Thursday, February 24, 2005

Vermont - Snow - Beer and some Moose = Good Times!

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Benjamin Franklin

Off to Vermont for a long weekend of skiing, drinking and moose watching.

Lots of ideas should develop for the entire 'mighty blog' produkt line:

www.mightyblogs.blogspot.com
www.mightypop.blogspot.com
www.guitarstringenius.blogspot.com
www.debunkchomsky.blogspot.com

Posted by mightymerk, 12:14 PM | link | (2) comments |

Monday, February 21, 2005

Today is Presidents Day


The Presidential Seal, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

Today is Presidents Day in the Unite States. Originally, celebrated on the third Monday of every February, it was a day to recognize George Washington, America's first president who was born on February 22nd. Later some states began to also honor Abraham Lincoln, another great American president also born in February. Today, more or less, every state honors all of the American Presidents on this date.

Some thing to check out if you are interested:

The Positively Presidential Quiz

Presidential True or False Quiz


Something for the kids, put out by the white house here.

Presidents Day, as with many holidays, has become a Huge Day for retailors. Presidents Day Sales are everywhere to be found, and getting more ceative. It's also a very popular day to buy a new car in the U.S., again because of all the "sales" that take place.

The traditionalist in me though, just somehow hopes, in between check-out lines, and/or ski slopes, people do take the time to learn a little bit more about those who served the most important roles in shiping the United States. A bit ideal of a thought I know, but I am an optimist and shall forever be one.

Posted by mightymerk, 5:40 AM | link | (0) comments |

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Global Warming and the Kyoto Protocol


It's Hot in the day...It's Cold in the night, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

It's hard not to believe that the continued industrialization of nations is not somehow harmful to our natural world. The rise in CO2 emmission, the continued defrorestation and stripping of habitats as well as the endless air and water polution. This is not an American Problem, or a European Problem or an Asian Problem, this is something that all nations (more or less) have to deal with and consider. And there you have the obvious.

For the past few days many of us have been reading about the Kyoto Treaty going into full effect, and the United States lack of participation.

So what gives? Is Global Warming real and not just a theory?

The Union of Concerned Scientists reports that evidence that human-induced global warming is real. This IPCC Assessment of Gobal Warming is from 2001 essentially says that major climate changes are being projected at a much greater rate that what would be "naturally" occuring. Other reports conclude much of the same.

Most proponents point to these main facts:


There are opponents of the Global Warming Theory that contest that the assertions have not been proven or are incorrect. is not in fact taking place, or if it is, it is due completely to natural occurances.
An interesting study can be found here

Opponents of GWT almost universally agree that :

  • IPCC draw firm conclusions unjustified by the science, especially given the acknowledged weakness of cloud physics in the climate models.
  • Using "consensus" as evidence is an appeal to the majority argument rather than scientific discussion.
  • Earth's climate has been both colder and warmer than today, and these changes are adequately explained by mechanisms that do not involve human greenhouse gas emissions.
  • There is no significant global warming relative to the expected natural trends.
  • Climate science can not make definitive predictions yet, since the computer models used to make these predictions are still evolving and do not yet take into account recently discovered feedback mechanisms.
  • Climate models will never be able to predict the future climate, until they can predict solar and volcanic activity
  • Global warming studies have errors or have not been reproduced.
  • Since carbon dioxide levels have no significant impact on global temperatures, support for the Kyoto Protocol is entirely misguided.



Then of course there are the politics. Undoubtedly much of what is being written deals with the fact that the U.S. has not signed the Kyoto treaty. After all the U.S. is the largest producer of major greenhouse gasses. Is the U.S. being environmentally naive, worse yet reckless. Or is the Kyoto treaty itself flawed and furthermore a designed threat to the U.S.?

Those views opposed to the U.S.'s position are well documented and readily available. For the benefit of my American readers, the result of such a treaty would be incredible taxes levied on the cost of gas. Imagine paying $5.00 to $6.00 per gallon. In England more then 80 percent of the cost per gallon is for gasoline taxes.

At last I will focus on what I, as well as many, have found to be some serious flaws in the Kyoto treaty. These flaws, as well as the political, media and scientific communities lack of cohesion, clear definition and clear solutions keep me from endorsing the Kyoto treaty as well.

The top 3 produces of major greenhouse gasses are, in order, the United States, China and India. The U.S. with only about 4 percent of the world's population produces about 20 percent of these gasses. The two nations of India and China combined produce more of these gasses then the U.S. Yet only the U.S. has been asked to endorse and adhere to the Kyoto treaty.

Why the exmption for China and India?

This is because the protocol only calls for developed nations to reduce these gas emissions. So a country like Australia that produces very little pollutionis forced to comply, whilst China and India, with 2.0 billion plus people and the two of the top 3 producers of pollution, can unfairly continue to produce a high rate of goods, while continuing to pollute. The economic effects on countries like the United States and Australia are devestating. Also what constitutes and 'underdeveloped' nation. China has the worlds second largest economy (in gross dollars and purchasing power) and is a nuclear power. How underdeveloped is it?

In addition to all of the theories, facts, trials and tribulations of the GWT and the Kyoto Protocol, it is not even clear what the actual benefit of such a protocol would be. As stated in this report, on page 6 of 39, if every developed country, that is excluding India and China, participated in the Kyoto agreement, at best, the world temperature would be reduced by a mere 0.1degrees celcius by 2100. Clearly a better defined, more practial solution can be thought of and implemented.

At the same time the current administration of the United States, and future administrations, must become more proactive in developing the means to understand the issue at hand. We need to focus on the health of our own planet before we invest in such heavy expenditures such as a Mars landing. While I do not support the Kyoto Protocol I DO want my government to lead the way, and not simply just invest time and energy in refuting claims made by others.










Posted by mightymerk, 3:03 PM | link | (1) comments |

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

U.N.believeable!!


Like most Governments....filled with too many elites!, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

The Oil for Food Scandal was not enough. From the L.A. Times

Didier Bourguet, 41, is facing charges of sexual abuse and rape in France. His lawyer, Claude de Boosere- Lepidi, said in court last week that there was a network of U.N. personnel who had sex with underage girls and that Bourguet had engaged in similar activity in a previous U.N. posting in the Central African Republic.


Let the explaining begin



Posted by mightymerk, 8:50 AM | link | (0) comments |

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Welcome - Wilkommen - Bienvenue - Tervetuloa


my name is mighty merk, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

A new look for the mighty blogs!!
I am no Picasso, but do you like?

Not looking for praise or bashing...I just wanted my own little feel to the blog.

Special thanks to Vector at Hydrogen and Stupidity for lending his time and html skills.

Posted by mightymerk, 7:48 AM | link | (2) comments |

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentines Day


anns-valentines, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

I am truly happy to say today, that I love someone...actually quite a few people.

According to the legend, St. Valentine was beheaded on Feb. 14, at Rome, under Claudius. The old notion was that birds began to couple on that day, and hence arose the custom of young persons of both sexes choosing each other as 'Valentines' for the ensuing year by a species of lottery, and of sending love missives to each other.

One legend runs that Claudius II, believing that single men were better soldiers, forbid young men from marriage -- a decree that Valentine flouted by continuing to marry young lovers. Another version has Valentine rescuing Christians from Roman prisons, getting caught, falling in love with the jailer's daughter, and before being executed, sending her a love letter "from your Valentine."

No matter what the actua orgination is,l I have been a better person since allowing myself to love someone, to be selfless and not be be embarassed for it. Valentines Day for me is a warm experience and one that I treasure.

Yet despite such strong and sincere feelings...I still forgot to buy a card! :(

Posted by mightymerk, 9:16 AM | link | (1) comments |

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Don't Want To Be An American Idiot!!


The Three Horsemean of...well horseshit!, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

Somehow I doubt that if there ever is a “Behind the Music” TV thingy about Green Day, and their latest chart hit American Idiot these three individuals will be cited as inspiration…but they should.

The three characters that I have been following the past two weeks and the stories behind this interest are...

Ted Kennedy:


Three days before the Iraqi election Kennedy offered a blistering speech in which he said America must give Iraq back to its people rather than continue its occupation that parallels the failed politics of the Vietnam War. A real moreal booster for the Iraqi's and our troops who I am sure were pleased to hear that they were part of the problem.

The elections took place and by all sincere observation were successful.

Bill Moyers:

Along with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, published as on op-ed the text of a speech he delivered upon receiving and environmental award from a group at Harvard Medical School. In this speech Moyers alleged that the Bush administration’s environmental policies are “based on theology” and therefore “delusional”. His general assertion is that Republicans, as Christians, care little for the environment because they believe the world is about to come to an end.

As evidence, Moyers said this about James Watt, then President Reagen’s Secretary of the Interior.

“Remember James Watt, President Ronald Reagan’s first secretary of the interior? My favorite online environmental journal, the ever-engaging Grist, reminded us recently of how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, “after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.”

Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn’t know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious.

Problem is: James Watt never said such things to congress. In fact he said the exact opposite.

Read what James Watt actually said:

“Mr. Weaver [D. Ore.]: Do you want to see on lands under your management, the sustained yield policies continued?

Secretary Watt: Absolutely.

Mr. Weaver: I am very pleased to hear that. Then I will make one final statement... I believe very strongly that we should not, for example, use up all the oil that took nature a billion years to make in one century.



We ought to leave a few drops of it for our children, their children. They are going to need it... I wonder if you agree, also, in the general statement that we should leave some of our resources--I am now talking about scenic areas or preservation, but scenic resources for our children? Not just gobble them up all at once?

Secretary Watt: Absolutely. That is the delicate balance the Secretary of the Interior must have, to be steward for the natural resources for this generation as well as future generations.

I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns, whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations.

Mr. Weaver: Mr. Chairman, I want to conclude, if I might, seeing the Secretary brought up the Lord, with a story.

The Chairman: The conversation will be in order.

Mr. Weaver: In my district, Mr. Chairman, there are some who do not like wilderness. They do not like it at all. I would try to plead with them. I go around my district and say do you not believe--I would plead with their religious sensibilities--that we should leave some of our land the way we received it from the Creator?

I have said this frequently throughout my district. I got a letter from a constituent... He said, "Mr. Weaver, if the Lord wanted to leave his forest lands, some of them in the way that we got them from Him," he said, "why did He send His only Son down to earth as a carpenter?"

(Laughter)


Mr. Weaver: That stumped us. That stumped us until one of my aides, an absolute genius, said that the Lord Jesus before He determined His true mission spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness


Moyers has since apologized and so has Grist (of sorts). Amazingly a the time of this post the Minneapolis Star Tribune has yet to offer an apology.

Ward Churchill:

I saved the worst for last. Oh how to describe Ward Churchill. An intellectually dishonest man…sometimes blatantly dishonest.

You judge for yourself. On the subject of the victims of 9/11 being targeted as innocent civilians:

“There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center . . . Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.”



You can find the full text of the speech here.

In the case of Mr. Chruchill. I do not believe this is the case of free speech. The fact is that he is teaching this nonsense to students (through tax payer money). His ‘views’ are dangerous, irresponsible and demonstrably false. Judge for yourself.

Again, I doubt these three actually have inspired any great music let alone the constituents, students and public for which they serve.

UPDATE:

The text of Ted Kennedy's speech (noted above) has now been removed from his web site. Interesting...

Posted by mightymerk, 6:52 PM | link | (3) comments |

Friday, February 04, 2005

Max Schmeling...Rest in Peace World Champion


Max Schmeling...God Bless your Soul, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

It was June 22nd, 1938. The long anticipated rematch between the Bronx Bomber Joe Louis, and Max Schmeling is to take place. The fight was portrayed by most as the battle of the Germany Aryan versus the American Negro. Schmeling was the former heavyweight champion of the world (to this day he remains the only German every to hold such a title), and Joe Louis was the up in coming star.

Louis was avenging, at the time his only loss as a professional, to Schmeling 2 years earlier. At that time Schmeling entered the fight a 10-1 underdog. He was to be easy pickings, for the then invincible Joe Louis. Schmeling won the fight by knockout in the twelfth round. Some say this was the upset of the century. For his victory, Schmeling was further cast by the Nazi propagandist (a party he refused to join) as the German Superman and a true example of Aryan superiority. For his loss Joe Louis suffered initial embarassment and stress as he carried the wait of his race and nation on his shoulders.

On this night Joe Louis won the rematch by a first round knockout in one of the most famous fights of all time. It was a lightning quick victory for Louis, who by this time was much the better fighter. The radio broadcast of the fight in Germany was cut short at the bequest of Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Joe Louis went on to become one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Max Schmeling this time carried the same weight and undue racial/national burdens as Louis did two years earlier, back home with him to Germany.

After years of disappointing Adolf Hitler by not joining the Nazi party, nor to tow the Nazi propaganda line, and because he was no longer champion, he was drafted into the German paratroopers and was sent on several suicide missions. On one mission Max was seriously injured requiring a hospital stay of several months.

After World War II, Schmeling fought five more times, finishing with a career record of 56-10-4 with 39 knockouts. From these final fights, the last of which was a loss to
Walter Neusel, Schmeling made enough money to purchase a Coca-Cola dealership. Max Schmeling is known throughout Germany as someone who was a very generous philanthropist.

Max Schmeling's life story is deeper though. Schmeling was often portrayed (quite unfairly) as being in line with Nazi ideology. Nothing could be further then the truth. Over Goebbels' personal protest, he refused to stop associating with German Jews or to fire his American Jewish manager, Joe Jacobs. At the time of Kristallnacht in November of 1938, when Nazi pogroms against Jews rose to new levels, Schmeling agreed to hide two teenage sons of a Jewish friend, David Lewin. Schmeling then helped them flee Germany to safety and they subsequently came to the United States. This is so little known because it was not until 1989, when one of the brothers, Henry, who had becme a prominent hotel owner, invited Schmeling to Las Vegas to thank him for saving his life.

Max Schmeling also had a quality especially rare amongst those in a pugilistic sport such as boxing and that was of tremendous compassion and camaraderie that he had with most of his ring oponents, including Joe Louis in his later down-and-out years (for whom he gave regular gifts and money to). This generosity continued after Joe Louis' death as Schmeling helped pay for the funeral. During the 1936 Olympics in Germany, Schmelling also exacted a promise from Hitler that all U.S. athletes (including the black and Jewish athletes) would be well protected.

Max Schmeling was also a devoted husband to his wife of 54 years, Anny Ondra. The Czech born Ondra was also a point of contention with leading Nazis and they considered it yet another blemish against his character. Ms. Ondra died in 1987.

Understandably Max Schmeling is best known for his two fights against Joe Louis. I suggest that on equal footing Max Schmeling be remembered for the class act he was as an athlete, German citizen, and human being. It would be overly gratuitous to offer the title of "Greatest Fighter", but I certainly believe a strong case for "Greatest Heart" could be justified.

Max Schmeling dead at the age of 99. February 4th, 2005. Rest in Peace.

Posted by mightymerk, 7:15 PM | link | (4) comments |

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Black History Month in the U.S.


Flag by Rick Wyatt, 3 December 2001, originally uploaded by mightymerk.

Today was the first day of Black History Month.

Black History Month has been observed every February since 1976. Prior to this, Negro History Week was being observed the second week of February since 1926. Contrary to popular myth, the month of February was chosen not because it was the shortest month, but because it was the birth month of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and writer Langston Hughes. The NAACP was also founded in February. The founder of Negro History Week was Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Dr. Woodson’s ideas was that Negro History Week would be a source of pride for blacks, and an eventual sources of understanding and respect between the races.

Dr. Woodson said it best:

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from teaching of biography and history.”

While I am many years beyond my formal educational days, what became clear to me year after year is that along with the continual struggle blacks had in America, they were no short of contributions. Not just to improving race relations, but America itself.


Posted by mightymerk, 6:22 PM | link | (0) comments |