Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pre-halloween scare

My fingers wrote scarf up there first but I corrected it, although the Tom Brokaw show on NBC last night (I think it was NBC, channel 8 here) almost made me want to throw up. It was about the growth of evangelical religion in this country. Folks, them folks are scare. Coming out of their mouths and the expressions on their faces is some of the scariest talk I've heard about since the thought that only five percent of the citizens of a country could hold it in an iron fist (I don't care if you don't like apples and oranges; I've read some Russian {Soviet} history.) But they convicted themselves out of their own mouths. They spread the word love but limit it, apparently, to those who believe and act as they do. One woman said she had no time to read the paper or watch the television news because she was so busy with the children. But what kind of a world is she going to put them into if she doesn't understand what's going on in the world, or if she gets only a one-sided view from her preacher. Never trust a preacher with a phony smile on his face and a preacher's way of framing his thoughts, I say.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

And what a mess it is!!!

As usual, Molly Ivins is right on about the mess we're in. What no one seems to recognize is that the rot in the system actually started with the turn in the Reagan administration into the me political system which led in turn to the belief that the bottom line is the end-all of measurement. It's back to the old Calvinism belief that success in business means that you are headed for the golden streets after death. That always was a mismeasurement of mankind.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What's in the wind?

Just a question that occurred to me watching the windy weather forecasts of the last few days, along with some advance notice of what calls for a winter storm warning: Is a snowstorm with winds over 60 miles per hour a tropical storm?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

More on the difference between science and ID

The Billings Gazoo has done it again. It seems someone in an editorial position there just doesn't understand that there is no argument over evolution in the science curriculum. The vast majority of scientists see evolution as the cornerstone of science of all kinds, whether it's geology, physics, or biology. There is no argument in the scientific community. Those who want Intelligent Design, the latest form of creationism taught, just don't seem to understand that while it is as valid a belief as many others, it is a belief, not a scientific standard. Those who think that the odds are against anything happen by accident don't seem to accept the idea that if enough monkeys use enough typewriters over a long enough period of time, they will reproduce the works of Proust. No matter how high the odds, the billions of years in which the universe has existed have provided enough time for many, many things to happen. All the evidence from fossils and DNA, particularly DNA, support evolution and not creationism. What evidence is there for creationism or intelligent design? All the concepts used as a denial of evolution, even if correct, do not prove that ID ever happened. If they were to be proven correct, all they would indicate is that evolution did not happen, not that creationism or ID did. Big difference.

It's like saying that since Jericho existed, Joshua blew his horn and the walls came tumbling down at God's command. The existence of Jericho does not prove the myth or the reasons that the walls may have fallen down.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

what's your outrage this week?

Molly always has something to say that seems to fit what the country needs right now. I think I agree. There are a lot of outrageous things in this country right now. And she doesn't even mention Denny Rehberg living off the taxpayer by rooming in his office in Washington, D.C. Or Conrad Burns cronying up to the establishment in D.C. and looking, maybe, for a chuck of the change. It's outrageous, that's what it is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Now we're cooking

It's somewhat amazing to me as to how fast the U.S. reacted to the Asian earthquake compared to New Orleans. The quake happened Saturday and by Monday we had eight helicopters and planes with food and other supplies deployed into Pakistan. We had also pledge $50 million for aid with more to come. I think it's wonderful. As Bush and he allies said, Pakistan is a country that's friendly to us and an invaluable ally in the war on terrorism. And New Orleans is home and full of people who don't vote. Quite a contrast.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Flim-Flam and Hoo-Hah

How about this: Molly Ivins has the latest on another White House scandal that we haven't seen anything about in the local press. Wonder why the Billings Gazoo has quit carrying her?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Montana's Katrina?

I just turned three score and ten, most of them spent living and surviving in the Billings area. I don't think I can remember many springs and falls when we didn't have the same type of storm we just went dark and cold through. When I talked to the Northwest Energy people in Butte, all they could tell me was that trees had fallen on the lines, which I knew because, as I said, I've seen this happen every spring and fall (almost) since I've lived in the Billings area. It also happened in 1874 when the wagon train from Bozeman was out this way, according Don Weibert.

So, given that we have a history of this kind of event here and that in previous events I've never spent more than 12 hours in the dark, how come Northwestern Energy's highly paid managers couldn't plan for this and be ahead of the game. In the old days, crews used to trim trees that posed a danger to power lines. That eliminated a lot of the downed lines. I haven't seen them out recently although we have trimmed some of the trees along our alleys to prevent it. I know the NWE crews put out their best efforts, but I'm wondering if the managers planned for this. It was not a one of a kind storm like Katrina. We have them often enough to know what the problems are. We've had worse storms that didn't do the damage that this one did.

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