Saturday, August 21, 2010

Which Islam? A Choice

The first post from Storm'n Norm'n on Saturday, 21, 2010 has a YouTube video which is well worth your time to view. If factual recitations annoy you and deprive you of being comfortable in your pre-conceived notions, it is definitely not for you.

If you decide to follow up on the link, pay attention early on to the distinction between the two Korans mentioned. It establishes the justification in the Muslim mind for the duality of the “religion of peace.” God help us all.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nelson at Trafalgar

There is a reason that Adm. Nelson is well remembered and lauded for his direction of the fleet during the battle at Trafalgar. In a nut shell, he punched through the line of opposing ships and in the ensuing chaos, exercised the abilities of his captains and the expertise and marksmanship of their crews to sieze the advantage over a superior force. Among historians, it is recognized that the cultural attitude of the opposing commanders were complicit in his success. They espoused the regularity of formation and treated the ensuing struggle much the same as setting up a board game. Most able military commanders acknowledge that the most capable battle plan goes out the window upon the occasion of the first shot.

The British commander well understood in advance their predisposition for order in a situation which turned to absolute disorder in practice. The excuse for that strategy may be made by the existence of a superior number of guns collectively on the combined French and Spanish fleets which would have given them the advantage in a “set-piece” encounter. That was more than offset by the lack of proper crewing of the vessels with men lacking sufficient training and experience. Nelson made this assumption, saw the advantage for his better trained and experienced crews, and continued to an historic victory.

The wisdom of the commander is demonstrated by the comparative losses. The combined French and Spanish fleet lost, through capture or sinking, 23 of the 44 ships which entered the fray with a loss of 13,781 casualties. The British on the other hand lost no ships and suffered total casualties of only 1,666 men, including Adm. Nelson. This extraordinary victory begs the question of where Nelson learned his valuable lesson.

Thirty-two years earlier at Lexington, Mass. a huge force of British regulars marched toward Concord, Massachusetts and a supposed supply of cannon and other supplies. There they faced a tiny militia contingent of roughly 70 men of all ages and training who delayed their progress. They approached the green at Lexington in what is best described as a “parade” formation. In their bright red tunics and white breeches they presented an outstanding target. When they finally reached Concord and proceeded to cross the narrow bridge to the storehouse, they were repulsed in that confinement by a vastly smaller contingent of militia and were forced to return to Boston. During the battle for the bridge and on the return to Boston the total casualty count escalated to 300 for the British and 93 for the defenders.

Nelson may have gathered from that lesson of humiliation for the British that the European style of formational assault was of little value in a guerilla style encounter. At Concord and the road back, men hiding behind rocks and trees had a definite defensive advantage. While an organized unit may have a formidable appearance, it is hidebound to structure and in its reaction time and effectiveness, as opposed to the benefits of individuals acting with a common goal but not necessarily tactics. We find it of note that there are individual heroes mentioned in relating the story of Lexington and Concord but no single commander is credited with the success of the operation as a whole. Rather this successful commencement of the battle for the liberty of the United States was accomplished by an entire force of those who clearly understood the goals.

Here we fast forward a couple of hundred years and look at today’s challenges and equate today’s “militia” and Nelson’s victory in a modern context. Today’s Democrat party is currently operating with the organizational type of culturally driven structure which proved disastrous for the French/Spanish at Trafalgar and the British regulars in April, 1775. Although politically unable to front an assault upon the numerical superiority of the governing bodies, those who support the Constitution continue to engage and damage the rigidity of the progressive message. Rather than have a conspicuous leader to attack and defame, they are left to attack the people as a body.

In the case of socialized medicine, the people have reacted with a generally accepted 60 plus percent in opposition. As the widely accepted leader of polling accuracy reports—Rasmussen--the Democrat leader is failing by a -19 in the strongly disapprove/strongly approve category. In the general he is behind by -9. Nearly a quarter of those polled even believe, despite vigorous denials, that he is a devout Muslim. This may be coupled with incompetence in the gulf oil spill, diplomatic gaffes, seizure of manufacturing interests, inability to address high unemployment figures nationwide, and a failing economy generally. These figures represent a change of heart on the part of individual citizens and are not directed by a cabal of leadership. In spite of a sympathetic media, they have done their own research and come to their own conclusions.

Instead of addressing these issues head on we hear an endless litany of “not my job,” “time for another vacation,” “it’s BP’s fault,” “bible clinging,” and “blame Bush.” With the president’s record so far, one might assume that God has answered our prayers for assistance to rid us of this scourge or at least provided sufficient ammunition (Ed: a metaphorical reference) for patriots to do the job themselves. This formula, which requires extreme citizen involvement, may well prove as it did for Nelson and the patriots of Concord and Lexington the avenue to continued freedom.

The commemorative statue at the Minute Man Memorial Park at the North Bridge near Concord celebrates an American with a rifle in one hand and the other on a plow. This memorial underlines the fact that he was not in a regular army. He, like you, was just an average guy with an overarching love of his country and he stood up and fought for it. Fight he did and; fight we must.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Barack Hussein Obama, Muslim, Christian or What?

Twenty plus percent in a recent poll were convinced that BHO is a Muslim. The Internet is now alive with rampaging debate on the results.  After a correction by Stephanopoulos, even Obama claimed to be a Christian.  The real question is why any of this should be open to debate?

Even those with rudimentary knowledge of the world's religions should clearly understand the definitions of individual faiths.  Over the last few years, we have become increasingly exposed to the varying tenets of Islam, its association with the secular Sharia law and visible evidence presented by the behavior of their followers.  Perhaps the singular difference, if we may simplify it, is measured by the individuals willingness to accept the belief.

Acceptance of Islam requires knowledge of the Qur'an and absolute obedience to the precepts exposed there.  We then find much in direct contradiction of Judeo-Christian belief as well as other strong bodies of faith.  Our national purpose requires tolerance for all religious endeavors within the crazy quilt of intermingled faiths.  Muslim believers share no such injunction.  Their holy book instead requires a coincidence of the secular (Sharia law) and devotion to Allah plus absolute enforcement of his commands.  Failure to accept can result in serious injury or even death for the non-believer.

We frequently hear of the domination of entire populations, stonings and beheadings of individuals, honor killings, subjugation of women, and total disregard for the beliefs of others of different or no faith.  These occurrences are not the result of the individual insanity of members of the group but are a result of directions from their holy book.  It is easy to cite such craziness to peoples of other faiths but they are anomalies who exist by their insistence on following their own warped ideas and ignoring their sworn precepts of their faith.  This is common when men see themselves as equal to, or more important than God, by whatever name.

Shared belief in a central concept of the divinity of Jesus Christ and His teachings prevents the Presbyterians from an all out assault on the local Catholic Church and vice versa.  Mutual faith in Him overrides the insistence on minutia and prevents and celebrates the joint acceptance of the Common Figure of Devotion.  If one is uncomfortable with those details, he is free to drive two more blocks to the next church and also free of reprisals for his decision.  Here it is important to understand that Islam is absolutely intolerant of any such apostasy.

We as a people face some very difficult challenges in confronting this issue.  It places us well beyond our comfort zone to condemn any man's religion even in the reality of ever mounting evidence to do so.  Our churches and synagogues teach tolerance from earliest childhood.  From this well-taught reluctance our conditioned response is to go overboard in ignorance of reality.  In our individual lives we can easily identify sin in our daily actions.  It's a safe bet that if you have to inquire about the definition of sin; it probably is.  We are also taught that grouping whole peoples as an object of scorn is also unhealthy.  Thus it becomes especially important to listen to representatives of that faith, dissect the thoughts, and plumb the depths of their meaning as it applies to you and to your country.

Roll your memory back five or ten years and recall that this was not the subject of individual conversation or public outcry.  As we continue down the road to total despotism, the recent polls will undoubtedly shift from a fifth of the people believing that Obama is a Muslim to a fourth, a third, a half and then--God only knows.  The solution lies in self-education, acceptance of the facts, and finally the admonition--Wake Up America!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Change in Vocabulary

In reviewing some older posts in search of improvement in my writing style I observed that I have made some serious changes in word choice. In a mis-guided attempt at fairness, I was guilty of “sugar-coating”, under-statement, and general incompetence in appraising the future, now current, president. In my defense, it is possible that I fell for the constant outpouring of media praise for the intellect of the TOTUS and his posture as a “clean, articulate” black man. In plain talk; I got sucked in.

Earlier today I cross-posted from Granny With A Pitchfork and noted that she is far more direct in her criticism. I think it’s a woman thing. It all goes back to motherhood, protecting the weak (babies?), defense of home territory, and crosses the line of various species. Those of us who live in the woods, in an unusually natural environment, soon learn not to mess with a mama with young whether she be bear, bunny, bee, badger or blogger. Some are just naturally owly and protective of their space while others are simply assuming the need to protect their progeny.

Meanwhile, back to the issue at hand; during the run-up to the election we constantly heard the word “articulate.” Now, we are more apt to see it replaced with “incoherent.” This was especially true this last weekend as Obama raised his voice at a Ramadan dinner in defense of the constitution in the Ground Zero Mosque issue—supposedly a noble cause. The next morning, he aired a clarification which attempted to extricate him from interference with local issues which were beneath his pay grade. The result became the epitome of incoherence.

Personal pronouns have become a problem as well. In a campaign liberally laced with “Yes We Can” we have devolved to “Yes I did.” Granted, an election requires “we” to be accomplished but the inference was seeking a collective effort in all matters including governance. By playing off “We, the people” he garnered the votes. The substitution of “I” occurred abruptly thereafter starting with the formation of the Office of the President Elect. This then can be regarded as governance by assertion. Even the most far left of the polling organizations show disapproval on nearly every issue and his absolute disrespect for the will of the people.

“Transparency” is another previously used word by the president and his cronies which was consigned to the dustbin of history upon election. By the expenditure of well over a million dollars, he has managed to effectively conceal any details of his actual heritage from those who seek clarification of his credentials. Collegiate records have been sealed as well. In fact, much of the legislative agenda which the president seeks has been shrouded in mystery, lawyerly prose, and concealed minutia which becomes mammoth once enacted. It seems that almost every day brings the disclosure of some here-to-fore bit of concealed business which had been withdrawn from the public view.

Perhaps the vilest of misrepresented words in current usage is “racist.” Part of the definition indicates an implied superiority of a particular racial group over all others. In the dictionary, the race is unidentified. It is what it is and is not assigned to any special category of persons. Most are aware of the historical occurrences which have precipitated changes in our laws and our behavior. Nowhere in any source of definitions do I see it described as an easy pejorative accusation readily available to defeat sound thinking and sane argument. Perhaps at the close of our collective nightmare that part of the definition may be added. We are also advised by our betters that the victims of racism may only be black. We were promised by candidate Obama, a colorblind society. Just the opposite reality has been delivered. This misuse of the word then results in a highly divisive condition in the nation.

Only by using the 3rd definition—“an institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices”-- can we confuse the political cult of Islam with religion. The vast majority of our people hold the belief that their personal faith has a benefit to all mankind under the watchful eye of a Higher Power. In no case, other than Islam, does one observe the stated desire to kill or otherwise dominate the non-believer as a doctrinal precept. I don’t pretend to hold expertise in all religions but the concept appears to be singular in that particular one. Even among confirmed atheists and agnostics, that idea is absent. In this circumstance, the president does not substitute another word but misunderstands fully the implications of this venerable word—religion.

The classic among the current word usage is wrapped in the word “lie.” Although immensely popular among those who engage in the habit; lie does not equate to “misspoke.” To lie incorporates intention. To misspeak implies clumsiness or carelessness. To those who understand the language, the two are not interchangeable. To those who have the ability to understand the distinction, “misspoke” simply underlines the evil intention of the speaker to deceive. For believers of almost any faith there are strict injunctions to protect speaking the truth. Few provide any wiggle-room on the matter. But; as they say in the Ozarks: “figures don’t lie but liars figure.”

For a quick primer on proper and unambiguous use of language, I strongly urge you to turn to the United States Constitution. There, upon examination, you come to understand why it took thirteen years to compile that tiny document. It says what it means and it means what it says. The further we get from that document, the further we are along the road to the destruction of our God given rights and the greatest nation the earth has ever seen. Wake up America!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Best Comments of the Day

This one came from Althouse in a discussion of Obama’s “back and forth” on placing a mosque at ground zero.

“Why did he do it? Because HE CAN"T HELP HIMSELF. This guy is on internal navigation. No mid-course correction via the guiding stars of the popular societal sociocultural firmament. No, his course guidance and target destination was all installed at the factory by his lefty/socialist/Communist parents, "mentors" friends and those extreme leftists he has admitted in writing he chose to surround himself with in college. Educated in a Muslim school in Indonesia and a man who can recite the Muslim "Call to Prayer" in Arabic by heart and considers it one of the "sweetest sounds in the world," it's time to call this leftist Islamo-fascist duck for what he is..

He really can't help himself--he's on pre-programmed internal guidance--in the grip of an amorphous miasmic ideological blob: part neo-marxist statist cum proto neo-fascist corporatist and "cosmopolitan" PC multi-culti Islamic sympathizer.

He can't help himself; he really, really can't...”

* * * * * * * * *

In an excellent article defining those who come with great yearning for our countries freedoms yet have an insistence to return in spirit to their mother-land, we have Victor Davis Hanson for Pajamma's Media Responding in a partial quote from a commenter is the following about those folks.

“They are NEVER satisfied. Not while you draw a breath they can’t control. If you can grow a grape that they can’t take from you at will, then it’s not enough. Stop trying to make sense of their actions from the rationale of a free man who sees that freedom has increased the wealth of the world by tenfold what it was in 1775. None of that matters to them. What matters is their power over your life. It’s that simple.

And it’s not worth debating. As far as I’m concerned, the science is settled. They are gangsters, Huns, barbarians and sadists. I don’t care what they call themselves….Muslims, progressives, communists, climate scientists, John Kerry, European Socialists, Marxists, the ruling class, statists, or baby oil. They are our enemy. They are bent on controlling our every breath, and all of these actions are probes to see where our weaknesses are and what we will tolerate or not. Because they know that the hands of our fathers conquered a continent; our mother’s grit and guile stopped the fascists and their communist twins. They want to pin a finger down here, a toe there, get under our skin in this place and irritate us there. But they don’t want a confrontation. Oh no. Obama doesn’t want it. The Islamic fascists don’t want it. Putin doesn’t want it and the chicoms don’t want it.

Because they know what Americans do when we are aroused.

Mr. Hanson, what we need is a leader. “

* * * * * * * * * *

This little jewel comes from the ever dependable Ace of Spades.  In a discussion over the possibility that the Muslim community may have changed its mind about locating a mosque on the immediated fringe of ground zero, we find the following comment.

“Maybe they were worried the Amish would do trot-bys?”

* * * * * * * * * *

This piece was on GatewayPundit and included not only the comment which follows but an outstanding county-by-county visual record of unemployment from the offset of absolute Democrat control of the congress. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the gradual destruction of the US economy over the past 3+ years.

“On Jan 3rd 2007, when the Democrats took over both the house and senate, the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. Why the Republicans haven’t been talking about this for the last year is beyond me. They have LET the media and Obama and the democrats say its Bush’s fault over and over and over again. And that message has worked.

This election is not a presidential election. The dems have had control for nearly 4 years and its their bills and policies that took unemployment from 4.4 percent to nearly 10 percent. Are you better off then 4 years ago indeed? That should be the message.”

* * * * * * * * * *

The above comments were made by “we the people” and not the pundits and politicians. If we ignore the individual opinions we then fall into the same trap which has corrupted the process of government. Obviously, we are drawn to those pithy offerings from those who share some of the opinions which we hold personally. Often, however, we find the way they state it resonates more accurately.

The closer we get to the November elections; the more important it becomes to let your voice be heard. If you disagree with a poster—let them know. If you agree—be supportive. Above all, let your opinion enter the universe of ideas.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

It Is What It Is

(Cross-posted from Granny With A Pitchfork.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

“Muslim American clerics have spoken out against terror and extremism, reaffirming that Islam teaches that one must save human life, not take it.” President Obama in a speech given at the iftar dinner at the White House

No matter how you slice this piece of camel dung, it still means one thing: they are rubbing our noses in it. They can stand around and say the mosque will be a gesture of brotherly love and a symbol of the Group Hug and a reaching out to all people, and more drivel, equally meaningless. The fact is, the presence of a mosque on that sacred ground will say, in our president’s favorite words, “We won.”

I don’t know about you but I remember how I felt on September 11th, 2001. And I’ll be willing to bet you remember down to the smallest detail where you were, what you were doing and how you felt. It’s etched in the minds of all patriots, which, incidentally, do not include all Americans. Alec Baldwin, Timothy Robbins, Michael Moore, Pelosi, Reid and most of congress come to mind. And let’s not forget the Muslim currently desecrating the oval office, when he’s not on vacation. But I’m betting the majority of us made a vow that what happened on that day would never happen again on our soil.

My friends, it is happening. While we have been sleeping, complacent and confident in our security, the enemy has been chipping away at the foundation our forefathers fought and died for. Islam is not “over there” anymore. It is in our towns, in our schools, in our places of business, and in New York City. Are they all bloodthirsty terrorists intent on beheading us at the slightest provocation? No. Are they followers of a religion of violence? Yes.

Here are the first three paragraphs Chapter 7: Islam is a Peaceful Religion, by Timothy W. Dunkin's Ten Myths About Islam:

“From a sociological standpoint, this is perhaps THE most widely propagated myth about Islam. For decades, Islam has put across to Westerners a peaceful, loving front. This false view of Islam has been spread all the more aggressively since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Muslim leaders in the United States and other Western nations had to push their efforts at hiding Islam's true nature into high gear, trying to counterbalance the impact that was made by the sight of Palestinians and other Muslims (some in this very nation) cheering and celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Unfortunately, many theologically liberal and compromising people in most of the mainline Christian denominations have gone right along with these attempts at whitewashing Islam's image, either out of blind ignorance or unthinking sympathy for Mohammed's religion. Even in many traditionally conservative Protestant churches, pastors have invited false teachers from Islam to present that religion to their congregants, and the image given is invariably that of a peaceful, loving, tender-hearted faith whose members are absolutely appalled at the violence committed by "a few fringe radicals".

I have personally witnessed this sort of bald-faced lying done in the name of Islam. On November 11, 2001, I attended a panel presentation on the campus of the University of North Carolina, in Chapel Hill, during which the several panel members each had the opportunity to take 15 minutes and give their thoughts on the events and responses to the September 11 attacks. One of the speakers was a Muslim imam from a local mosque in Durham. Naturally, he took twice as much time as was allotted for him, and did not even address the topic of discussion. Instead, he spent 30 minutes ranting and raving about how peaceful and loving Islam was, and how Islam respects people of other religions. This lying deceiver even went so far as to say that he would be morally obligated to stop a person from defacing or vandalizing a Christian church. In short, his entire diatribe was one giant lie, yet much of the (mostly leftist) crowd ate up every word of it like it was gospel truth. This response demonstrated the desperate need for education about Islam in this nation. Not education in Islam, but education about Islam, so that the majority of the population in Western societies who know little to nothing about the religion can learn the truth about it, instead of being fed sugar-coated lies from Islamic leaders and propagandists. People in the West need to know that the image of Islam as a violent, intolerant, wicked religion is in fact true, and growing more so every day.

So, to ask the question frankly: Is Islam peaceful or violent? To answer equally as frankly: It is violent. It is a religion which was born out of violence, propagated through violence, and which is still accustomed to violence even today. This can clearly be seen by examining the teachings and record of Islam. These are the two primary means by which to judge the character of a religion on some question. You look at the established, recognized, plainly understood teachings of that religion from its holy texts, and then you look at the manner and methodology by which those most faithful to that religion carry out their obedience to their belief system. So let us apply this test to the Muslim faith.”

I urge you to read this scholarly work. We all need to educate ourselves about the religion. As Dunkin says, not to educate ourselves in the religion, but about the religion. I include myself when I say we tend to be lazy when it comes to educating ourselves. When I graduated from college I said, “There! I don’t have to do that anymore.” As it turns out, I have learned more in the past nine or ten years, in spite of myself, than I did with all the book learning of my past, including college. But I’ve only scratched the surface. And if we don’t arm ourselves with enough knowledge to overcome the insidious and rapidly encroaching enemy on our doorstep, we are condemning our children and grandchildren to a lifetime of slavery.

If the Muslims really cared about good will and brotherly love they would move the site for the mosque. They don't give a fig about the right hand of fellowship. In fact, their purpose is to pound one more nail into the coffin of peace and liberty. Wake up, America.



Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Morning Rant 160

I read on the net this morning that Houston has yet to record a 100° day this summer. We are over 500 miles north and have seen little else the last two weeks. We got our first rain in about two weeks last night and it amounted to a .17th of an inch. We rejoice in that piddling amount. Thank God for the Ozark aquifer and that of the Springfield Plateau. Local inquiries at various extension facilities reveal no problems with local wells so that is a blessing. The local crops appear parched but the livestock seem fit and happy. God is good.

Presidential Vacations and Citizen Response

Being president certainly has its limitations. Obama has only been able to schedule 5 vacations since July 1st. He made a “mercy” stop in Panama City with the wife and one kid (Malia is at camp) to bolster the local economy. Just slightly over 24 hours to devote to enhancing the finances of the gulf coast and their prospects for the future? Panama City is dangerously close to New Orleans so I hope James Carville doesn’t realize Obama’s in the vicinity. The last time I saw him he was one angry “coon ass.” (Ed: as a former Louisiana and Gulf Coast resident, I may assure you that Mr. Carville would take no offense at the description.)

Then it’s off to Martha’s Vineyard to suffer with those poor rich folks for ten days. Hey, it’s no snap counting all that money. Just finding the dough the late Kennedy (which one?—pick ‘em!) dropped could affect the total recovery in the nation. Do you find it curious that all these public servants managed to get filthy rich? I guess publishing books is more profitable than I thought.

I fully realize that being a retired geezer in the Ozarks is not as demanding as being the president of the entire country. However, since his election in November 2008, I have chosen to abandon some distracting activities to devote un-committed time to ensure the halt of advancing socialism in our federal government. I put my golf clubs away and swore not to pick them up again until this scourge was gone from the land. I have also forsworn long distance travel (my favorite activity) to free up time for more writing and activism. I have engaged in more pressing exercise (walking a minimum of twenty miles a week) to insure continued good health until the conclusion of this struggle. My application to research, reading, writing and computer time is set at a minimum of forty hours a week. I now share the results of my inquiries with an exponentially greater number of people than I ever have in my life previously. I also share with others at least three times a week in services aimed at giving the credit for my good life to my Creator, God Almighty. The net financial gain from this effort equals $0.00.

I also spot the relatively youthful Obama a twenty-nine year age advantage. However, as a former employee used to remind me when I managed to outfox him on occasion: “Old age and treachery will consistently defeat youth and skill.” Through observation of those around him, he enlarged his capacity almost perceptibly. After I sold him the business, I forgave a large outstanding debt because of an obvious business down turn to allow him an unfettered opportunity for success. He had a rare understanding of life.

Although unnecessary in most cases, I encourage every reader to set aside more time and energy to engage the threats to our nation. Only through your activism can we ever expect to regain the control, ceded and protected by our constitution, of our country. Thank you for participating.

A Mosque at Ground Zero

This is, no doubt, a polarizing issue. After the traditional Ramadan dinner at the White house, the president finally took an aggressive posture on building this edifice on the sacred ground of the World Trade Center Ruins. He decried it as an affront to the first amendment to oppose it’s erection on the grounds of religious freedom. He had no more uttered the words than the qualifications followed to extricate him from his commitment. He commenced to make his excuses claiming those in New York held the responsibility for the decision. By that time, however, it was clear that he stood four-square in favor of the proposition.

The best response I have seen so far is expressed by Debra Burlingame, head of 911 Families and cited on Ace of Spades blog.   Mrs. Burlingame lost a brother in the tragedy of 9/11. The piece was co-written with Tim Summer.

"Barack Obama has abandoned America at the place where America's heart was broken nine years ago, and where her true values were on display for all to see. Since that dark day, Americans have been asked to bear the burden of defending those values, again and again and again. Now this president declares that the victims of 9/11 and their families must bear another burden. We must stand silent at the last place in America where 9/11 is still remembered with reverence or risk being called religious bigots.

"Muslims have worshipped in New York without incident both before and after the attacks of 9/11. This controversy is not about religious freedom. 9/11 was more than a 'deeply traumatic event,' it was an act of war. Building a 15-story mosque at Ground Zero is a deliberately provocative act that will precipitate more bloodshed in the name of Allah. Those who continue to target and kill American civilians and U.S. troops will see it as a symbol of their historic progress at the site of their most bloody victory. Demolishing a building that was damaged by wreckage from one of the hijacked planes in order to build a mosque and Islamic Center will further energize those who regard it as a ratification of their violent and divinely ordered mission: the spread of shariah law and its subjugation of all free people, including secular Muslims who come to this country fleeing that medieval ideology, which destroys lives and crushes the human spirit.

"We are stunned by the president's willingness to disregard what Americans should be proud of: our enduring generosity to others on 9/11--a day when human decency triumphed over human depravity. On that day, when 3,000 of our fellow human beings were killed in a barbaric act of raw religious intolerance unlike any this country had ever seen, Americans did not turn outward with hatred or violence, we turned to each other, armed with nothing more than American flags and countless acts of kindness. In a breathtakingly inappropriate setting, the president has chosen to declare our memories of 9/11 obsolete and the sanctity of Ground Zero finished. No one who has lived this history and felt the sting of our country's loss that day can truly believe that putting our families through more wrenching heartache can be an act of peace.

"We will honor the memory of our loved ones. We will protect our children, whose lives will never be the same. We will not stand silent."

In a spirit of empathy, one can easily understand Burlingame’s position. 70% of Americans stand with her to raise their voices in protest to anyone who would allow the erection of a building which represents a “victory lap” for Muslims in their continued effort to corrupt America. “Anyone” in this case is quickly identified as the president of the United States.

And finally

Gus has recovered fully from his wasp bite but continues to give the area around the downspout a wide berth. The ants continue to pollute the hummingbird feeder. The mutts continue to share the legless giraffe toy they both love. The kitties can’t make up their mind which side of the door they need to be on. The bird feeder continues as a popular attraction for the gold finches, cardinals and others. We continue to drag 100’ hoses around the yard to various suffering plants. We are on the verge of wearing out the computers watching ever changing weather maps looking for sign of impending showers. In other words; it’s business as usual here on the ridge. God is still in charge and that’s good enough for us.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our Real Gulf Disaster

We attempt to give proper attribution to every piece that we quote whole or in part. In this case, we have the link but we do not have any specific permission. It is too important to either ignore or delay so we shall post it anyway with apologies to National Review and Lou Dolinar in advance.

Read this piece and keep in mind what you have been fed by the media, academia, and “experts.”


Lou Dolinar

Four months after the Deepwater Horizon spill — which [Alleged] President Obama called the “worst environmental disaster America has ever faced” — the oil is disappearing, and fisheries are returning to normal. It turns out that this incident exposed some things that are seriously wrong in the world of oil — and I don’t mean exploding wells. There was a broad-based failure on the part of the media, the science establishment, and the federal bureaucracy. With the nation and its leaders looking for facts, we got instead a massive plume of apocalyptic mythology and threats of Armageddon. In the Gulf, this misinformation has cost jobs, lowered property values, and devastated tourism, and its effects on national policy could be deep and far-reaching.

To get an idea of the scale of misinformation involved, consider how many of the most widely reported narratives about the spill — ones that have woven their way into the national consciousness — have turned out to be dubious. Some examples:

East Coast beaches are threatened. Everyone got the wrong idea about the magnitude of the spill from the very beginning. Simply put, while terrible, it was never going to be as big as most thought it would be. The spreading of this East Coast–beach meme was a joint operation of NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the media. In June, NCAR produced a slick computer-modeled animated video that showed a gigantic part of the spill making its way around the southern tip of Florida and up the East Coast. Oil covered everything from the Gulf to the Grand Banks. “BP oil slick could hit East Coast in weeks: government scientists,” dutifully reported the New York Daily News. CBS News, MSNBC, and many other media outlets chimed in in the same vein. The video was wildly popular on YouTube.

But then the government, in the form of a more senior bureaucracy, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), disavowed the scenario.

In fact, according to Chuck Watson of Watson Technical Consulting — a Savannah, Ga., firm specializing in computer modeling of the effects of hurricanes, seismic events, geophysical hazards, and weapons of mass destruction — the simulation was bogus from the very beginning, because it ignored important conditions in the Gulf. Furthermore, says Watson, the media never took account of how diluted the oil would be once it hit the Atlantic: The bulk of the theoretically massive spill the video shows amounts to roughly a quart of oil per square mile. Watson claims flat-out that NOAA was “gold digging” for grants; there’s probably more federal research money floating around the Gulf than there is oil. “There is a feeding frenzy with people trying to get funding for their specialty,” he says.

Giant plumes of oil. By mid-May, oil was still comparatively scarce in the Gulf. Disappointed, the media began trying to figure out where it had gone. Marine researchers were drafted to provide the answer. Diluted oil was being found beneath the surface; but how diluted, no one was sure, and there was nothing vaguely resembling peer-reviewed literature.

Still, news reports implied or asserted that “enormous oil plumes” were waiting, like submerged monsters, to rise and attack unsuspecting beaches and wetlands. The New York Times summed up the media consensus on May 15: “Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide, and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.” The article quoted Samantha Joye, a marine-sciences professor at the University of Georgia, as saying that this oil was mixed with water in the consistency of “thin salad dressing.”

According to the Washington Post, James H. Cowan Jr., a professor at Louisiana State University, reported “a plume of oil in a section of the Gulf 75 miles northwest of the source of the leak. Cowan said that his crew sent a remotely controlled submarine into the water, and found it full of oily globules, from the size of a thumbnail to the size of a golf ball.” The Post said that this showed the oil might slip past containment booms and pollute beaches and marshland.

But late in May, NOAA did a study that was far less alarming. It found weak concentrations of oil in the area surrounding the Deepwater Horizon site: 0.5 parts per million, maximum. The median was a little over 0.2 parts per million. As with the “giant” spill that threatened the East Coast, that’s barely above the threshold of detection. And by late July and early August, BP, the federal government, and some independent researchers were saying they couldn’t find any plumes at all. “We’re finding hydrocarbons around the well, but as we move away from the well, they move to almost background traces in the water column,” said Adm. Thad Allen, the administration’s point man on the spill. Some 75 percent of the oil released is gone — and that’s based on new estimates that put the spill rate at the high end of earlier projections.

As with the bogus doomsday model, industry experts say the giant-plume threat was greatly overstated by scientists and further blown out of proportion by the media. According to Arthur Berman, a respected petroleum expert at Labyrinth Consulting Services in Sugar Land, Texas, the theory flunks basic physics. “Oil is lighter than water and rises above it in all known situations on this planet. The idea of underwater plumes defies everything that we know about physical laws and has distressed me from the outset about these unscientific reports.”

It also ignores the Gulf’s well-known ability to break down oil. Berman points out that the Gulf has for millennia been a warm, rich ecological gumbo of natural oil seeps, oil-eating bacteria, and marine life that subsists on the bacteria. His research, he says, suggests that the spill represents at most four times as much oil as seeps into the Gulf naturally in a year — in other words, it is eminently digestible by the native ecosystem.

Berman and Watson are contributors to The Oil Drum, a group blog written by and for people in the energy business. The website has been debunking many of the extreme scenarios surrounding the spill. Most of its contributors are proponents of “peak oil” theories, and thus are skeptical of oil’s future and eager to explore alternatives. The oil industry has come to a sorry pass when its skeptics are its most credible defenders.

The Corexit threat. No aspect of the spill response has been more controversial than the widespread use of Corexit, a family of detergent-like compounds that break up oil, hence the name “dispersant.” Once broken up, oil evaporates, and is also easily eaten by bacteria. Dispersion turns thick, ugly slicks into widely distributed droplets, minimizing damage to beaches and sensitive wetlands. Massive application of dispersants is the reason the spill disappeared so quickly; but it’s important not to spray the dispersants directly on living things, like marshlands or coral.

Corexit has faced a variety of criticisms. Some say it is absolutely toxic, even more so when mixed with oil, and blame it for illness, including cancer, among spill workers in Alaska and elsewhere. They claim it’s been banned in Britain because it’s poisonous. They also suggest that Corexit is more dangerous and less effective than alternative dispersants, and has been used because BP has a financial interest in the firm that makes it. While this full-blown Corexit fear has been the province, for the most part, of green blogs, a few such allegations have made their way into mainstream publications like the New York Times, as well as recent congressional hearings.

The reality is that enough of anything will kill you, but that the amount of Corexit in the Gulf is highly diluted. As for the British ban on Corexit, it was based not on toxicity, but on the product’s slipperiness: Because the island nation is surrounded by a rocky, ecologically sensitive coastal environment, its version of the EPA makes sure all the small creatures that live there can cling safely to their rocks. If oil or Corexit gets on a rock, the humble limpet, the official guinea pig, loses its grip, so Corexit failed the tests. It is approved for application to spills in open water.

Even the EPA, which tries to ban basically everything but prune juice, has always approved of Corexit under tight supervision. The EPA weighed in with new findings at the beginning of August: It said that Corexit was “similar” in toxicity to other dispersants, and that there was no evil synergistic effect when Corexit was combined with oil. To the extent we need to worry about subtle, long-term environmental problems, the issue of residual oil is 100 times more important than Corexit.

Senior scientist Judith McDowell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a marine biologist who recently returned from the Gulf, says she isn’t entirely comfortable with the compound. But “given the situation in the Gulf,” she says, “given the massive amounts of oil and the human-health consequences at the well site, they had no choice.” She adds that dispersants should not be used with all spills. “It’s a trade-off when one wants to protect shoreline habitats, but you shouldn’t apply dispersants in all situations.”

All this misinformation comes at a serious cost. Even if the administration quickly rescinds its ban on offshore drilling (cost: 50,000 jobs, more than $2 billion in lost wages), as appeared likely in early August, the economic impact of the spill and the paranoia surrounding it will be huge. Potential visitors and customers are scared.

? The real-estate company CoreLogic, as quoted by Bloomberg, says property values could fall by about $3 billion over the next few years along the Gulf, and as much as $56,000 for some houses.

? A trade group, the U.S. Travel Association, said the tourism industry in Florida alone could stand to lose up to $18.6 billion over the next three years from the BP oil spill, even though the well has been capped.

? There are dozens of anecdotal reports that no one is buying Gulf seafood, even in areas unaffected by the spill. Gulf Coast shrimpers and fishermen are in a tough spot: On one hand, as more areas of the Gulf are declared safe, they presumably won’t be able to collect compensation from BP or the government and will have to get back to work; on the other, no one’s buying their catch. Given the public fear of toxins in food, this problem could last a long time.

? Even if the drilling ban ends, regulatory uncertainty will exact a huge cost from oil firms and their shareholders. Some insider reports suggest that oil assets in the Gulf are already being disposed of at fire-sale prices.

What’s especially unfortunate here is that all the misinformation connected to overreaction to the spill may have had a serious influence on President Obama and his advisers — leading, for example, to the Gulf drilling ban and an overly strict regulatory approach. This is a tough sell for conservatives, many of whom are looking for evil purposefulness, rather than delusion, in the administration’s policies. But think of it this way. We have the most liberal administration in history, and it is composed of people who lack the reflexive skepticism that conservatives apply to the mainstream media and left-wing blogs. Spend enough time following the reporting and blogging on Deepwater Horizon, and you come to realize that the administration’s behavior in the crisis likely wasn’t based on a cynical master plan; rather, the administration was overwhelmed by sheer panic about the magnitude of the potential disasters, outlined by its most loyal supporters, that it thought it faced.

— Lou Dolinar is a retired columnist and reporter for Newsday. He is currently in Mobile, Ala., working on a book about what really did happen in the Deepwater Horizon spill.”

There you have it. We look forward to getting the book.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon