HEARING VOICES

Joy Behar stated, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another to say Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness.” Although she later apologized, first to Vice President Pence and later to all Christians, (1), what she stated is a quite commonly-held view, even among Christians. There is a world of difference between the so-called “milk” or “lukewarm” Christians, who are judged as being sane, and the “meat” Christians, who are judged as being insane.

Two things seem to require further thought. First is, what makes up “belief”, and second, what makes up “sanity”?

One thing apparent to me is that much more “belief” is involved, in the ordinary thinking of ordinary people, than they care to admit. Teenagers ordinarily become aware of this when they first dare to question the Status Quo, and rather than answers get ultimatums, however in most cases youthful restlessness fades into resignation, and teenagers “settle down”. (This is just a nice way of saying “you can’t fight City Hall”, even if City Hall is corrupt.) Yet in the back of all minds, (very far back, in some cases), there remains a questioning silence, often never voiced, that doubts the values of the Status Quo.

I became interested in this silence when quite young. I suppose it was because I tended to be a loudmouth and was told to “shut up” a lot by three older siblings. Also I was skipped ahead a grade in school, and this made me smallest in my class, and unable to knock peers down, when they told me to “shut up” (though I did try, from time to time.) Because I had to be quiet, I looked inward, and discovered inward landscapes sometimes were more interesting than that which was going on outwardly. This was especially true in Algebra classes. I dreamed out the window a lot.

Once it became obvious I wasn’t going to be a mathematician, I decided I must be a poet. Unfortunately I wasn’t discouraged from this impractical idea, and in fact won two poetry awards as a teenager. (At times I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn‘t won those awards, and instead had taken the other, more-practical fork-in-the-road).

As it was I conformed to nonconformity along with all the other nonconformists, with my hair long and my clothing ragged in a “hip” way, which was a sort of signal to society not to hire me, but also that I might be interesting to talk to. I walked with a notebook dangling from one arm at my side, which made me look thoughtful and interesting, which was helpful, back in the days when a great form of public transportation was hitchhiking.

As years past I became increasingly aware many of my fellow artists were con-artists, playing the role of an artist while producing very little true art. They were experts on the suffering of an artist, but not very good when it came time to stop talking and start doing. Those who did make any money had usually compromised to some demand of the Status Quo, even though we called such compromise “selling out”. They might become the demeaned servants of the ugly and elderly, (called “patrons”), or they might dedicate their talent to selling Chocolate Sugar Bombs Breakfast Cereal. I wasn’t tempted to sell out in this manner. I would like to say this was because I was virtuous, but mostly it was because the opportunities didn’t arise. The few times I was tempted I fortunately was in situations that made my skin crawl and I was repelled, (if not initially, then before the quicksand rose above my heart).

Eventually it became apparent that there was no money in poetry, and that I needed to work if I wanted to eat. I did attempt to get around working by learning about wild plants I could eat, but there was no such thing as wild cigarettes, and that addiction forced me to conform, to a certain degree. I became a working man.

By that time I knew a lot about the “bohemian” lifestyle, and very little about having any common sense, so I cannot say I “settled down”. I had learned to be thrifty, and not to mind discomfort, and didn’t mind sleeping in my car. I called myself a “free thinker”, but confess it was very lonely. As a drifter I was often on the outside, looking in at others in their happy social-groupings. I saw myself as a sort of detached anthropologist, taking note of what others “believed” in.

An example of this occurred when I was living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was a working man in a landscape of people on vacation, and the most beautiful (in my young eyes) were the young ladies in bikinis strolling along the road by the shore. They showed no interest in me as I drove by in my tiny, dented car, but one day my boss had me drive his Cadillac to the repair shop, and I took the longer route, down by the beach, so I could continue my anthropological studies of bikinis. Much to my surprise a large number of the young ladies smiled at me. I glanced in the rear view mirror to see what was different about me, but I didn’t look any different. Then I abruptly realized what was different was the car I was driving.

Mind you, this was not merely one or two girls. I drove the Cadillac along four miles of the Grand Strand, and have never been smiled at so much in all my life. At first I smiled back, but it slowly sunk in that they did not believe in me. They believed in Cadillacs, and I decided I did not approve of that. After four miles they stopped smiling at the man in the Cadillac, once they saw he was frowning back at them.

Not that I am worth believing in. God is the only One worthy of worship. But I bring this up to demonstrate that even people who scoff at religion believe in something. It may not be Cadillacs, but even dedicated atheists believe in something.

And when you believe, you are listening to a voice in your head. It may not say, “Oh! Look! A Cadillac! Smile!” But it is there. And at this time a voice in my head began saying, “Women are not interested in me; they are interested in my wallet”. This explains why I was a bachelor so long. No woman likes hearing that. It may be true they want a good provider for any children the future may hold, but they’d much rather hear a man say he will slay dragons to make them happy, (or at least move out of his car.)

I wanted to hear a woman say she’d stick by my side, even if life’s dragons kicked my butt, and left me on crutches. In a sense what I wanted, and what many women wanted, was the concept of marriage, wherein the couple stick together “for better or for worse“. However “marriage” seemed terribly old-fashioned and outdated, and by 1980 many young men and women were seeking some “alternative” that avoided the pain many had experienced as children, when the divorce-rate soared from 5% towards 50% in the decade between 1964 and 1974. Because many people had lost faith in marriage, they didn’t “believe” in it. The alternative, (at times loosely described as “free love”), was not clearly defined in many minds, and because of this many were involved in situations that did not “feel right”. They often were recoiling from experiences of crude lust, which made them in a way “reactionary.” At times my simply bringing up the word “commitment” could make a young lady yell at me. They wanted to be free and “liberated”.

Initially getting yelled-at backed me off. It wasn’t anything like I wanted, which was to hear a woman say she’d stick by my side. However besides being a coward I was curious. Often it was obvious to me that the liberated woman was yelling about something I hadn’t said, (or at least hadn’t intended), and this suggested she was hearing some “voice in her head”.

Once I started actually talking to militant women, rather then observing them from a safe distance, I became aware the voice in their head was the voice of fear. There were nightmares in their past, and they feared a reoccurrence. I think one reason women wanted to be liberated from men, and be self-sufficient, was that they had never met a man who wasn’t a sleaze-bag, or (at the very least) a man who wouldn’t desert them. The other side of this coin was that I never met a woman who showed the slightest desire to stick by my side, or to accept me as I was. Instead I seemed to be hit by demands I be impossibly rich, kind, and undemanding.

It reminds me of an old quote, “I was searching for the perfect woman, but when I finally found her I discovered she was searching for the perfect man.” It is a quote that works both ways.

Eventually I decided that the best alternative to divorce is to stay married. Much of the pain children remember from a parent’s divorce is caused by the divorcing, but children blame the marriage. The solution then seems to be to avoid marriage, but that is to move in the exact opposite direction from where the true solution lies.

To use an analogy: Marriage can be like a leaky boat in a sea full of sharks. Some point out that bailing, and constantly caulking leaks, is very tiresome, while abandoning ship and swimming free of the burdensome ship would simplify things. Then these advisors smile, with the teeth of sharks.

In essence one is converting from faith in one thing (marriage) to faith in another (self-reliance.) It seems a simple matter of choice, but the difference is profound, for it is a shift from selflessness to selfishness, and from faith to doubt. Hardest of all to comprehend, by those who are displaying great courage by setting out all alone, is the fact the inner voice they are heeding is not a voice of courage, but of fear.

I cannot stress how important this distinction is, yet how difficult it is to see, when you are the one responding to fear. One is basically casting off the advice of saints for the advice of sharks, but one is never really aware of the compromise they have made by casting off, until they wind up on the casting couch.

Some women can’t imagine men can have the slightest idea of the degradation involved on a casting couch, but men can, if they ever were young and smooth poets, seeking help from an old and sleazy editor. I was once in those shoes, for once I thought art was judged on its merits, and naïvely walked into an old editor’s office thinking he was attracted to my poems. What then happened likely served me right, for I was operating under the assumption that “It is not what you know; it is who you know”, which is false. What you know does matter most.

To cut an embarrassing story short, I was a lot faster in those days, and when the editor got tired of pursuing me he leaned up against his desk and, shooting me a withering look, stated this Maxim: “No writer has ever succeeded without f—ing someone or getting f—ed by someone.” I replied, “Well then, I’ll be the first.” Let it suffice to say, I got no real help from the man. Nor did I ever succeed, in terms he could understand.

Sad to say, once you have abandoned the selflessness of saints and accepted the selfishness of sharks, you accept a reality that holds no real giving. All is a bargaining, and even bullying. You must “pay to play”, and if you refuse to pay then efforts will be made to prevent you from playing. Rather than a “getting a lucky break”, you will be marginalized, ostracized, blackballed.

Some do not like to admit such behavior occurs in places like Washington D.C. and Hollywood, yet it not only occurs, but it spreads like an insidious infection unless people stand up and dare to state it is wrong, and the people who dare to stand up risk being subjected to the very marginalization, ostracizing and blackballing they object to. It is for this reason some don’t dare, and instead learn the “right” things to say, and fear saying the “wrong” things. They study the latest fashions and fads, striving to be politically correct, and practice “virtue-signaling” to demonstrate how correct they are, regardless of the questioning silence in the back of their minds. That silence is drowned out by a louder voice of fear. It is fear of being marginalized, ostracized and blackballed.

I ran into this most recently when I started studying the facts behind Global Warming, and began to see there was scant evidence man-made CO2 was the cause. The questioning silence in the back of my mind produced a thing called “Truth”. Many who then rose to angrily protest against what I discovered had not studied the subject at all. They had no facts at their fingertips, and rather were “virtue-signaling” how politically correct they were by yelling at me. They threatened to marginalize, ostracize and blackball because they were afraid that, if they didn’t, they themselves would be marginalized, ostracized and blackballed.

But what might occur if that fear didn’t exist? What if the voice in their head stopped frightening them?

One nice thing might be that we could have a reasonable discussion about Global Warming. But one not-so-nice thing might be that people would turn on those who had been scaring them for so long.

No one likes to be bullied, and the one thing that big bullies fear most is seeing people stand up to them. In fact tyrants become increasingly oppressive in their fear of facing the rage of the people they oppress. They can never relax their marginalizing, ostracizing and blackballing; they can only increase it. The moment the fear is relaxed, the moment political correctness allows greater scope, all hell breaks lose.

Ann Coulter has an interesting take on this (2). She stated that as long as the Clinton’s were in power there was no uproar about casting couches in Hollywood. People merely shrugged and accepted the sleaze as the way things were done. The anguish of a woman taken advantage of was dismissed as a “bimbo eruption”. It was politically correct to look on President Clinton’s unethical behavior and to say, “Boys will be boys”. But then the Clinton’s lost power. Trump was elected. And then suddenly Harvy Weinstein couldn’t bully any more. The repressed rage of woman exploded as the “#Me Too Movement”.

What this suggests to me is that the voice of fear women had been listening to became quiet enough for women to hear the questioning silence behind it.

Christians aren’t the only ones who hear voices.

(1.) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/13/vice-president-pence-is-right-joy-behar-publicly-apologizes-for-mocking-christianity/?utm_term=.7adda0138b6c

(2.) http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2018-05-30.html

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A BITTER SUNDAY

This sonnet will seem cryptic, at first.

“All those who surrender will be spared”
Spoke Jeremiah to his stiff-necked people,
Advocating something Churchill never dared,
For God does not always stay in the steeple
And knows different folks need different strokes,
Some times a caress, and some times a lash.

Now I look across my nation’s bad jokes
Called “wisdom”, see people who are by cash
Besotted, and wonder if it’s wise to quit,
Or to “Never Surrender!” It depends
On what you surrender to. I lack wit
And cannot see through your fog to the ends
Your justified means lead lemmings to,
But you who judge God will see God judges you.

I have always loved tales where the good guys triumph over the bad guys, despite insurmountable odds. Good tends to be an underdog, in the eyes of the politically crafty, but there are plenty of examples of underdogs triumphing, when you look for them.

I’m not merely talking about sporting events, such as the amateur American hockey team beating the professional Russian team in the 1980 Winter Olympics. I’m talking about the history of world politics, the really “big leagues”, where the fate of entire nations and civilizations are at stake.

For example, the underdogs in 1450 would have been three little nations far out on the western edge of Europe, when the world powers were Venice and the Ottoman Empire. Who would have dreamed that fifty years later the Pope would basically divide the planet into two parts, controlled by what had been Portugal, and  Aragon and Castile ( which became Spain.)

Yet even as Portugal and Spain became a world power a new underdog existed to the north, called Britain.

Yet even as Britain became a world power a new underdog existed across the Atlantic, called “The Thirteen Colonies.”

Those attracted to power are always flocking to the side of those about to lose to the underdog. Think hard about this, before you embrace that which is “politically correct”.  The very people you sneer at for being “incorrect” likely will rise, and prove to be “correct” as you prove to be “mistaken”.

What is the mistake? The mistake is to put politics and power and money and acclaim and satiated-desire ahead of Truth, (also known as God.) It is a mistake because Truth does not need to lift a finger to be true, while crafty, political deck-stacking and agenda-pushing requires ceaseless effort, and still remains at least partially false.  In the end Truth, although seemingly naive compared to craftiness, wins out, because it exists without effort, whereas falsehood collapses under the draining effort required to make “what isn’t” be “what is”.

In the Bible one sees that the Hebrews tended to see themselves as the “good guys”, and had some marvelous examples of themselves being the underdogs, yet defeating seemingly insurmountable odds. Jehoshaphat sent his puny forces out with musicians ahead of the armed men, and the three huge armies they faced began bickering among themselves, and then fought each other, rather than Jehoshaphat’s forces, and in the end all Jehoshaphat’s men had to do was gather up the plunder from three self-destroyed armies. In like manner, when Sennacherib confronted Jerusalem with 185,000 troops, some sort of plague broke out and slaughtered them. The Hebrews triumphed against impossible odds.

The “Churchill”, as the Hebrews faced Sennacherib, was the prophet Isaiah. As the Hebrew king quailed in the face of a contemptuous army of 185,000 Assyrians, Isaiah spoke the “never surrender” of his time. And, (though of course the Assyrian version of history is different), most ancient histories, (even while calling Judea a “vassal”), show Judea as a lone area, an island of independence that never submitted to the World Power called “Assyria”.

Only a couple generations later the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah had less heroic advice for the people of Judea. Rather than “Never Surrender”, it was, in various forms, “Surrender.”

This apparently was because the rot had set in. Rather than a people who were an example of Truth the Hebrews had become corrupt, and were examples of a sort of slander. Therefore Jeremiah was the bearer of bad news, and in the unenviable position of walking up to rich and powerful people and saying, “Tsk tsk! Y’know, what goes ’round comes around, and you’re ’bout to reap what you have sowed, and it ain’t pretty”.

In modern terms, Jeremiah was like a divinity student walking into a Madison Avenue advertising agency and saying, “You fellows are not telling the Truth.” He got laughed right out of the room.

Actually, on one occasion, after telling the Truth at the Hebrew temple, the head priest (Pashhur) promptly had Jeremiah beaten and put in stocks for a day. Among other things, this resulted in “Jeremiah’s Complaint”.

Because Jeremiah was all about telling the truth, and because telling the truth got him treated like a turd, he had to be truthful to God and complain about what honesty had earned him. Though the blues he sung are 2600 years old, “Jeremiah’s complaint” is a remarkable bit of blurted honesty, and expresses exasperation towards the Almighty (like a flea yelling at an Elephant.)

I won’t belabor you with the whole complaint. (It can be found in Chapter 20 of the book of Jeremiah, verses 7-18, if you are interested.) What is interesting to me is that Jeremiah seemingly decided the smart thing to do would be to shut the f— up, to avoid the pain, but when he tried to be silent the pain was like a fire in his heart and bones, and he simply had to open his mouth and blurt out the honesty that would once again land him in trouble.

For me the hardest thing to take is Jeremiah’s advise to surrender. I far prefer Churchill’s cry to “never surrender”. But perhaps it all boils down to whether you are surrendering to an evil falsehood, or surrendering to the Truth.

As a boy I recall being struck by a political cartoon from 1944, when Germany was facing defeat. In the cartoon Hitler was attempting to rally the German people. But hidden behind the front of his podium was a folder, labeled “Churchill’s 1940 Speeches”. This impressed me, as a boy, with the idea the “bad guy” could say the exact same things as the “good guy”.

In the time of Jeremiah the Hebrew leaders were saying “Never Surrender” as the Babylonians advanced upon Jerusalem, hoping the Hebrews would again be saved by a miracle, and to them Jeremiah would obviously appear to be coward and a traitor for stating, “Surrender”. However was he? Or was he like a man in Germany in 1944, when surrender would have been the wise thing to do? In any case, the cry “Never Surrender” did no good against the Babylonians, and the Hebrews were crushed and led off to captivity.

In modern terms the concept of “Global Warming” is deemed politically correct, but Skeptics are advancing like an invading army. Alarmists bravely cry, “We shall never surrender!” I am like the prophet Jeremiah.

Now read the sonnet again:

“All those who surrender will be spared”
Spoke Jeremiah to his stiff-necked people,
Advocating something Churchill never dared,
For God does not always stay in the steeple
And knows different folks need different strokes,
Some times a caress, and some times a lash.

Now I look across my nation’s bad jokes
Called “wisdom”, see people who are by cash
Besotted, and wonder if it’s wise to quit,
Or to “Never Surrender!” It depends
On what you surrender to. I lack wit
And cannot see through your fog to the ends
Your justified means lead lemmings to,
But you who judge God will see God judges you.

 

 

 

 

 

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Barneo Battles–

Every year at this time a remarkable battle against the elements occurs close to the North Pole, as the Barneo Jetport and Tourist Trap is constructed, and then deconstructed, upon the shifting surface of sea-ice that covers the Arctic Sea.

Besides the battle against the elements, there are other battles, involving the greed of nations to exploit the arctic, and also the wish of some to see the arctic made into a National Park. Some who interfere, (with those seeking to exploit the arctic),  are conservationists of the best sort, but others are Satan’s Useful Idiots environmentalists. In any case, it is no easy task to get the Barneo base up and running.

This year there has been a lot of polite silence about what the hold-ups are. This makes me very curious, and also to a degree suspicious.

At the risk of sounding paranoid, I will state that there are those who would like nothing better than to block the construction of Barneo. Though they may state their opposition is due to an altruistic desire to keep the sea-ice pristine and pure, and unspoiled by jet-airplane exhaust, in actual fact they indignantly dislike the fact jets land on sea-ice that they have publicly stated would be gone by now.

Jets landing at the North Pole is “bad press”. However, if they could block the construction of the Barneo base, it would be “good press”, because they would never admit that they themselves blocked the construction, by throwing hammers into the works, but rather they would insist Barneo wasn’t built because there was no solid sea-ice to build it upon.

That excuse will not work this year, for this year there is ice solid enough to build upon. Neither “Climate”, nor “Weather”, is the reason the project is ten days behind schedule. The cause of the hold-up is unexplained. In fact we may never learn what sort of crap the promoters had to battle through, but it is not the sea-ice. The ice is thicker, where they are looking to build Barneo, than it has been on prior years.

The translations of their Facebook reports are as follows: From April 7:

“N 89 * 26.72 ‘and E 129 * 42.35’ are the coordinates of Jalousie-2.

There are now 23 people there: 12 helicopters, the head of the flights, the ice reconnaissance vehicle, the mechanic tractor driver (they flew from the Jalousie-1 point) and 8 paratroopers (among them the doctor) who landed with the Il-76 along with the fuel.

Tomorrow from this small camp a helicopter will fly out to search for an ice floe under the Barneo base.”

“Jalousie” is the translation (?) of the Russian “Zhaluzi”, which is the word they use to dub the base-camps they establish before the actual Barneo base is established. As I described in an earlier post, what they do is a remarkable display of faith, for they fly helicopters out past “the point of no return”, and then the helicopters land and await more fuel, trusting people will show up and airdrop the fuel. (!).  This first base is “Zhaluzi 1″. Aftwe fuel arrives they then fly on from this first base to establish “Zhaluzi 2″, and it is from that second base the reconnaissance is done that establishes the Barneo Base.

The translations from their Facebook reports of April 9 state:

 “The ice floe was found near the Jalousie-2. Annual, the thickness of 180cm.  Not far from this ice floe is another, reserve. Today, the guys will move from the Jalousie-2 to a new location, transport the fuel, and tomorrow, if the weather permits (it, unfortunately, is unstable), they will take two tractor and paratroopers from IL-76. And they will start building a runway.”

I hope you are able to read between the lines, and understand how gutsy these individuals are. They are way out on a limb, and when they state, with disinterested Russian Phlegm, that the weather, “unfortunately, is unstable,”  it is a bit like a sky-diver saying, “the parachute, unfortunately, is not functioning very well.”

For some reason the Danish Meteorological Institute has abruptly stopped issuing its North Pole maps of temperature and surface pressures. I haven’t heard any explanation. Fortunately I can fall back on the maps Dr. Ryan Maue made it possible for the Weatherbell Site to offer. They show the anomalous low pressure I dubbed “Ralph” moving up from the Kara Sea, to become a royal pain-in-the-ass for individuals attempting to establish a resort on shifting and groaning, cracking and crunching, moaning and squealing, sea-ice at the Pole.

April 8:
GEM mslp 0408 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1
April 9
GEM mslp 0409 cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1April 10
GEM mslp 0410B cmc_mslp_uv10m_arctic_1

This is not the sort of weather you want to have, when building a tourist trap on the North Pole. However the Barneo crews are unbelievable. In past years they have seen deeper gales, and in recent years have bulldozed runways only to see the sea-ice crack, and bulldozed second runways only to see those runways crack, and gone on to bulldoze a third runway. One reason they seldom post on Facebook is because they have no time to lounge at a computer.

It looks grim to me, as they are off to such a late start, and the weather is so rotten, but I do see a few glimmers of hope. One hope is that storms that far north tend to be arid, and the current storm is only dusting the landscape with less than an inch of snow.

GEM prec 0410B cmc_precip_mslp_arctic_2 (Off topic, but look at that slug of moisture slamming into southern Greenland!)

Not only are the snows slight, but, (if you look back to my past Barneo posts from prior years), you’ll see these fellows have seen worse. These gutsy fellows have worked in gales, with winds gusting above 50 mph, so the current winds of 20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph, are….well….maybe they aren’t “a piece of cake”, but they’ve seen worse.

Lastly I’d like to point out a thing they mention, that Alarmists will blithely ignore. They state the sea-ice is 1.8 meters thick. (Six feet).

Hello? I know many would feel a bit queasy about landing a jet on ice only six feet thick, atop a mile-deep ocean. But they have to land on thin ice. Such thin,  flat, fresh “baby-ice” is better than thicker ice, because the thicker “multiyear ice” is all fractured and crushed into an uneven mass of pressure ridges. That being said,  does anyone care to mention how thin the ice, which the jets landed on in prior years, was?

No.

>Why not? Well, it might be because in prior years the ice was only 1.2 meters thick. (Four feet). And it would not support “the narrative”, (would it now?), to say the “baby-ice” was four feet thick in 2015 but now the “baby-ice” six feet thick?  Rather than suggesting the sea-ice is melting away, some might be “misguided”, and suggest that it is now thicker.

Well, it is thicker. Call me “misguided” all you want. I’m tired of listening to Alarmists gyrate their brains in order to produce their bent logic. They will point out the edge of the ice, far to the south, was pushed further north this year, and this makes this year’s “sea-ice extent” less. This is true. Yes, yes, yes, this is true. But will they raise their eyes just a little bit north to where sea-ice is 50% thicker? No, no, no.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying conditions couldn’t change by next year. Conditions vary enormously at the Pole. (For example, around 1817 so much sea-ice shifted south there was open water north of Greenland, but bergs grounded on the coast of Ireland, [and Western Europe experienced “A Year With No Summer”, likely due to a chilled North Atlantic.])

All I am saying is that we should be honest about current conditions. It is silly to only look at the edge of the ice down by Svalbard, and ignore the thickness of sea-ice where they are struggling to set up the Barneo Base. If you obey that sort of bias you are like a stallion wearing blinders; all your might is made meek.

Not that this sort of petty debate means anything to the fellows struggling to create the Barneo Base. I imagine their pay is pretty good, for a ordinary toiling Joe (though a comparative pittance, to a banker or politician.) What I can’t imagine, and envy, is the sheer struggle they experience, working under such unbelievable conditions.

I envy them because, in my younger days, I worked some horrific jobs, and the fellows I worked with did not fail, and consequently we made a little more money than other slobs. But the money didn’t matter as much as the memory. The money was soon spent, but the bragging-rights are everlasting.

For example, when you buy a tin of sardines, or some pickled herring, you likely cannot imagine the fellows unloading and tinning and pickling the fish in the dead of winter, when salt water freezes.  You had to be there. And I have been there.

In like manner, the tourists spending between $30,000 and $60,000 to recline on cots in tents at Barneo, and enjoy prepared meals from a kitchen, likely feel they are experiencing some degree of hardship, for, after all, they upon the Arctic Sea. But they have no idea of the hardship experienced by the Joe’s who set up their tents and cots and cafeteria.  The tourists experience mere “inconvenience”, compared to the brutal conditions experienced by the rough and tumble Joe’s, who make upper class adventures possible

If it is possible to move a thousand privileged people through Barneo in the 21 days it is open, as much as 60 million dollars will be involved. Any wonder people are willing to work their butts off? Not that the workers will each make 60 million. But they will make more than they’d make if they stayed south.

However that 60 million will not be available, if Barneo is unable to open. And therefore the workers are battling like you wouldn’t believe, fighting all the odds, to make it possible.

Man Oh Man, do I ever wish I was young again. That was the sort of fight I loved to dig my shoulder into: To make the impossible possible.

Consequently I have never understood those rich people who think it is smart to avoid hard work, and who instead think it is a sign of intelligence to trick people, and mislead people, and to say sea-ice is thinner when it is in fact thicker.

I could go on, but will leave it at that.

LOCAL VIEW –Grumpy Humor #287–

This appeared on a Facebook page called “Legal Insurrection”, and then on the “Ice Age Now” site. Apparently it is someone’s wry joke that is now going viral. Trump fixes Global Warming 29790811_10156289670494486_177478172852994533_n

So far April in the USA has been 4 1/2 degrees below normal in the USA, which is the coldest April since 1982. Here is a map from Joseph D’Aleo’s blog at the Weatherbell Site showing how much below normal it was yesterday.

April Cold 1 ncep_cfsv2_4_t2anom_usa(27)

A slug of Gulf of Mexico heat will try to punch north, likely creating big storms and tornadoes down south towards the end of the week, but I doubt it will make it this far north. We just shiver and shudder and wait for May.

LOCAL VIEW –Arctic April–

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers…

                                                        T.S. Eloit

April is a tantalizing month in New Hampshire, for it can hold the heat of summer and then see that warmth followed by snows. At times this leads to crushing disappointment, but I always disagreed with T.S.Eliot, who called April “the cruelest month”. Down deep I knew the “tantalizing” wasn’t like the Greek legend of Tantalus. It wouldn’t go on and on and never end.  After all, it has an expiration date of thirty days, and is followed by a wondrous thing called “May.” But there is no getting around the fact there is a sort of madness in the air. “March madness” is followed by “April Fools.”

I blame the brilliant sunshine. At this latitude the days are getting 3 minutes longer every day, or 21 minutes each week, and the route Old Sol cruises across the sky is noticeably further north, and his brilliance is suddenly as high as it is on the final days at the beach in boyhood summers, however whereas the shortening of days brings the melancholic madness of Halloween, lengthening days brings overriding optimism.

The uplift of mood is quite obvious in the children at our Childcare, and I notice that when they aren’t bounding like spring lambs they have a tendency to sprawl in the sunshine, no matter how bitter cold the winds may be. One moment they are charging ahead on a hike, and the next I look back and see them halted by a patch of checker-berries.

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The temperature swings can be amazing in April. Our record highs tend to be up around 90°F (32°C) while our record lows are down around 5°F (-15°). To our south the land is warming and fruit trees are in bloom, while to the north snows linger.

The retreat of the snow to the north is accompanied by the reverse of what you see as snows advance south in the fall. Where temperatures are abruptly colder as soon as the ground is snow-covered, temperature are abruptly warmer as soon as landscapes are are snow-free. Where a white landscape reflects the sunshine a brown landscape absorbs it, and during the shorter nights the thawing turf remembers the days warmth, but white snows still provide an excellent base for radiational cooling.

In October north winds have less power despite the far longer nights, for the northern lakes haven’t frozen and their waters radiate heat remembered from the summer. Lakes steam like soup in the chill of dawn. Now the situation is reversed, for the same lakes are ice-covered, and the ice remembers the cold. People who have measured the temperature of lake’s ice (and arctic sea-ice) have discovered the thick ice on northern lakes can be colder than both the water beneath and the air above. The ice remembers the winter, and until it is gone it has the power to resist the onslaught of spring.

Some years the ice vanishes more swiftly than others, but this year the snow is slow to go.

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This is not good news if you are thirsting for spring, and also if you are thirsting for proof the planet is warming. If anything, it can be used as an indication of a coming ice-age. The longer the snows last to the north, the longer the landscape reflects the sun’s heat, and the shorter the arctic summer will be. An ice-age begins when the prior year’s snow fails to melt before the following year’s begins falling.

I don’t even want to think of such a possibility, for I’m craving warmth. And, to be quite honest, in the records available in Concord, New Hampshire, going back to the late 1860’s, I tend to see we have always had extreme variety in our Aprils. The temperatures have been recorded in three or four different locals in Concord, over the past 150 years, so the precision of the records isn’t perfect, but the record-highs and record-lows neither prove the world is warming nor that it is chilling. For example, on April 7 the record high is from 2010 (87 °F) yet the record low is also recent, from 2003 (8 °F). But then the very next day you see the record high is from 1871 (92 °F) and the record low is from 1888 (15 °F).

I know some like to torture and tease these statistics to prove temperatures have risen a few tenths of a degree, or fallen a few tenths of a degree, but my mother always told me it was rude to tease. Anyway, what’s a few tenths of a degree when the weather is wild and temperatures can soar and plunge over seventy?

I have to deal with blunter realities, watching other people’s children, and one thing I have to watch is that the little ones stay off the ice. If there is any greenhouse effect around here, it is that the ice on a pond is like a roof of a greenhouse over the water beneath, heating the water beneath so that the ice thins, even when the temperatures stay below freezing. Children, and even adults, can’t comprehend under brilliant sunshine, ice that was safe on Monday becomes unsafe on Tuesday, even when north winds blow bitter and cold.

The brilliance of the sun is intense, and I have to watch out for sunburns even when children wear mittens and hats. The soil thaws even when it is below freezing, which is quite the opposite from November, when days are four hours shorter, and under the low sun a crust of frozen soil refuses to thaw (when you want to dig the last potatoes) even when south winds warm.

And, of course, as soon as the soil thaws a primitive urge to plant awakes, and absolutely everyone wants to start digging.

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I tend to resist the spring-feverish urge to plant, for I’m an old grouch and have been embittered by years of having many volunteers in April, urging ambition, and then seeing them all mysteriously vanish when the weather gets hot in June, and weeds display an ambition all their own.

Also I remember many April warm spells that were followed by snows.  As a landscaper I had to develop a tactful way of reining back my elderly customers (that my wife called “my harem”) because they were possessed by a sort of panic when the weather got hot, and the tomatoes were not planted. When I couldn’t dissuade them either the tomato plants were killed by late frosts, or they turned a strange hue of purple in cold rains, and then sulked a long time, refusing to prosper even when other tomatoes, planted later, swiftly grew.

In other words, I’ve developed a whole slew of excuses that help me to avoid hard work. In actual fact the old Yankee farmers worked the soil the first chance they got, and planted things like peas, that do not mind the cold. They burned 4000 calories a day, using every hour of daylight to eek a hardscrabble livelihood from a stony northern landscape. Woe unto us, if the survivalists are right, and we are thrown backwards into such subsistence,  for I have become modern in my old age. I prefer getting my peas at the grocery store, and anyway, I doubt I have 4000 calories a day to burn, at age sixty-five.

If I did farm, I’d have to wear a white suit with a black string-tie like a southern plantation-owner, and order others about. I’ve paid my dues, when it comes to planting peas in mud with red hands as wet snow flies. Now I prefer sitting back on the first warm day of April and being the voice of doom and gloom, saying, “It’s going to snow again,” and then smirking when the entire north of the USA sees snow, like it does this morning.

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The problem is that, though I get better and better at avoiding work, work seems to like me. It tags along like a puppy and won’t go away.

As the warmth comes north and fights the arctic, and the arctic fights back, we can get some wonderful winds. The trees roar and sunshine flashes between sliding clouds. A million pine needles each individually glitter threads of blinding white in the dawn, doubling the dazzle, and then, as the wind roars to a crescendo, you hear a crack and crash from the woods.

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Trail is blocked. Sigh. Time to get out the chainsaw.

Hmm. Maybe April is the cruelest month, after all.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Barneo Base Set-up Running Late–

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Alexander Orlov, wearing the bright blue shirt in the above picture of the “blessing of the 2017 Barneo expedition”, was the brains, brawn and heart of the amazing yearly event on the arctic ice, and with his wife Irena  (in white kerchief) had shouldered the burden of improving an encampment which he found to be very unsafe, (and his wife found to be very uncomfortable) when they first visited in 2002. In the above picture he shows little sign that he knew he had only five weeks to live. He completed the 2017 expedition, and completed his life.

The loss of such a crucial person undoubtedly makes it harder the following year. Usually the Barneo camp is established by the final week in March. In recent years the latest establishment of the base was March 31.

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This year is off to a late start.  Irena has had to work alone, without her husband, and there have apparently been some problems, which she doesn’t go into.

“At first we planned on starting the aerial reconnaissance in the middle of March, but there was just no way to do that, for the difficulties we met were almost inextricable. But “almost” doesn’t mean “totally”, so we still had a chance. And we didn’t lose it. Hard times are gone, and we’re basically over the hump. This night the low platform with two tractors and landing equipment is departing to Tver, together with the landing team. Tomorrow they will leave to Murmansk to prepare the first airdrop of fuel storage tanks at the Jalousie-1 point. Take a look at the tractor’s loading:”

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This is only the start of a colossal effort which will create a jetport on arctic sea-ice for a very short period of time. It boggles the mind. Mi-8 helicopters fly north to the the most northerly fuel dump on Srendy Island to refuel, and then basically fly north from there until they run out of gas. Then they land and await more gas to be airdropped to them. This first base is called “Zhalyuzi 1”. Once the helicopters have more gas, they fly on to establish a second base, called “Zhalyuzi 2”, and it is only then, after another airdrop, that they  seek to find the perfect ice-floe, “oval-shaped, detached from the surrounding sea-ice, and…at least 2 km long so that it can accommodate a 1,200 m runway and the (Barneo) camp”. (Irena’s words).

This is not the end of the effort, because in the past such oval-shaped bergs have split, and one year four separate runways had to be bulldozed, before the tourists arrived.

In the past I have been too scornful of tourists who pay what I make in a year for a three day adventure. I think I’m just jealous.

It should be stated that all this effort is not merely done for tourists. In a war-time situation Russia might need to build an airbase in a big hurry on arctic sea-ice, and the construction of Barneo is good practice. However the experience has apparently suggested to some in the Russian military that such a base might be too short-lived to be useful, except in certain contingencies in April. Therefore they are apparently toying with the idea of bigger and bigger ice-breakers, nuclear powered, approaching the size of an aircraft carrier. Once a floating-island-icebreaker, that jets can land on, is built, Barneo will become obsolete.

For safety’s sake Barneo is usually closed down, as a tourist trap, the third week in April. After that the runway might become slushy and unsuitable for jets. However I have seen evidence that the runway is not unsuitable for smaller aircraft with skis, and scientists hang out at the site well into the summer. Though all the comfortable accommodations for tourists have been disassembled and removed, a few huts remain, and there are plenty of pictures of the site where melt-water pools are evident, that were apparently taken in June, or even July, and also pictures indicating the final removal of personal is done by ice-breaker and not aircraft.

Back in 2016 a jet came down very hard on the ice. They always land hard and brake hard, in such a short landing strip. On this occasion the hard-landing didn’t even dent the sea-ice, but the the jets’s landing gear crumpled. Suddenly the Russians had a jet to remove from the pristine arctic, or they would face the wrath of Greenpeace, and also Norway. This taught me a lot about the petty politics Irina has to deal with. My observations are made here:

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/arctic-sea-ice-barneo-2016-the-mystery-of-the-missing-jet/

I think the above post may give one an inkling of the “difficulties” Irena has had to deal with this year, and why she is off to such a late start. Her late husband Alexander Orlov is likely rolling in his grave about how later the start is. However she seems cool as a cucumber and confident her staff will work with same ferocity they displayed other years, when cracks in the runways seemed to make the situation impossible.

An excellent interview of Irena by the blogger “coldartist” from March 31 appears here:

https://pythom.com/Preparations-for-2018-Barneo-North-Pole-Ice-Camp-are-in-full-swing-2018-03-31-33938

As an aside, during the interview, Irena mentions that, judging from satellite imagery, the sea-ice in the area is “pretty solid, varying from 1.82 m to 1.60 m…:”

My ears perk forward at that, for that seems a tidbit of “Real News”, as opposed to the “Fake News” one is plastered by at other sites. I pay attention to small details, and recognize sea-ice 5-6 feet thick is thicker than sea-ice 4 feet thick, which jets have landed upon in the past.  Back when the Barneo base involved the scientists who gifted us with the “North Pole Camera”, I recall the scientist who froze his fingers putting that camera in place commenting on how the ice was “only” four feet thick.

Now that fellow is no longer invited north. The funding for the “North Pole Camera” has dried up. It is not because the fellow ever stated Global Warming was in any way a fraud. Even if he didn’t drink the Kool -Aid, he gave every indication of serving it and being a loyal Alarmist. However his cameras failed to “further the narrative”.  In fact his cameras seemed to be an anathema, and a “Denier”, for the cameras failed to show the sea-ice melting away.

In like manner, the funding for the O-buoy cameras has dried up. Why? Perhaps they too failed to “further the narrative”. Surely I sound paranoid, but it just seems odd to me that a few years ago we had many cameras scanning the sea-ice, and now we have none.

Now, if we are to continue to use our own eyes, and see what the sea-ice actually looks like, and to compare it with various “interpretations” derived from satellites, it depends on a woman named Irena. Also it depends on rich tourists, who want to spend at least $25,000 for a three day vacation, seeing for themselves what the sea-ice looks like, and that it hasn’t melted away, and that jets can actually land on it in April.

To me it seems a tragic state of affairs that we must depend on rich tourists to post on Facebook, to see the Truth, whereas those we once trusted to tell the Truth, (including even the Pope himself), seem more inclined towards the balderdash called “being politically correct”. To some it is more important to appear correct than to be correct.

If you are depressed, I don’t blame you. It is a very depressing state of affairs we live midst. But, if you hunger for the Truth about sea-ice, continue to use your eyes. Unless the blinders become complete, there will be evidence available. And, even if the politically correct make the blinders complete, and the Barneo base no longer reports actual conditions, continue to stand by the Truth. For then Truth will stand by you.

In other words, stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL VIEW –Singing In The Snow–

Sometimes I want to shoot the messenger. Ordinarily I am full of praise for the Weatherbell site, but today Joseph D’Aleo had the nerve to mention, on his blog, “Although the sun is 24 degrees higher in the sky and days are up to 3 and a half hours longer than the nights around Christmas, snows can happen in April.

I don’t want to hear that.

Then he, and also Joe Bastardi, went on in great detail about how winter, in a final fit, could delay our spring.  They were being honest, but so was Jesus when he told the Pharisees that their ostentatious outfits made them look like fools. And we know how Jesus was rewarded for his honesty, this being Easter. And I am grumpy and feel in some ways like a Pharisee.

At the same time I am perhaps less inclined to shoot (or crucify) messengers for telling the Truth, because I’ve been lambasted myself, when I simply comment on what the facts show us, in terms of all the hoopla about Global Warming.

I’m all for any sort of warming. After all, we get tortured in New Hampshire by false promises of spring every year, but the trees never are fooled, and never truly bust out until the first of May. I should know this by now. After all, I experienced my first miserable New Hampshire spring in 1972, and have more recently lived here non-stop for thirty years. However a boyish part of my heart remembers boyhood Springs, down in the flatlands of Massachusetts. Though only fifty miles away, Spring comes two weeks earlier there. And two weeks can seem like an eternity.

Not that the sun being 24 degrees higher in the sky and days being 3 1/2 hours longer doesn’t have an effect. It makes things worse. For example, look at the way the sun melts the snow away in only two days. Start here:

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And move two days on to this:

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And you’ll notice not green grass, but mud. Locals call it “The Mud Season.” In terms of running a Childcare, it means that rather than wet snowsuits I can throw in the drier, we wind up with muddy snow-suits I get in trouble for throwing in the drier. Of course I’ll also get in trouble, with the kids, if their snowsuits aren’t dry. It’s a lose-lose situation. The sooner Mud Season is over the happier I’ll be, but further frosts and further snows, as suggested by the Weatherbell site, will only prolong my misery.

Worst is that all the snow melted away back in February, and we had a day with a temperature of 72°F (22°C), and the mire was drying. All the Global Warming Alarmists were clicking their heels and joyously saying that the end of life as we know it was nigh.  But I’m no fool. The only threat to life as we know it was that they were so blind to the facts. The east coast of the USA was one of the few areas in the northern hemisphere above normal.

Singing 1 NOAA-map-land-Temp-Feb-2018

I went on to audaciously suggest that all the gray land-areas and white sea-areas in the above map, when in-filled (“homogenized”) by NOAA, would lean to warmth and hide how cold it was. This proved I was a “Denier”, though I only stated the Truth. For example,  in the above raw-data map southern India and western Ethiopia were below normal, but in the “homoginized” map below the same areas are above normal.

Singing 5 NOAA-map-blended-Temp-Feb-2018-1

Why should I get in trouble for pointing out what I just pointed out? It is right there for anyone to see. But it seems some Alarmists don’t like looking. They have “eyes but cannot see”. They prefer to “look” like they are correct, and this makes them like Pharisee in ostentatious outfits, “looking” spiritual.

Don’t get me wrong. Compared to Jesus I’m a spineless coward, and flee from any threat of being crucified. But I find it dismaying that even a spineless coward like myself can catch grief, for pointing out what a child can see. What am I denying, and why am I called a “denier”, for pointing out what is so obvious?

And let me point something else out, which I’ll likely catch heck for.

Some say land temperatures don’t matter, because they are so quick to rise and fall, and we should instead look at the sea-surface temperatures. But they distress me because they fell the past two months.

Singing 2 global

To me this is distressing because most of the sea surface is in the southern hemisphere, and they have just experienced their summer. Is something besides CO2 having an effect, (such as a less intense and “quiet” sun?)

So, the northern hemisphere, which is mostly land, looks colder, and sea-surface temperatures, which are mostly in the southern hemisphere, also look colder, but we are to believe that, overall, the world is warming? I don’t think so. And the people who say the world is warming seem, to me, to be the true “deniers”.

I have nothing to gain from seeing a colder world. I long for warmth and for spring. I am not paid by “Big Oil” (or anyone else) for stating my views. I’m just saying the Truth as I see it. What is most chilling to me is not the delayed spring I face, but the retarded intelligence I face. I feel that, if a Renaissance is a societal springtime,  societal spring is delayed, or even reversed.

An April snow? It is but piffle
Compared to the world-wide winter we’ve seen
Summer after summer. Stench? One whiff will
Cause the straight-walker to wheel and careen
Like a drunkard. Don’t try to explain it
With your politics, pitting rich against poor
And poor against rich, nor to contain it
Like an escaped genie. You cannot slam the door
On such a winter. Pandora’s mistake
Cannot be re-boxed, nor is her hope much good,
For winter causes the good hearts to break
And saints feed lions. Bow heads, as you should,
And then resort to the Last Resort, to call Spring:
In the face of the blues, sing, man, sing!

It seems a strange response to me, but there is a power in singing when all gets dark. As I pondered about this I happened to venture my ideas with a group of friends at a Bible-study, and they swiftly responded with examples of illogical singing defeating insurmountable odds.

A.) Jehoshaphat marched out to meet three invading armies with his musicians at the head of his army, and the enemy was thrown into confusion and fought each other to death, and Jehoshaphat’s soldiers didn’t need to draw a sword.

B.) Paul and his companions were thrown in prison after being severely beaten, and rather than than collapsing into exhausted sleep, they prayed (which makes some sense) and sung hymns (which doesn’t.) There promptly was an earthquake and the prison doors sprang open (which makes some sense)  and their shackles sprang open as well (which doesn’t).

C.) In Psalm 69 King David, after listing reasons for woe and stating how his foes deserve punishment, states,

...But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
    may your salvation, God, protect me.

I will praise God’s name in song…

I am not as skilled as my friends are, when it comes to quoting scripture. Instead I could only resort to secular sources, and turn to the unrecognized great American poet, Dr. Seuss, and point out that when the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, the Who’s defeated him by singing.

In any case, after talking we sang, and I have to admit I felt much better.

Afterwards I went home and dug up an old song I wrote back in 1972, after a night when I screamed into my pillow.  I brushed it up a bit, and here is the 2018 version:

You are why the night wind’s hushing.
You are why the dawn is blushing.
You are why the birds start singing.
You are why the church bell’s ringing.

The night was long and cold.
I had no one to hold.
I felt so confused
And so abused
But I refused to think that You forgot me.

You are land lost sails discover.
You are why the ill recover.
You removed every splinter.
You can end every winter.

The song you teach at dawn
Goes on and on and on.
Dark and cold starlight
Fades from my sight
And I delight the Sun has not forgot me.

You are why the night wind’s hushing.
You are why the dawn is blushing.
You are why the birds start singing.
You are why the church bell’s ringing.

In conclusion, the springtime this poor planet really needs isn’t meteorological. It needs another Easter.