Monthly Archives: August 2010

East Coast July

Well I did a post showing the big drop below average temperatures for Southern California, so lets take a look at the East Coast and see how July was there.

Again I used the station data from NASA GISS: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

So lets start with boston Mass:

Well as you can see it was a very hot July in Boston, matter of fact the hottest on record at just over 25° C

Now lets move down the coast to New York City:

Again we see that it was a hot July in the old town but not the record, it only came in second. Also notice unlike Boston with its 1.5° warming trend New york is flat.

Now I wanted use Philadelphia next but the record for the city was just not of the right length, so I ended up using the one for Wilmington Delaware instead:

As shown its the third site in a row that shows a nice hot July, it also starting to show a trend that the further south you go the excursion above average gets less. This past July is in a 4 way tie for third place. Also again it showns no warming trend for July.

So now we move further down I 95 to Washington DC:

The trend as shown in the previous three cities continues with a very warm July but the magnitude above average drops down again with it being in a 3 way tie for 5th place. We aslo see that after no warming trend in july for Wilmington and New York we find one here at 1° C.

Now we move down the coast to Raleigh NC:

Well here we see the trend broken of the magnitude diminshing as we head south, but even though it was an above average July it didn’t make a record, it comes in a tie for second place. It also has a slightly greater then 1° C warming trend for July.

Next we move down the coast to Charleston SC:

Here we see that even though Charleston is above average for July it is only in a tie for number 10. We also see a drop in the warming trend to about .5° C

Now from there we move down to Atlanta:

Here we see again while July was above normal it is not even close to being a record. The record of over 3° C is almost twice as high as this past July. Also notice that there is a very little of a warming trend in Atlanta for July.

Now we move down to Tampa:

In Tampa we again see an above average july but not a record one, we also see a little over a .5° C warming trend.

Now down to our last city, Miami:

Again we see a higher then average July but again not a record one, we also see a slightly higher then .5°C warming trend

So in the end we are seeing a warm July up and down the East Coast but except for Boston not a record event.

About That Cabby Stabbing….

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel has a saying: “Don’t let a crises go to waste” and the MSM tries real hard to help him out. Take the stabbing of a New York Cabby who is a muslim and the MSM tying it to conservatives and being against the “Ground Zero” Mosque. Of course they over look the fact that such well-known icons of the left such as Sen Majority leader Harry Reid is against the mosque, but that is just business as usual when the MSM fills out their computerized templates for their stories. However this time trying to exploit this crises is going to backfire big time on them. You see it wasn’t some right-wing wacko attacking a muslim who just happened to be a cabby, nope it was a LEFT WING wacko who attacked a cabby that opposes the “Ground Zero” Mosque who just happens to be a muslim.

How do I know this? Well at least one news organization is actually doing its job of finding what the true facts are:

For one thing, the alleged attacker, Michael Enright, worked with an organization that very much favors the project.

For another, the cabby, Ahmed Sharif, says he’s opposed to it — though Sharif does say that he’s worried that debate over the planned project might have played a role in the attack.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/the_cabby_attack_VpY81VsHp8ryhO46pIxGzN#ixzz0xjB732Pg

Now if the MSM actually did its job when they first reported the attack on the cabby they would have just reported the facts that a Muslim cab driver was attacked by a white young man (now this is the important part) for REASONS UNKNOWN. Then when the backgrounds, opinions and stances on issues of both men was known then you can report if it was a “hate” crime or not.  Instead they have a template for a white guy that attacks a muslim: It has to be a right-wing wacko and he is doing this out of hate of muslims. From there they try to smear such people as Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh for spreading hate using their template story as the brush.

However the truth is now out and will we see the MSM retract their previous stories? Will we now see stories about how the Left Wing supporters of the Mosque are spreading hate against Americans and that they are nothing but vicious and violent individuals? Will they now run stories saying that Nancy Pelosi is stirring this hate (remember it is her that wants to investigate people who are against the mosque including that Muslim cab driver) and due to that is causing the violence?

Why do I doubt they will ever see those type of stories? Oh right they don’t have a template for a left-wing hate crime to just plug names and races into then print out.

Travel Destination: Yellowstone Day 2

In my last Travel post I showed some of the attractions in the town of West Yellowstone: https://boballab.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/tarvel-destination-yellowstone-day-1/

In this one I will lay out things seen and done on our first day inside the park itself.

About 1 mile (at most) east of the town of  West Yellowstone you come to the west entrance of the park. There you pay your entrance fee which grants you access to not only Yellowstone National Park but to Grand Teton as well for the next 7 days. They also give you a couple things, one is a fold map (that they attached my receipt to) of the park and the park newspaper. When you get that you should pull off and read the important safety information that is contained in the paper and maps. If you ever visit the park always keep this in mind: The animals do not fear humans in the respect that they will run away. They will attack you if you get too close especially after the calves, cubs, fawns and pups have been born and now accompany momma or during the time of the rut (mating season). The rule is stay 25 yards away from all animals except the Bears and Wolves; stay 100 yards away from them. Now here is a copy of the road map in the park newspaper:

As you can see except for the North Entrance, all of the entrances have double digit miles between them and the central section of the park. That central section has a road that completly circumnavigates it and is called the Grand Loop. As you can see there is another road that bisects the Grand Loop. Besides those major roads there is minor side roads you can drive out on and see different parts of the park, also off these there is parking areas for hiking trails that go out into the wilderness. So all descriptions of location for the things I will be describing will be based on the map above and in relation to the Grand Loop.

We started the day early, basically pulling up to the park entrance just after sunrise. After paying and entering the park we made our way down the West Entrance Road marvelling at the scenery, including a spot where you could see a Bald Eagle’s nest. We were not able to get a photo of the nest and the Eagle because they do not allow anyone to stop near the nest site. One word of advice: according to the Park Service and from our own experience, the best viewing times for most of the wildlife is very early in the day and just before sunset, so plan properly. Once we reached Madison we had a choice go north towards Norris or south towards Old Faithful, at that time the road between Madison and Norris was closed between 10pm and 8am for roadwork and it was only 7:45am so we had to head south.  At this pont we haven’t seen any wildlife until we got to a side road called Firehole Canyon road where we saw our first buffalo herd:

Buffalo Herd near Firehole Canyon

The small orange looking Bison are young calves that had been born this spring. At this time none of the wildlife wasclose to the road. From there we proceeded down the road into the canyon and the Fire Hole Falls, basicaly just getting a feel for the park. Eventually Firehole Canyon road rejoins the Grand Loop and as you head south you can to Geyser basin which runs next to the Firehole river and the geyers, fumeroles and hot springs drain into the river:

As you can see from the colors in the picture the geyser water has life that is specifically designed to live in that mineral rich water. What is amazing is the clarity of the water itself and how deep down into pools you can see (shown later). Alas what mother nature gives in giving those small lifeforms a nutrient rich enviroment to live, it also takes away:

The minerals that is needed by the microscopic life that makes those amazing colors also gets taken up into the roots systems of trees which ends up killing them due to clogging up basically the trees circulatory system. That is why you see the bottom of those trees colored white and dying. this causes the Geyer Basin to look like something from an alien world:

Besides the big geysers such as seen above you will find very tiny little holes in the ground that just percolate along:

But what really gets your attention is when a geyser spouts:

After getting our fill of Geyser basin we headed back onto the Grand Loop heading south. When we got to the turn off for Old Faithful we decided to bypass it on this day, we wanted to get a more overall feel of the park on this day. From Old Faithful you head up into the mountains on the way to West Thumb and along the way you will cross the Continental Divide (you will criss cross the Divide multiple times in Yellowstone).  Forgot to mention this in the beginning, there is vast swaths of Yellowstone where you can still see the damage from forrest fires including the Great Yellowstone Fire of 1988. So it is in very few places you will actually see vast tracts of pine trees, the section between Old Faithful and West Thumb is one of them. When you get to West Thumb you have a choice: continue on the Grand Loop to Yellowstone Lake or head to the South Entrance which will take you to Grand Teton. On this day we stayed on the Grand Loop (We ventured out the South and East Entrance roads on Day 3) and drove along Yellowstone Lake:

To the east of  Duck Lake and on the shore of Yellowstone Lake is the West Thumb Geyser basin where to me we really first experienced Yellowstone’s Magic. The basin is encircled by walkways including running  along the edge of the lake  with a strip of trees in the middle. I first it was just a smaller version of Geyser Basin:

 Until we saw this in the middle of the basin:

Right there in that barren area was a mother and her fawn surrounded by man made walkways with tourists snapping away. The Mother slowly led her very curious fawn away from the people and into the small stand of trees, trying to hide.

 Unfortunately for Momma the fawn was having none of this hiding stuff and started running in circles around the stand of trees Momma was in:

Watching that fawn romp and play with total abandon, totally unconcerned there was all those people there, that was special. Besides the spectical of Mother and child there was some fascinating geyser,s including ones actually in the lake:

Then there was the big and deep Abyss Pool:

As we were about to leave the West Thumb Basin another Elk showed up basically out of nowhere and a tourist got very lucky, he got way too close taking a picture but was able to get away with it…..this time.

From there we drove north up the back side of the Grand Loop to Tower Falls and the Canyons along the Yellowstone River:

One thing that was intereesting about the canyon was the colors of the differnt bands of rock:

From there we stayed on the Grand Loop eventually working our way to where the old Army Fort is located. Prior to the formation of the Park Service the US Army managed the park and in typical Army fashion built a fort that included houses for the officers, barracks for the enlisted and various other buildings that are still used today including a church. We didn’t stop and take pictures there on this day because it was already almost 8pm by this point and we still had to travese down to Madison including where the road work was being done and was posted to have up to 30 min delays. Since that is the case I will not go into more detail of that area now since it has it’s own special role to play on Day 3. However as we were driving along south of the Mammoth Hot Springs are we spotted a small herd of Elk:

 

there was a nearby rock I was able to climb up on to give me a better view which attracted this elks attention:

From there we got back on the road but there was another distraction: A Bison herd about to bed down for the night.

After that it was back on the road but we ran into a traffic jam and it wasn’t from the the road construction either:

Yes the Bison have learned to use the paved roadways for themselves. Instead of tracking through trees and rough trails they let man pave the way for them between meadows.

As you can see the Bison are not affraid to get up close and personal, take note of the size of that male, he is about the same size as that SUV and can get up to 2,000 lbs in weight. Oh btw they can run at speeds up to 30mph. The adults didn’t really pay that much attention to the vehicles but the calves sure did:

One thing you noticed in the adults was that they were still shedding their winter coats:

Besides the main herds you will find single or small groups of Young Bulls traveling by themselves. This one took an interest in me taking his picture:

I guess he decided it wasn’t a big deal since he didn’t come through the window for me. That or it was because something else caught his attention:

Eventually the Bison cleared the road and we finally made our way back to West Yellowstone for a quick bite to eat from Mc Donalds, a shower and a good nights rest for the adventure had just begun.

Coldest July For Los Angeles According to NASA GISS……Station Records

COLDEST JULY ON RECORD IN LA ACCORDING TO NASA GISS!   

But we never see that press release or headline, however accurate it is.   

First of course the setup: All data used is from NASA GISS and it is there fully adjusted data. You can get the data for yourself here:   

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/   

Now I selected the long term records for the 3 major coastal cities of San Francisco in Northern California, Los Angeles and San Diego in Southern California. Then for comparison I pulled up the records for the stations of Hanford in the San Joaquin Valley and Lemon Cove in the Sierra Nevada foothills. An average temperature for the history of each location was determined and used as the baseline for the anomaly’s in the graph. So if a data point is x amount above or below zero on the graph that means it is that much above or below the average temperature for that location.   

So lets start off with San Francisco:   

San Francisco Ca.

 

As you can see San Francisco is about .6° C above the average for July of 16.59° C. It also shows a warming trend of over 2.5° C for the period 1881 to 2010. So for San Francisco as it stands right now it is not colder then normal but slightly warmer. However did you notice that prior to about 1959 most of the temperatures seemed flat and after that again the temps flattened out? That big jump in 1959 can be seen in every plot of Annual Temps for various California locations I have see so far on the GISS site and I will do a post on that sometime real soon.   

Now we move down the coast to Los Angeles:   

   

As you can see Los Angeles is about 2.75° C below the average for July of 22.95° C. Matter of fact the graph shows this is the coldest July in the entire instrumental record, just slightly cooler then July 1944. Also notice that there is a basically flat temperature trend for July in Los Angeles. Again you see that big spike in 1959 but you also see another at 1931.   

Further down the coast we get to San Diego:   

San Diego Ca.

 

As seen here San Diego is about 2.5° C below the average for July of 21.29° C. Just like Los Angeles this is the coldest July in the entire instrumental record even with a 1.1° C warming trend for the month of July starting in 1881. Also you see a temperature spike in 1959 and in 1931 but they are smaller then 2 spikes in the 1990’s and 1 around 2007.   

So we have seen the coast it’s time to look inland with first up Lemon Cove:   

Lemon Cove

 

Now here we see that Lemon Cove is about .25° C above the average of 27.5° C, so it is very close to average and this location also has a flat trend over the record. Again there is a spike in 1959 but it is very muted compared to the earlier ones and to a spike in what looks like 1930.   

Finally we come to Hanford:   

Hanford

 

Here just like in Lemon Cove we see an above average temperature of about .6° over the average of 26.38°. This record also is basically flat in trend (very slight cooling). Again we see the muted ’59 spike and the large ’30-’31 spike.   

So what does this tell us?   

Well something is cooling off Southern California to cause it to be the “COLDEST JULY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S HISTORY” but we are not seeing that being bombarded by the MSM like the Russian heat wave or the one that was on the US east coast. Matter of fact watch how the weather presenters on the Weather Channel spend most of their time blocking your view of Southern California and hardly ever mention it.   

Of course this is just weather, but it’s not weather that the MSM can use for the CAGW agenda and it is probably due to the switching from El Nino to La Nina conditons.   

Now this is interesting from AccuWeather:   

It continues to be the summer that never came for many of the coastal areas of California.   

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said that the closer you get to the ocean, the more likely you are to see below-average temperatures for much of Southern California.   

http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/35741/californias-year-without-a-sum-1.asp   

Woolly Mammoths Committed Suicide Via Climate Change!

Recently there has been two articles released dealing with Woolly Mammoths and Climate Change.

The first was on 24 May:

Mammoths contributed to global warming with methane emissions

Mammoths helped to fill the atmosphere with methane and keep the Earth warm more than 13,000 years ago, scientists believe.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7755563/Mammoths-contributed-to-global-warming-with-methane-emissions.html

Now we got this on 18 Aug:

Woolly mammoth killed off by climate change

Climate change rather than the hunting skills of early man killed off the last of the woolly mammoths, according to a new study.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7950058/Woolly-mammoth-killed-off-by-climate-change.html

There you have it folks Wooly Mammoths farted too much, thus causing Global Warming and in the end it killed them. Now if they had only enacted a Cap and Trade system of Farts they would still be alive.

Science Has Officially Jumped The Shark (at least IMO)

It’s official folks Science as a whole has Jumped the Shark.

How can I come to this conclusion?

Simple. Not one but two studies were done where they tested to see if the phenomena known as “Beer Goggles” really do exist.

‘Beer goggles’ fog up sexual signals

First, a suds-soaked fog diminishes a guy’s ability to detect facial symmetry, a crucial component of what we think of as human beauty. When this sense is dulled, an average-looking face may seem like it belongs to a hottie, suggests research on drunk college kids in the journal Alcohol.

To make matters even worse, another study shows liquor makes guys more likely to misinterpret a friendly female glance as a bold come-on.

“The average guy tends to perceive more women as being sexually interested after a few drinks and be more likely to make mistakes about what a woman feels,” says study co-author Teresa Treat, an associate professor at the University of Iowa whose finding appears in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

You can read about it here: http://bodyodd.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/08/18/4915611-beer-goggles-fog-up-sexual-signals?gt1=43001

So did we really need a study where they showed guys pictures of women sober, have them classify them, get them a buzz on with Vodka, relook at the pictures and find out that the “Beer Goggle” effect is real?

Look if you want to test the Beer Goggle Phenomena just go to your local bar and don’t drink while your pals do. Over the next few hours you will notice that your friends level of “taste” in female companionship falls in proportion to have many beers he has had. Trust me on this I have seen it enough times because I don’t drink alcohol, I went along as the designated driver. We already knew “Beer Goggles” were real because if it wasn’t we never would have come up with the term “Coyote Ugly” to expalin to your friends what happens the morning after.

Remember The Winter of 2010

Recently the MSM has been bombarding everyone with the heat wave in Russia and before that the heat wave in the eastern US, both being “consistent with” CAGW (At least according to the alarmists). Now remember back to this past winter when we were told that cold and snow seen in the eastern US and around the world was just weather in the case of the cold and the snow was also due to CAGW. There case was rising temperatures cause more water to evaporated into the atmosphere, thus more water vapor to be turned into snow.  One problem with that while scenario. Besides needing water vapor you also need temperatures cold enough to produce snow, if the temps ain’t low enough you get rain. So if the temps are rising how is it all of sudden cold enough to produce snow? 

Well as I’m going to show in a couple of graphs you will see that the winter of 2009/10 was cold in the Washington DC area and that temperatures were not rising.    

First background: These temperatures are the December/January /February Seasonal average for each of these locations as determined by NASA GISS using USHCN data as the input. After copying that into the spreadsheet I found what the average is for that season over the entire life of the record, example in the case of Salisbury Md that means adding all the seasonal averages since 1907 then dividing by the total number of years we have observations for. Now instead of cherry picking a 30 year baseline I used that average as the baseline to calculate the anomalies from. Thus if you see a data point above the 0 mark on the graph it means it is x amount above the average and the same for a data point below. By doing this I couldn’t rightfully put everyone of these stations on one graph because the baseline is different for most of them based on how long their individual records are, besides it would get kind of crowded once you get past stations. I only used long term records that went up past February of 2010 and I’m going to present them from shortest to longest.   

First up is the seasonal record for the small city near where I live Salisbury Md.    

Salisbury Md

 

Now the seasonal winter average temperature for the Salisbury area is 3.93° C or 39.07° F and as you can see this past winter was much colder then average with a temp of 1.9° C or 35.42° F despite a .5° C warming trend since 1907. Matter of fact going by the graph it appears that 2010 was the 8th coldest winter on record in Salisbury with only (in order) 1918, 1936, 1978, 1963, 1977, 1920 and 1940.  

Next up is Laurel Md near Washington DC.  

Laurel Md

 

The seasonal winter average temperature for Laurel is 2.8° C or 37.04° F and as can be seen 2010 was colder then average with a temp of 1.2° C or 34.16° F despite a .5° warming trend since 1897. Unlike Salisbury, Laurel’s past winter didn’t crack it’s top 10, it’s in between 15th and 20th.     

Next up is the Royal Oak station which is the only rural station in the bunch. It sits on the Eastern shore side of the Chesapeake bay roughly directly east of Washington. 

Royal Oak

 

The seasonal winter average temperature for Royal Oak is 2.82° C or 37.08° F and as can be seen 2010 was colder then average with a temp of 1.6°C or 34.88° F despite a 1.75° C warming trend from 1895. Also this past winter didn’t break the top 20 for this station for coldest.     

Next is College Park Md.   

College Park Md

 

The seasonal winter average temperature for College Park is 1.1° C or 33.98° F and as can be seen 2010 was slightly colder then average with a temp of .7° C or 33.26° F. This station also has a warming trend of slightly over 1° C since 1895. Again the temperature doesn’t break into the top 10 or 20.     

Finally we come to the last and longest record Washington DC listed as Washington/National by GISS.  

Washington/National

 

The seasonal winter average temperature for Washington DC is 3.58° C or 38.44° F and as can be seen 2010 was colder then average with a temp of 2.5° C or 36.5° F, despite about a .75° C warming trend. Again the temperature doesn’t break intot he top 10 or 20.     

Now there is some things to take notice:     

  1. All the stations seasonal average temperatures are above freezing.
  2. All the stations 2010 temperature was lower then the seasonal average.
  3. Only one station had 2010 in their top 10 coldest years according to GISS based on that stations own records.

Recap you need two things to get snow: enough water vapor and cold enough temperatures. So taken those two conditions the alarmists claims that rising temperatures this past winter caused the increased snowfall in the Washington DC area is patently false. First the temperatures fell but lets say they didn’t and they went up, instead of more snow you would have seen less because the temperatures would have increased even further from freezing. Less days at freezing less snow and you get more rain which is what this area of the country typically gets. Now lets look it the other way, if the amount of water vapor stays at average but the temperatures fall, you will get more days at freezing and more snowfall.     

Now you probably noticed one oddity among all these: Why was Salisbury’s 2010 winter in it’s top 10?     

The answer is quite simple and also explains why all the stations were colder then average. You see the Jet Stream was forced further south due to a negative Arctic Oscillation. Normally the Jet Stream runs basically either over the DC area or just a little to the NW or SE of it, which means that the Jet Stream is far to the NW of Salisbury. So what makes the difference in Salisbury is that normally when a storm tracks up the coast it sweeps onshore the relatively warm waters from the Gulf Stream, which runs about 90 miles off the coast or about 115 miles from Salisbury. So along with the moisture it typically brings in air that is well above freezing, the further inland you go the colder it would get, but this past year the Jet Stream was further SE and Salisbury didn’t get that warmer ocean air. That is also why Washington DC and Baltimore got so much more snow, if the Jet Stream had been where it normally is, the snow would have fell in Pennsylvania where I grew up as a kid 44 miles north of Baltimore.     

PS: that is also what is causing the Russian heat wave, not CAGW, you can read about it and see the diagram here:     

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/frozen_jet_stream_links_pakistan_floods_russian_fires/  

Now you ask about where the water vapor comes from? El Nino.  

You see during El Nino years the east coast of the United States typically gets more storms that came across the Gulf of Mexico, then up the coastline to the Mid Atlantic states. Typically if temperatures are at or above average the Washington/Baltimore area sees more rain during an El Nino year, but since the temperatures were below average got more snow instead.  

See folks all natural events such as the AO and El Nino play a big factor in temperatures wolrd wide and are not accounted for in Global or Hemispheric Temperature data sets. Mater of fact you can trace fairly well the rise globally in temperatures to El Nino through history see:  

http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/reproducing-global-temperature.html

The Separation of Church and State Fallacy

The phrase “Separation of Church and State” is a fallacy in the sense that it does not exist in the US Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There it is folks the First Amendment to the US Constitution and all it states is that the NATIONAL (ie the Feds) government can not establish a NATIONAL, official religion of the entire United States, or prohibit anyone from exercise of any particular religion. Oh and for you atheists out there it includes you too and if we went by it like we are suppose to you wouldn’t like the First Amendment very much. What the First Amendment didn’t do was ban, prevent or abolish a STATE Religion, now before you knee jerk read those capitalized words carefully. Now some of you may not have learned this in school due to the state they are in now, but there were official STATE Religions in the United States well after the Constitution went into effect and they were constitutionally legal.

I know you are going “WHAT!” yep, that is because most people never learned that the Constitution is basically a document that tells you what the Federal Government can and cannot do, not what the States can and can not do. That is left up to each states own state constitutions. Don’t believe me? Well check it out:

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly forbids the federal government from enacting any law respecting a religious establishment, and thus forbids either designating an official church for the United States, or interfering with State and local official churches — which were common when the First Amendment was enacted. It did not prevent state governments from establishing official churches. Connecticut continued to do so until it replaced its colonial Charter with the Connecticut Constitution of 1818; Massachusetts retained an establishment of religion in general until 1833. (The Massachusetts system required every man to belong to some church, and pay taxes towards it; while it was formally neutral between denominations, in practice the indifferent would be counted as belonging to the majority denomination, and in some cases religious minorities had trouble being recognized at all.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_religion#United_States_of_America

Now what changed all that?

The 14th Amendment and the Supreme Court stretching it to mean that the Constitution no longer only applied to the National Government but to state governments too, but not always. They do make exceptions for and against different religions based on how “popular” they are in certain circles.

Again you don’t believe me do you?

You do remember that Polygamy was part of the Mormon religion don’t you? You do know that the Supreme Court stated they can interfere with your practice of that?

Although the constitution did not define religion, the Court investigated the history of religious freedom in the United States. In the ruling, the court quoted a letter from Thomas Jefferson in which he stated that there was a distinction between religious belief and action that flowed from religious belief. The former “lies solely between man and his God,” therefore “the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.” The court argued that if polygamy was allowed, someone might eventually argue that human sacrifice was a necessary part of their religion, and “to permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” The Court believed the true spirit of the First Amendment was that Congress could not legislate against opinion, but could legislate against action.

The version of Jefferson’s Danbury letter which the Court used was in fact a mistaken transcription. While the Court quoted Jefferson as writing, “the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions”, Jefferson’s original handwriting reads “the legitimate powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._United_States

So we have seen how Freedom from Establishment of a Religion and from prohibiting the free exercise thereof has been changed to Freedom from Establishment of a Religion and from prohibiting the free exercise thereof, except if we don’t like it and it violates our secular laws. That was the slippery slope we started down. Now we got Federal Government employees stopping people from praying on the steps of the Supreme Court, because it might offend someone. Now here is the rub remember back at the beginning I said that the First also applies to Atheists, well here is how it does it. You see that Federal Government Employee that stopped someone from praying, be it a Christian, Jew, Muslim or any other religion has now forced an Atheist practice on them: Not praying. So that employee has violated the First Amendment not just by prohibiting the free exercise thereof of that persons religion, but also by his/her own fiat or their boss or someone up the line has forced that person to practice Atheism in public. You see the First Amendment doesn’t allow Atheist practices or as it’s put non-religion to override religious practice:

Opinion of the court

The court, in an opinion by Justice Souter, held that the funding of a school district designed to coincide with the neighborhood boundaries of a religious group constitutes an unconstitutional aid to religion. Souter concluded that “government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_of_Education_of_Kiryas_Joel_Village_School_District_v._Grumet

Basically an Atheist is not harmed by the person praying nor by the employee because no one is forcing the Atheist to adopt a religious practice, but by the employee stopping the person from praying he is forcing him to an irreligion practice, you know like how the Jews had to worship in secret during the time just before and during the Spanish Inquisition.

So what does this trip through the history of the First Amendment and the warping of it all mean today. Well lets look at it in the context of the proposed “Ground Zero” Mosque.

If we use the original intent and use of the First Amendment the Federal Government has no say in the matter, but the Local and State Governments of New York City and New York State, could tell the Muslims “nope not allowed” and be constitutional.

If we use the expanded and warped usage via the 14th Amendment and the precedent of the Mormons practicing Polygamy the Federal Government can not meddle with any Muslims belief in Islam but they are allowed to meddle in the way he practices it. So again the Muslims could be told “nope not allowed” and be constitutional.

And finally we got a new can of worms that just might cost Mayor Bloomberg big time. You see there was this little Greek Orthodox church that sat in the shadow of the twin towers that was destroyed on 9/11 and they have been waiting almost 9 years to be allowed to REBUILD their church. Not build a new one, but replace one that was already there. Now if the city give the Muslims the go ahead this quickly but still hasn’t let the Greek Orthodox rebuild, there you got the Mayor favoring one religion over another which is unconstitutional. So he either has to let the Greek Orthodox build theirs or put the brakes on the Muslims.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America accused New York officials on Tuesday of turning their backs on the reconstruction of the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, while the controversial mosque near Ground Zero moves forward.

The sidelined project is the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a tiny, four-story building destroyed in 2001 when one of the World Trade Center towers fell on top of it. Nobody from the church was hurt in the attack, but the congregation has for the past eight years been trying to rebuild its house of worship.

While the mosque project cleared red tape earlier this month, negotiations between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the church stalled last year — and will not be revived, according to government officials. Though the particulars of the two projects are completely different and on the surface unrelated, the church and its supporters see a disconnect in the way the proposals have been handled.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/17/ground-zero-church-archdiocese-says-officials-forgot/

So for those crying Freedom of Religion and Separation of Church and State, you do not have a legal leg to stand on either via the original interpretation of the 1st Amendment nor with the interpretation and precedents set by the establishment clause of the 14th Amendment. By not letting them build in that location is not meddling in their beliefs as the Supreme Court ruled but effecting their practice of those beliefs which they are allowed to do. Also you don’t have a moral leg to stand on either, not while that little Greek Orthodox Church and its congregation have had to jump through hurdles for 8 years just to get slapped in the face, while the Muslims get a fast track.

Soylent Green Is People!

Remember that famous line from the 1973 film Soylent Green starring Charlton Heston? For those that don’t because you are too young or for any other reason here is a brief synopsis of the film:

Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer. Starring Charlton Heston, the film overlays the police procedural and science fiction genres as it depicts the investigation into the brutal murder of a wealthy businessman in a dystopian future suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans and a hot climate due to the greenhouse effect. Much of the population survives on processed food rations, including “soylent green”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

Jeez sounds like today doesn’t it? What you will find in this film is every eco loony scare story there is including what happens when you let them implement “solutions” to these problems. One of the “solutions” is assisted suicide, but the question in the film is: What happens to the bodies?

Well at the climax of the film you find out:

Prompted by Roth, Thorn sneaks into the basement of the assisted suicide facility, where he sees corpses being loaded onto waste disposal trucks. He secretly hitches a ride on one of the trucks, which is driven to a heavily guarded waste disposal plant. Once inside the plant, Thorn sees how the corpses are processed into Soylent Green wafers. Thorn escapes and heads for the “Supreme Exchange”, but is ambushed by Fielding and several other gunmen. He retreats into a cathedral filled with homeless people. After a desperate fight through throngs of sleeping homeless, Thorn kills Fielding.

When police backup arrives, the seriously wounded and nearly hysterical Thorn confides to Hatcher the horrible secret behind Soylent Green, finally urging him to spread the word: “Soylent Green is people! We’ve got to stop them somehow!”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

Now nothing even close to that could ever happen in the real world now could it?

Well think again, just keep those bolded words from the Soylent Green film plotline in mind when reading the following quotes:

Belgian undertakers plan to dissolve dead and flush them into sewage system

Belgian undertakers have drawn up plans to dissolve the corpses of the dead in caustic solutions and flush them into the sewage system.

The controversial new method is said to be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than running highly polluting crematoria or using up valuable land for graves.

The departed would go into the sewage systems of towns and cities and then be recycled in water processing plants.

Now I wonder where that treated water goes to……ah never mind that for the moment just be glad that is only happening in Belgium and could never happen in the US. Right?

Six states in America – Maine, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, and Maryland have recently passed legislation that allow the process to be used.

And life once again imitates art: Your Tap Water is Grandma! I seriously wonder how far away we are from truly having Soylent Green.

The news story comes from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/7876749/Belgian-undertakers-plan-to-dissolve-dead-and-flush-them-into-sewage-system.html

h/t to SDA

Travel Destination: Yellowstone Day 1

Where to start when dealing with Yellowstone?

Probably the only way I can do this is to not try and put everything into one post, but try to break it down somehow. So here goes:

When we arrived at our accommodations in the small town of West Yellowstone Mt, just out side the park, it was in the early afternoon and driving since early morning we decided not to head into the park that day, but take in the sights of the town by walking around the main block of it. We looked in many a shop, checked the local restaurants and visited the local animal park. We ended the day by catching a film at the IMAX theater and dinning at Gushers Pizzeria & Sandwich Shop.

As you can see our accommodations (Kelly Inn) was not very far from the park, the shopping/dinning district, the IMAX theater and the animal park. The rooms were very nice and comfortable and the rates are reasonable for the area (West Yellowstone and Gardiner Mt are the closets towns to the park and so the room rates are more expensive then staying in Cody or Jackson Wy for that reason. The rate was $130 per night but well worth it).

Besides a door leading directly outside, there was a second door that led to an interior hallway. This hallway takes you to the main reception area where you can get a free breakfast and also to the indoor pool.
http://www.yellowstonekellyinn.com/

So after checking in we decided to walk over to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. This center has a small indoor exhibit area where you purchase your ticket. From there you can walk outside to their viewing areas for the wolf packs and one grizzly enclosure. In between the two wold pack enclosures there is a small lecture/presentation hut were different animal experts put on various presentations for all areas. Twice a day the center has to seed the bear enclosure with food, so they bring the bears inside. When that happens they take out small children, that sign up for this, out into the enclosures to hide the food the bears:

Keeper Kids – Join us for an exciting activity especially designed for kids ages 5-12. In this unique program, kids first learn about grizzly bear eating habits and then accompany the naturalist and animal keeper into the bear habitat to hide food for some of our resident bears. After the food is hidden, kids get to learn how bears use their sense of smell to search out food. Space in this program is limited, so please sign up with a staff naturalist on the day you want to join in the fun. Keeper Kids is offered twice a day during the summer, and at various times during the fall and winter months. This program does require a $2 partcipation fee, all other programs are included with the price of admission to the Center.
http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/programs.php

The kids get all the fun 🙂
Here are some of the photos we took at the center:

http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/wolves.php?id=52
The wolves in the above photos are from the first Wolf Enclosure and are part of one of the three packs at the center. These wolves are bigger and older then the wolves in the second pack which appear in the photos below:

http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/wolves.php?id=23

They have several Grizzly Bears at the center but only two were out when we visited, a brother and sister pair that were rescued after their mother disappeared:

These photos were taken on June 10th in the late afternoon just after it had finished raining. The temperature in West Yellowstone at that time was in the mid 50’s. After we got done watching the wolves and bears in the center, we visited their gift shop where they had some very nice pieces of merchandise including a the wall hanging in the photo below.

The wolves and bears in the wall hangings they sell are of the wolves and bears in the center.

To give some more background on where these wolves and bears came from. The Wolves came from areas where the habitat couldn’t support them and instead of being left to a long an lingering death from starvation or being euthanized for ones born in captivity, they were given a home at the center. As to the bears they were all either nuisance bears or cubs of nuisance bears. Typically nuisance bears end up being killed because they become so used to eating out of human waste receptacles and landfills they become a danger due to failure of relocation. Instead the center has given them a home were they can live out their days peacefully and in the case of the bears in the photos above stopped a sad situation from becoming a tragedy:

Sam and illie, twin brother and sister were placed in captivity as young cubs after their mother disappeared in Alaska. These two bears wandered in to a fishing village where people (young and old) began hand-feeding them, becoming quite the attraction and a dangerous situation. Without a mother to care for them and becoming habituated to human food, these bears had to be placed in captivity and arrived at the Center in 1996. Being from the coastline of Alaska, these two bears are very large, with Sam weighing approximately 1050 pounds and his sister illie close to 800 pounds. Sam was named after the fishing village of King Salmon and illie after Mount iliamna, both areas are near their birthplace.
http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/bears.php?id=2

Visit the Grizzly and Wolf Center website below to learn more about these animals and others:
http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.org/

From there we checked out what was playing and the times for them at the IMAX theater (While there is only one screen the theater shows different films at different times). Noting that the film we wanted to see was not due for a few hours we decided to stroll around the 2 block main shopping and dining area of the town, peaking into the various shops, comparing prices and looking for a good place to eat after the film. After that we returned to the IMAX theater and watched a film on the wolves of Yellowstone.

The tickets we purchased also gave us a discount on a second film, if we returned in a certain amount of days which we did on our final full day in Yellowstone which I will go into when I get to that day.

After the film we decided that it was getting a little on the nippy side and drove over to Gushers Pizzeria & Sandwich Shop for dinner. The name is misleading, besides pizza’s, burgers and various other “fast” food they also served up various types of steak and other regular restaurant faire. The prices were very reasonable, the service and staff excellent, the food very tasty and the atmosphere eclectic (where else do you have to look around a mounted moose head to see the stock car race on TV while a waiter pours a glass of fine wine at the table in front of you, while at the same time a group of Hungarian scientists and their post grad students, at the table next to you, discuss their day in the park observing Grizzlies?). One word of warning the place is very popular and if you want to sit down and eat there, instead of to go or having it delivered, you might have to wait a bit in line.

As we returned to our room for the night you could hear the call of the wolves in the center and no matter how many times you have heard that call in recordings you will have a visceral, instinctive reation to it. When that occurs you will realize the truth of what  Jack London wrote about:  it is truly the  Call of the Wild.