Beatles are still together, right?), but it seems to me that there should be some discussion on this. Of course, when people do bring up opposing arguments, they’re vilified and accused of manipulating the information.

The main problem as I see it is that there are too many political agendas and an utter resistance to consider the opposing view.

I guess they’re all afraid to lose their marbles.

What kind am I?

I thought I’d use my first post to illustrate what you’ll most likely be hearing from me going forward. In his post on July 24th, 2007 (What Kind of Republican Are You), Marc gives us a link to a site that asks us a series of questions that are designed to illustrate the type of people we are.

Okay, so I did – and here’s the results:

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are an Anti-government Gunslinger, also known as a libertarian conservative. You believe in smaller government, states’ rights, gun rights, and that, as Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

Take the quiz at www.FightLiberals.com

Man, does THAT ever hit the nail on the head. If there’s one thing that could be said about me, it’s that I can not stand the thought of a big government system. Each new layer on our ever increasing national government fills me with dread. To reference a famous quote: I want three things from my government – Protect my shores, deliver my mail, and leave me the hell alone.

The bottom line is that if you’re relying on the government to be there for you, you’re going to be alone on an island looking for a ship that had long since run aground.

Remember Katrina? Who can forget the site of all those people outside of the stadium chanting, “we need help, we need help.” The memory of it still churns my stomach with anger – but not against those that you may think. I don’t blame the government for this failure, I blame the people staying there.

Yes, you read that write – I blame the people. Ask yourself if you would have stayed there hoping that some other entity would show up and make it better for you, or would you have (like I KNOW that I would have) done what you could to get yourself and your family out of there (this of course assumes that I would have found myself in the position to begin with).

This country was founded upon an independent mindset, the need to be ourselves, and an overriding desire to be free. Sadly, more and more people are willing to hand over their power to a governmental entity with a misguided promise that they will be taken care of.

Each time another person does this, one more link is added to the chain that will bind us all.