Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In the hot seat with Possum .

This will be the first time that many of you will meet Possum. Possum is brilliant and articulate and has one of the best blogs that I read regularly. Possum is knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects so this promises to be interesting.

Energy and the environment

1 What are your views on nuclear energy ? I toured Indian Point in New York and trying to explain the myths and facts to hysterical anti nuclear activists is frustrating.
2 Can you explain the threat of invasive or alien species to our readers ? In my hometown Staten Island NY released pet turtles Red Ear Sliders have become established. We were told that that species can not survive the cold winters or hibernate. Apparently, someone forgot to tell the turtles. I have not seen the local species of Easern Painted turtle for years. This particular species has even been found in Europe and Pacific Islands. The Sea Lamprey created a mess in nearby Lake Champlain.
3 Is nature more adaptable then we presume ? The Coyote is spreading Eastward and is certainly in Vermont and has been found in NYC. I was surprised to see Cormorants alomg the Lamoile River at least 20 miles from Lake Champlain.
4 Some scientists are concerned about the lack of biodiversity in agricultural products and to a lesser extent domesticated animals. Should we be concerned about agricultual homgeniety of crops and farm animals ?
5 What are some of the animal species you enjoy watching in the local woods nearby. I recently was surprised by a fisher a type of huge
weasel on the way home from work.
6 Are you for or against the reintroduction of animals to their historical habitat. There has been some talk of reintoducing wolves to Vermont. I would rather see Mountain Lions or Wolverines return to their former range in VT.

Europe and the far left

7 Is there a Europhile undercurrent among the far left ? There is an assumption on the far left that Sweedes are more enlightened then Americans. This is odd coming from the same bunch that are constantly invoking multiculturalism .
8 Is there anticapitalist undercurrents in the Peace protests in Europe and America ?
9 Some members of the far left are prone to wild conspiracy theories. We have a lunatic John Brown who believes that there was a huge conspiracy on 9-11 and the CIA assasinated Daniel Pearl. I am wondering if his next conspiracy will have Leon Klinghoffer pushing his own wheel chair off the Achille Lauro to make Palestinians look bad. Have you noticed a plethora of conspiracy cranks on the far left ?
What is the most bizzare conspiracy you have heard in your travels ?
10 There is an odd airbrushing of Islmamic societies and history amongst the far left. The most extreeme example of this insanity is 167 who calls the United States and Israel " deeply homophobic socities" and then praises the same Saudi and Iranian justice systems that execute homosexuals. Has the left forgotten or airbrushed the history of Islam and forgotten Colonialism, Jim Crowe, Ethnocide, Slavery and sometimes genocide have been widely practiced in Islamic history long before the United States was even a country ?
11 Does the environmental movemental have Utopian and totalitarian undercurrents ?
Was the preindustrial world an actual Eden or are the environmentalists imagining a paradise that never was.

Women and blogging

12 The media seems to think that womens issues mean abortion and daycare. I do not see those themes on the many wonderful female authored blogs I read daily. Are issues
like the economy and national security everyone's concern ?
13 I do notice that female coservatives get some really nastry trolls. My friend Pam of Atlas Shrugged gets some extreemly malicious types. What has been your experience with trolls.
14 I am an advocate of free speech but I will not hesitate to delette comments with ethnic slurs and a plethora of profanity. I also delette the posts of a serial predator from Coalinga CA who posts under about 100 aliases. What are your views on freedom of speech and the blogospere ?

Fun

15 Do you go on nature walks or trips into the countryside to enjoy the landscape ?
I can not put my finger on it but rivers and waterfalls are favorites of mine.
16 Do you follow any professional sports ?
17 Who is the most annoying celebrity ? Barbara Striesand is a distant realative and drives me up a wall . I will leave a room rather then listen to her music.
18 What type of music do you listen to ?

Taxes

19 What are your views on energy taxes ? Should bridge and toll revenues be used to subsidize public transportation ?
20 What are your views of tobacco and alcohol taxes ?
21 Should all funding for NPR be eliminated ? I am sure the Duck will have a long explanation for why my tax money should be used to put Mummia Jammal's warped views on the air .

Random

22 Do you have any houseplants or pets in your home ?
23 If you were going out to eat would you prefer a theme resturant like The Hard Rock Cafe or a local diner ?
24 Do you enjoy watching weather ? My friend Northwind seems to find it odd that I enjoy watching thunderstorms across Lake Champlain.
25 Are clumsy people loveable ?

24 comments:

the merry widow said...

Interesting mix of questions, I'm looking forward to "meeting" Possum this way. BTW, here in Fla. possums are a real stinky pain! They also get into the citrus and eat it off the trees. Hope Possum doesn't have a possum temperment!(Kidding!)

Good morning and G*D bless!

tmw

beakerkin said...

TMW I am a huge fan of Possums blend of interesting content and well written posts. There are many high quality blogs that many of us should visit. The Solid Surfer is very interesting and he hasn't beat me up for calling him the silver surfer. Freedom Now is an amazing blog that has excellent posts and is Malard Free.

Tommorows guest She Designs will be an interesting mix of Art, Fashion and Eithiopia. Now if only we could get Jason Pappas to sit for an interview. I am surprised John Brown and 167 haven't asked for a segment. The Weasel was offered an interview and he said no.

Always On Watch said...

I'll be back to read Possum's answers.

the merry widow said...

Beaker- Usually hit FN's blog once a day. Solid Surfer I haven't hit but once, there are to many that use Word verification and my pc doesn't read it real well. Besides I'm still homeschooling so I have to concentrate my efforts to those I can participate on! I'm going for quality and answerability! I do hoverrounds when I can!

tmw

nanc said...

weazl opened his heart and shared a story he wrote complete with NO punctuation and a.c. had the best comment of all.

i wish weazl would do a hotseat interview.

there has hardly been a day since mbc booted us that i do not go to fern's - and yes, beak - you are right - his is one of the best! he has a quality that is all his own - like bargholz. if they didn't put a byline, you'd just know who the author was as they have a quality all their own.

and then there's the incomparable beamish...

madzionist...

orangeducks...

you...

surfer does have a high quality blog that should be read once a week if not daily.

and not to forget kyle!

wish tazz would get a blog.

i'm so pleased to see that you all have done so well with your blogs. i feel like a mother hen!

whatever happened to the "where are they now" suggestion?

Brooke said...

I've never heard of Possum... I can't wait to read about him(?).

Brooke said...

BTW, I turned off my word verification; I had to turn it on for awhile to get rid of spam.

the merry widow said...

Brooke- Thanks, went over and commented, good posts!

tmw

John Brown said...

I believe I said that Pearl was killed by alCIAda, not the CIA, didn't I?

Mr. Ducky said...

John Brown, would you please change the background color of your blog.

The contrast with some of the text is poor and I don't want to miss a word. I'm sure there's going to be a quiz at the next self criticism circle.

nanc said...

is this critter playing possum? oops, almost forgot they're nocturnal. my terrible, please forgive me.

MissingLink said...

No Possum yet.
Tassie'll wait

Always On Watch said...

Where's Possum?

Possum said...

Just finished editing a book, so I'm on a roll. Working on it now. Will post soon.

beakerkin said...

Ducky

I hate helping out Commie Clowns but I will handle the criticism of John Brown. Commie sessions waste far too much time.

Brown, you are an ignoramus.

Brooke Possum is a woman who is brilliant and articulate. This will be an excellent interview.

Possum said...

Boy, I can get away with words. Have at it...

1 What are your views on nuclear energy ? I toured Indian Point in New York and trying to explain the myths and facts to hysterical anti nuclear activists is frustrating.

The only remaining problem with nuclear energy is long-term disposal of the radioactive wastes -- economically. Nonetheless, we know how to store them temporarily for a good long time to come (hundreds of years), safely. Long before their containers break down, we will have found economical ways to convert the radioactive wastes to harmless material economically. Probably via a similar process of converting one element/isotope to another. That is why I am in favor of nuclear energy. It is CLEAN, in virtually endless supply, and can provide a HUGE amount of our need. Cheap home heating again! That doesn't mean much to people living on the coasts of the warm oceans, but it does to people living out here in America's "Siberia." France uses nuclear energy - no Chernobyl despite the sorry state of the French government. The Soviets were cheap and cut corners, so they are no example. Look what they did to the environments of Eastern European countries? The former Czechoslovakia looked like a war zone when the Berlin Wall fell. There's no reason to fear anything like that happening here, so long as the industry, the consumers, and the government all have a strong voice in regulation.

2 Can you explain the threat of invasive or alien species to our readers ? In my hometown Staten Island NY released pet turtles Red Ear Sliders have become established. We were told that that species can not survive the cold winters or hibernate. Apparently, someone forgot to tell the turtles. I have not seen the local species of Easern Painted turtle for years. This particular species has even been found in Europe and Pacific Islands. The Sea Lamprey created a mess in nearby Lake Champlain.

In every biological system a balance establishes itself among species competing for the wherewithal to survive. When you bring in an alien species, it often has no natural enemies or strong competition in its new home, so its population explodes with disastrous results. They either overprey on other species or gobble up all the food, starving other species out. In some environments, they can become so crowded they poison the environment with their wastes.

Carp are such a species. They originated in Europe, where their numbers are healthy and they are prized as good fish to eat. But since being introduced here in the New World, they have become a pest. Here they just take over an aquatic habitat.

Interesting about those turtles. I used to live on the Mississippi River. Every so often a dangerous reptile would hitch a ride to Wisconsin or Minnesota on a barge. You'd be surprised what some alligators or water moccasins can survive! Reptiles are a vast group, some of which have good ability to maintain body temperature (are almost warm-blooded and able to survive the winter without holing up in estivation). The Lamprey has caused devastation throughout the Great Lakes.

We cannot stop all such invasions, especially of microorganisms and insects. Invasions do occur naturally as well. The problem is just that human transportation allows so much of it. We must try to slow or prevent it as much as we can. I dread to think what would happen if wild mammals were let lose in Australia. Many of those exquisite marsupial species would disappear. They just wouldn't be able to compete.

3 Is nature more adaptable then we presume ? The Coyote is spreading Eastward and is certainly in Vermont and has been found in NYC. I was surprised to see Cormorants alomg the Lamoile River at least 20 miles from Lake Champlain.

Yes, I think so, because nature keeps surprising us just this way. A healthy species has a remarkable ability to adapt. After millions of years, its gene pool naturally loses diversity. Then nothing can keep it from becoming extinct. We have also found that nature cleanses itself of pollution faster than we ever dreamed possible, as well.

4 Some scientists are concerned about the lack of biodiversity in agricultural products and to a lesser extent domesticated animals. Should we be concerned about agricultual homgeniety of crops and farm animals ?

I suppose that could be a concern, if some disease came along that could wipe them all out. But since we breed and medically treat these species, they don't need anywhere near the biodiversity that a naturally evolved species does. They needn't adapt, because we adapt and vaccinate them.

5 What are some of the animal species you enjoy watching in the local woods nearby. I recently was surprised by a fisher a type of huge weasel on the way home from work.

An opossum, a woodchuck, many birds, and an occasional white-tailed deer. (I live in town, so that indicates how many deer there are around here.)

6 Are you for or against the reintroduction of animals to their historical habitat. There has been some talk of reintoducing wolves to Vermont. I would rather see Mountain Lions or Wolverines return to their former range in VT.

Sometimes people go too far with that. When Canadians must live in fear of a polar walking down Main Street and eating their child, that's going too far. When I lived beneath the bluffs of the Mississippi River, we lived with the risk of rattlesnakes. We didn't mind, we knew they were there. But wolves? They can be pretty dangerous in packs. It really depends on species and the area - whether it is wilderness or partially forested farmland.-- and how much conflict there will be between humans and these animals. Reasonable people should be able to agree in case. But, on the one hand you get unreasonable people afraid of their own shadow and on the other hand you get unreasonable people who won't face facts about big predators and don't care what their ideology takes away from somebody else's quality of life.

7 Is there a Europhile undercurrent among the far left ? There is an assumption on the far left that Sweedes are more enlightened then Americans. This is odd coming from the same bunch that are constantly invoking multiculturalism .

Yes, yes, and yes. You can sense that our far left, concentrated on the coasts, thinks of themselves as better than the rest of us hicks, as more "European." It's nothing but elitism. Superiority by association. I think European anti-Americanism just makes it worse. Many of these Americans try to distance themselves from the rest of us hicks so as to please snobby Europeans by agreeing that, yes, Americans are stupid hicks-their enlightened selves excluded of course. What a betrayal. Yuck.

8 Is there anticapitalist undercurrents in the Peace protests in Europe and America ?

Yes, absolutely. That's what's at the bottom of it. Over time I've learned that this is what fuels activism/anti-Americanism. The European Left is desperately clinging to power as European society becomes more alarmed at what socialism is doing to their economy. The European Left, the political class, instigates and inspires anti-Americanism/anti-capitalism/anti-globalism to say (in so many words): "Look what 'savage' capitalism makes of a nation! We don't want to become like those SAVAGES, do we? Vote socialist again."

Indeed, they speak of Americans in exactly the same terms their forbears came here and used to speak of Native Americans!

And this purely political manipulative message is so self flattering that the European masses gobble it up. It's a real sorry state of affairs.

9 Some members of the far left are prone to wild conspiracy theories. We have a lunatic John Brown who believes that there was a huge conspiracy on 9-11 and the CIA assasinated Daniel Pearl. I am wondering if his next conspiracy will have Leon Klinghoffer pushing his own wheel chair off the Achille Lauro to make Palestinians look bad. Have you noticed a plethora of conspiracy cranks on the far left ?

Yes. They're so shameless by now that what they're up to is so thin there's nothing to see through anymore. Just like a fiction writer, they figure out a plot that makes it America whodunit. No matter how crazy that plot must be! The Inquisition invented the Conspiracy Theory I think. One of its heads, an archbishop or cardinal whose name I forget, wrote that people are quicker to believe the unbelievable than the obvious. He said a mouthful. The Inquisition used the most laughable conspiracy theories to start, for example, the Spanish Inquisition, which began as persecution/looting of Jews and spread to Muslims and Protestants and so on.

The beauty of it is that - where's the conspiracy? The conspirators are those pointing and gasping at somebody ELSE as the conspirators. That's the oldest trick in the Book.

The most bizarre one I heard (although the 9/11 conspiracy theories run a close second) was the one that started the Spanish Inquisition. The story was that Jews were conspiring to take over the world (you know, like Hitler then said and like the Protocols of Zion then said, and like Islamists still say and so on forever). They were supposed to be practicing human sacrifice of Christian children. (you know, like the Islamists still say) Proof? They captured some Jews and tortured confessions out of them.

And everybody dummied up to this joke that insulted their intelligence.

When they found no Christian child's body in the place the criminals said it should be, the Church called that proof that the child had been bodily assumed into Heaven like the Blessed Virgin Mary.

And everybody went "Yup, yup, yup" and sucked it up.

It took them 500 years then to get rid of the Spanish Inquisition.

Frankly one wonders if they didn't deserve it for buying a conspiracy theory that was such an in-your-face joke as that.

10 There is an odd airbrushing of Islmamic societies and history amongst the far left. The most extreeme example of this insanity is 167 who calls the United States and Israel " deeply homophobic socities" and then praises the same Saudi and Iranian justice systems that execute homosexuals. Has the left forgotten or airbrushed the history of Islam and forgotten Colonialism, Jim Crowe, Ethnocide, Slavery and sometimes genocide have been widely practiced in Islamic history long before the United States was even a country ?

Yes, the left has one eye and one ear. It black-holes anything it wants to unknow. What's unusual is that they have gotten so shameless about it. They don't even try to hide it anymore. That is a very bad sign. Pathological.

11 Does the environmental movemental have Utopian and totalitarian undercurrents ? Was the preindustrial world an actual Eden or are the environmentalists imagining a paradise that never was.

I had come to suspect this, unbelievable as it seems, when I became convinced by remarks of Czech president Klaus to that effect. In fact, the ideology of the left has invaded and co-opted just about every form of activism. How? I don't know. I do know that Soviets were actively engaged all such kinds of infiltration and subversion. I also know that the intelligentsia is intolerant and enforces conformity - then these people run the media, governments, educational institutions, and so on, so their voice is very loud.

They are patronizing. They think they know better than we do what's good for us. They think to perfect (socially engineer) our society into a governmental and social utopia. They would treat us like children, becoming a new noble class. This has already largely come to pass in parts of Europe.

I doubt environmentalists think that far ahead. They need to be people who stop short of thinking one step further when the next thought will challenge their cherished myth. Of course, if they had their way, we'd go back to a pre-industrial world. How humanitarian for the four billion who would then have to starve, because that world can't support the population this one does. No, I doubt they think one step ahead.

12 The media seems to think that womens issues mean abortion and daycare. I do not see those themes on the many wonderful female authored blogs I read daily. Are issues like the economy and national security everyone's concern ?

Yup. They affect many more women than those other issues do.

13 I do notice that female coservatives get some really nastry trolls. My friend Pam of Atlas Shrugged gets some extreemly malicious types. What has been your experience with trolls.

I'm actually liberal, though that's easy to forget because I principally take on the far left. I don't get trolls, because I won't publish anti-American lies. (Why should I help spread them?) Disagreement is fine, but just hurling a load of manure at America gets deleted because I haven't time to correct it all and argue. But I do occasionally get harassed. A few leftists have tried to intimidate me into silence.

14 I am an advocate of free speech but I will not hesitate to delette comments with ethnic slurs and a plethora of profanity. I also delette the posts of a serial predator from Coalinga CA who posts under about 100 aliases. What are your views on freedom of speech and the blogospere ?

My blog is my blog. It's my bandwidth. I'm the publisher. Freedom of speech is also the right to NOT say what you don't want to say. (Refuse to take an oath in a courtroom and see how nervous everybody gets - that's you're right.) So, I don't have to publish anything I don't want to.

I too hate ethnic slurs. Though I have spoken out against radical Islam, I have refused to publish offensive "story" texts about Mohammed posted by would-be commenters on my blog. That may seem strange, since I published the infamous cartoons. But there I was standing up against intimidation to stifle free speech. That doesn't mean I get off on insulting anyone's race or religion or think that it's right to do so. Besides, those cartoons were nothing to get upset about, but some other stuff I've seen would make any Muslim angry. Insulting people isn't a good deed.

On my NPD blog, I am especially careful to make sure no predator posts a comment. Not on my bandwidth! I want it to be a safe place for people.

15 Do you go on nature walks or trips into the countryside to enjoy the landscape ? I can not put my finger on it but rivers and waterfalls are favorites of mine.

Yes, I live in a town with plenty nearby. Sometimes we bicycle. Sometimes we hike. And sometimes I just walk a trail with my dog.

16 Do you follow any professional sports ? Tennis mainly. And football.

17 Who is the most annoying celebrity ? Barbara Striesand is a distant realative and drives me up a wall . I will leave a room rather then listen to her music.

That's hard to say. She's a pretty good candidate though.

18 What type of music do you listen to ? All types. I really like them all. My favorites are Mozart, U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon.

19 What are your views on energy taxes ? Should bridge and toll revenues be used to subsidize public transportation ? 20 What are your views of tobacco and alcohol taxes ? 21 Should all funding for NPR be eliminated ? I am sure the Duck will have a long explanation for why my tax money should be used to put Mummia Jammal's warped views on the air .

I have no strong views on that except that the "sin" taxes are abusively high. Big Brother should get off his moral high horse.

22 Do you have any houseplants or pets in your home ?

The greatest Cairn Terrier in the world, and he will tell you so himself.

23 If you were going out to eat would you prefer a theme resturant like The Hard Rock Cafe or a local diner ? Hmmm.

24 Do you enjoy watching weather ? My friend Northwind seems to find it odd that I enjoy watching thunderstorms across Lake Champlain.

Yes, call me crazy, but I love watching storm clouds. I have always wanted to see a funnel cloud. (Not so much fun when you're in a canoe on the Mississippi River though!)

25 Are clumsy people loveable ? Why wouldn't they be?

nanc said...

well worth the wait. honestly, now i may have another blog to visit!

and thank you for your answer to lovable clumsy people.

and for the statement regarding it being your blog and being able to take the refuse out if you feel like it. brownie's not going to like you. perhaps you'll get an honorable mention on his klanwatch!

MissingLink said...

Possum,
I too hate ethnic slurs. Though I have spoken out against radical Islam, I have refused to publish offensive "story" texts about Mohammed posted by would-be commenters on my blog.

Do you equal anti-Islamic with anti-ethnic or is it just the way it came out?

What would you consider "offensive" when criticizing Islam/Muhammad?

nanc said...

good question, linkster.

Possum said...

missinglink,

What I had in mind was a take-off on Mohammed's story somebody submitted as a comment. Really nasty. It's one thing to raise reasonable arguments against a religion or to report facts and quite another just to throw mud at it. People have a right to, but that doesn't make it right.

That isn't really "ethnic". I just got off the topic a little.

MissingLink said...

Fair enough Possum.
Just wanted to clarify those two things?

Great interview.

beakerkin said...

This was an amazing interview. A third anti far left liberal is a relevation.

I am from the old school people like John Brown are nuts and kooks.
People like Ducky are apologists for a system advocating death and mayhem. There can be no cooperation or accomodation of evil
even when they agree. Working with a communist on a goal taints your cause, so off with the Marxists.

the merry widow said...

Enjoyable interview, both of you! Beaker- The kind of left you and Possom represent is the loyal, thoughtful, nonparanoid American patriots. Thank you for showing that they still exist! May your tribe increase!

tmw
Good morning and G*D bless!

Possum said...

You should check out the Euston Manifesto. It was started mainly by some leftist Brits who feel the same way. I think conservatives aren't as apt to realize the serious danger. The way the far left is behaving, and the bullying sway it's beginning to have, could destroy the Democratic Party and the left. No one but these loud extremists would belong to it. We'd end up with essentially a one-party system. If any one party gets that much power...well, let's just say that the result wouldn't be good for anybody. Our democracy needs a healthy tension between the conflicting interests of a moderate and reasonable left and right. I think that's a huge reason why (worried) liberals are beginning to speak out against this insanity on the left.