Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Another Year!

Today is President's Day, but February 19th is ALWAYS special with me. Today marks my wife's and my 41st Anniversary as Mr. & Mrs. Old Patriot. We were married at the Air Force Academy chapel, here in Colorado Springs, on February 19th, 1966. It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been GOOD. I'm looking forward to another 40, at least.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What I want in a Presidential Candidate

I've been looking over the growing field of presidential candidates, and find that it's hard to support any of them at the moment. There is so little "there", there. Maybe it's because it's still early, and maybe it's because these candidates just haven't had an opportunity to discover what most people want from a presidential candidate. I plan to remedy that by making MY wishes known, now.

First of all, I believe the greatest need this country has is for a strong program of national security. In my opinion, that means having a military that can defend us against aggression, and able to respond to attacks both on our soil and anywhere in the world our enemies might gather. That will require increasing the size, training, and equipment of the Armed Forces, primarily Army and Marines, and continuing the war against Islamic extremism. National security also means secure borders and a revised and strengthened immigration program. A strong economy, too, is necessary for national security, both now and in the long run. Education, too, plays a major role in national security. We need to return to an educational process that provides the best opportunities for the most people. Finally, we need to focus on national vulnerabilities (dependence upon foreign oil, raw materials, etc.) and how to reduce them.

Secondly, we need to reduce or eliminate deficit spending. This will require revisiting existing expenditures as well as any future commitments. Nothing should be "off the table" - from Medicare and Social Security to federal funding for education and crop subsidies. Raising taxes should be the ultimate last resort, after everything else has been done.

Thirdly, I believe we need to drastically reduce the size and scope of government. We need to eliminate wasteful and duplicate activities. We need to reconsider how the current executive branch of the government is organized, its size, and its missions and goals.

Finally, we need to return to the Constitutionally mandated roles for the Congressional, Executive, and Judicial branches of the government, and re-establish the checks and balances that have been so abused by all branches that they are virtually extinct.

These four things are of primary importance to me, and I will choose a presidential choice based upon how well a candidate expresses himself/herself on these issues.

I'll expand upon these comments in other articles to be posted later.

Friday, February 02, 2007

More Climate Change Hysteria

The Associated Press has provided two articles in two days on "global warming" that found their way to the front page of my local newspaper, the Colorado Springs Gazette. I always read everything I can about the subject of climate change, but these articles are reflections of most of what's written about the subject - ten years out of date and distorted. The only good thing to come out of all the "global warming" hysteria has been an increased interest in exactly what does cause climate variability. This increased interest has had a devastating effect on the case for catastrophic anthropogenic climate change.

The emphasis for this latest push to accept anthropogenic global warming stems from the latest Davos World Economic Forum and the upcoming release of the Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment Report, due out Feb 2, 2007. Once again, the emphasis was on forcing the United States to adopt the Kyoto Protocols, which would seriously harm the US economy while doing nothing to change the climate. Politics once more triumphs over science, at least in Europe. There have also been a number of recent "hearings" about climate change before the United States Senate, featuring among others the "Union of Concerned Scientists". This "Union" has little scientific credibility since anyone who wishes can join by simply sending in the registration fee of $25. A number of detractors of the group have registered dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and even an automobile.

I've always been skeptical that a "greenhouse gas" that accounts for around four percent (4%) of the total could have such enormous effects on the entire climate cycle. I grew more skeptical when I discovered in my readings a true lack (until recently) of scientific study of the role water vapor, which accounts for 95% of ALL greenhouse gasses, plays in the climate scenario. The more I read, the more skeptical I became. Today, I cannot believe that carbon dioxide, or even a combination of carbon dioxide and other, non-water-vapor gasses, could have such a massive effect upon climate as the current Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts. Recent studies have shown that such skepticism is well-placed.

There is a growing preponderance of evidence that the vast majority, if not all, of the climate change of the last century, as well as climate change of the last 5000 years, has been the result of solar cycles: long-term cycles of ~1500 years, shorter-term cycles of ~85 and ~210 years, and the semi-regular 11-year sunspot cycle. These studies also show that there is far more taking place than just changes in luminosity or output; that there are also changes in magnetic field strength, for instance, that also affect weather by increasing or decreasing cloud cover.

In fact, increasing studies over the past 30 years have provided a wealth of new data that requires close inspection before decisions affecting six billion people are enacted. There is growing evidence that the earth's climate is far more complex than previously thought, and the models used to "prove" global warming are totally irrelevant to what's happening in the real world. Most of the studies prior to about 2002 fail to account for the newly-discovered importance of solar forcing, solar cycles, magnetic variance, and cosmic ray interaction on climate change.

While the majority of "scientists" attempt to force the idea that man is screwing up the environment, including causing massive global warming, the evidence continues to undermine that effort. The evidence continues to mount that climate temperatures are controlled by the sun, including short- and long-term variables in solar output, solar "wobble", changes in magnetic field strength, and a half-dozen other physical aspects. The hysteria over anthropogenic global warming is becoming more evident as nothing more than an attempted power grab by politicians, and a means for ensuring greater funding for "scientific research" to prove what many have already decided is fact - that climate change is all mankind's fault, and we're all going to die if we don't turn over everything to the "government".

UPDATE: Just found this article that may provide more insight into climate change, and the role water vapor plays in it. As with most recent scientific discoveries, it provided some unexpected answers.

NOTE: If you're going to reply to me about this article, I expect to see links to articles substantiating your point, or you will be ignored.

Solar-Powered Millennial-Scale Climatic Change
New Confirmation of Strong Solar Forcing of Climate
NASA Study Finds Increasing Solar Trend That Can Change Climate
The Geologic Record and Climate Change
Solar links to climate change
Climate Impacts
Secular total solar irradiance trend during solar cycles 21-23 (pdf)
Under a variable sun (multi-part)
Of Sunspots, Volcanic Eruptions And Climate Change
Solar Research
Increased solar brightness and warming of the Earth since 1979
Phenomenological solar contribution to the 1900-2000 global surface warming (pdf)
Mass Balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet
Inconvenient Truths Indeed