After a visit to the ER at hospital, I find that my medical issues are not quite as severe as I was thinking. Apparently, living in Phoenix in the middle of summer with fans only, no Swamp Cooler nor AC, is more physically stressful than I was quite ready for. My irregular habits don’t help.

Be that as it may, my efforts to maintain this blog with output from my Knowledge Base project are not going well. It’s about as inspiring as watching paint dry, or a tree grow: There just isn’t enough going on at any given time. If I want this blog to be successful, to be something worth reading, something to attract more attention and commentary, I need a little more fizz and pop.

So, in addition to occasional updates on the knowledge Base project, I’m going to back to the beginning of when I started blogging almost 20 years ago and write more about my semi-intellectual meanderings, hopefully on a daily basis. Even if it’s only a few paragraphs.

I became distinctly unhappy with the state of LDS Blogging, the so-called Bloggernacle, when I found so many sites critical of LDS members, teachings, and leadership. The scriptural injunctions are to “Seek learning by study and also by faith”. It seems that the faith is sadly lacking on the most active and popular sites. The aggregator I follow most,, is not really active enough for me, so I find myself with an interest in finding more.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is quoted here as saying:

Our quest for truth should be as broad as our life’s activities and as deep as our circumstances permit. A learned Latter-day Saint should seek to understand the important religious, physical, social, and political problems of the day. The more knowledge we have of heavenly laws and earthly things, the greater influence we can exert for good on those around us and the safer we will be from scurrilous and evil influences that may confuse and destroy us.” (Elder Oaks was the President of BYU during the year I attended there, so I have always had a special appreciation for him).

I have personally been gifted with a desire to read, study and learn. Should I hoard this to myself and not share what I have learned? I think not, and I suppose that it is about past time I opened up and started sharing.

I follow a few political blogs, chiefly accordingtoHoyt, Instapundit, and the Other McCain, fairly regularly, and every so I am prompted to make comments. I think I am going to collect some of those and post extended versions here.

As LDS, it is claimed “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” In a world where major publishers are producing a stream of filth, perhaps if I find good literature, then perhaps I should help promote it. I’m chary of leaving reviews on Amazon, but maybe a little bit of practice here wouldn’t hurt me.

The first of today’s historical/political rants was was inspired by a comment on this post on the Other McCain:

From time to time, there are those who take their inspiration for resistance to an increasingly corrupt and tyrannical Federal government from the Confederate States of America during the US Civil war, also sometimes called the failed Southern War of Independence. Although it was claimed, both then and now, that this harked back to the ideals of the America Revolution, there are some stark differences. For one, what precipitated the secession was the election of Lincoln, who was known for his anti-slavery views and his opinion that the nation could not permanently remain half-slave and half free. Lincoln’s perception was astute. The very existence of free states was a constant irritation to slaveholders as it encouraged runaways and rebellions, whether these were actively supported by abolitionists or not. Although it was claimed that the secession was a matter of “States Rights”, but far the most important of these was the right to treat other human beings as livestock. For one, the Federal government was imposing restrictions on the expansion of slavery into the territories, preventing the slave states to gain an upper hand in Congress, and for another, it was failing to sufficiently enforce the Fugitive Slave clause of the Constitution and shut down the Underground Railroad. The election of a chief executive who clearly thought slavery was a deplorable evil was, to southern fire eaters, an intolerable outrage.

No sooner had the Confederate states formed a government than they began seeking foreign support, particularly from Great Britain, in full confidence that their control of the supply of Cotton would force Britain to ally with them. Unfortunately for their cause, cotton was also available from Egypt and India, which were under control of the British empire, and British industry hardly noticed the switch in supply. Also unfortunately, the cause of defending slavery was significantly less popular on the international stage than it was at home. The British were already active in attempting to shut down the international slave trade. The Southerners attempted to manufacture other pretexts for rebellion, but these were decidedly secondary and largely dismissed.

Although diehard sympathizers of the Lost Cause have continued to maintain that the War Between the States was NOT mostly about slavery, it was in any case far too much a factor to be discounted. The “Freedom for me but not for thee” attitude of southern slaveowners forever taints their claim to be the true heirs of the Jeffersonian ideal that “All men are created equal” or champions of liberty and justice for all.

The second was prompted by the struggles of Texas with Green Energy.

“Dammit, Jim, I’m an engineer, not a politician. The laws of physics and chemistry are intractable stubborn things and you can’t buy them off with flowers, flattery, and promises.

Energy is hard to store unless it comes in the form of fuel and power is next to impossible. As lovely as it would be to have everything powered by the wind, sun, and rain, they come at the most damn-all inconvenient times and places, and usually either too much or too little for what you need. And I can’t wave my magic wand and snap my fingers and have conversion and transfer facilities that you don’t need until you must have them spring into being. They cost money to build. Wheedling that out of suspicious taxpayers and assorted other entities is not in my skill set”.

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