I have the sense the United States is teetering on the brink of violence, in this odd civil war we are all witnessing. The amazing thing so far has been the way violence has been largely avoided, on the part of the right.
I think the left is frustrated by the lack of violence, for they expect it and to some degree are depending on it to justify their rash acts. They would like to enact “emergency powers” and “wartime measures” and “marshal law”, but lack excuses. Attempts such as Global Warming and The China-virus Pandemic have blown up in the left’s face, as increasing numbers awoke to the fact the so-called “emergencies” were humbug, involving absurdly tortured statistics. The January Sixth Hearings were further humbug, attempting to make an “emergency” where one hadn’t occurred, and once again the left only succeeded in embarrassing themselves. And now their inditing of Trump seems yet another attempt to provoke the right into violence. The left slaps the right in the face and then erects barriers of razor wire. Yet (so far) the right simply turns the other cheek.
In my own attempts to cool my temper and remain non-violent I turn to philosophy. When the left indites to incite, I become abstract to distract.
It is interesting to compare the powers of Light with the powers of Darkness. In some ways this is like comparing seeing with blindness (and I am referring to a higher definition of “seeing”; I’ve known blind men who “see” more clearly than men with 20-20 vision.)
It is important to remember darkness is not a “thing” but a “lack”. People enamored of darkness think they can build with a lack. They believe they can blind people, robbing them of education and increasing ignorance with misinformation, raising curtains of shadow. But you cannot build with a lack. In a sense a dictator of darkness has less and less the more he wants more. Bankruptcy is inevitable. The National Debt is but a reflection of their souls.
As the inevitable nears, the left is bound to become increasingly desperate. Doom is nigh. Hang in there, all those who believe in righteousness.
It hardly seems worth posting, as shadow-banning has reduced my “views” total from over 300 to as low as 16. Roughly a 95% decrease. I tell myself it is a sign of honor. Someday in the future, anyone who wasn’t shadow-banned during these trying times will bear the mantle of disgrace, and be seen as something of a collaborator.
I would like to give credit for the decrease in views to my bad poetry. However one sign of being banned is that old posts without poems, which once appeared in search-engines because they had garnered over a thousand “views” (and in one case over 25,000), and which therefore continued to draw people to this site even years after the post was posted, abruptly stop attracting anyone. For example, here are the stats for a formerly popular old post called, “Why We Don’t Domesticate Deer.”
I should point out the post contains no poetry, and no politics about Global Warming, Sea-Ice, Vaccines, or Falsified Election Results. It was originally posted before Trump was even president. The only thing which might be deemed “political” was a mention that culling the wild deer population avoids starvation on the part of deer, and, occasionally, of poor people. Therefore the only reason for the abrupt cessation of “views” is that I, as an individual, am seen as being worthy of censoring, by some faceless bleep.
In any case I never really wrote for fame, which seems to harm people more than it ever helps them, but rather because I enjoy writing. I enjoyed the web because people responded to my writing, which was a lot better than the faceless rejection-slips I received when I attempted to interest editors in my work. I enjoyed even trolls, more than rejection-slips.
Before I discovered the web (around 2003) I wrote for the few who would listen. People in campgrounds and churches and at parties heard my songs. I did that for thirty-five years, so it is easy to return to that.
I still comment at other sites, though the discussions do not seem as instructive as they used to be. You used to get more links to sites that emphasized the point that the person you debated with was trying to make. Now, too often, you just get smeared, or get cancelled and your comment vanishes. But some places still have some adult debates, or goodhearted silliness.
Recently there was a slightly facetious post by Kip Hanson on the WUWT website about whether eating lentils would halt Global Warming, and the comments devolved at one point into some old, grade-school poetry about the digestive effects of eating beans. I could not resist the challenge, and composed this:
Beans! Beans! They make you dance
To escape your own flatulence!
Beans! Beans! You’d better run
To escape the climate-harm you’ve done
For sphincters in quite vegan asses
Produce stench whose harm surpasses
Several other greenhouse gasses.
This just demonstrates that once a poet, always a poet. Even if you are an old dog.
On the road to tomorrow the old dog
Does not strain the leash any more.
His tired eyes blink blandly through milky fog
And cats don't fear him. He will not implore
His Master for treats, nor yank him down stairs
In a scrabble to nowhere, as if ahead
Was always hidden treasure although there's
Nothing to be seen. Instead the dog's led
Meekly, heeled without wish to strain faster
Or sniff slower, content to cross green grass
Within the peace of walking with Master
On roads to tomorrow. I think this means
That the old dog may not tug, but still leans.
I may not post for a while. I need to think, (and also to do my blasted taxes, though it seems like paying a government to screw me).
I try to see the bright side of things, and one nice thing about having an elderly mother-in-law to care for is that, even at age seventy, I still get treated like a young whippersnapper. Of course, this also means that like Rodney Dangerfield, “I get no respect”, and it can be a bit wearing at times.
I tell her not to walk her dog up to a dangerous curve on a nearby country road, especially when it is narrowed by snowbanks after a storm, but later look up the road and see traffic stopped up at the curve, and even a front-end-loader stopped in a driveway beside the road with its scoop full of snow, as an elderly woman slowly crosses the road right on the curve with her alarmed little dog (who knows better) in tow. Her eyesight is bad, and this causes her to scrunch up her forehead and look cross even when she isn’t cross, and this apparently made people afraid to blare horns at her. In any case, she has proven no young whippersnapper is going to tell her where she can walk her dog.
Multiply this by twenty times and life starts to get draining. By fifty and she is almost as exasperating as the government, which seems to want to take a system that worked and utterly screw it up.
Lately life has left me feeling drained. It didn’t help matters that they stole an hour of sleep from us last Sunday, with the nonsense of Daylight Savings Time. Then we got hit by a major snowstorm. My wife and I were so worn out that a very nice Saint Patrick’s Day dinner we had on Saturday was in some ways just more work.
We sat down on Sunday and tried to plan a vacation, but even that made us tired. A sense of absurdity kicked in. When even vacations make you tired, perhaps you are nearing a sort of world-weariness some state is spiritually advantageous. I forget how the quote actually goes, but it is something like, “When even opulence makes you weary, your heart is making space for the Lord to walk in.”
When my wife and I got home after dark something happened worthy of a sonnet. Maybe it wasn’t a “sign” but I’m certain a Viking would call it an “omen.”
We're a couple old fools who have flunked a test.
Though we both make our bed we seldom get rest.
We try to treat all like they are a guest
Yet stumble and fall while doing our best.
We drove home in darkness. Silent was night
And our drive looked the same, lit by our light
But into its beams flew a shadowy sight:
An owl, with wide wings braking its flight.
It lit just above us, wisely looked down,
And melted away my face's sad frown.
Why should we interest this soul of the air?
What had we done? And why should it care?
I have no answer, but cannot refute
That souls from above us do give a hoot.
Socialists have never liked the freedom of small farmers, as the idea of liberty resulting in good things jars their concept of “collective” good. Stalin took this to an absurd length in his efforts to utterly wipe out the “Kulak”, who were seen as “class enemies” of the poorer serfs. Lenin described the Kulak as “bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who fatten themselves during famines”.
In actual fact the last Czars created the Kulak in an effort to lessen the tendency of the serfs to rebel and join radical and militant movements, such as communism. Rather than veritable slaves who owned no land, the serfs were given the opportunity to borrow money and purchase land from wealthy landowners. In a sense it was a mortgage, which the better farmers paid back, becoming small landowners. Generally speaking, a Kulak was a small farmer who owned more than 8 acres.
As is often the case, the lazy did not become prosperous. It was the farmers with ingenuity and industry who became Kulaks. They produced a disproportionate amount of Russia’s food, and for the most part were conservative in their outlooks. Therefore they became the “petite bourgeois” communists despise.
Stalin killed roughly a million, either through murder or through starvation. He sent hundreds of thousands to gulags in Siberia, and more than a hundred thousand left for gulags but never arrived. Stalin felt that by removing such “weeds” the remaining population would be pure, and productive. In actual fact the production of grain plummeted, and there was a terrible famine, especially in the Ukraine, which is one reason there is animosity between Ukrainians and Russians to this day.
During the final days of the Soviet Union small farmers were once again allowed to farm small lots, and immediately out-produced the collectives. 5% of the farmers produced 50% of the food. This should teach a lesson, namely: People with ingenuity and industry have more value than lazy people.
Of course, it is deemed wrong to say any person has more value than another. And it is likely true that God cares for the lazy as much (if not more) than he cares for the industrious. After all, the lazy need help. They need motivation. Whether that help takes the form of a caress or a kick-in-the-butt likely depends on the person and the administrator. However, when it comes down to food on the table, having food has more value than lacking food; hence some people have more value than others, in that particular way.
In my time I’ve lived with many hardscrabble farmers who have first hand experience with the difference between feast and famine, and I found they had a sort of common sense which college students lacked. The college students borrowed money and ate in cafeterias, while the Navajo wove rugs and used the money they made to buy things their land could not produce, such as cooking oil. Their land could produce little that is needed to subsist on a vegan diet, but their land could support sheep. Therefore they ate a lot of mutton. In like manner the old New England farmers only had a little land they could grow vegetables on, but much stony land that could be used for cows, sheep, goats and pigs, and they tended to have diets which included meat and dairy products. Yet college students often looked down their noses at such practicality, and, if radical, tended to castigate non-vegan people, like Lenin cursed the Kulak.
I have tried to educate these idealistic, vegan college students, but usually have failed, and often have been dragged into arguing about politics which has little to do with eating. Therefore I was glad to come across this explanation of the practical side of farming, which I think every vegan should watch.
The Spring thrushes haven't come winging north
And all we have is our tiny winter birds
Hopping through twigs, but now they're bursting forth
With spring songs, heedless of how absurd's
Their pert joy, in a world howled white by snow.
They know what is still unseen by my glum heart.
Maples also stir sap, as they too know
Though they lack even bird brains..................................Just how smart
Is a man when, even though he's aware
The calendar speaks of spring, he can't help
But fight a demon of depressed despair
Which turns his crooned songs to a whipped dog's yelp?
Come on, sad heart; you can fake a few grins.
Pluck a bright banjo. Put away violins.
It has been a battle to even build a snowman this winter, with strong thawing so frequent. The children at our Childcare love an igloo, but often they have melted away even before the walls were halfway up. We did complete one in January, but it collapsed in a cold rain and soon was just the white letter “O” on the brown lawn. The one above is our most recent effort, over six feet tall and called “The Leaning Tower of Igloo”. It is also “The Last Igloo”, for two reasons. One reason is that it is March, and the sun is higher and stronger. Though we still have more than a month before pussy willows begin to bud, the snow shrinks so swiftly at times it is hardly worth shoveling it. The second reason is that I’m getting a bit old for such effort.
Not that a man is ever too old for a snow fort. I don’t doubt some stuffy bankers think they are beyond such childish sport, but that is because they never test their resolve. They stick to their daily duty and never dare leave the sidewalks and scoop a handful of sticky snow. If they did they’d realize they were like an alcoholic sipping just a single sip of whisky. Once they started they could not stop.
Nor is it that snow brings out the child in a man. In fact it is the other way around. Snow brings out the man in a child. There is something deeply civilized about the urge to build. After all, what is the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome but Michelangelo’s glorified igloo.
Of course, I am no Michelangelo. Maybe I could be, if I had so many working for me, but I had to move the slushy snow, and my back stiffened up so I couldn’t flex as well, which is why the two sides don’t match.
Nature seemed to approve, as a retrograde gale up in Labrador brought us subfreezing gales and turned the slush to rock, and crusted the snow so the kids could run over the snow without sinking. Rather than melting my igloo nature preserved it. And the kids seemed to approve of the igloo as well.
Not that it will last. But the maple syrup other old men are tapping from trees will not last either. Some things are not made to last, but rather to be enjoyed, and hopefully this sonnet is such a thing.
The trees have sprouted buckets, and also tubes
Of modern plastic, as maple weather
Freezes the thaw each night, and frugal rubes
Get rich off sap. With skin like old leather
They concoct ambrosia, and city people
Escape concrete to inhale fragrant steam
And to worship, without any steeple,
A lifestyle so long lost it's like a dream.
At daybreak a big man can walk upon
A crust on snow that was practically slush
The day before, breathing puffs in the still dawn,
But I don't inspect buckets in that blush.
As winter birds sing spring songs, what I do
Isn't work; it's the play of my last igloo.
How great it is to laze in the morning,
To roll over, drift in and out of dreams,
And to arise without some screamer warning
Scheduling screeches snide timelines of schemes...
...To awake refreshed, without any girding,
And without feeling God is incomplete
If I fail to cross a T. If I sing
Or if I don't; if I'm sour or I'm sweet
Will not bring the universe to it's knees,
And the whole universe could abruptly pop
And God still would be God. Knowing this frees
Me from my stress. All my worry can stop.
Infinity's pretty darn big, I've decided.
A Unity boundless cannot be divided.
I’ve noted in earlier posts that a lot of the coldest arctic air has been dumped into the oceans this winter, out over the Sea of Okhotsk on the Pacific side, and down Baffin Bay past Newfoundland, as well as through Fram Strait, on the Atlantic side. This has given the big cities of Europe and of eastern North America a break, in terms of heating bills when prices are high. However it seemed to me that the oceans should be chilled, but there is only a slight sign of chilling.
I assumed this was because cold air has thinly dispersed molecules, while the water’s molecules are closely packed. The air is outnumbered, and is swiftly warmed as it passes over the seas. Yet there does seem to be slight cooling, as the clash between cold air and warm water creates an imbalance which results in the explosive development of storms, illustrated as follows in a paper by Josph D’Aleo:
These storms assume great magnitudes, though little noticed beyond those who risk sailing midwinter seas. Several have had pressures dive below 27.75 inches of mercury (940 mb) this winter, and such storms, while lacking the ferocious eyewalls of hurricanes and typhoons, often have gale, storm and even hurricane forse winds farther from their centers than tropical storms and contain more energy overall. All of this energy has been lifted from the seas, and much is dispersed to outer space, yet they don’t leave the distinctive stripes of cold water that hurricanes and typhoons do, as their low pressure is more dispersed, and also the waters at the very surface are not so warmed in midwinter as they are in the summer. Yet I have my hunch that, while the robbery of the ocean’s warmth is less obvious, it is occurring and ongoing.
Therefore, I noted with interest when places where people usually go to flee the cold reported snow on the beaches.
On the Atlantic side Mallorca was seeing snow right at the water, where late February temperatures usually range between 62 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and one beach had only seen temperatures dip below freezing a tenth of a degree, one time in its recorded history.
By the time I paid attention the cold storm was drifting off towards Italy, small but getting great attention, as far to the west yet another huge storm got no attention at all, out in the middle of the Atlantic, sucking very cold air out of the mouth of Baffin Bay, as had been happening all winter
In the above map a second unnoticed storm is roaring just southeastb of Svalbard, dragging cold air through Fram Strait. Most of the cold air is swung towards Norway, but a weak front has made it to Scotland. This invasion increases as the northern storm shoots a second, stronger cold front south, in the next map.
You’ll notice the storm making the news is weak, over Sicily with a pressure of only 1011 mb, while the storm south of Greenland has a pressure of 964 and hurricane force winds, yet generates no press at all. However, I have my hunch the Atlantic is being chilled in some manner which may not be reflected in the temperature of the air or water right at the surface, but may be more obvious 100 feet down or a thousand feet up.
On the Pacific side there was one of the oceanic storms which did generate media attention earlier this winter. Though the storm itself never came ashore, it’s southside winds directed an “atmospheric river” of moisture (the “Pinapple Express”) towards California, swiftly changing drought conditions to floods.
I don’t have fond memories of the Pineapple Express, because during my drifter years I arrived in California in December of 1982, and had a line of an old Al Stewart song stuck in my head for months, “It never rains in California…but girl, don’t they warn ya…it pours. Man! It pours.” That winter of 1982-1983 set an all-time record for rain, and the sun almost never peeked between the clouds. Most days were dark and dismal, and I have only two really happy memories.
One was when an older brother, perhaps noticing I was a bit gaunt on my emegency diet (rice and beans), took me out for a lunch of chicken enchilada verde, under a wind-whipped awning facing the sea. Surfers in black wetsuits were out creasing the sides of enormous waves, when suddenly they faded into a milky shroud, and for about five minutes the rain turned into a pelting shower of sleet. The pellets rolled off the awning and scattered across the wet sidewalk to cluster in puddles, and the situation was so absurd we couldn’t help but smile. My brother told me he’d never seen it sleet in Santa Cruz before.
The second happy occation was when the rain finally quit, which it did in April entirely, and without much adieu. The endless rain broke into a cloudless sky, and it didn’t rain for months. But the day the sun first came out I have never seen so many smiling faces in all my life.
In any case, I perked up with interest when I heard it didn’t just sleet on the beaches of Santa Cruz for five minutes, and there was even slush in tidal pools.
I was also interested because the rain was going to set yet another all time record. (The last time, after 1982-1983, was around ten years ago; that time it annoyed me because I could no longer brag that I arrived in California in the “rainiest year ever”.)
This does spoil the Alarmist narrative of several months ago, which involved predictions of a megadrought lasting until 2030, and ski areas closing due to lack of snow. Currently several areas are closed because they have too much snow.
In any case, I am not going to be a fool and venture a forecast. I am merely observing unusual snows coming in off the waters.