Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Sanity Has A Friend In Germany

Not a very long post about a speech in the German Bundestag. Certainly worth reading. 

The Biden administration stands for a woke, globalist ideology that has as little to do with original American values as the left-green ideology in Germany.

The United States of the Clintons and Epstein's, of Soros, Biden and Zuckerberg, is not our friend.

Going all in protecting Ukraine's borders while not protecting our own southern border as 100K+ people die of drug OD each year. is not sane. 

For comparison, total gun deaths by murder (suicide/accidental excluded) was 19,384 in 2020 (last year reported). Let's focus on guns! Making drugs illegal has certainly been effective! 

Meanwhile, Russia, China, Iran and North Korea work together on how to give the US bully with an Alzheimer's victim "in charge", a solid kick in the groin while we are focused on what a woman is, prosecuting an ex president for a "crime" that is outside the statute of limitations (if a "crime" at all), and whether it was a man or a woman that shot up a Christian School killing 6 including 3 children. 

Our elites are at least certain it was NOT a "hate crime" ... blacks, trans, and Democrats are incapable of hate! You can tell that by how civilly they treat people that disagree with their views. 

Getting involved in foreign wars since we achieved a "draw" in Korea has been so successful, why not go for more! Never mind Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, and of course Afghanistan, where our bug out made our ignominious exit from Vietnam look almost "triumphant" by comparison. 

Even a marginal sense of reality in the US would be very refreshing, and may even prevent likely war. 

Nothing encourages violence against a nation like weakness, especially when that nation has been an arrogant global bully for 80 years, 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Coddling Of the American Mind

I linked to a review rather than the book this time. I L O V E D the book! I consider it the 2nd important book of the year after "Suicide of the West" both are critical ... if you are more left / academic, read this one, otherwise Suicide if you can only do one, BUT, you kinda owe it to yourself to read them both!

They coin the term "safetyism" and they use the well known peanut allergy example. To oversimplify, it young kids get peanut exposure when infants, SOME (a small number) will have a reaction that is concerning but not life threatening. HOWEVER, by being "safe", we have RADICALLY increased the number of children with very serious peanut allergies , so a LARGER number is exposed to severe reactions up to and including death. By "trying to be safe" we create a larger problem.

This is one of the problems of mans greater ability to "take action" -- preventing forest fires is similar. We prevent them for a long time, and then when one breaks out, it is catastophic. Many of the plants in certain ecosystems REQUIRE regular fire in order for their seeds to germinate!

There is quite a long list of these sorts of issues ... the book "The Black Swan" and "Unfragile" are referenced in "coddling", and cover these issues in more detail.

For the really politically ideological, on page 216 the authors find it necessary to testify that "neither of us has ever voted for a Republican for congress or the presidency"! Essentially, one author is an avowed centrist, the other identifies as "left" -- a "centrist" in current woke America  academia is a rare thing all on its own! What they want to have is NOT a "political book" -- their purpose is the save the university along with a few young lives from depression, anxiety, addiction and suicide.

I STRONGLY recommend this book! In summary, it's points that resonated with me are:

  1. We are greatly harming our young by preventing them from learning through normal youthful errors and social development through "free play". We don't know if this is even "recoverable" -- we strongly need to get kids out playing with each other and away from the screens! 
  2. The universities are teaching three great untruths ... 
    1. That which does not kill you makes you weaker 
    2. trust your feelings. 
    3. Life is a battle between good people and evil people. The picture below shows a nice chart from page 263 with these untruths and the proper ancient wisdom to answer them. 
  3. Chapter 2 is devoted to how the great untruths lead to living life via "emotional reasoning" -- I feel anxious, therefore something must be happening "out there" that justifies my anxiety! (Always trust your feelings). This is what is known in psychology as a "cognitive distortion", and the very successful treatment approach of "Cognitive Behavioural Therapy" has been devoted to rooting out these thinking errors 
  4. If we are to have a prayer of recovery, nearly ALL of our universities need to sign up for something like "The Chicago Statement"  the FOUNDATION of a university is free expression, civil dialogue, ability to air ALL points of view, ESPECAILLY those that are not popular and even abhorrent to groups of people. Words ARE NOT violence! We need to get over that great untruth! 

There is no doing a book like this justice in a short blog post. READ IT! If you really can’t, this Atlantic article gives the jist. The following picture is a great summary of a core of the book.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Religion and Politics

 The Righteous Mind, highly recommended!

Read and blogged on in 2012, but some recent reading caused me to move it forward to this blog. 

For people with a conservative bent, a lot of this book will be "didn't everyone know this already"? But for folks of the liberal bent -- like Haidt, although his research for this book migrated him to what he sees as "moderate", it will be something of a struggle.

Sadly, I'm sure that Haidt is due to discover that his observations about human nature may be hyper proven as the liberal establishment punishes him for his heresy of using actual science to point out some fairly obvious things about human nature that would seem to indicate that conservatives are not exclusively just "stupid and evil".

First, we are not rational beings, we are RATIONALIZING beings. The book carries on  the excellent rider/elephant analogy from "The Happiness Hypothesis" and builds off it. The Rider is best seen as the Press Secretary for the elephant -- the elephant does something or "leans" in some direction and the rider dutifully develops a case for the elephant. Humans developed into "hive creatures" (like bees) that could specialize labor and cooperate without all having to be related. Morality is the "wetware" that we use to create and enforce the rules to do that -- our "rider" (consciousness) was created so that our "elephants" (subconscious) could operate this way.

The Six Moral Senses:
  1. Care/Harm
  2. Liberty/Oppression
  3. Fairness/Cheating
  4. Loyalty/Betrayal
  5. Authority/Subversion
  6. Sanctity/Degradation
Liberals tend to be very heavily focused on #1 ... although interestingly, conservatives seem to "care" almost as much, they just don't "care" to the exclusion of all other moral senses. On #2, liberals and libertarians are somewhat close -- although liberals see corporate power as much worse and "oppressive" than government power, which they have a hard time even equating with oppression.

On #3, liberals think of "equality" and completely forget about proportionality -- or Karma. One of the huge problems in cooperation is the "free rider problem". Haidt covers this and why it is impossible to have cooperation without "punishment" (sanctions) against free riders.

Liberals are nearly blind (or claim to be) on 4,5 and 6. It turns out that when tested, the "moral modules" for even Sanctity are there and working in the liberal brain just fine -- they just don't want to admit it because in their view it seems "less enlightened" to admit that degrading things are degrading.

I believe that this book is an EXCELLENT base to at least attempt to open some lines of communication between liberals and conservatives, but I suspect that Haidt is in for a shock -- maybe somewhat equivalent to the shock that Edward O Wilson wrote "Sociobiology" back in the '70s.

The "divine faith" of liberals is that there is no God and man is an infinitely malleable blank slate. While proving that there is no god (or that there is) is not going to happen, it is scientifically known that man is NOT a blank slate, and at least in the "next few millennia" not likely to be improved upon much. Wilson was trashed for stating the basic outline of what a "human nature" was likely to be, now here comes Haidt with some fairly solid research showing what it actually is.

As Wilson outlined in "Consilience", the more science moves forward, the more we begin to see the fact of an intricate and complex human that is no less difficult to mold to our desires than ecologists are realizing the ecology of the planet is. We are each little ecosystems honed by selection (or created by God) to interact within the the planetary and social constructs that we are born with and into.

Reality has never been very much of interest to the Progressive Project -- now about 100 years in, with all of the progressive nations facing economic demise, even the social sciences start to point out that reality is not in line with the progressive vision. My guess is that the response is not likely to be very reasoned, but rather very emotional.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Funding Viral Warfare 

For SOME??? Reason, we are still funding "Gain Of Function Research", the kind of reasearch that nearly certainly gave us Covid19. 

At the heart of such research lies an idea that can be difficult to understand: danger is not an incidental byproduct of the research; it is central to it. “The nature of this work is to start with a potential pandemic pathogen and enhance either its ability to transmit or its ability to cause disease,” says Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers who has been a vocal opponent of gain-of-function research. “These are pathogens that are not present in nature, not circulating in nature, not circulating in humans or in livestock, in crops or even in the wild. These are pathogens that might not come to exist in years, decades, centuries or millennia, but which are brought into existence through laboratory manipulation.”

This notion — creating viruses that can cause a pandemic in order to study how they behave — is easy to miss because there is no scientific equivalent, even in weapons research. Ebright, also a member of Biosafety Now, characterizes this laboratory risk as “existential, extinction-level risk.”

And much of it is, of course, funded by taxpayer dollars; even today, there is still almost no congressional oversight into what kind of virological experimentation is being done, or how it’s funded.

So we are funding, allowing research to continue even in populated areas, and the crazy train is still running! At least there are some probably useless attempts to stop it.  

The pandemic changed that calculus, upsetting the status quo in ways that even loyalists find difficult to resist. In Congress, this has translated into a wave of oversight that the biodefense sector has never before encountered. In 2021, Iowa senator Joni Ernst introduced the Fairness and Accountability in Underwriting Chinese Institutions (FAUCI) Act that would ban gain-of-function research funding. Jim Comer, now chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have used their powers to bring new information to light, including with calls for testimony. And Florida senator Marco Rubio last year called for Harvard to clarify its involvement with Fauci and the Chinese real estate firm Evergrande (in response to my reporting for The Spectator).

One of our Iowa senators has at least attempted to keep us from paying for "existential, extinction level risk".  Thanks Joni! If there are two choices for human extinction in the next 100 years; 1. Climate Change 2. Release of a "global" killer enhanced virus, I think #2 is an easy bet.  

So WHY???? 

What’s clear, however, is that the political impetus remains squarely on one side of the aisle. That is largely to do with an equivalent of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” that we might call the Fauci Effect. “Antho
ny Fauci had the great privilege in 2020 of sharing a screen with Donald Trump,” says Ebright. “He face-palmed on television once and that made him a Democratic Party icon to those unaware of his actual role and his actual actions.”


While Fauci’s famous face-palm at a March 2020 press conference certainly helped his cause, it’s only part of the story. The other part is money. As biodefense funding has ramped up, a quiet but effective lobbying effort has bloomed around it. The heavyweight in the field is the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, or BCB, an organization whose “team” web page lists a who’s-who of DC powerbrokers, including co-chairs Joseph Lieberman and Tom Ridge and commissioners Donna Shalala, Tom Daschle and Fred Upton. Donors include Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic, which makes vaccines for viruses like monkeypox and Ebola; the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a biotech trade association; and Open Philanthropy, the philanthropy of Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskowitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

We are just not a serious nation, TDS is a disease that may prove fatal to human life ... so I guess that is Trump's fault since he was so evil as to inspire the hate. Right? I'm sure that makes sense to the left. 

Regardless of new pushback, gain-of-function research isn’t going anywhere but forward. What’s clear is that the public is awakening to the gain-of-function arms race — some military, some private, some scientific. Unlike the nuclear arms race, which requires massive resources, this race can be pursued in tiny spaces, with relatively small budgets. Despite this, the effects of error or unforeseen outcomes will be nothing short of global.

It could "just" be about the massive wealth that could be created by killing a few more millions with a virus like enhanced Ebola, and then selling an actual vaccination for huge amounts of money. Covid ought to have shown people of even less than average intellect that the elites care nothing about the masses. They will lock them down no matter what the cost to those that aren't billionaires ... in lives, hopelessness, loss of their livelihoods, damage to their children, etc. 

We are told that Climate Change is an "existential threat". It isn't hard for me to imagine the .01% deciding that killing everyone else to save the planet, and starting all over again with a utopian world is really best for everyone in even the medium term. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Matter With Things Volume 2

 To quote an Oxford professor from the dust jacket, "This is one of the most important books ever published, and yes, I do mean ever".

I'll be following Iain McGilchrist as I do Jordan Peterson ... which means I'll be reading a couple more of his books and attempting to keep of with as much of his thinking as I can. 


A quote from the heading of his channel (which can be found from the link with his name above): 

I believe that we are engaged in committing suicide: intellectual suicide, moral suicide and physical suicide. If there is anything as important as stopping us poisoning our seas and destroying our forests, it is stopping us poisoning our minds and destroying our souls.

Our dominant value – sometimes I fear our only value – has, very clearly, become that of power. This aligns us with a brain system, that of the left hemisphere, the raison d’ĂȘtre of which is to control and manipulate the world. But not to understand it: that, for evolutionary reasons that I explain, has come to be more the raison d’ĂȘtre of our – more intelligent, in every sense – right hemisphere. Unfortunately the left hemisphere, knowing less, thinks it knows more. It is a good servant, but a ruinous – a peremptory – master. And the predictable outcome of assuming the role of master is the devastation of all that is important to us – or should be important, if we really know what we are about.

Even if we could, by some miracle, reverse the course on which we are set, unless we change our way of thinking, of being in the world – the way that is destroying us as we speak – it would all be in vain. This is why I have written the last long book I will ever write: The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World.

In it I search out what it is we have lost sight of, all that is there for us to see, if only we were not blinded to it: an inexhaustibly, truly wondrous, creative, living universe, not a meaningless, moribund mechanism. By bringing to bear up-to-the-minute neuropsychology, physics and philosophy, I show not only that these are in no way in conflict with one another, but that they all lead us, time and again, to the same insights. And that this is not in opposition to, but rather corroborates, the wisdom of the great spiritual traditions across the world.

All this converges on a vision that is necessary if we are to survive; and, even more importantly, if we are to deserve to survive. What I hope for my readers is that, if they are willing to accompany me on this adventure, they will never see the world in quite the same way again.

I am largely in agreement with his analysis, and those that have followed my blogs know this to be the case. His ability to present two key models of thought is invaluable. 

  • The clear difference between the left  and right brain views of the world.

  • The increasingly observed physics and philosophical view that what we perceive as matter is actually a series of quantum fields. Quantum Field Theory (QFT), possibly described a bit in the book "Helgoland".
The analogy of our brains being more like a TV set receiving fields from some universal underlying field or set of fields, finally gives me a model that makes sense to me of "God, the universe, and everything". It is a way to explain consciousness that I had never considered. Being stuck in the Cartesian body/mind dualism model of our consciousness/spirit being a "ghost in the machine", with the brain being a sort of wetware computer that somehow generated consciousness, I just didn't have a model that I really believed to be reasonable.

A mind bending assertion is that we need to give up our conception of matter: 
Page 1053, "If you believe matter is the only reality, and you then learn that matter as you think of it is illusion, you will conclude that reality is illusory. But it is not. It is matter as we think of it, that is an illusion. And there is more to reality than matter. It was your thinking that misled you. 

No, I haven't become a believer in Climate Change, and man "destroying the planet", but rather view that narrative as merely another play for power. Since I'm at least somewhat a right brained guy, I could be wrong.  

Chapter 28 gets into "The Sense of the Sacred". On 1194, 

"How does it come about that there is a process. or motion, or a point in time at all - now or ever" The answer to this question cannot be answered in terms of a physical entity or process, because that already presupposes what we are questioning -- why there are physical processes and entities. The proper object of of this question is that which underlies timelessly and eternally, whatever is: in other words, the ground of Being." 

Humans all have some concept of this, covered in "The Elementary Forms Of Religious Life". 

Page 1295 is tragic. 

"It is in dealing with death that that one is most forcibly we have yielded hands down to the forgetting of Being." 

Even though McGilchrist can't practice religion for some reason, when his parents died, he and his brother wanted words from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer to be repeated as written,  but the priest was unable to comply. "Too gloomy". 

Appendix 8: "Incompatibility" of Science and Religion points out that the religion of our times is Scientism, and it is arid in the extreme. 

"That the religious, both communally and individually are happier, and dramatically healthier both mentally and physically, as well as better adjusted, more resilient and more prosocial in their habits, also does not prove that religion is true. But it suggests that we and our societies function poorly when we neglect it, and that human thriving and fulfillment depend on it to a considerable extent." 

 I want to help reconcile the critical need for religion in the lives of individuals, families, communities, countries, and the world. This book is the best I've seen to date as a way to help move our western culture from the materialist path to destruction we are on.

Based on my life, and what I observe today, a quote from page 1333 seems critical to moving to unified truth. "... it is dogma we must avoid at all costs. Dogma is the besetting sin of the age; and if one wanted one, it would be be hard to find a better expression of left hemisphere's take on the world than dogma. 

Matt 23 11-15 

11 The greatest among you will be your servant. [ the left brain is to be the servant of the right ]

12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 

15  Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

The left brain is the Pharisee brain, and since our society post the Enlightenment is left brain biased, we are biased toward dogma in everything ... religion, philosophy, science, politics, interpersonal relationships ... we are living on half a brain, and it is killing us, temportally and eternally. 

This does NOT (as is covered many times in the book) mean "there is no such thing as truth", or "anything goes" ... it is the opposite. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God. Humility. 

Pray without ceasing. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Matter and Consciousness

 I continue to somewhat struggle and significantly enjoy the 1375 pages of "The Matter With Things" -- I'm on page 1225, so God willing, I'm going to make it. 

It is undeniable that there is significant hard work in reading, meditating on, noting, attempting to understand,  a work like this. I regularly reflect that real life was never intended to happy, easy, distracting, entertaining, etc. Only in the very latest of modernity has it been possible to very nearly do nothing at all. Our water, food, sanitary systems, electrical power, transportation, shelter, communication, entertainment, etc are increasingly effortless. This is all courtesy of our left brain that sees the world as a problem to be "solved" either by physical means or an equation, a project to be completed, a challenge to be defeated, an enemy to be conquered, or an unmeasurable "thing" to be ignored. 

The left brain has been a servant that has provided us much, however, as McGilchrist laments it is increasingly our master, converting our enchanted universe to a DISenchanted one. Well described by Charles Taylor in a nearly as massive book, "The Secular Age", probably best approached via a an attempted summary

So what are "we"? 

Conscious beings with no clue what consciousness is. Our left brain helpfully finds a simple solution based in the material world to get this supposed problem out of the way as rapidly as possible. Perhaps consciousness is an illusion that doesn't really "exist", since it can't be measured, and in a materialist universe, things that can't be measured do not exist by definition (according to the left brain)? No problem to even solve! 

Perhaps it "somehow emerges" when you get enough neural stuff together ? 

On page 1037, McGilchrist provides a simple model that blew my mind. 

"But do we know that matter can give rise to consciousness? This is merely an assumption. When a TV set malfunctions, it can distort the image or sound it relays in a large number of ways, depending where the system malfunction lies. To an engineer, the nature of the distortion may be a clue to the location of the problem, as the nature of brain pathology is to the neurologist. To an observer from another planet, it might prove impossible to tell if the TV set did not generate, but merely transmitted it's output. Pull the plug and the show ceases to exist. 

The intimacy of the relationship between two parties has in itself nothing to say about its nature. In the history of the cosmos, matter might give rise to mind, or mind to matter; or each might equally give rise to the other interdependently; or might run in parallel, because they are different aspects of some ultimately unified phenomenon. When it comes to the brain, the intimate relation between brain activity and states of mind cannot in itself help distinguish between theories of emission, transmission, and permission as its basis. In other words, the same findings are equally compatible with the brain emitting, transmitting, or permitting consciousness. (the last two are similar, excerpt that permitting substitutes the the idea of a constraint that is creative, fashioning what it allows come into being, for the merely passive idea of transmission)." 

McGilchrist goes for the latter explanation as most likely. The commonly accepted first option is based on the left brain idea that while we don't understand consciousness, we do understand matter, ergo ... It must all be matter! 

This is akin to the drunk looking for his keys under a streetlamp because the light is better there. The sad part here is that there is no "streetlamp" which the left brain assumed! Quantum Field Theory (QFT) has now assured us that we DON'T understand matter, and the left brain has again thrown up "helpful" models like the "many worlds", which postulates 10 to the 400th<400> universes. More comforting for modern man to believe than "God" (or another "thing" we don't understand,) although explaining nothing. What caused all those universes to happen? 
<400>The BIG model shift is to one where mind PRECEDES matter! It turns out that many of our famous physicists; Einstein, Pauli, Bohr, Feynman, etc either hinted at, grasped faintly, or decided that "it's all fields".  No particles, thus no "matter" in the sense we think of it. 

Consciousness seems to be a field rather than a "thing" (matter). If the base of the universe is a field rather than stuff, what do we refer to it as? "The Force"? 

It seems that every civilization has an "un-word" that is sacred and if spoken, spoken in awe ... Logos, Tao, li, Brahman, ri, Allah, YHWH -- and "God". "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name".  “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am". I found that Harold Bloom gave some insight into some of the "naming issue" in "Jesus and Yahweh. The Names Divine". 

The title "The Matter With Things" shines out as increasingly appropriate. We have been duped by our left brains into believing a hopelessly meaningless materialist view of life, the universe and everything, while our right brains scream "Is this ALL there is???". We think all is matter, and therefore, a "thing". Our materialist model is so deep it affects everyTHING (I'm not going to keep doing that, but you get the point -- our very language is materialist) even increasingly, our religion. 

We are drawn to a materialist view of God as some sort of old guy in the sky, and the Bible as a history book of THINGS and literal events.  If someone can cast doubt on the material "fact" of anything in the Bible it isn't "true". We confuse "truth" with a materialist chain of actual material events, even though the Bible itself really tries to dissuade us.

One small example ... John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. ...". First he says "I AM" (hint, hint), then "the way", clearly not a material path, then "the truth" ... he is at that point a "fully man" physical person (but what is physical?), that is also the conceptual truth, and "the life" -- which gives us another good hint that we are beyond words here. Materialistically today, we don't know what "life" is, only that we can't create "it". It certainly isn't an "it" (thing"/matter). 

No, there seems to be WAY more. Our "seemingly physical" bodies, and our much more real consciousness may be much better represented as "eddies" in the universal conscious field, that is "God".  

Tragically, the important "sense" does not translate into words hardly at all. Music, art, awe, poetry ... all much better, and unfortunately all of which I am grossly untutored and therefore insufficiently appreciative of.  I'm hoping the last few hundred pages move me along, but in all probability, it may be something like attempting to describe "blue" to a man blind from birth.. 

To a writer, the fact that text is a left brain, dangerous abstraction from the wonder, mystery, awe, and deep meaning of the much better right brained "whole" is disconcerting. Is it too late for me to become a poet? Perhaps writing with appropriate warnings that what I'm struggling to express is ultimately beyond textual representation.

Monday, March 13, 2023

White What?

 "Privilege" you say? 

I'm still waiting for mine. Why do we have an MLK day, when his values have been brutally rejected? 

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (MLK) 

This Spectator article does a decent job of explaining why it is a very bad idea to judge people by the color of their skin.
Underlying the white-privilege thesis are two basic claims: first that “white” is a useful category in which to place everyone from Elon Musk to a cleaner in a Tesla factory, and second that being in such a category imbues people with privileges denied to those outside it.

Are Jews "white"? Are Asians? This article points out the fact that US colleges discriminate against Asians and Jews ... and it is increasing.  Why? Based on merit, the majority of our top universities would be Asians or Jews. Are they smarter? No, they have a culture that values education, hard work and strong families, even  when living in a country that in general values neither. High achieving Black students are often castigated by their same race peers as "acting white"? 

JD Vance covered some not so privileged whites in "Hillbilly Elegy". 

There are a lot of poor white people that have started to have the same culture as is common among blacks ... broken homes, addiction, welfare, no parental or community push to be educated, etc. 

Could the real factor be culture, community, family, hard work, and the concept that nobody owes you anything at all? Nah, it must be my White Privilege thinking heresy like that! 

We are already at the front edge of the time where your pilot or surgeon might have been more a product of DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity)  ... of course they prefer the acronym DEI, because when your surgeon was primarily "qualified" by his contribution to the high DEI score of the hospital, DIE may be a bit too accurate. 

It MUST Be Climate Change

 I had never heard of an "Atmospheric River", but of course they are all the rage now. Here, the WaPo helpfully tells us how Climate Change will make them "worse". 

In 2022, the problem was record drought

The WaPo story, posted in early January, proclaimed that although these Atmospheric Rivers were providing a lot of water, they were providing less snow. 

Atmospheric rivers play a critical role in supplying mountain snowpack, which serves as an important source of freshwater as it melts in the spring and summer. Some research shows the weather systems provide about a quarter of the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. Yet as temperatures rise, snowfall is decreasing.

 On March the 3rd, the NY Times helpfully reported that California was getting record snowfall and freezing temps. 

Record snowfall and freezing temperatures have altered the landscape and lives of millions of people in California in recent weeks. The mountains behind the iconic Hollywood sign in Los Angeles are dusted in white. Yosemite National Park is closed to the public, and mountain roads are coated with black ice.

Vineyards in Napa Valley were dusted with powdery snow. Snow met the sand on a beach in Santa Cruz.

The climate industry still really pushes "Global Warming" as "The Science", but in brilliant marketing, they have rebranded as "Climate Change".  Heads I win, tails you lose. 

The climate tech market was $13.8 billion in 2022, with a healthy CAGR of 24.2%, it should be $147.5 by 2032. Compare that growth rate with how your stock portfolio is doing! 

We have learned so much about climate in the past few years ... things we were unaware of before. Record cold is now caused by "Polar Vortexes" which are a result of Climate Change. I'd never heard of a "Derecho" until one hit Iowa in 2020.

"Haboob" is another term that has showed up in the past few years. 

We used to use pedestrian terms like "lots of rain". "cold weather", "high winds", and "dust storm". How could we be so stupid to use such non-descriptive terms when the master communicators are much more precise with terms like "Atmospheric River"! It pretty much nails what you need to know! 

Keeping the suckers off balance by changing what things are called is a way to make them think something new is happening. Well, the WORD is new ... or at least it's public use is new. 

One of the most read posts from my old blog was "-36, It's Toasted" that gives a bit of insight into the relationship between marketing and reality. 

We have gotten a lot more gullible since 2017. At this rate, we soon won't even know what a woman is! ... oops

I don't post much on climate anymore, after all, unless you are some evil denier, IT'S SETTLED! 


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Christian Nationalists

The linked article is intended to put "the fear of God" or maybe more precisely, 
fear of the Godly" into WaPo readers. Most likely it makes many of them quite afraid. 

Earlier this month, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican, addressed the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, whose purview runs from this small resort city up along the Washington state border. Before she spoke, a local pastor and onetime Idaho state representative named Tim Remington, wearing an American-flag-themed tie, revved up the crowd: “If we put God back in Idaho, then God will always protect Idaho.”

I'm not convinced at all that this particular movement is "the one", however the fact that a few people are organizing to attempt to alter the downward spiral of America is hopeful to me. Is there likely to be a price? Almost certainly. Was the 30 years war too high a price for allowing people to read and follow the Bible? I'm not going to judge that, I'm just saying that religious freedom came at a cost. 

What about "nationalism"? Historically, and even today, many people are patriotic ... to America, to  Canada, to Ukraine, to Russia, etc. 

Morality requires a shared set of standards. Adams assumed Christian morality found in the Bible. Officials are still sworn in on the Bible, although today, few of them even know of, let alone attempt to practice the moral principles found there. We once were a nation founded "under God", even though that didn't go into our pledge until 1954, largely to clearly differentiate the US from the USSR which was proudly atheistic. 

A scan of the article contains a lot of things that I definitely don't agree with, however this summary paragraph is more comforting. 

While sectarian varieties of Christian nationalism certainly exist, the version most ascendant — and the kind activists say is working its way through the state legislature — relies not on theological purity but an alliance between conservative Christians who collectively oppose liberal policies and what they deride as secular culture

I'd like to have a modern Christian revival where in somewhat MLK fashion, there could be a a leader and organization following a  sort of -- "I have a vision of an America founded on a transcendent God, where "love your neighbor as yourself" was shared by nearly all. Where being Christian meant following the Bible, and Secularists honestly declared that they had no fixed moral principles rather than falsely claiming to be "Christian"". 

That is a "flavor", not intended to be even close to what a reality of such a statement might be. 

While it certainly sounds corny, the Beatles "All We Need Is Love" if it is interpreted as all we need is love of God, might even be in the running. If you love God, you love your neighbor. Every religion other than Islam could fit under this banner. Reading the "Regensburg Lecture" by Pope Benedict gives a decent understanding as to why Islam is an issue. 

Secular Humanism? I'm probably overly optimistic that the rise in drug use, suicide, crime and hopeless broken lives may cause more people to understand the folly of that ideology, as they have at least began toi understand the problems with the totalitarian ideologies oif fascism and communism. (they have a longer path to understanding the problems with the world oligarchy they live in). 

Are we ripe for the flowering of revival, or "ripe" in the sense of stinky rotten decay? A seek must fall to the ground and die before a new shoot of life can grow ... let us pray for the cleansing sunlight of God's power. Much like the start of foundation of Christianity through Christ, the trieals of the "Dark Ages", the Reformation, and the founding of America, to road that God has decreed as been promised to include much pain in the way to Christ's return. Based on the path traveled so far, it does seem mostly a downward spiral, however it is not entirely a dark path. 

We WILL suffer, however it is our mission to reduce that suffering where possible. 

John 16:33 NIV

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Buttige Hurt In Ohio

Stolen from Powerline

"Instead of going to East Palestine, Biden jetted off to Ukraine and Poland, thus prompting a chorus of “America last” criticisms. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was already a laughingstock. As some have said, he has done such a bad job that for the first time ever, Americans know the name of the Secretary of Transportation."

The Biden administration is so incompetent they can't even pull off a gimme photo op, 

A number of left wing figures have pointed out that Ohio voted for Trump, "so what do they expect!". Some of that is along the lines of "if you vote for the wrong party and something bad happens ... well, don't ask us for help!". Some of it is "well Trump reduced environmental regulations, some of which contributed to the accident" ... there is no evidence of that, however a left winger making a statement "without evidence" is never labeled as "without evidence". That is just government/media policy. 

If one wants to waste some time digging just a bit however, there may be some counter actual evidence

The head of the National Transportation Safety Board – the lead agency investigating the crash – has said that the improved braking system wouldn’t have applied to the train that veered off its tracks in East Palestine, but environmental groups are pushing for the Biden administration to reinstate the rule anyway.
I know, I know, why would we we trust the head of the NTSB? Well, I don't, but it is "evidence", I didn't say it was GOOD evidence! Even if some reduction in regulations can be attributed to an accident, rational people recognize that LIFE is a rist/reward tradeoff ... even living in a padded room doesn't insure complete safety. (like think a bit ... the building the room is in could burn down, be flooded ...) 

Take a look at the link to see what leadership looks like. 

What a competent leader does