I'm just not sure which side to cheer for. I kinda hope they are both very successful in their efforts.
The title of the movie, The Day After Tomorrow, brought a little chuckle to me, because that is what my Dad always used to tell us when he didn't want to do something we were asking him to do. "I'll do it the day after tomorrow," he'd say, or "We can buy one the day after tomorrow." Of course the joke, on us, was that when two days had past, and we'd ask again, he'd point out that "the day after tomorrow" was still two days away.
I wonder if the marketing guys for this movie knew my Dad.
I'm all for saving the environment so that our children can enjoy the same beautiful lands that I've enjoyed. In fact, I think that I have a much more realistic approach to a workable solution to environmental problems than most tree-huggers out there. Make the cost of envirnomental damage higher than the cost of environmental repair. Simply put the costs onto those making a profit off of damaging the environment, and you'll see realistic approaches to limit environmental damage. Given that market forces drive a lot of answers, I can't believe the stupidity of eco-morons like the tree-sitters, especially the ones who either die from falls (no tree would ever consider taking a human life), or waste a couple of years sitting in a tree, like Julia "Butterfly" Hill, then turn around and agree to pay $50k to "save" the tree. Hell, I'll bet the Pacific Lumber Company that sold the tree for $50,000 is not only laughing all the way to the bank, but are shaking their heads at the stupidity of someone sitting in a tree for two years to "force" the company to sell the tree for a price that they would have sold it for, say, two years earlier.
Stupid enough to pay $50k for one tree.
To the lumber company, the cost of "damaging the environment" (cutting the tree down) was more than the cost of "saving it" (letting it stand and collecting $50k). My proposal exactly, only this twit thinks she "forced the man to back down" and saved "Luna" (her name for the tree) because she sat in it for two years.
Sorry, got carried away there for a second.
Anyway, this movie, The Day After Tomorrow, which apparently scared the living bejeezus out of the former Vice President, Al Jazeera Gore, is not getting a great review from the scientists. Okay, those scientists who are absolutely sure that we are on a collision course with human extinction are pretty hyped up about the possibility of catastrophic climate change, but there are other scientist, who also believe that the human race is changing the climate for the worse, who don't quite go along with the scenario proposed in the movie. As CNN politely puts it
Scientists have given it a drubbing for its inaccuracies, but the movie has also garnered cautious endorsements for raising the profile of an important issue.
I'm not Catholic, so this stuff about the Catholic Church denying communion to gay members, or those who uphold or support abortion, or those who wear gay sashes, is a little confusing to me. So bear with me, I'm probably on shaky theological ground here.
I guess to get it out of the way, my own personal feelings on some of these subjects are as follows. I don't believe that the governement should be involved in abortion rights either way. Straight libertarian view, I think. And I don't think abortion should ever be used as a form of birth control. As for gays marrying, I don't care. I say why here, so I won't repeat it, but I just don't think anyone else's marriage has any effect on mine, or my religion.
So getting that out of the way, I'm not sure I understand why the Catholic church would want to deny communion to anyone. Don't Catholic priests in prison (now there's a good movie title), or I should say, Catholic priests serving as religious figures to prisoners, give communion to people who are about to be put to death, if they ask to receive communion? I don't know, this is a real question, not rhetorical. I know that Catholic chaplains in the Army, and Catholic priests at disater sites often say "final rights" or something like that over the dead. What if they were GAY and dead! Or dead abortion supporters? And if the priest can give communion to a convicted murderer about to be put to death, then why not someone wearing a rainbow sash?
I believe there is a God, that He is the Creator. I've seen too many wondrous things to believe otherwise. I'm very secure in my beliefs, so the fact that other Christians see things differently than me doesn't shake my beliefs to the core.
But if the salvation of communion isn't to be used by sinners and non-believers, than what is it for?
I just found out from a wildlife biologist friend of mine that author and supposed "bear advocate", Timothy Treadwell, was finally killed and eaten by the Alaskan brown bears he harassed for the last ten or twelve summers in Alaska along the Katmai. Back in October of 2003, he and a companion, Amie Huguenard, were staying at Treadwell's normal camping area in the feeding range of summer brown bears. Though he normally fled Alsaska well ahead of the winter, for his home in Malibu, California, Treadwell and his companion had stayed on a few extra weeks to see if one of his favorite bears had been killed by poachers. His claims, never proven, of poachers killing brown bears in the area he frequented, were usually dismissed by the locals as well as the Fish and Game professionals in the area, so it's unsure if this was the real reason he stayed a few extra weeks. However it was, when the plane came to pick him and Huguenard up for the trip back to civilization, all that was left of the two was a brown bear's food cache hidden under some brush, and a flattened tent.
His name came up because my wildlife biologist friend and I had both read Timothy's book and heard him speak at one of his many engagements in the lower 48 as he tried to raise money to do more....well it wasn't really research, it was more like self-promotion with large carnivorous animals. A wilderness Siegfried and Roy, so to speak. He initially interested me because I also spent time among brown bears (called grizzlies in Wyoming and Montana where I backpacked) and I wanted to know as much as I could about them, though after reading his book I knew that there was nothing in his book but self-promotion and a strange desire to anthropomorphize the largest carnivore on land. He interested my friend because Treadwell did everything that professional wildlife biologists tell backpackers not to do as it concerns bears. Or nearly everything. My friend and I agreed that he was dangerous to himself, his companions, his many ignorant followers who wanted to imitate him, and lastly, the bears he pretended to befriend. In fact, two brown bears were killed while rangers tried to remove Treadwell's remains, something that Treadwell himself made inevitable because his constant forays into the bear's habitat weakened the bear's natural fear of man. We disagreed, however, on what to do about people like him.
Being a die-hard libertarian, I thought that his inevitable death among the bears he refused to take seriously was between him and the bears. That included the several Treadwell imitators who have been killed in the grizzly regions of Montana as well. I'm a devout libertarian/Darwinian cross when it comes to allowing the most unsafe genes to eliminate themselves from the human gene pool. Treadwell's life and death are a good example of what I believe to be the inevitability of such removals. My friend, who has a professional requirement to see that bears and people stay as far apart as possible, for the safety of both, felt that people like Treadwell needed to be stopped, and punished if neccesary. He and I both understood that any human death due to bear attack results in the death of at least one bear, possibly more if the attacking bear was a nursing mother, or could be one of many bears found feeding on the human remains. And each death renewed the debate on just how many bears, especially grizzly bears, are the right number to have in the lower 48. This number is a direct reflection of what people are comfortable as labeling bear habitat, and where the borders to that habitat extend.
This debate is sure to come up again with both the expansion of grizzly territory in Wyoming, and the proposed de-listing of the bears from the endangered species list. There will be many on my side who feel that anyone who willingly (if ignorantly) goes into the wilderness is alone responsible for what happens there in regards to their safety. On the other side are those who wish to protect wildlife from people like Treadwell, and those who perform wilderness rescues. People who want to protect wildlife know that contact with humans, like that endorsed by Treadwell, usually results in dead wildlife. And for professional and volunteer rescuers, the idea of risking their life to rescue an idiot like Treadwell must be especially grating. Where to balance one against the other?
There was a similar debate years ago about the right of wildlife to expand into human-use territory. There were those who believed that wildlife, such as wolves and bears, had the right to expand into any territory they wanted, unimpeded by man. On the other side were the people already in those territories for whom financial considerations put them against supporters of territory expansion, mostly sheep and cattle ranchers. Someone came up with the brilliant idea that the cost of sheep and cattle depredation from wolves and bears was so miniscule when spread out among the thousands of expansion supporters, it made sense to set up a permanent fund to pay off the stock losses of ranchers due to depredation. This answer has worked quite well, and has worked well for many years, and is still praised by those who run the fund and the ranchers who are paid for losses. Capitalism and libertarianism wins out again!
Perhaps there is something to garner from this experience with predator depredation. There may be a way to put a cost to having the ability to roam about in the wild, free from regulations, even if those regulations are there to help keep you safe. I'm not sure how this would work, it doesn't seem as simple as the compensation funds, but perhaps it is. Timothy Treadwell figured out how to make money off of his flaunting of the professional advice concerning bears and human interaction. He understood that there was always another tree-hugger willing to pay good money to see someone "prove" that bears are really peaceful, beautiful, loving creatures who wouldn't harm anyone who wasn't threatening them. If there was a profit to be made, perhaps there is also a way to measure a cost for such flaunting as well, and those who choose to flaunt, can pay.
I'll choose to live, not flaunt, but still, I want the choice.
It is being reported in the LA Times and the New York Times that the terrorists in Khobar, Saudi Arabia were wearing Saudi Army uniforms to confuse the guards. Not that most of the guards at the western compounds in Saudi Arabia need to be "confused" in order to become ineffective, by any means. They are ineffective because they are Saudi guards, 'nuff said.
Anyway, I'll go out on a limb here and predict that those Saudi Army uniforms that the terrorists were wearing, were issued to them by the Saudi Armed Forces. And that the terrorists were current or recent members of the Saudi Armed Forces.
There is no love for the monarchy in most of Saudi Arabia, and that includes the Armed Forces. And there is a lot of support for UBL as a person, al Queda as a group, and radical islam (wahhabism) as a religion, in the Saudi Armed Forces. When I was an advisor, I had many Saudi officers tell me that UBL was misunderstood by the west, and that they admired what he was trying to do. This was all pre 9-11, and I think that the support would be less outright now, but still strong.
The latest news is that three of the terrorists "escaped" from the building as it was being stormed by other Saudi Armed Forces.
Update - CNN is reporting that the Saudis allowed the gunmen to escape. In fact, that's their headline - Saudi: Gunmen Allowed to Escape.
Well, I did tell you so, so none of you regular readers should be suprised.
The AP's reporter, Laura Wides, has discovered something that seems to have slipped right past a majority of leftist reporters. Get this,
Memorial Day 2004 is to be used as a day of rememberance for those families who have lost loved ones in the Iraqi War!
I'll say that again, since it's so unbelievable! According to AP reporter Laura Wides, this Memorial Day will be "somber" because there will be family members who use it as a remembrance of those lost in the Iraqi War!
Incredible as this may seem, there are obviously reporters out there who write for the AP who are so painfully oblivious to the real meaning of Memorial Day that they would write a whole story about how Memorial Day this year is different from all those Memorial Days of years past, because "most of the casualties (in Iraq) were after May 2003, (so) this Memorial Day will be a more somber one."
If Laura Wides understood anything at all about Memorial Day, she might know how completely ignorant her statement is.
Even though there is minor disagreement on some of the particulars, it is generally agreed that:
Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states.
My family went in to DC on Sunday. Not to go to the WWII Memorial, the wife didn't want to get lost in that crowd. And she knows fully well that I will want to visit sometime when I get back, and after the crowds have gone. Our 20 month-old now has her own "baby" that has its own little stroller, and she wants to push that everywhere. That would have been a nighmare for her, the baby, and for all the veterans who would have been rammed in the ankles at full battle speed by my rambunctious daughter. So they went to the zoo instead.
We all enjoy the National Zoo, it's a nice place to take the kids, and a good romp if you do the whole thing. And since the wife lives very near a DC metro stop, it's a quick trip to, then on, the metro and on to the zoo.
She said that it was a gorgeous day there today, cooler than it had been that last few weeks, overcast so no sun beating down, and low humidity, almost a complete unknown for the DC area from April to November. It is never so apparent that the whole town was built on a swamp than in the heat of summer, when it does its very best to turn back into that swamp (physically, not morally).
So I guess all those old timers who were young men during WWII, and who are finally getting to see a national memorial, rather than the many town, city, or state memorials that exist, dedicated to their efforts and sacrifices, were ready to tough it out and sit for hours on end in the blazing heat of a DC Memorial Day. Now God has seen fit to make it a nice day, and a nice weekend, for all those oldsters. How fitting.
To those WWII veterans, like my father, who gave up their youth to three-plus years of war, turning America's military in a few months from totally neglected to the strongest ever known, and who then came home and turned America from a war-footing into the most powerful industrial nation the world has known, I stand in complete awe.
And I salute you, each and every one.
If CAIR and other islalmic apologists have you confused about the real meaning behind radical islam, this is all you need to know.
Abdul Salam al-Hakawati, a 38-year-old Lebanese corporate financial officer, said gunmen rummaging around his family residence said, "This is a Muslim house" — apparently seeing framed Quranic verses on the walls. He said a man in his early 20s, carrying a machine gun and wearing an ammunition belt, told him: "We only want to hurt Westerners and Americans. Can you tell us where we can find them here?" (emphasis mine)
Some things will never change.
This French Terror Advisory System is from the funny site, The Daily Farce.
The only reason such cynical comedy works is because it is so close to the truth. There isn't a single country in all of Europe that needed US help in the last century more than France did to remain, or return to, a sovereign state. And there isn't a country in all of Europe that comes close to France in quickly forgetting that they ever needed that help.
Islamic fundamentalism will be a much better fit for the French than Naziism ever was. And quick surrender is nearly painless when you have no pride.
EHarmony.com, Inc has filed for, and received U.S. Patent No. 6,735,568, which is supposed to be a method and system for helping people get together, and giving them a better chance at a successful relationship. This used to be called "finding someone with the same interests", but I guess that there's always someone who is willing to put numerical values to very subjective values and characteristics. And of course, in America, there is always someone willing to make a buck off of such a computer program.
But really, are such things as "pretty", "smart", "funny", "shapely", "friendly", "religious" and all the other things that go into finding someone compatible, that easy to put into numbers? And what kind of person wants to even think about all these things in trying to get a mate.
There are hundreds of programs out there that try to help someone pick a good stock portfolio, for crying out loud. And most of those "numbers' are real. Things like a balance sheet, market segment, total market size, industry trends, consumer incomes, and all sorts of inputs into these programs are real numbers that are available for most publicly traded companies. And the bottom line on these programs is still the same, you cannot guarantee anything into the future.
There are some who don't believe in reducing love to numbers
Critics say computerized matchmaking discounts the je ne sais quoi of love in favor of formulas that can seem like basic arithmetic compared to the painstaking psychosexual calculations humans make about mates.
Melinda Miller vouches for eHarmony. The 32-year-old middle school teacher in Celebration, Florida, completed her personality profile on May 7, 2003. Jack Stevison, an investment officer for a securities firm in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, submitted his the next day. They met in person the following week and were engaged within four months. They're getting hitched January 1.