Busy year…

Foggy-Sunrise_-Seattle-Skyline-_-Mt_-Rainier8197075467337321062Infrequent posting due to work, family (just had our 4th!), and life. Twitter is tempting, but I miss the long form.

I know a lot of folks feel on edge based on current events and our administration’s various agendas. But please hang in there; the fight for our 2nd Amendment (and other) rights won’t be going away any time soon.

No matter who is in power, individual liberty will always stand athwart big government.

[Incidentally, I’ve published some older posts from last year, and even January, that I just didn’t feel up to throwing out there during and after a revolting election season. I re-evaluated them and felt they should be there. Obvioiusly, these issues have been long sorted out, or are still in the process.]

Slow motion

My posting frequency has slowed considerably because , since February, I’ve been out of work.  My company had two rounds of lay-offs in the face of all this Hope and Change; one late last year and one in February.

You’d think that being unemployed you would have all this extra time to post and rant.  I have not.  I have now been out of work for nearly 5 months and have spent the majority of that time looking for new work.  I have been online, on the phone, and in interviews for most of that time, as well.  Looking for work is nearly a full-time job.

It’s an amazing test of one’s faith in God, and a discovery of who you can count on.  We have found out just how blessed we truly are … and how thankful we are to still be in our starter home with our (relatively) miniscule mortgage!

I’ve got some promising interviews coming up in the next couple weeks… keeping the prayers up and fingers crossed!

Take heart, those of you still looking out there… there is still work available.

I’m just concerned, after I get a job, about how much more we, the producers, will be punished by our government… and that has kept me up at night more than being unemployed.

Wind Power Still Causing Health Problems

As a followup to my post from last August, there is a Seattle PI article today talking about the problems surrounding the wind farms located in Boardman, Oregon:

BOARDMAN, Ore. — Wind turbines may supply power without pollution but they are also generating complaints about noise and even possible health effects for people who live near them.

Dan Williams says the 240-foot-tall turbines he can see from his hilltop home near Boardman in Eastern Oregon make so much noise they keep him awake at night.

Williams is among neighbors along Highway 74 demanding that Morrow County enforce state noise regulations on the Willow Creek Wind Energy Project or revoke its land-use permit.

The 40-year-old construction contractor told The Oregonian newspaper in Portland that wind-energy companies downplay the noise.

Gee, you think the wind-energy comapnies are any different than any other energy company?  They’re trying to protect their interests/turf by “blowing” this stuff off (haha – bad green energy joke).

Dr. Nina Pierpont makes an appearance in the article, as well:

Other critics, including some in Oregon, cite work by a New York doctor who coined the term “wind turbine syndrome” to describe effects such as headaches, dizziness and memory loss of living near the machines.

“This thing is not rare,” Dr. Nina Pierpont of Malone, N.Y., said of the syndrome.

Comments on the article are generally dismissive, as usual.

Look, Folks, I’m no hypochondriac, but these stories are getting worrisome.  Not only are these things a blight (see remarks made by Senator Feinstien and Kennedy regarding wind farms in their states), but they are causing legitimate issues.

Yes, there are the people that say, “Gee willickers, I stopped by a wind farm on my roadtrip last year and I could actually hear the wind whistling through my head.”  Fine.  Please then proceed with Step Two and move into an apartment or home near one of these things and report back to me in 6 months or less.  From what is being reported, it takes more than a roadside pee break to hear and feel the effects of these turbines.

Besides, wind power is still not a reliable energy source as fossil fuels.  We have much better resources between clean coal technologies and nuclear power (please, folks enough with the Hanford scaremongering… technology and safety is so far past that careless point in our history).

Anyway, have your say, but I’m not about to force one of these things on anyone’s property or near their home.

Hope for our young women

Some positive news, for at least one brief moment, about our young women entering college

As a reserved evangelical from Colorado Springs, Colo., I was shocked by a lot of things at Tufts when I entered in the fall of 2003. What shocked me more than anything, however, was the way women treated other women. I regularly heard young women refer to each other using the most obscene and degrading insults. I observed females encouraging others to binge drink and then berating those who couldn’t hold their liquor. At breakfast on the weekends, I often overheard young women discussing their shame after feeling pressured by their girlfriends to participate in a degrading activity, such as a lingerie-themed or “secretaries and bosses” party. One year, a sorority actually commanded its pledges to strip to their underwear and allow fraternity brothers to mark the physical flaws on their bodies with permanent ink.

Upon arriving with my sister at Hillsdale, a school known for attracting conservative and religious students, I noticed a contrast immediately. I began chatting with a rising senior, and she and I quickly discovered an acquaintance in common. Referring to this woman, the Hillsdale student said: “She is such an amazing woman. I just have so much respect for her.” I was speechless. I was simply not used to hearing college women speak about their peers with such esteem.

Fortunately, the latter was my experience at the University of Washington because of the people I CHOSE to hang around.  That’s not to say I didn’t have my fair share of interactions with the hard-left culture at UW.  I had the pleasure of throwing down with student activists, tenured professors, those in student government, straight, gay, bi, younger, older, and of different cultural backgrounds.  I listened, too (painfully, at times), but I held my ground.  I knew who I was, where I came from, where money came from (i.e.: not the sky or the government), and what the general mindset was of the culture I was facing.  Just wish I had figured out my darn major right from the start!

So, as father of 2 (soon to be 3), and at least one girl, this gives me hope.  And, having known some guys & gals that went to Hillsdale, I would love to offer that opportunity to my kids… if they’re willing to work for it!  Other wise, they’ll have to scrap it out at a state univeristy/college like their old man.  Or a professional/techincal school; their choice.

Is Wind Power the Answer?

Not only do some folks think wind power a blight on the countryside (your opinion may vary), it can cause severe biological issues in humans… and this no longer seems to be just an opinion.  I’m not a NIMBY-type; in fact, I would welcome refineries, nuclear, jails, or whatever alternative power source there is to my local community.  But, given some of these anecdotes and research, I think I’d rather have a nuclear reactor less than two miles away from me than one of these fracking things.  The Oregonian did a story on this issue with wind turbines and an interview with Dr. Nina Pierpont on the physiological problems these turbines are causing.

Pierpont’s findings suggest that low-frequency noise and vibration generated by wind machines can have an effect on the inner ear, triggering headaches; difficulty sleeping; tinnitus, or ringing in the ears; learning and mood disorders; panic attacks; irritability; disruption of equilibrium, concentration and memory; and childhood behavior problems.

Good Lord.  Since we’ve decided to stick the damn things up in the first place, can we at least put them in middle of nowhere?  Like on public lands?

Potential medial(sic) problems aside, wind turbines will wreck the tranquility that Mike and Sherry Eaton came to this remote place to find, Sherry Eaton said. She drives 90 miles a day to and from her job in Hermiston so they can live in the high-desert setting.

“When you come home from work, everything drains away from you because it’s so quiet and peaceful,” she said, adding that’s about to end.

“Now we are going to have to listen to those windmills: Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!” she said.

I really feel for this family.  Granted, these problems are affecting everyone differently.  Children are typically more sensitive to a broader range of frequencies; some adults, but not all, are as well.

Regardless, this is clearly a real problem and unintended consequence of Going Green(tm).  It could just be the model of the turbines, though.  Regardless, these things aren’t nearly as reliable as, say, nuclear power.  Honestly, folks, if wind power, was all it’s cracked up to be, don’t you think we would be seeing greater investment?  Besides the self-admitted egoist known as Pickens?  Just turn your lights off in whatever room you’re not in, folks, and turn your computer off if you’re going to be away from it for more than a day.

The path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Loaded Dice

Once again, the press gets bored and sets up an “experiment” to achieve the results they wish to report.

KNXV-TV (ABC) Pheonix, AZ Reports:

From behind a two-way mirror, parents, a police officer and ABC15 crew members were surprised when watching what a group of children would do if they encountered a gun.

We try to teach our kids to do the right thing, but we don’t always know how well our lessons stick in their minds.

We wanted to test a group of children to see what would happen if we planted a real gun in their mix of toys.

Would the children alert parents if they found a gun or would they play with it?

With extreme precaution to ensure no child was ever in danger parents, a police officer, and ABC15 crew members watched a group of children from behind a two-way mirror.

To make sure the gun was safe, police removed the magazine, checked the chamber and removed the firing pin.

Two groups of children ranging in age from 2 to 12 were tested.

Not surprisingly, none of the kids went for help and the boys that did find/see it picked it up and played with it.  Parents are aghast!

With the exception of one kid, I’m willing to bet that none of the families have had very serious discussions, let alone actually HAVE firearms in the home that they’ve even seen or (in the case of the older children) have been taught how to use and respect.  They probably just say, “Johnny/Susie, don’t you ever play with guns,” while the kid is on the couch playing Grand Theft Auto.

What I’d like to say to KNXV ABC15:

First: the extremely young ones… please.  I keep my firearms secure from my 2-year-old.  That kid will NEVER be in a situation where there will be access to the firearms until I feel the time is right.  Same goes for my 4-year-old; that one has been begging me to go shooting for a while.  Time to pull out the air-rifle.

Second, I’d like to quote/paraphrase a lot of what Mike W. said: You’re biasing the entire experiment by deliberately putting a gun in with a bunch of toys. Plus, common sense dictates that kids will react with curiosity unless you teach them precisely and repeatedly how they should react. If you haven’t discussed firearms with your kids how can you expect them to consider them dangerous, not touch them, or come and tell an adult?  If they’ve never seen, touched, or held a real gun before how would you expect them to know it’s not a toy?  Especially in this case, where you’ve deliberately placed it in a box of toys.

And what do most boys do with toy guns, or their fingers? They point them at each other and go “bang.”  That’s exactly what I’d expect to happen. The adults conducting this “experiment” set it up to ensure they’d achieve the result they wanted.

Put a bunch of adults with NO firearms experience in a similar situation and don’t be surprised if the person who found it immediately started pointing it at people or looking down the barrel from the business-end.

We are raising generations now with complete ignorance of firearms while simultaneously glamorizing them in entertainment; a nasty combination to be sure.  Firearms education needs to be brought back into the schools, communities, and families.  Instead of demonized, firearms need to be understood and respected for the tools they are and the purposes the serve now and have served in history, good, bad, and grey.

Feminism is the Pitts

Mr. Leonard Pitts, Jr. pens on Sunday to say, regarding Feminism

“I’m not a feminist, but … ?” That’s a fraud. It’s intellectually dishonest. And it’s a slap to the feminists who prepared the table at which today’s young women sup.

To be sure, feminism in it’s older form, is a good thing. That is, equal rights for women and the ability to control their own destiny has benefited society greatly. What Leonard is fed up with is the current association of this F-word with militants, being anti-men, and the old notion that it was only for the advancement of ugly or uncomely women. Well, thanks to some who shall remain nameless, this association has been earned… fraudulently or not. If you were politically/socially aware during the 90’s (let alone the 20 years prior) you had to be at least a little aware of this association.

And then there’s this problem with “empowerment” part:

A generation of parents and educators have pushed to ensure that girls have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, with notable results. In 2007, for example, it was girls who dominated the national math and science competition sponsored by Siemens. But a growing number of reports show that the message of equality might have a downside.

Teenage girls now equal or outpace teenage boys in alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking, national surveys show. The number of girls entering the juvenile-justice system has risen steadily over the past few years. A 2006 study that examined accident rates among young drivers noted that although boys get into more car accidents, girls are slowly beginning to close the gap.

So, is this the kind of feminism we want for our young ladies? Like my wife, the WhirlyDaughter will be a feminist in the traditional sense. Clearly, any clear thinking person finds the positive in “…access to birth control** …equal pay for equal work ….fight against rape and violence against women.”

However, empowerment will walk hand-in-hand with responsibility. As it always should.

I’m not saying I agree with Leonard; I don’t on most things. I’m sure we’d split hairs on a few things here knowing what shapes his world-view (**i.e.: abortion and Plan-B do no qualify as birth control to me). But, generally, we agree that some words get unduly associated with negative connotations and as long as there’s an uncomplicated explanation on why you’re reclaiming that phrase, it’s probably not a big deal to try to resurrect its usage.

Face facts, though, Leonard… the F-Word has a lot of baggage to overcome. Especially with empowered women like Lori Gottlieb.

You’ll find one of my favorite, empowered female bloggers here.