For years I have had a Survivalist tendency, which regularly embarrasses me. There are few things more humbling than to predict the end of the world, and have the world keep right on going.
To be blunt, I just don’t see how the world does it. I try to be generous, and see the good side of people, but the fact of the matter is that people aren’t perfect, and when push comes to shove all people, (including myself), can have their imperfections make them be fools. When I was young I felt the grown-ups were fools, and when older I felt my peers were fools, and now that I at long last have grown gray, I deem young whippersnappers fools. During elections I feel I’m voting for the lesser of two foolishnesses. Fools always are running the show, and it seems no good could possibly come of it, but the show goes on.
It occurs to me that there is no possible way such fools could be responsible for the fact humanity hasn’t destroyed itself, and therefore someone else must be running the show.
And No, the “someone else” isn’t big-shot fools with piles of money who think they can avoid public scrutiny by pulling strings behind-the-scenes. Why not? Because such blowhards are more blatant than they think; they think others are fools and they are wise, but even fools see through their craft; they are transparent to even the slow-witted, given time; their duplicity catches up with them, which has given rise to statement’s such as Sir Walter Scott’s,
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”
And Abraham Lincoln’s,
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
In other words, the people who may think they are “running the show” are perhaps the greatest of fools. They think they are “in control” but in the end they discover they are not, which proves they are fools.
The Assyrian king Sennacherib was certain he was “in control” when he marched on Jerusalem with perhaps 185,000 troops, but for some reason Jerusalem is the one city he never captured. Sennacherib didn’t like to admit there was anything he didn’t control, and later he bragged he had caged the king of Jerusalem like a bird.
Of course the Jew’s had a different version. As Isaiah tells the tale, Sennacherib got too cocky, and said no city’s gods had been able to save any city’s citizens from his armies, and Jerusalem’s god Yahweh was no different, whereupon Yahweh killed his army in their sleep overnight, sending Sennacherib home like a dog with his tail between its legs, where he was later assassinated by his own son.
Many secular people dislike giving God any glory, and seek scientific explanations. They pooh-pooh the idea of some hocus-pocus bringing an authority “in control” to a screeching halt, and search for a scientific explanation. One idea is that the king of Jerusalem, Hezekiah, had diverted all the clean water through tunnels into Jerusalem, and the Assyrians were forced to drink dirty water and contracted Cholera.
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judea remained an island of independence midst the vastness of the Assyrian Empire (and, in the end, Sennacherib indeed was murdered by his own son). So history demonstrates we are not the first people who have seen our confident plans derailed by some invisible germ. Nor does such derailing need a germ like the Corona Virus; (a tsunami will do, if you are the king of Atlantis).
The 1954 Polio Epidemic was the invisible germ which derailed my father’s confident expectations. He was a surgeon who had developed his dexterity to an amazing, almost ridiculous, degree. When he stitched a severed artery together he sewed twenty tiny stitches, tying each knot with one hand. It’s a pity there is no film of his fingers at work. It’s also a pity some mindless germ could come along and paralyze such fingers.
Events like that tend to test our faith. We lose faith in ourselves when we see we are weak, and we lose faith in the world when the world hits us with cruel fate. So what is left to have faith in?
It is at this point there is a great divide. Some say there is nothing but the world to have faith in, and some say there is an Other-worldly Creator.
Those given to worldly desires are prone to slipping into a might-makes-right mentality, a survival-of-the-fittest which sees brutality as acceptable, as it gets you what you want, whereas kindness gets you nothing but kicked, and is seen as weakness. This brutality becomes a test of faith in and of itself, as the brutal mock those who differ, and torture those who believe in a loving Creator, in a sense attempting prove creation isn’t loving, with hate.
It must have been a bit disconcerting to the might-makes-right mentality when they threw St. Euphemia to the lions, and rather than mauling her the lions tended to her wounds, however, because eventually she did die, as far as might-makes-right was concerned they had proven their point. They saw no angels nor “other side”, and death was a finality to them, and in a sense was what they were (and are) ruled by, and what they have faith in. In the long run they may be wrong, but they see things in terms of the short term.
One has to admit that it is a bit of a drag to have to die to see there is something other than might-makes-right, which is worthy of faith. One prefers to see evidence without needing to be a martyr. I suppose that is why we like movies where the good guys win. And the poet-king David did assert that if you live long enough, and can survive a great deal of betrayal and hardship, you will see the Creator’s kindness this side of heaven. In Psalm 31 he sings,
…The wicked plot against the righteous And gnash their teeth at them; But the Lord laughs at the wicked For he knows their day is coming. The wicked draw the sword And bend the bow To bring down the poor and needy, To slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, And their bows will be broken. Better the little that the righteous have Than the wealth of many wicked…
And later in the same psalm David reassures,
…I was young and now am old Yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken Or their children begging bread. They are generous and lend freely, Their children will be blessed…
This seems an extraordinary thing for David to assert, considering he went through the agony of seeing his son Absalom attempt to usurp his throne in much the same manner that Sennacherib’s son attempted. David definitely paid his dues to sing his blues. The testing of one’s faith is no child’s play, but once one is “tried and true” there seems to be a powerful assurance given to one that a Loving Creator watches over them; an assurance which appears to be nonsense to believers in might-makes-right.
In the eyes of might-makes-right any faith in a Loving Creator is a sort of con artistry. They roll their eyes when they see a priest waving belching incense-holders and speaking Latin, impressing the ignorant with their mambo-jumbo. In fact priests raising communion crackers, and stating “Hoc Est Corpus”, may be the derivation of “Hocus Pocus”, which in turn may be the derivation of “Hoax.” In the eyes of might-makes-right, religion seems purely an act, to trick suckers with.
Such sophist cynics feel the common man is ignorant and superstitious, nothing but “Deplorables” and “Useful Idiots” and “Bitter Clingers”, mere fools who are easily swayed by glitter and stampeded by fear, which may be why they create their own hoaxes involving Global Warming and the Global Pandemic. However the people see through such hoaxes, given time, and the creators of the hoaxes then become desperate, and make their hoax a sort of requirement, a false god such as the politically-correct worship of Aries which St. Euphima was martyred for not kowtowing to. Some things never seem to change. The politically-correct of our times become equally furious at those who do not kowtow to their modern politically-correct hoaxes. They feel they have the might and it gives them the right. However they are not truly the ones “in control”, though they may think they are.
A hoax cannot exist independently; it depends upon a Real Thing it is pretending to be. In some ways it is a copy, an imitation, and even a flattery of the Real Thing, up to and until the moment it attempts to replace the Real Thing. From that moment on it suffers in comparison, and people cannot be stopped from comparing.
This brings me back to where I started, looking around myself and seeing the lunatics are running the asylum. It has looked that way to me for decades. Of course, I am a fool to be calling everyone else a fool. But at least I’m not pretending I’m in control. I acknowledge that, though I may be creative, I am not the Creator. I feel I am walking about in the pages of a magnificent epic written by an Author who was there before page one, and will be there after the last page. If anyone is “in control”, it is the Author who wrote the plot.
Lastly, I feel this Author is compassionate. The point of his epic is not that “might makes right”, but rather the point is a beautiful mystery called “Love”. Also, because the Author sees ahead, death has not the sting to Him it has to us who live in the moment. We live in this world, and are horrified by the fact six million Jews were led into gas chambers. The Author is less horrified because he sees six million Jews walking out on the other side.
Even so, one wonders what is so compassionate about allowing a might-makes-right madman to kill six million, and the answer seems to be that the Author feels freedom is a beautiful thing. He allows fools to be foolish, (up to a point). He wants the characters in his epic to figure things out for themselves, and this involves “free will”. If He wants absolute obedience he has his angels. However we mere mortals are apparently made to be more than robots to God’s majestic will (which is what His beautiful angels are), and this involves the freedom to disobey. Because we are fools, our freedom blunders into various forms of addiction and slavery, and bogs us down in the evil tendencies of might-makes-right, including even mass murder, until our foolishness finally wises us up, and we come to understand true freedom involves love, respecting the dignity of all, caring for the unfortunate and freeing others from all forms of slavery, until at long last we figure out that true freedom is obeying God’s majestic will, like the angels do, only we don’t do it like robots; rather we freely do it because we’ve learned to want it, as it merges us with the absolute freedom and independence of the Author, and we perhaps even cease our wandering in the pages of His creation’s plot, and vanish outside the epic’s covers.
I’ll flatter myself by stating the ideas in the above paragraph are somewhat profound, but I know from years of experience they are sheer foolishness to the politically-correct might-makes-right crowd. To them it is just another one of my lame poems. I’ve wasted years intimating to the overbearing, attempting to hint control may be in Hands more capable than theirs, and I am all too familiar with the jeering push-back of the politically-correct. And this again brings me back to where I began, which is my perception that those who think they are “in control” are fools.
While I am no prophetic historian-poet like Isaiah, I can relate to what he describes in the sixth chapter of his book. Eager to bring God’s message to his people, he learns God’s message to his people is basically, “You are too deaf to hear the message.” Then, when Isaiah wants to know when the people of Israel will stop being so deaf, he learns it will only be after the land has been reduced to a wasteland.
I thought about this event, which occurred roughly 2750 years ago, when I walked into the market around two months ago and saw there was abruptly no toilet paper. There was really no reason for such a shortage in a land as wealthy as the United States, but the corona-virus-panic was making people behave like fools. I confess I felt a certain nervousness, for I wondered, like Isaiah, how long my homeland would persist with such foolishness. I wondered if my homeland might even become a wasteland.
I’ve been wondering that for a half century. That is how long it has been since I felt the general public moved from sanity to foolishness. Back in 1969 a sort of revival occurred, which some called “The Summer Of Love,” and it seemed people briefly saw how beautiful life might be, and behaved as if such a sanity was already here. I felt a very real hope at that time, but since then my faith has been tested by foolishness after foolishness.
What did I see back then? Well, people spoke of “Truth, Love and Understanding”, and it wasn’t insincerely. People really seemed to believe it, and what’s more to live it, albeit briefly. Only later did hypocrisy set in with a vengeance. “Truth, Love and Understanding” were cheapened.
Not that “Truth, Love and Understanding” are any less beautiful, but they also can be mere words, words which have been used by people to sell breakfast cereal, or to seduce another person’s spouse, or to gain votes, until the true meaning of the words have been adulterated by low lusts and greedy desires and blind hate, to a point where they have lost their real meaning, as words. They have shrunken to hoaxes, pretending to be The Real.
That which is beneficial to the human spirit has been dirtied by the corrupt. To deprive the human spirit in such a manner is a prescription for a poverty worse than physical poverty (which can be a blessing), for it is a spiritual poverty, and can even be a worship of death and a hatred of life and of life’s true “Truth, Love and Understanding.” Such changing-of-the-meaning-of-words is called, “perversion.”
To “pervert” is, “to cause to turn away from what is right, proper, or good”. But what is it that causes people to turn away? Many weaknesses, but largely it is fear of losing stuff, or losing the position which enables one to get stuff. With the fear comes a sort of blindness, the mindless behavior seen when shoppers get out of hand at a department store’s sale, and fight each other over flimsy garments ( or the infamous “Cabbage Patch Dolls”), which they don’t really need. Dignity is disheveled into frothing foolishness which cares more for worldly rubbish than the One who made this world possible. And they call this behavior, “political correctness.”
No good can come from such nonsense, which is why I’ve been confidently predicting the end of the world any day now, for fifty years. It is a good thing I never became rich, for if had I the money I would have built a bunker in the hills, and only come out once a year like the ground-hog to be spooked by my shadow. It is also a good thing I’m not an Old Testament prophet like Isaiah, for the punishment for false prophesy back then was to be led to the edge of town and stoned to death. By now I’d have been stoned to death around fifty times. The only ones worse at forecasting the future have been the weathermen.
Coincidentally “Weathermen” was the name we used for a radical group during my youth, a fringe of the leftist SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) officially named “The Weather Underground”. Disgusted with the world’s foolishness, especially the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, they decided the appropriate response was to blow up the “establishment” with bombs. The only people they managed to kill were themselves, when a bomb they were constructing blew up, but their activity did make people uneasy, especially if you happened to live next door to the bomb factory, like the young actor Dustin Hoffman:
The foolishness of thinking blowing things up solves problems was likely a consequence of a sort of despair my generation felt, facing the problems of our time. (This despair may have been in part due to the fact marijuana doesn’t solve problems.) I thought the group “Ten Years After” captured the despair well with their song, “I’d Love To Change The World.”
The more extreme radicals were not willing to take Ten Years After’s advice, “I don’t know what to do, so I’ll leave it up to you.” They wanted to take power into their own hands, and “gain control”. Out of this foolishness came professor Saul Lewinsky’s teaching, distilling the need for control into eight basic areas:
1) Healthcare– Control healthcareand you control the people
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control– Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)
6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
What I see in such a foolish and destructive desire to control others is a distrust of others approaching paranoid derangement. The sense others are fools is not extended to the self; there is no true sense of brotherhood. For example, while Stalin may have called many “comrade” before the Russian Revolution in 1917, the definition of “comrade” became narrower and narrower, as the definition of “enemies of the state” became broader and broader, until by his death he had “liquidated” nearly every person his own age who he had originally called “comrade”. When he “reorganized” agriculture it was not aimed at feeding Russia and in fact millions starved; it was all about control. Food must not be produced by independent farmers, but by the “collective”, which was a disaster.
In fact a couple of attributes of the paranoid mindset that must “control” others is its failure to produce, and its amazing inefficiency. The less freedom is allowed the less people have. It is all well and good to propose a “five year plan” that sets goals, but the goals are seldom achieved, and often the consequences of “control” are poverty and famine, such as has recently (2019) been seen in Venezuela. Society as a whole becomes poorer. This explains the question mark in the lyrics of the Ten Years After song I referred to earlier:
Tax the rich, feed the poor Till there are no rich no more?
Much of the inefficiency is due to people without experience writing the rules and regulations which “order” the people who have actual experience. Bureaucrats who have never run a business order about businessmen, spinsters who have never raised a child order about mothers, men who have never had dirt beneath their nails order about farmers. It is a recipe for disaster. The inherent distrust and paranoia which distrusts others is a self-fulfilling fear; if you distrust the ability of fellow fools to produce, production plummets.
It is amazing how different things become when you allow fellow fools freedom. Rather than merely calling them “comrade” you treat them like they actually are comrades. It involves true brotherhood and true sisterhood, the awareness that although we are all imperfect, God is in everyone. It gives up control to a higher ideal, a Power beyond our scope. It puts faith in the motto on the coins of the United States, “In God We Trust.”
That is the reason for number seven, in Saul Lewinsky’s eight areas necessary for complete control of a culture: Abolish God.
Faith in God and in fellow man results in astonishing productiveness, which goes against number two in Lewinsky’s madness, which deems poverty necessary for control.
Number five, which demands “control of welfare”, includes control of food, and jumped out at me because of the shortages I saw, not merely of toilet paper, but also of some food supplies, which occurred as the Corona Virus Panic swept my homeland, followed by demands by some that the government immediately seize control of food supplies.
I have studied the famines that occurred in both Russia and China when the might-makes-right mentality sought to “improve” food production and food distribution, and it is blatant that the “old fashioned” people, experienced at farming and marketing food, did a far better job than eager bureaucrats and the new-and-improved farming of collectives. (In the final days of the Soviet Union some freedom to farm outside of the “collective” was again permitted, even though such farmers farmed for “selfish gain”, and, despite the inherent selfishness, 5% of the farmers promptly produced 50% of Russia’s food.)
As I looked around during the so-called “pandemic” it seemed, to this old fool, that I was witnessing a naked grab for power by some who operate by the Saul Lewinsky playbook. They have been frustrated in their efforts to steer the United States to the “left”, for Americans want to be “straight”. Having seen a non-leftist elected by the people, the “left” sought to seize power in other undemocratic ways, utilizing falsehoods promoted by a blatantly biased media to attempt to impeach President Trump, and then, when that failed, attempting to use fear to panic people with an ordinary virus, into giving up their Liberty. As I watched this occur I found myself rapidly become just as paranoid as the might-makes-right mindset. The question then became, could I be a fool who behave differently than the might-makes-right fools, or would I be a fool dragged down to their level?
I thought , first, I should be honest. The “left” isn’t, preferring propaganda. Much of any “panic” is due to a sort of blindness induced by fear, with the fear aided and abetted by a sort of intellectual slight-of-hand which isn’t honest. In my years of combating the Global Warming Panic I’ve seen honesty is the best policy, and like to say, “Stand by the Truth and the Truth will stand by you.” While it may be true that “A lie will travel around the world as Truth is just putting on it’s pants”, Truth is like the turtle in the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, whereas lies are as flighty as a rabbit, (and while the life expectancy of a rabbit is short, turtles endure.) Aesop was quite correct, 2600 years ago, “Slow and steady wins the race”. Hoaxes will wilt like shadows, under the light of Truth.
Second, I should be brave. While honesty compels me to confess I do fear, one need not run like a rabbit and hide in a hole. Nor should one be shamed by mindless political-correctness into cowardly retreats. Once it became obvious the virus wasn’t going to overwhelm the hospitals, the reason for the quarantine of healthy people vanished, and healthy people have every legal and constitutional right to resume going about their ordinary business, which includes the risk of catching a cold every day of their lives. So I have gone back to work. If people want to make new laws, the laws need to be be legislated in a constitutional manner. We need to be brave enough to tell certain power-mad governors and mayors that they are the ones breaking the constitutional law, and they are the ones who need to obey. Have courage.
Third, I should be kind. It is hard to be kind to might-makes-right people who deem me a fool, and who are full of hateful, paranoid distrust. But they are pitiable, for they are basically frightened fools. Talk to them, and ask questions, and get them to confess who and what they are afraid of, and reassure them that there are civil ways of defeating feared consequences.
Fourth, I should keep the faith. I may not have control, but I am not in control of the seasons and they still function wonderfully. I can’t build a bird’s nest, but the birds build wonderful nests and still have time to sing. Do not dwell on despair when there are as many reasons for hope; do not take the worm’s view when the robin feeds its young. Faith takes some effort, so be disciplined, and go out of your way to see the beauty. Joy is not illegal.
Lastly, control that which is given to you to control. While I believe the final control lies in the hands of the Creator who created us, and while I don’t believe I need to control others and that they deserve the liberty they are given, I too have been given my realm to govern. I need to garden my personal plot of earth, whether it be a physical garden, or the plot of a story I’m writing.
One thing about the might-makes-right mentality is that they crave to plot. In some ways, to me, “plot” is the sound manure makes as it falls from the rear of livestock. But manure is good stuff, (called “brown gold” by some farmers), and I work it into the soil of my plot to grow potatoes. And that is my personal counter-revolution, and my counter-control. As an old fool and survivalist, I counter any leftist plot to control food supplies with my plot of potatoes. If all goes well, I’ll harvest more than I can eat, and it won’t matter if the markets have empty shelves.
Of course, all might not go well. Bugs and blights and droughts and hail might happen. But that is one good thing about having a garden. It is a constant reminder that though we attempt to control what we can, complete control is not ours, so we keep an eye to the Sky.
If man actually had some noticeable effect on the planet’s levels of CO2, you would expect to see some change in the yearly CO2 rise measured on Mauna Loa, caused by the shut-down of industry and air travel, worldwide. But there is not even a blip of difference. In fact, if you are into blips, there is an infinitesimal increase, in the seventh month of the yearly eight-month rise in CO2 levels, which infinitesimally proves the opposite of the Alarmist theory, which suggests mankind causes the increase in CO2.
After eight months rising, the CO2 levels usually sink for four months, due to a voracious appetite for CO2 on the part of plants. Most of the world’s land is in the northern hemisphere, and, even in the arctic tundra, growth is explosive during the long days of summer. The planet’s CO2 levels quail under the onslaught of this vegetable onslaught.
You might think men were more mighty than vegetables, but apparently we’re not. We don’t even blip the CO2 levels.
This should cause an inquiring mind to go, “Hmm”. There is this process called “thinking”, or “using your mind”, which brings out the Sherlock Holmes in a healthy psyche. A vigorous and athletic brain loves a mystery, and enjoys the world of wonder. Of course, some do not think for themselves.
(At this point I’ll skip writing and deleting a ten-page-rant).
My personal conclusion (see many past blogs) has been that perhaps the planet’s reason for rising CO2 levels might be something other than mankind.
The sun goes through “sunspot cycles”, and measurements have determined the sun pours more energy down on earth when there are many sunspots than when there are few.
But, (Sherlock Holmes inquires), how would sunlight increase or decrease the levels of CO2?
Well, Sherlock, it turns out that, besides plants, another thing that absorbs CO2 is water. Our planet is covered by vast seas, and all that water is absorbing CO2, but only to a certain point. This “certain point” is determined by the temperature of the water. Cold water can absorb more CO2 than warm water. Therefore, if the seas are warmer, less CO2 can be absorbed (and some might be released) than would be the case when the seas are colder.
Therefore an inquiring mind might conclude that when the sun had many spots and more energy was poring down, the seas would become warmer, and less CO2 would be absorbed. Therefore one would confidently check the evidence, and would be shocked. Data disproves the initial hypothesis.
If one looks at the SST (Sea Surface Temperatures) for when the sun was “noisy” and sunspots were numerous, the sea’s surfaces are significantly colder than they are now, when the sun is very “quiet” and has an unblemished face for weeks on end. How is this possible? How can a hotter sun make a colder sea? How can a colder sun make a warmer sea?
It has occurred to me that increased energy from the sun doesn’t merely effect thermometers, but also anemometers. Energy can take the form of wind. Wind can cool oceans through evaporation, causing billowing clouds blocking the sun, and, perhaps most significantly, wind can cause up-welling from the ocean’s chilly depths.
The most notorious of these up-wellings is the La Nina, and, when the La Nina surges up along the coast of Peru, it leads to a huge increase in the population of fish, and a dramatic drop in SST, and creates a chill which changes the weather patterns even to the far side of the planet. In terms of this discussion, it demonstrates that stronger Trade Winds is an example where more energy brings about lower temperatures.
Conversely, it would seem a weaker sun might lead to weaker Trade Winds and warmer SST, and be an example where less energy brings about warmer temperatures.
However one wonders how long this example of contrary thought could last. How long could less energy keep making things warmer? Is there a point where, having in a sense robbed Peter to pay Paul, the seas would run out of warmth stored by a warmer past, and face a sort of bankruptcy? Is there some point at which SST start to drop, even without the chill of up-wellings? And, at that point, would the seas become more able to absorb CO2? Leading to an abrupt drop in CO2 levels?
This is only the tip of an iceberg, when it comes to the issues the true Sherlock Holmeses of climate-science are scrutinizing. My example only involves a few of many variables. Profound wondering can spring from subjects I haven’t mentioned, such as oceanic currents that move through dramatic swings; the effects of cosmic rays on cloud-cover; whether the sun effects earthquakes and volcanoes; whether volcanic ash effects the albedo of arctic sea-ice; whether a meridional jet-stream can push sea-ice south and chill the North Atlantic; (and that is only the start).
The more I study, the greater my wonder becomes, and just about the only thing I have concluded is that any person who says “the science is settled” hasn’t studied very much. If fact to say “the science is settled” may be solid proof you are not a scientist.
The fact the panic about the corona virus has shut down so much of ordinary life has given us a strange and unique opportunity to test many preconceptions people have about how humanity effects the weather. Personally I am very interested in how the lack of contrails may effect temperatures, especially under conditions when contrails seed clouds and form vast swaths of cirri-cumulus, and especially at night.
One thing I fully expect to see is preconceptions demolished. Part of life is seeing we are mistaken, for few of us are actual prophets. Most of us are like weathermen, who do their best, but often see their forecasts proven incorrect.
It need not be a bad thing to have preconceptions crash into ruin, for often our preconceptions blind us. For example, preconceptions about a different race or religion can keep us from getting to know the unique individuality of another person. Then, when we are forced to depend on them due to unexpected circumstances, (perhaps as shipmates in a storm at sea, or a rush when working at a fast food counter, or serving in the same unit in a battle), we see past our preconceptions and our prejudices, and consequently we sometimes discover a best friend, in a person whom we otherwise might have avoided.
What is true in the case of racism is also true in the case of science. We need to invent a new “ism”. Perhaps “science-ism”.
If you suffer from the bigotry of science-ism then you put your faith in some pathetic preconception, and can’t be bothered to think like Sherlock Holmes. You are in awe of priests who mutter mumbo-jumbo in Latin, and never learn Latin yourself. You genuflect to the inanity of “the science is settled”, when it isn’t.
The science isn’t settled in terms of short-term weather forecasting, and it especially isn’t settled in terms of the long-term forecasting called “climate”.
Also the science isn’t settled in terms of vaccines for a virus. You may get a ‘flu shot, but it is no guarantee you won’t get the ‘flu, for the ‘flu does this marvelous thing called “mutate”. Any doctor who pretends he can control a virus is either young and ignorant, or a quack.
If you are a true Sherlock Holmes, then I encourage you to think about the part “mutation” plays in life. Think about occasions it may be a good thing, as well as the times it may cause us illness. (For example, if our antibodies didn’t “mutate”, could they take the new form that defends us from a “mutated” virus?) (For another example, is not “selectively breeding” not an example of “selectively mutating”, whether you be breeding a fatter strawberry or a fiercer watchdog?) (For a final example, when an artist such as Beethoven overcomes deafness to write his Song of Joy, is not his originality “mutating” the beautiful works of the Masters he learned from, including Bach?)
Sherlock Holmes seeks the Truth, and Truth is eternal, but Truth includes change. Otherwise there would be no such thing as springtime. There would be no such thing as sunrise. There would be no such thing as healing for the desperately ill.
Therefore I conclude it is unwise to say “the science is settled” about either the climate, or the corona virus. God blessed you with a brain, so I urge you to be a Sherlock Holmes. Dare to question. Especially question politicians, for they are suppose to be servants, not bosses.
You are the boss. Why? Because when we die, no one else is going to do our dying for us. And when that stark moment comes, and we face the Starkness, I doubt it will do much good to snivel, “That big bully made me do it. He lived my life for me.” When push comes to shove, you are the boss. So, be bossy, Sherlock.
Update: WUWT reports mankind saw a 17% decrease in emmisions, which emphasizes the lack of any dip in the Monau Loa graph.)
Actually the above video is from U.A.E. The pictures below are from Saudi Arabia;
I’ve noticed over the years that such back washes of cold over the Sahara or the Mideast is often loosely in conjunction with a surge of relatively mild Atlantic air up over Scandinavia. Every action has a reaction. It seems to have little to do with CO2 or Climate Change.
Watching goats is a good antidote to the cynicism which comes from watching politics.
There has been a late downturn in the sea-ice “extent” graph.
I find this downturn a bit annoying, because it will encourage Alarmists. It reminds me of a time when I was attempting to persuade a chronic gambler not to gamble, and, as luck would have it, they purchased a winning ticket that day, and came to me and ruffled sixty dollars in my face. Never mind that the sixty dollars didn’t make up for the thousands they had squandered. The sixty dollars gave them hope to cling to, like a drowning man’s straw.
The good thing is that the downturn is an actual reality, and will bring us back to actual reality, which has been a thing discussed less and less in recent years. As a fellow too prone to dreaming and having my head in the clouds, I have learned the hard way of the importance of being down to earth. You can eat neither a dream nor a forecast, and a forecast based on a forecast is often a flaw on a flaw.
I understand that there is a major political “push” planned by Alarmists to promote the Alarmist agenda for the next two weeks, involving Global Warming being a fact rather than a forecast, and I fully expect that rather than facts we will largely see predictions. For example, I recently heard Cortiz state “Miami will be underwater in a few years.” For another example, it was stated that Washington D.C. would be flooded. Such predictions are stated as if they are facts. “Newsbusters” points out the same, dog-eared predictions were made thirty years ago, in 1989.
It used to be that we could have some interesting discussions, examining the facts that went into such doomsday predictions, and comparing them with other facts. Sadly, at some point lesser minds prevailed, and rather than discussions Alarmists took to immediately smearing Skeptics, calling them “Deniers” (and threatening worse, such as the gruesome video which suggested Skeptics, even children, should be bloodily blown-up simply for having a shadow of a doubt.)
In the face of such offenses I prefer to turn the other cheek, and to continue to have interesting discussions, (even if Alarmists stick fingers in their ears), for there is nothing wrong with questioning. It is good to have the curiosity of a child who asks “why”, for often it leads to the beautiful wonder of a child, who really appreciates the beauty of nature as it exists, and isn’t all freaked out about what isn’t (unless you scare them with ghost stories or Alarmism).
So let us at least pause long enough to examine the reasons for the late-season downward blip in the “extent” graph. For one thing, we notice it isn’t seen on the “volume” graph, which has already turned up and is entering its winter period of growth (in the DMI chart):
The above illustration also shows the sea-ice is missing northwest of Svalbard. This ice isn’t missing because it melted. It was shoved northwest by strong east and southeast winds. These winds were created by a pattern that persisted for roughly a week, that had high pressure over the Pole and low pressure roaming the North Atlantic. This moved the sea-ice and heaped it at the northeast corner of Greenland, where the ice is now thicker than at any other place in the arctic.
This shift is a striking change, for those of us who own an iota of memory. Earlier this summer south winds on the west side of Fram Strait pushed sea-ice north and there was no ice at all at the northeast corner of Greenland, and in fact some Alarmists were using the open water there as a reason for alarm. Meanwhile there was more sea-ice along the northwest coast of Svalbard than there was when Willem Barentzs “discovered” Svalbard and made landings on that coast (including the north coast) in June of the year 1597.
In other words, the ice has merely moved from one side of Fram Strait to the other, even as dropping temperatures are gradually increased the “volume”. The reason the “extent” has dropped is because the same amount of sea-ice can contract from being 15% coverage to being a more-compressed 90% coverage. The same sea-ice can tomorrow expand back to 15% spread-out coverage. (An accordion remains the same accordion whether expanded or contracted, but when sea-ice does the same thing there can be the most amazing hullabaloo among Alarmists; wild cheering followed by deep despair.)
I feel some are exclusively focused on the “extent” graph and may be missing more important measures. Other measures matter. We’d call a man foolish if he only focused on his car’s gas gauge and not where his car was going, but some focus only on “extent” and not where the ice is going.
The “extent” graph could fall to a huge degree and not be a sign of warming. This may well have been the case during the period 1815-1817. For some reason (perhaps two huge volcanic eruptions between 1810 and 1815, and many smaller ones), a highly meridianal flow pushed a spectacular amount of the arctic’s sea-ice down into the Atlantic. Whalers were amazed by ice-free waters north of Greenland, stating they may have been able to sail to the Pole had their been any whales in that direction, at the same time icebergs were grounding on the coast of Ireland. This ice-free-Pole (at least on the Atlantic side) sure didn’t make the Irish warm, and in fact Western Europe experienced what was called “The Year With No Summer,” largely due to the chilled Atlantic (though volcanic dust dimming the sunshine may have contributed to a degree.) Had an “extent” graph existed at that time, it would have shown a decline like nothing we have recently seen.
In other words, when we note a rise or fall in the “extent” graph it behooves us to focus on what the sea-ice is actually doing, and what weather pattern is involved. Only then can we look back and see what such patterns brought about in the past, and dare venture a guess about the future, assuming what happened in the past may repeat, though also aware such assumptions don’t always verify. Often we see patterns with two possible solutions; eight out ten times the pattern resolves as X but two out of ten times it resolves as Y; in such situations one watches like a hawk to ascertain which direction the pattern is going.
This sort of wondering seems to me to be far more focused on facts than much Alarmist thought is. Alarmists at times seem overly focused on the print-outs of their computer models, even to a degree where facts are dismissed. To me this seems like drawing the blinds, and ignoring the view of the present-tense skies I most enjoy. To deny in such a manner seems more like a “Denier” than anything I do, and is a reason I prefer Skeptics. In a strangely ambiguous manner Skeptics, who in theory should be dour cynics, strike me as more optimistic, simply because they don’t draw the blinds and instead look up at the ever-changing, dappled skies.
One Skeptic site, loaded with the sort of opinions and news that Google,Facebook and Youtube “screen out”, which I visit is “Weatheraction News”, largely because I find I gain insights I don’t get from Alarmists. I especially like links to the work of a gentleman who perpetually is having a bad-hair-day, named Piers Corbyn, who seems to have a brain capable of frenetically considering about fifty variables at once.
To be honest, I often cannot follow what Piers is talking about, as he paid attention in the sort of Math classes I skipped, (or ,when forced to attend, spent gazing out the window at dappled clouds). Also I have an involuntary response when faced with superior minds, having been fooled by “fast talkers” in my past. I become suspicious, and back away to rub my lower lip, and even scowl. But then I return, because I know facing many variables is a fact of life, (having raised five children), but to endlessly harp upon CO2 as the single, important variable, as some Alarmists do, is as myopic as tweezers. In any case, I usually depart from Piers with at least one new variable to think about.
One interesting tidbit I was given by “Craig”, (host of Weatheraction News), involves a true Climate Scientist of the past named Hubert Lamb. He studied climate back before the subject became so awfully political, and Hubert was able to look at things besides CO2 as causing warming and cooling. In fact the modern mentality of being myopically over-focused on CO2 likely would have struck Hubert as laughable. Therefore his observations are like a breath of fresh air. A snippet of Hubert’s work which Craig shared with me is as follows:
What perked up my ears was the mention of a “heavy ice situation” around Svalbard and in the Greenland Sea. Although the levels are sea-ice are less now, the pattern of the past summer did push the sea-ice to the Atlantic side. Therefore one should at least be curious to see if next winter resembles the very cold winter (In Britain) of 1962-1963.
It should be noted that 1962-1963 winter was a calamity for England, involving suffering that old-timers still like to brag about. The calamity might be worse now, with coal being phased out by an Alarmist policy which is built upon the assumption the world is warming. (Even if you add a half degree to the 1962-1963 temperatures, you still wind up with a frigid winter that could kill people who are effected by “energy poverty”, unless good neighbors invite them over as house guests).
One silly action on the part of Alarmists is to “screen out” all mention of cold weather from media reports. For this reason we heard about the Sahara-heat blowing north to Paris last summer, but not of the Arctic-chill blowing south to Moscow. We heard of heat in Japan, but not of Antarctic chill blowing frosts north in Australia (during their southern hemisphere winter) to within 1500 miles of the equator, at the same time Japan sweltered. In order to get any balance it is crucial to turn to sites such as Ice Age Now, (also “screened” from search-engines), which focuses on the colder temperatures:
Just as it is important to use both eyes, in order to see with depth perception, it is important to note both warm spells and cold spells, in order to wonder with depth. One thing I wonder about is the differences less ice may cause. (There was more sea-ice before the winter of 1962-1963).
This in turn involves the effects caused by the “albedo” of sea-ice versus the “albedo” of open water, which is important to those who subscribe to the Alarmist “Arctic Death Spiral” theory.
Basically this theory suggests that water absorbs heat that ice reflects, and then sun-warmed water will lead to less ice, arriving at a point where there is no ice at all, and then, because reflecting heat is vital to keeping the planet cool, the gradual heating will become “runaway” heating and there will be a planetary disaster.
This theory has been debunked because it depends on cause-and-effect being a sort of vicious cycle, and the cycle has failed to manifest. According to the Death Spiral Theory the sea-ice should not ever increase, from year to year, and should have vanished by 2013, or 2015, or at least 2019, after the very low, record-setting “extent” of 2012. The proof is in the pudding, and the theory failed to prove what its hypothesis stated.
At this point alternative ideas should not be “screened” by Google, but rather be welcomed. Why the heck didn’t the theory work? It is then one wonders wonderfully, and starts to think more deeply. For example, there is geological evidence of open arctic waters and surf-carved beaches from the relatively recent past; why didn’t open water back then lead to runaway warming? Also the sea-ice often doesn’t melt until September, at which point the increasingly low angle of the sun causes open water to stop absorbing sunshine and instead to reflect even more effectively than dirty ice does. Lastly, as the sun sets, open water loses heat more efficiently than ice-capped water does, in essence chilling the planet, and countering any “runaway warming”. And there are other alternative ideas to be considered, if one dares peek behind the “screen”, and visits sites such as “Watts Up With That”.
While surfing through the WUWT site I chanced upon some calculations made by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley suggesting the difference between the albedo-effect of an ice-covered pole and an ice-free pole is far less than I ever imagined, even if the Arctic Sea was open all summer and not merely in September. Due to my handicaps concerning Math, it will take me a long time to properly digest the calculations, but here they are, for those of you less handicapped:
Earth’s surface area is 511 million km2. Minimum Arctic sea ice area is 4 million km2,
or 0.8% of the Earth’s surface. Ice albedo is 0.66 (Pierrehumbert
2011). Assuming ocean-water albedo of 0.06 if all the Arctic ice were to
melt for the late-summer quarter, global mean albedo, now 0.3, would
become 0.3 – 0.008(0.66 – 0.06), or 0.295. However, high-Arctic
insolation is only one-quarter of mean terrestrial insolation, requiring
division by 4; summer ice loss endures for at most 3 months, or half
the Arctic daylight period, requiring division by 2; and the Arctic has
75% cloud cover, requiring a further division by 4. Thus, Eq. (E1) gives
the revised global mean present-day albedo α2
assuming total Arctic ice-melt in the late-summer quarter, which proves
to be vanishingly different from today’s albedo. For total solar
irradiance S = 1363.5 W m–2 and the Stefan-Boltzmann constant σ, the difference ΔR0 in current emission temperature (Eq. E2), and thus in surface temperature ΔT0 given the near-linear lapse rate, is as follows –
This first-order analysis indicates that, even if the entire Arctic icecap were to melt for three months every summer, very little change in surface albedo feedback would arise. Therefore, even if that feedback were nonlinear, it is and, in foreseeable modern conditions, must remain too small to be significant. This conclusion is consistent with the findings of two recent evaluations of snow-cover feedbacks in current climate models: Rosenblum & Eisenman (2017) and Connolly et al. (2019).
If Moncton’s calculations are correct, then a part of me is in a state of high dudgeon. Why? Because such a calculation’s result would mean I have wasted my few remaining brain cells for nearly two decades focusing on albedo, which apparently has a minuscule effect.
Actually I think the effect could be even more minuscule than Moncton’s calculation estimates, for it he uses an albedo of 0.06 for water, which only occurs when the sun is directly overhead. The sun is far lower in the arctic, especially in September when the ice is most likely to be gone. The albedo of open water sharply increases when the sun is on the horizon.
Also Monckton’s calculation doesn’t include the complexities of latent heat, which is released (and largely lost to outer space) as the sea-ice forms, and is created (sucking heat from the local environment and not outer space) as the sea-ice melts.
Actually I didn’t require math to suspect the albedo arguments were flawed. I only needed to study history. If the albedo arguments were valid in the present they must also apply to the past, and when the arctic was ice-free in the past, perhaps as recently as the Medieval Warm Period and certainly in the early Holocene, no “Death Spiral” was evident. The entire theory smelled increasingly bogus to me.
In fact the albedo arguments smelled like a red herring, dragged across the trail to cause dumb hound dogs like myself to veer from the true trail. That is why Monckton’s calculation irks me; because if Monckton could do it, so could climate scientists. The fact they chose not to causes one to wonder about their motives. Of course using the words “climate fraud” likely sets off the algorithms at Google, Facebook and Youtube, and causes a post such as this one to be “screened”. This is foolishness, for, if a fraud existed, “screening out” would perpetuate the fraud rather than nip it’s many buds (flowering into trillions of dollars, if you include all grants and all subsidies for “Green” energy.) Though it might seem wise to perpetuate a fraud if you are part of the fraud, to build upon falsehood is to build upon sand.
I originally began to sniff something bad in the 1980’s, when I became vaguely aware, due to my fascination with Greenland Vikings, that history was being revised and the Medieval Warm Period was being erased. This unease increased when I became aware the history of past hurricanes was being conveniently forgotten, and the unease crystallized as I read a 2006 National Geographic article by Bill McKibben entitaled “A Deeper Shade Of Green,” which seemed to involve chronic amnesia.
My sense some sort of fraud was occurring (and a link given by “Patrick Henry”, at the Accuweather Global Warming chat-page) led me to the now largely (and sadly) inactive “Climate Audit” site run by Steve McIntyre. Back then it was one of the few sites that looked hard at the statistical work being done by Climate Scientists. In 2007, an Article (I think in the Toronto Sun, but perhaps the Star) alerted me to the fact McIntyre had caught James Hansen “adjusting” temperatures in an inappropriate manner, and Hansen had to “unadjust” them.
McIntyre’s discovery attracted such a flood of attention that his website crashed, and for a day or so there was paranoia that the government had “disappeared” him. It was during that time of frantically-searching-the-web-for-information that I discovered the WUWT website, which at that time was new and relatively unknown, (but has now been viewed over 400 million times.) It was then I became aware I was not alone, and that part of my paranoia might not be a mental aberration, but a healthy suspicion.
I think it was on WUWT that I first became aware of “Steve Goddard”, which then was a pseudo-name for Tony Heller, who started up a blog of his own called “Real Climate Science”, largely dedicated to exposing how Alarmists have “fiddled” with the raw temperature data, making the past look colder and the present warmer, which creates an illusion of warming which the raw data does not show. His site, (while at times caustic and hot tempered), is an invaluable asset.
Here is an excellent expose by Tony Heller explaining how cherry-picking the start-dates of graphs can take a trend that is downwards through recorded history and make it look like it is upwards (or vice versa).
Occasionally Heller posts about the sea-ice situation, and it was from such a post I snipped the following graph:
I found the graph fascinating because I was gathering information about low sea-ice “extent” in the past, and the graph indicated that there was a very low extent seen by satellite in 1973. What Tony Heller was pointing out was that graphs produced by people such as Mark Serreze ignore such data, preferring to produce a graph that starts in 1979 and slants steadily downwards.
To me this seems ridiculous. We have too little data involving the arctic as it is, due to the fact there are few visitors, no permanent bases, and we have only recently been able to look down with satellites. Who in there right mind would want the little past data we have to be even less? Therefore I was glad when some decaying film from the first Nimbus satellites was rescued in 2014, and gave us a marvelous view of a low minimum “extent” north of Being Strait on September 9, 1969, with large “holes” in the sea-ice.
I first became aware of Mark Serreze due to how loud he was, back in the day. He was a big proponent of the theory of the “Death Spiral” and at one point stated, “The Arctic is screaming.” He rose to be a professor at the University of Colorado, testified before Congress, and became director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. He knew all the right strings to pull and political connections to make to bring in vast amounts of grants and government funding, and this summer was honored as a “Distinguished Professor”. Me? Well, I grumble that I don’t see what is so “distinguished” about being so dead wrong. There is no “Death Spiral”.
The problem seems to be that some pursue power at the expense of Truth. This is most clearly seen by “insiders”, who sometimes are afraid to speak out about dishonest science, due to fear they will be fired or marginalized, with good reason. Dr. William Gray, who truly was a distinguished scholar and the director of the National Hurricane Center, had the audacity to stand up to then vice-president Al Gore, who by no means was a scholar of meteorology, and Gray saw his funding deeply cut. Much research concerning the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation and deep-sea circulation went undone because Gray challenged the “science” behind Climate Science, while vast amounts of money was funneled to Mark Serreze.
It takes a lot of guts to “come out” as an “insider”, especially when one is young and their job is at stake. Most of those who dare question the Global Warming dogma are older, with tenure, or perhaps retired with pensions, and Alarmists find it easy to sneer at their wisdom as being “outdated”, though the laws of nature do not change. What is truly alarming is the danger we may face, if we ignore the wise and follow the the false.
One “insider” who has recently “come out” is Dr. Rex J. Fleming, a former director at NOAA who at one point was handing grant-money out to Alarmists, and who has written a book just coming into print called “The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change“, which explains both the political side and the scientific side. The following interview is enlightening:
Considering what I really desire is to look at the facts, all the political nonsense can get to be a long and annoying sidetrack away from the Truth. To be blunt, Global Warming seems to be a skimmer that gathers the scum of the earth. It gathers politicians that put power before Truth, and “Green” subsidy-hunters who put money before Truth, and the politically-correct who put fashion and popularity ahead of the Truth. And all of them, at some point, turn on those who speak the Truth and savage them. The utter crap I’ve had to put up with the past twenty years for being a Skeptic is not worth going into.
Therefore I am glad to see someone apply humor to the situation, which is what the commentator “Gator” did at the Real Climate Science website recently. (I don’t think John Lennon rolled over in his grave; likely he laughed, as he was not a man who was afraid to spoof political correctness.)
Imagine there’s no Hansen It isn’t hard to do Nothing to shill or lie for And no Michael Mann too Imagine all these people Giving us some peace…
You may say I’m a denier But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And blame climate on the Sun
Imagine no alarmists I wonder if you can No screed allowing plunder A brotherhood of man Imagine no more people Scaring all the world…
You may say I’m a denier But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And put focus on the Sun.
The appalling ignorance of some Alarmists is a further reason for mirth when they set out to film the sea-ice melting away, and get stuck in the ice and need to be rescued. There have been at least six such cases of Plato’s “Ship of Fools”, which are only laughable when no one dies.
For example, last summer should have been a great summer for filming open water, because the “extent” was low with both the PDO and AMO warm. As I mentioned earlier, a person with good satellite data could have gotten some fine shots of open water at the northeast corner of Greenland early in the summer, and then scooted across Fram Strait and gotten some good shots on the west coast of Svalbard this past week. But the east coast of Svalbard? That would be the one place one would be ill advised to go. So of course that was exactly where the Malmo went with its contingent of 16 docu-journalists, and got stuck. The rats then deserted the ship via helicopter, leaving the crew to handle the dilemma.
While the antics of such Eco-warriors is worthy of a guffaw or two, other dangers brought about by Alarmist ignorance fades the smile from my face. Children are apparently suffering from “Eco-anxiety” brought about by Alarmists telling them the planet is doomed. Also the artificial increase in heating costs brought about by “Green” wind turbines and solar panels has resulted in increasing “energy poverty” among the elderly, who are faced with a choice between eating and heating their homes, and who are dying of pneumonia at increasing rates. The consciences of those who profit off subsidies and government grants should be uneasy, for a society which cannot care for its children and elderly has rot in foundations built upon sand.
What can I do about all this nonsense? Care for those in my small orbit, and write posts such as this one, speaking Truth to power. Include as many links as possible to other such sites, to get around the “screening-out” process of Google, Facebook and YouTube. And Don’t worry; Be happy, for Truth will triumph because it is true. And enjoy the present tense, and what the sky shows.
To return to the subject of sea-ice, the shift to the Atlantic side, when added to the Hubert Lamb observation I pasted in earlier, does make one wary about the coming winter resembling the winter of 1962-1963. Lamb also mentioned a set-up for that winter involved Europe being cold while Eastern Canada was warm, and the JEM temperature-anomaly map (courtesy of Weatherbell) currently shows exactly that:
When one looks at the sea-surface temperature anomaly map one sees the “warm blob” in the north Pacific, which often creates a loopy jet stream, bringing warmth to west Alaska and cold down the spine of the Rockies, at first making the western USA cold as the east remains mild, but eventually overwhelming the entire North American continent with cold.
However in the southern hemisphere something odd is occurring (which Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell pointed out.) It perplexes me, and is this: There seems to be a La Nina trying to form, but usually the cold water upwelling off Peru due to increased Trade Winds pushes the warm surface water west until it piles up around Australia (whereupon Alarmists freak out about coral bleaching, and cause Eco-anxiety among children). But there are no warm anomalies by Australia yet. This gets my wonder-side wondering. Are the Trade Winds less? And is there some other cause for upwelling besides Trade Winds? Where is the cold water coming from?
In any case, the Southern Hemisphere continues colder than the north, and, as most of the world’s oceans are down there, and oceans have a greater influence than the land, I expect a cooling influence as the north expends much of its stored heat in winter storms.
With so much open water at the end of the summer at the Pole, and a loopy jet stream likely, I’ll expect above-normal temperatures up at the Pole until it all freezes over in December.
After the freeze things could get interesting. Stay Tuned.
Once Upon A Time, back before people became so political, I discovered it was possible to admit ignorance and ask questions in the comments-sections of various websites, and get answers from a wide variety of people, some of whom were people who obviously did not know their ass from their elbow, but others who were people who did know a lot more than I did. I always appreciated the truly knowledgeable people, and one reason I liked them was because they tended to be polite. At times their good manners amazed me. I could be amazingly ignorant, but such people did not make me feel stupid.
One such person was Dr. Tim Ball, who I think I first met in the comments-section of the Accuweather “Global Warming” website, although it may have been the “Watts Up With That” website. It may have been as early as 2006, or more recent, but the situation was as follows:
At that point I knew a great deal about the Greenland Vikings, but knew very little about arctic sea-ice, and was confessing my ignorance. I was saying I “just didn’t get it”. How could the sea-ice-experts say X could be true, when it conflicted with the history of Greenland Vikings, which stated Y was true? At that point some person called Tim Ball (he left out the “Dr.”) redirected me to links that gave me a wealth of information. He was always courteous, and never once called me stupid.
This was in sharp contrast to Michael Mann, who seemed to call everyone stupid, especially if they said the Medieval Warm Period even existed. Judging from the “Climategate” emails, even people who were in a sense “on his side” were very cautious when approaching him, due to his explosive nature. He was contemptuous towards “old fashioned” ideas which lacked the Alarmist nature of his “hockey stick” graph, which put him at odds with Dr. Tim Ball.
I don’t object to Mann brashly proposing a new theory. What I object to is the way he attacked others. In a sense his theory disregards the life’s work of a great many historians, archeologists, geologists, and even climate-scientists such as Hubert Lamb. If any one has attacked anyone, it is Mann, in attacking prior ideas. All our ideas are based upon the work of those who precede us, and even if our theories are a radical departure from prior thought, we are suppose to begin our announcement of new ideas with, “With all due respect…” Mann was very disrespectful, and basically just bashed people, and then whined he was under attack.
Considering Mann’s graph in essence attacked the life’s work of Dr. Tim Ball, Tim was quite gracious, initially. He assumed he was dealing with scientists, and that debate would involve facts and science. As time passed, and especially as Tim investigated the work of the IPCC, (which used Mann’s graph as a cover for one of its “climate reports”), Tim became convinced science was not involved, and he was witnessing an attempt to put forth a political agenda.
(In some ways Tim’s suggestion (which strikes some as a “conspiracy theory”) is supported by written statements made in the past by people like Maurice Strong and Eric Holder, and originations such as the Club of Rome, which felt the world was over-populated and resources were running out and drastic action was called-for.)
As Tim began to point out the differences between Alarmist ideas and factual science he began to face a smear campaign. Among other things the campaign suggested Tim was funded by “Big Oil”, which was not true. Tim was able to turn right around and point out the people smearing him (such as DeSmogBlog) were funded by “Big Solar”. Rather than silencing Tim they created a formidable opponent, who, rather than retiring at age sixty-five, began traveling around giving talks about the differences between Alarmist ideas and factual science.
At this point I should mention that when I initially had contact with Tim in the comment sections of websites he never came across as a person on a high horse, nor mentioned he was involved in a battle with nasty people. However a lightbulb went off in my head when I wrote a piece called, “1815, 1816 and 1817; A Polar Puzzel” in 2013 for the “Watts Up With That” website, and down in the comments Tim wrote,
I urge people to read the volume we produced of a conference on the eruption of Tambora and its impact in Ottawa in 1992 titled, “The Year without a summer?: world climate in 1816.” It is available here; http://www.worldcat.org/title/year-without-a-summer-world-climate-in-1816/oclc/27429039 Chief instigator of the event was C.R. Harington head of the paleobiology division of the Museum as part of an ongoing study of climate change in Canada over the last 20,000 years. The keynote speaker was John Eddy. We also tried to get Hubert Lamb, but he was unable to attend and his assistant John Kington appeared in his place. Participants and contributors were from every continent and in a multitude of disciplines. Eddy was invited because, in meetings prior to the conference we were aware that global temperatures were declining in response to the Dalton Minimum, and he was writing about the temperature implications of changing solar activity. A major part of the conference was a workshop I organized with Cynthia Wilson in which people from all over the world were asked to bring measures of the impact on temperature and precipitation for their region. The map we produced is an insert in a pocket of the book and provides a good illustration of the changed circulation patterns, part of which were the wind and ice conditions in the Arctic as reflected in the Admiralty comments. The pattern is one of extreme Meridional flow.
It was only at this time that I realized Tim was not an inquisitive-but-ignorant layman like myself, and actually was a person who had devoted years to studying climate change. That is how unassuming he seemed. He came across as a person who shared your curiosity.
Mann, on the other hand, was full of himself, arrogant and forever tooting his own horn, and quick to dismiss others as “unqualified”. One way he dismissed Tim was to sneer he was “only a geologist” (despite the fact Tim wrote his masters on Climate). Where Tim was eager to supply the curious with evidence and links, Mann hid his data, claiming it was his “property”, as if it was a trade secret and he held a copyright and it was worth a lot of money, (sort of like the patent for some sell-able toy, like a Frisbee.)
Mann could dish it out, but couldn’t take it. Although he smeared Tim, and Tim never sued him, Mann was driven wild by a comment Tim made that stated Alarmism was fraud and that Mann did not belong at Penn State but in the State Pen. (Personally I found the comment witty, succinct, and likely the truth.) At that point Mann sued Tim, and since then Mann has wasted everyone’s time and money in an extended and basically frivolous lawsuit based on vanity, bullying, and a great deal of other people’s money. I think he intended to prolong the case to such a degree it would bankrupt and break Tim, without needing to ever presenting any evidence, perhaps “winning” by merely dragging the case out until Tim died of natural causes.
The great thing is that Tim refused to die, or even to simply roll his eyes and head off to a quiet retirement someplace far away from political nitwits. He puts me to shame, because I’m tired of political nitwits, and don’t battle as much as I used to. Tim has worked pretty much non-stop through his seventies, giving over 600 talks, demanding accountability in science and exposing the political element of Global Warming, until now, at age 80, he has seen Mann’s lawsuit thrown out of court.
Tim is an inspiration. May he live to be 110, keep all his excellent wits, and never retire!
I have lost a lot of my interest in the arctic, because the nameless “left” has largely retreated from that battle. Not that they have surrendered, and confessed that their “Global Warming” panic was merely a political creation. In the last month one young Democrat running for president (in 2028) has claimed the world will end in 12 years “if we don’t do something” about Global Warming. Not to be outdone, a second Democrat candidate (for 2020) claimed the world would end in only 10 years, “if we don’t do something.” The political posturing gets far more attention than any actual facts about sea-ice, which makes truly interesting science hard to find.
Unfortunately (for such candidates) the public is growing jaded. The situation is like being long ago told, by a commercial, “Buy Now! The sale ends at midnight!” The ploy might have worked the first time, but a lot of midnights have passed since then, and yet the same inane advertisement keeps running. The public has realized the sale really doesn’t end at midnight, and all further exclaiming about such an “end” looks increasingly insincere, if not silly. No one is buying it…….or are they?
I find myself studying the delusion and the deluded more than the actual sea-ice. The arctic sea-ice was suppose to be gone by now. We’ve been hearing the Alarmist guff about an ice-free Pole for at least thirteen years. (I first heard an earlier hippy-version way back in 1971, back when we used to sit around deciding how the world was going to end, so we wouldn’t have to get a Real Job.) This headline’s from 2008:
The only way politicians can continue to repeat such refuted claims, without understanding it makes them look stupid, is because they have been educated that making such refuted claims makes them look wise. Not only have they been spoon-fed untruths, but they have not been taught to analyze and correct. They have “drunk the Kool-aid,” ingesting the poison of false values while blithely thinking it is virtuous to do so. I am turning into an old crank, for while my own children seem to have grown up with brains that function, young politicians make me feel that beyond my walls we have raised a generation of imbeciles.
While I do not like the word “reeducation”, (due to its association with communist atrocities and brutality), it seems to me these brainwashed people need to be awoken to the fact they have been lied to. Not that I advocate any sort of forced “deprogramming”, but mistaken people need to see their mistakes. But such persuasion is never easy, for a number of reasons.
First, the human ego never likes being told it is wrong. Being wrong involves crumpling up neatly-drawn plans and throwing stuff away and going back to the drawing board, which is work. In the game of “snakes and ladders”, facing-a-mistake is a snake, and people prefer ladders. People prefer progress, however, as engineers know, it is far better to face mistakes early, before you build, than to build and then have a building come crashing down. (“Global Warming” may be now be facing a political version of the latter.)
Second, young people have an innocent trust that their teachers know what they are talking about. Some teachers don’t, and only repeat what they see in books, in a robotic manner. It hurts young idealists to have their trust in teachers broken, and to understand some teachers define “teaching” as being more like a parrot, than as being a person who truly understands the subject they are talking about.
Third, people find it hard to believe that their fellow man could lie to their face, willingly and willfully, and with full knowledge they are perpetuating a deceit. One might expect such evil behavior in a “bad guy” with a black hat and twirled mustache who snickers “Nyah-ha-ha” in a movie, but not in someone they feel is a friend. To realize another is treating you as a sucker admits you have been, to some degree, a sucker, (up to that point, at least), and no one likes admitting they’ve been a fool.
The above difficulties are exacerbated when false values include making-money and/or gaining-awards and/or basking-in-the-flattery-of-social-prestige. We tend to prefer employment to being unemployed, financial security to anxiety, acceptance to rejection, and acclaim to being ostracized. Because we cannot get everything we desire, we must at times compromise and, sad to say, some of our compromises are mistakes. For money we compromise when we shouldn’t, for acceptance we compromise when we shouldn’t, for peace we compromise when we shouldn’t, and so on.
In the case of Global Warming the exacerbation was extreme because literally trillions of dollars were involved. In attempting to seek out the origins of the fallacy, one suspects some very rich people had to be at Global Warming’s roots.
For this reason some suspect the very wealthy members of the “Club Of Rome”, (formed over a half century ago in 1968), have been behind much of the Global Warming advocacy. They announced, (in “The Limits To Growth“, published in 1972), that mankind was running out of resources and time. Because they had so much money and power, they seemed to feel God had placed them in the position to save mankind from a disaster, which they felt was sure to come if populations kept increasing as resources ran out. They gloomily foresaw the degradation of the environment to a degree where the entire planet would become an overgrazed, industrial wasteland and desert, (and they based their ideas on computer models, even back when only very rich men could afford computers). In 1970 they foresaw the disaster would be upon us by 1990.
Others pointed out, and continue to point out, that their computer models contained some underlying assumptions that were very pessimistic, and which over the past half-century have proven untrue. Robert Solow, winner of the Noble prize for Economics, described the Club of Rome’s ideas as “amateurish” and “simplistic”. The Club Of Rome in fact didn’t see how innovative humanity can be, when faced with problems. (This has not discouraged the Club Of Rome from continuing to forecast doom, and their computer models continue to foresee the collapse of civilization, now confidently expected to occur in the middle of the 21st century.)
The Club of Rome likely does not stand alone on the pedestal of blame, but they publish their ideas, and therefore are more exposed. After the Soviet Union fell on Christmas, 1991, they didn’t rejoice at the end of the Cold War, but instead worried that mankind would lack an enemy to fight, stating, in The First Global Revolution, “Every state has been so used to classifying its neighbours as friend or foe, that the sudden absence of traditional adversaries has left governments and public opinion with a great void to fill. New enemies have to be identified, new strategies imagined, and new weapons devised.”
Particularly cynical (to me) is the statement by King & Schneider, “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”
This gloomy view of mankind and its future seemed to generate a need to create a scapegoat for man to fight, and furthermore to encourage a sort of “ends-justify-the-means” mentality wherein it was acceptable to lie, in the process of creating the scapegoat humanity could rally around fighting. I don’t know why they didn’t feel they could just tell the truth, but I imagine an element of condescending snobbishness was involved, wherein they felt humanity was just too stupid to be told the truth. In truth they themselves were the stupid ones, for in the end Highest Truth inevitably works its way to the surface, and it is then that liars have egg on their face.
In a sense we are now seeing that Abraham Lincoln spoke truth when he stated, “You cannot fool all of the people all of the time,” but Lincoln began that statement with, “You can fool some of the people all of the time”, and that is what we are now dealing with: A sort of residue of trusting people, brought up to see “carbon” as a scapegoat, and as a foe.
Some describe these trusting people as “sheeple”, which seems a bit snide and condescending to me. I actually find trusting people far easier to work with. But a problem occurs when it dawns on them they can’t trust. An entire range of reactions is then possible, from apathy to panic to fury to humor to a white-hot determination to stand for Truth. History demonstrates that when faced with such duress some nations crumble, while others experience a “Finest Hour”.
It seems plain to me the United States has arrived at such a tipping point. I have no idea how things will turn out, but do know that at such times every voice matters. While it can be difficult and even dangerous to speak the voice of reason among the raging, often such a voice can turn the tide, and has great influence among the silent even if the speaker is shown the door. The “left” has been all too willing to utilize this “voice” in a shrieking and impolite manner, protesting as conservatives attempt to speak, but conservatives must persist, (hopefully in more soothing tones), if the United States is to remain a two-party-system where Freedom, especially Freedom Of Speech, is a way of life.
Therefore, yawning slightly, I will again debunk what has already been debunked. And that is the idea that the sea-ice over the North Pole is in a “Death Spiral”, and also that, if the sea-ice ever did melt completely away, it would have terrible consequences. While debunking I’ll also point out some attributes of the strange mental state called “Alarmism”.
The “Death Spiral” idea is silly because the sea-ice has melted away in the recent past, without terrible consequences, (and in fact likely with pleasant consequences, in many northern lands).
The evidence is there, but there has been an effort to hide it. I know this sounds a bit paranoid and crazy, but in order to create a “narrative” wherein people could become bug-eyed about sea-ice melting, one had to “erase” the fact it has happened before. The most notable incident involved a scientist being told “we have to erase the Medieval Warm Period”. However the effort to “erase” evidence that disproves the so-called “narrative” has been far more widespread and absurd. Because so much money has been involved, it has pulled the strings of weak people who allowed themselves become puppets for the production of propaganda. Meanwhile such manipulation of monies completely baffled the honest scientists, who care far more about science than “propaganda”, even to a degree where they forget to deposit their paychecks at the bank, until the bank (or their wife) complains.
I wish I had the time to entertain you with all the examples of this silliness I have witnessed. The book would be hilarious, were it not for the fact some very decent and honest scientists have abruptly seen their funding denied, because their honesty clashed with the “narrative”.
I don’t have the time, and instead will merely mention the funding dried up, all of a sudden, when it came to placing cameras on the sea-ice on the Arctic Sea. Where we once could see what was going on up there, a sort of iron curtain has fallen. Only four years ago there were, at one point, eight functioning cameras sending us pictures. Now there are none. What happened?
I’ll give you my take, which is that initially the pictures supported the “narrative”, but then slowly such images began to undermine the “narrative”, at which point the pictures were no longer welcome. I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it just seems odd that, even as it became far cheaper to place such cameras, suddenly there was no money available to do so.
Initially the cameras supported the “narrative” because they showed sea-ice melting in the summer. In actual fact, the sea-ice had always melted in the summer, but normal people didn’t know this. (I myself didn’t know this, back when I was normal.)
In fact, the sun never sets for six months, at the Pole. There is no “cool of the evening” because there is no evening. The sun just rides around the horizon, around and around, higher and higher, so of course temperatures rise. Temperatures commonly rise above freezing in May and then, on average, remain above freezing day after day, week after week, all the way to August. So is it any wonder the sea-ice melts?
This has nothing to do with Global Warming. It has been happening for millennium. But the cameras allowed us to see what only a few hundred arctic explorers had ever seen before. It was wonderful! It was beautiful! But I’m afraid it failed to be alarming enough.
Not that they didn’t try. The cameras showed the melt-water pools that form on the sea-ice during the summer, and sensationalist headlines made it sound like such pools were a new thing. But then a cantankerous old coot like myself would point out such pools were described by arctic explorers clear back to Henry Hudson in the 1600’s, and also that, when a crack formed in the ice, the water typically drained down and the pool vanished. This could result in embarrassment for Alarmists. For example, in 2013 they dubbed one such pool “Lake North Pole”, claiming it signified the beginning of The End, but no sooner had they drawn everyone’s attention to that camera’s view, when the pool drained and vanished, and instead the camera showed a view of a midsummer snow on polished sea-ice.
The fact the cameras at times embarrassed Alarmists, showing freezing where Satellites indicated thaw, or snowfalls at the peak of the melt-season, or waters clotted with sea-ice in a location other “official” maps showed open water, made them seem unhelpful, to those most interested in the “narrative”. The cameras, initially supportive to the “narrative”, had become a liability. As a cynical old coot, I feel it is no great wonder that the funding dried up.
Nor is it a great wonder to me that richer Alarmists no longer invested in other arctic endeavors. We used to be able to get pictures from all sorts of crazy dudes who planned to prove how bad Global Warming was by being the first to row to the Pole in a bathtub. Or, well, maybe not a bathtub, but in other inadequate craft.
What amazed me most about such young adventurers was: They always got funded. The money was flowing like rivers, but now it has dried up. I think they tended to show too much sea-ice and not enough melting, and failed to support the “narrative.”
I was sad to see that, for the first time in years, there was no “Barneo” base at the Pole this April. Many tourists were willing to fork out $20,000 to ski at the Pole, but there was apparently not enough extra “science money” to make the truly marvelous event, (which even included a yearly marathon), worth the organizers getting over various political differences.
Officially the 2019 Barneo base didn’t happen because of bickering between Russia and Ukraine, but in the past such bickering was lubricated out of existence by a surging inflow of money. Now the money has dried up. Forgive me if I sound overly suspicious, but I think Barneo was also unhelpful to the “narrative”. There was something about the sight of jets landing on the ice (to unload wealthy tourists) that failed to support the idea the Pole would soon be an open ocean.
To me this seems to demonstrate how, as soon as you agree you must “erase” some element of Truth to promote your “narrative”, you have become compromised. Some idealism has egged-you-on into a predicament where you will wind up with egg-on-your-face.
This is not to say that the people who promoted the “narrative” didn’t mean well. They deemed their lies “white lies”. However when they had money and power they could seduce all sorts of people to do what they wanted, and to be at their beck and call. Sad to say, but many scientists, faced with a choice between working in the field they went to college to study, or flipping burgers in a fast-food joint, will chose to work in the field of science, even if it requires some compromise. Some “white lies.”
Nearly every job I’ve ever worked has involved putting up with stuff I’d rather not put-up-with. Compromise is part of life. But it should not involve too great a disregard of Truth.
I’ve worked for employers who demanded discipline. For example, I worked for a place where you could be fired if you “punched in” one second late. This seemed ridiculous to me, because some people tended to sit around the time-clock shooting the bull and drinking coffee for a half hour after they punched-in, while other got right to work. The Truth was that the time-stamp on the time-clock’s punch-card didn’t indicate how hard a man worked. But the boss didn’t want to hear my debate, so I compromised, for a while, and made sure to never be one second late. Eventually I would refuse to obey such discipline, and got fired, but I knew I deserved it. However I knew I could just go get another job. If I left a job in a factory I could go work in a cannery.
I think it isn’t so easy for scientists. It is harder for them to just go get another job. Albert Einstein did need to flee fascism and Germany, but if he had been driven to get a job running a fork lift, I shudder to think of the complete disaster which might have ensued. (To be honest, I didn’t always do so hot myself, as a poet operating a forklift.) (Cue sound-effect of much breaking glass.)
It seems a bit sad to me that funding is no longer flowing like wine, to study melting-at-the-Pole, because I know there are certain scientists who were hired, and asked to compromise a great deal, to make that subject their specialty. Employers shouldn’t just cut the funding for such faithful slaves. Sadly, whoever is funding the Global Warming idea is now treating some scientists like industrialists once treated coal miners, once the miners got old and were no longer useful. This is unwise. Kipling stated there is no fury like the fury of a woman scorned, but I think the fury of an abandoned slave may be as bad. When you deny a man all income, honor, and dignity, despite loyal service, a mere mouse may become a cornered rat.
Fortunately I don’t need to worry about losing income, honor and dignity, concerning sea-ice, because such study is only my hobby. True, due to some stuff I don’t understand concerning “search-engines”, my old posts about sea-ice used to get me over 700 views, and this post will likely get only 40, but this will not effect my income. Or my honor and dignity. After all, sea-ice is just my frickin’ hobby, and I’ll do it even if nobody “views.” The best things in life are free, but sometimes you are the only viewer. For example: That sunrise you saw, a while back. You might have wished there was someone you could share it with, but there wasn’t, yet it was majestic all the same. It was a joy just for you, and all your own (nor were you truly alone, in a spiritual sense).
Some Alarmists lack such joy, and sadly are lodged in unhappiness. They are unhappy because the sea-ice refuses to obey them. Here is the latest evidence:
The sea-ice “extent” graph seems to show a “recovery”. Rather than the “accelerating decline” predicted by “Death Spiral” theory, we are above the depths reached during the low-ice years in 2007 and 2012. The recent “maximum” was higher than last year’s, and, despite great excitement by Alarmists about a recent dip in “extent”, we are not in any way, shape or form headed towards an ice-free summer, this year.
As I look at the above graph, it with an awareness Alarmists seem to lack, concerning the past. I can only suppose it is because, where they must “erase” for the sake of a “narrative”, I simply accept history as it is.
And even most-recent history shows April cannot predict September’s minimum. In 2006 the extent in April was one of the lowest, in recent history, but by September the 2006 minimum was one of the highest, yet this highness, while making 2007 far higher than 2006 the next April, didn’t keep 2007 from having a September minimum which was the second lowest, in recent memory. Obviously the situation in April means little. If it meant much, 2006’s minimum would be lower than 2007’s, in September. In actual fact 2006 is one of the highest recent September extents, as 2007 is one of the lowest. April’s extent, in and of itself, is a lousy predictor.
Because I know recent history, I had a hard time getting all bent out of shape by a recent dip in the above “extent graph”, which some Alarmists claimed was proof all Capitalists should become Communists. Yes, you heard me right. They did claim such a preposterous thing. Look at the small downward blip in the graph, and imagine the leap of faith required to conclude it had such a huge political significance.
Forgive me, but I didn’t even want to join the discussion.
Such discussion has always repelled me. This is a bit of a side track, but I think my dislike was formed by a mildly traumatic event at the end of my boyhood. Back when I was a grubby little boy some elders felt I might be improved by cleaning up what I wore, or having my hair cut more often, but I always found such fussing annoying. I had better things to do, and preferred hiking and fishing to being neat and tidy.
My slovenliness reached a peak around 1965, when, as youngest in my class, I was the last to show any sign of growing pubic hair, in the showers after gym class. I was the last true boy, and got in trouble with authorities by being grubby and careless, and wearing jeans to school ( illegal, back then) and having hair over the tops of my ears (also illegal) or wearing tattered sneakers, (you were suppose to wear shoes). I didn’t mean to rebel; I simply was neglectful. Meanwhile my pals were hit by hormones and abruptly became insanely interested in fashion and females. They got in different trouble by daring to wear fashionable clothing, which broke certain school dress-codes. Their jet-black pants were too tight and too short; so tight about their ankles they could barely get them over their feet when they put them on, and they wore expensive footwear called “Beatle Boots” which the grown-ups banned because they were boots and not shoes. None of this made a lick of sense to me, for, after all, I was still a boy. What made sense was hiking and fishing.
I think the experience shaped me. Because I was youngest I saw, like the child seeing the Emperor had no clothes, that what was politically correct in 1965 was silly. My mind was impressed, and my thought was shaped in a way which saw the “fashion” others desired was actually repellent.
Therefore, when hormones hit me only a year later, I had no desire the wear pants tight around the ankle and Beatle-boots, because that seemed silly. Rather I would do what was not silly. Quite accidentally I was seeking an “alternative lifestyle”. And what was the alternative? At that time it was to remain a child, a Huckleberry Finn, and to continue hiking and fishing, but to do so with the fever of an adolescent rather than the quietude of a boy. I learned to have a (nearly) complete disregard for fashion and political correctness. I had no idea this made me more adult than many adults. I was merely “thinking for myself”.
I think by 1967 the fashions of the politically correct became so shameful that many men have zealously burned all evidence, and developed amnesia. It was a fashion called “mod”. Men wore polka dots. I remember it quite clearly: Absurd, brightly colored polka dots. Not just ties, but sport coats. But nearly all evidence has been erased, like the Medieval Warm Period. What man would confess to being such a fool of fashion?
There was no way you were going to get me to dress in polka dots. Sorry, but even the slight chance, (very slight), that I could seduce a babe couldn’t trick me into wearing such peacock buffoonery. I stuck with my dirty jeans, and stuck with neglecting to get my hair cut until my shaggy locks got me rebuked by the school principle, and I stuck with hiking and fishing.
Then, in 1969, to my complete astonishment, dirty jeans and shaggy locks became fashionable and politically correct. As the youngest senior in my class I was abruptly the guy who was ahead of the curve, the guy who saw what was hip before all others, the guru of fashion.
I won’t pretend the flattery didn’t sway me. Every dog has his day. But, as fashion moved on to “disco”, I was like a guru wistfully watching all his disciples rush off to John Travolta.
Forgive me if I am belaboring my point, but it has been the experience of my life that a large part of “political correctness” is superficiality. It has next to nothing to do with the underlying Truth. At best “political correctness” is a dirty reflection through a warped mirror of what is actually occurring in the honest foundations of society, and at worst it is a complete misrepresentation.
There is much in my life I am not proud about, but one thing that makes me smile is that I still walk about in dirty jeans. I am what I am. I have been spared a great deal of bother and nuisance, by skipping fashion (most of the time) and instead focusing on work, and skipping political correctness, and instead focusing on Truth.
The Truth is that we are not threatened by the melting of arctic ice. The Truth also is we would be better off if the sea-ice totally melted. If it melted, we might return to climatic periods described as “Optimums”. If the sea-ice utterly melted northern climates under “arctic regimes” might instead experience “maritime regimes”.
In terms of Greenland, replacing the current “arctic regime” with a “maritime regime” would have a huge benefit. Permafrost would fade away, so you could dig a grave, as the Vikings once did. You could raise fodder, and deliver midwinter water, to 100,000 sheep and goats and 2000 cattle, as the Vikings once did. On good summers you could grow barley for beer, as the Vikings once did.
But some assume such evidence must be erased, along with other proof the Medieval Warm Period was warmer. What perverse ideology can be so stupid? Why erase what actually happened? Why erase actual experience which provides science with data, and which then corrects our past mistakes and furthers our future’s thought?
Who would do this? It is at this point my sense of humor kicks in, and I remember the persons who felt it was so dreadfully important to dress in “mod” fashions in 1967. I always wondered how the minds of such people work. What are you telling yourself when you don a ridiculous polka-dot outfit? For that matter, what was Abraham Lincoln telling himself when he donned his stove-pipe hat? (I like to believe he was muttering curses under his breath, the way I did when my mother made me dress in a suit and go to dancing school, when I’d rather be fishing.)
And why did George Washington wear that silly wig? Oh…wait…..he didn’t wear a wig. That was his natural hair, (though he may have powdered it.) Wigs were for people who went prematurely bald, especially when they went bald as teenagers.
Why should you go bald at such an early age? It was a side-effect of a revenge Native Americans had upon Europeans. (No, not the addiction to tobacco.) The revenge was a sexually transmitted disease which Columbus (or his crew) brought back to Spain, and which swept through Europe as the worst epidemic since the Black Plague. To abruptly go bald (often in a patchy manner) as a teenager became a sign you had not been chaste, and to hide from the shame (made so blatant by the abrupt, patchy baldness), people wore wigs, if they could afford them. (Even a cheap wig cost a week’s wages), (but a side-effect was that wigs helped people avoid the annoyance of lice. They shaved what hair they had left, and if lice got in their wig they could just boil the wig. Problem solved). But, as wigs were expensive, they became status symbols, and the rich bought and wore amazingly tall and curly and flowing wigs, whereupon they were called “bigwigs”.
The irony is, of course, that wearing such a wig would not fool the wise, who would know you wore wear the hairpiece because you had been immoral and contracted a SID which might (before antibiotics) eventually rot your brain and cause tragic insanity.
But, to the simple, a bigwig is impressive. The wigs in the above painting may have costed more than a layman could make in half a year. (Isn’t it odd how people can turn hiding shame into a status symbol)?
In my humble opinion “Global Warming” is a sort of polka-dotted “bigwig” that silly people use to impress other silly people with. Alarmist dogma has little to do with virtue, just as contracting syphilis has little to do with virtue, but the dogma becomes a sort of “bigwig” that intellectually bald people use to hide their intellectual shame. In actual fact they may be as weakened and clipped as Samson was after Delilah was done with him, but, (by virtue signaling), the politically-correct state, “Look at me! I have more hair than Samson had, at his most mighty!”
I wonder if they think they are fooling themselves. After all, at some point men took off their “mod” suits, and they did not put those absurd outfits in the closet, and wait for such bizarre garb to come back into fashion. They threw the polka-dot suits into the rubbish, (or perhaps burned them), to destroy all evidence they had ever been so ridiculous.
In like manner Alarmists are backpedaling from their fashionable statements, regarding the Arctic being in a “Death-Spiral”.
One last-ditch effort to prove there was less ice, even when the “extent” increased, involved stating that, while the “extent” might have increased, the expanding ice was thinner and had become something they dubbed “rotten ice.” What mattered was suddenly not “extent”, but “volume”.
Of course measuring the “volume” was very difficult, and involved variables and margins-of-error much greater than measuring “extent”, (and indeed the best-science involving volume-measurement may be worse than the best-science is regarding what the weather will be ten days from now), but, for what it was worth, the “volume” graph was going down, even as the “extent” went flat and even rose slightly. “Volume” became the new talking-point, and the new proof the “Death-spiral” was ongoing.
But drat! Wouldn’t you just know it? Just as “Lake North Pole” vanished as soon as they got people looking at it, as soon as they got people looking at the “Volume” graph, it shot upwards last winter. Don’t you just hate it, when that happens?
I myself figured the sea-ice volume grew because last year a sort of “Wrong-way-flow” prevented sea-ice from being flushed south through Fram Strait in the more usual manner. At times these wrong-way winds even pushed the ordinarily-piled-up sea-ice away from Greenland’s north coast. ( Sensationalist Headline: “Open Water North Of Greenland Proves Sea-ice Is About To Vanish. Polar Bears Will Drown”). This year has seen the wrong-way winds quit, and lots of sea-ice has been flushed south through Fram Strait to cool the Atlantic. As such sea-ice melts its “volume” drops to zero, and is subtracted from the total, so I expected the “Volume” graph to fall. Surprisingly, it hasn’t (so far):
If you are actually interested in arctic sea-ice, the refusal of “volume” to diminish is a fascinating development. But if you are interested in promoting a “narrative” it is incredibly annoying. This is one heck of a way to run a “Death Spiral”.
In fact, where we formally saw an attempt to “erase the Medieval War Period”, we may now be seeing an attempt to “erase the Death Spiral”.
I can’t say I blame whosoever may be involved. It is darned embarrassing to be predicting a sort of end-to-the-World, (though I reiterate that I think an ice-free Arctic Ocean would be a good thing), but then to, year after year, have your prediction be proven wrong. It seems quite normal and natural to change the subject. In a way it seems like burning an old, “mod” suit with blaring polka dots. Some things are best forgotten.
The problem is, we are not talking about mere silly outfits people chose to wear. We are talking about trillions of tax-dollars, the sweat of hard-working taxpayers, and how such dollars are spent. Are they spent wisely, or are they wasted on polka-dots?
With funding for cameras, and crazy adventurers, and the Barneo blue-ice jetport, all mysteriously vanished, just about the only pictures of sea-ice I can observe come from postings on the small-town websites of little communities in Alaska and Canada, who sit by the sea and have to deal with sea-ice, as it clogs their harbors every winter. Often the ice can keep boats from bringing fresh groceries, and the local people must either hunker down and subsist on stored-up blubber and canned goods, or rely on icebreakers and airlifted goods.
On Labrador Island they rely on icebreakers and ferries with strengthened bows, but there were shortages last winter. There is always a struggle to get supplies across the Strait Of Belle Isle, due to sea-ice.
(First, I should note that, if the “Death Spiral” is real, that ice shouldn’t even be there. Last winter it was described as “the worst in thirty years”. But never mind that.)
Second, with all the advancements in technology, surely last winter should have seen more fresh vegetables than ever, out on the island.
The lady in the picture has been running her market forty years, and she stated last winter was the worst, in terms of getting fresh vegetables.
How is it possible that 40 years ago, way back in 1978, the Canadians who lived back then could do a better job delivering groceries than the modern generation of politically-correct idealists can do?
Attempting to poke into the details, I had to descend into the bizarre world of Canadian politics, which currently involves lots of polka-dots, and not much sanity. Apparently they replaced an old, tired, but adequate ferry called the “Apollo” with a ferry that butchers the English language with the ungrammatical name, “Qajaq”.
As a boy I learned it was very bad luck to ever use the letter “Q” without the letter “U” after it. (After all, look what happened to Iraq). (Also, if I wrote “Q” without “U”, I might be kept after school, which was very bad luck). No good could possibly come of naming a ship “Qajaq”, but for Canadians it has become very stylish to write “Q” without a “U”, as doing so is apparently a sort of virtue-signaling, indicative of “sensitivity” towards “indigenous peoples.” (I’m not sure how sensitive naming a ferry “Qajaq” actually is, for I think in Inuit “qajaq” is the plural of “qyaq”, which is a skinny little kayak; in any case, an odd name for a car-carrying ferry.)
Qajaq lived up to my superstitions. Even with the help of ice-breakers, it could not deliver the groceries, and for weeks couldn’t even leave port. The people who live out on the island, and the truck-drivers dependent on the ferry to earn their living, grew scornful of the politicians who had mismanaged. After around a month the coast guard used ice-breakers to barge a minimum of groceries out to Labrador Island, but the ships were not designed for cargo and many groceries froze solid and had to be returned.
I learned all sorts of bits about the Canadian government, eavesdropping in small town chat-rooms. Apparently a large amount of money was squandered on “cronies” who built a road to the ferry terminal, but not enough money was spent on the ferry itself. Also, although the politicians were very proud of the Qajaq, because it had only half the “carbon footprint” of the Apollo, the local people scornfully stated this goal was achieved only by having a puny engine, merely half as strong as Apollo’s, which meant that, even with a reinforced bow, that the Qajaq couldn’t push through sea-ice the Apollo had once shouldered through.
I bit my tongue, for it is not my place to butt into a neighbor’s business, but I did want to mention that their politicians seemed to spend far too much time being “sensitive” about naming their ships, and far too little time being “sensible” about shipping.
The way to avoid mismanagement is to hire sensible managers, and the way to be sensible is to take a hard look at facts. It is distinctly unhelpful to “erase” the facts, yet much political-correctness seems aimed at not-allowing certain facts to be faced. Certain subjects must not be broached, certain realities must be avoided, certain sleeping-dogs must not be disturbed even with a ten-foot-pole, until one is reduced to mincing about on eggs, more focused on polka-dots and big-wigs than what really matters. It is only then that politicians cease being helpful and begin to be hazards, more concerned with genuflecting than with making sure groceries are delivered. Even the most garrulous old store-owner knows there comes a time to “stop talking and to start stocking” (the shelves). When a politician can’t see this, and becomes more busy erasing things such as the Medieval Warm Period than with delivering the goods, then troubles arise. It is when shelves are empty that people tend to dust off an old Winston Churchill quote:
“The loyalties which center upon (the leader) are enormous. If he trips he must be sustained. If he makes mistakes they must be covered. If he sleeps he must not be wantonly disturbed. If he is no good he must be pole-axed…”
This was what got Donald Trump elected. People were sick of mismanagement. The politically-correct were horrified, and attempted to pole-ax Trump even before he took office, which demonstrates they did not read the rest of the Churchill quote:
“…But this last extreme process cannot be carried out every day; and certainly not in the days after (the leader) has been chosen.”
The simple fact of the matter is that what matters is not polka-dots, nor how big your wig is, but how you manage the cards dealt out to you. There are people dealt nothing but deuces who amaze all with their success, and there are those who are dealt aces who fall flat on their faces. (Hmm. Might be a poem in that.)
Some people, though seemingly dealt only deuces, Become locomotives and never cabooses. Other elite ones are dealt only aces Yet traipse into trouble and fall on their faces.
It is true that a lot depends on your teammates; a fantastic soccer player will never be a winner if his goal-tender takes his eye off the ball to admire a blond babe in the stands; a great quarterback will have trouble completing a pass if his blockers are spineless and his coach is the moronic relative of a moronic owner. However some, even when dealt the worst hands, still manage to manage. There are ordinary people you meet every day who only manage to be ordinary by defying incredible odds. Conversely, there are pompous bigwigs who think their feces smell better than everyone else’s, utterly oblivious to an impending pole-ax.
The nice thing about a two-party system is that no actual pole-ax is involved. No guillotine is rolled out to chop off your head. There is no “Terror”, no Stalinist purges, no horrible Maoist “Cultural Revolution”, no “Night Of The Long Knives” where Hitler assassinated his best-friend Brown-Shirts although they had lifted him to power. Instead, in a two-party system, you are subjected to what the sports-world calls “being benched.” You are not kicked off the team, but you are told to go sit down and think about how you contributed to the fact the team lost the last game.
A problem arises when one wants so badly to have star-status they cannot abide even the thought of any sort of demotion. Their mother told them they were wonderful, and it hurts them tremendously when they find out they are merely ordinary. They received a trophy in school, (sometimes a “participation trophy” for doing nothing beyond showing up), and they expect life to give them another. They feel “entitled”, and feel they should be quarterback even if not gifted in that regard. Even if they are five-foot-two and can’t throw, they feel some “injustice” is involved if the best way they can help the team is to sell hot-dogs in the stands. They have lost the ability to see the facts a good manager sees, preferring to “erase” certain aspects of Truth, and to live in a rosy dream-world that can only remain rosy if reality doesn’t rear its head with ugly repercussions.
If one erases things such as the “Medieval Warm Period”, one eventually winds up with a so-called “false narrative” one is dependent upon, and then one becomes overly focused on things such as naming a boat, or “carbon emissions”, and the repercussions are empty shelves. Karma then tends to be ruthless. What goes around comes around.
In a way it is amusing, for often a reason some get sidetracked is because they feel “life isn’t fair”, and then, after their sidetrack leads them deep into a forest of buffoonery involving polka-dots and big-wigs and other forms of virtue-signaling political-correctness, they become extremely indignant when it turns out life is fair, after all.
It is difficult to explain the unfairness of life, for God’s Creation involves a vast, intricate complexity beyond the capacity of the human psyche to completely comprehend. Why are some born rich and some born poor, some born beautiful and some born ugly, some born sharp and some born dull? Is it due to the Karma of past lives? Is it due to evil White Men exploiting? Is it due to carbon emissions? Is it due to eating too much beef and not enough kale? Or is it merely a given in life, called “troubles?”
Having spent most of my life attempting to avoid trouble but getting into plenty, I tend to feel troubles are part of life, (and that, in fact, life would be boring without them).
If anyone was going to successfully avoid trouble, I would think it would be a man with super-powers, who could walk on water, and raise the dead, and give sight to the blind, such as Jesus is believed by some to have been. But even Jesus didn’t seem to avoid trouble, nor promise his followers an easy road: “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.”
This is not to say that some elements of truthfully facing-trouble don’t defy basic mathematics:
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.“Truly I tell you,”he said,“this poor widow has put in more than all the others.”
To people only focused on the mathematics of money, and not the entirety of Truth, this statement made by Jesus is illogical. Their minds, in over-focusing on money, have “erased” other things that matter.
I seem to see, in history, a rising and falling of people nearly as predictable as the rising and falling of tides. Initially people focus on Truth in its vast and incomprehensible entirety, and are made swiftly aware of their inabilities and mistakes, but are equally swift to respond to Truth’s corrections. People call Truth inanimate, but Truth does give people a swift boot in the posterior if they neglect to factor-in certain elements. Call it “Divine Intervention” or call it “Murphy’s Law”, Truth is swift to correct and discipline those people humble enough to admit their mistakes, and who eagerly learn from them. Because they are swift to learn they rise on a tide of Truth, and often gain prosperity, popularity, and power.
But then the rot sets in. People enjoy prosperity, popularity and power, and these three things are seen as being worthwhile in and of themselves, even to the point where Truth slips from the center of people’s attention. The “erasure” is slight at first, but the addiction is insidious, and slowly makes inroads upon the initial, steadfast focus on Truth. The tide is falling, though the people heading down often think they are richer, more famous, and more powerful than ever. Towards the end they become the butts of jokes, utterly focused on polka-dots and big-wigs, and amazingly blind to the Truth that brought about prosperity, popularity and power in the first place. This downfall is described by some as “being given to sin.”
This realization has been an unexpected side-effect of studying sea-ice. It has occurred because one cannot talk about what the sea-ice is actually doing, in actual terms, without at some point treading upon the vast and duck-like flat-feet of Alarmists, and being exposed to the sputtering bombast of their wrath.
(Pause, if you will, and reflect back upon the painting of the pompous “bigwigs” I portrayed earlier in this post. Better yet, go back and look at the picture, and imagine telling those gentlemen about the real reason they wore their wigs. Do you think they’d be nice, hearing your words?)
In other words, even if you want to talk about sea-ice and sea-ice alone, there are individuals who change the subject. They seem to prefer to distract one’s focus away from the Truth about sea-ice, and instead towards their personal ire. Their logic smells of red herrings. They don’t want Truth to be the center of attention, preferring that they themselves be the center. Have pity on them. They are very needy fellows, because they need help.
As interested as I am in sea-ice, I feel Alarmist’s cries for help must be respected. That is why I go on such long side-tracks, attempting to explain the antics of my fellow man, when sea-ice is often more interesting. To walk heedlessly past a person dressed in polka-dots and big-wigs, when they are crying out for help, is in some ways like walking past a person sinking in quicksand.
Of course, they are unaware they are crying out for help. Part of their derangement is that they think I am treading on their vast toes. Which is why solving their silly problem is taking so much longer than it should.
It is a pity Alarmists are so needy and require so much pampering, because there is actually some interesting stuff going on at the Pole. With the “Death Spiral” now a dogma undergoing what seems to require an erasure much like the “Medieval Warm Period’s”, there are far fewer pictures to look at, so we aren’t able to closely examine the changes we dimly see in other data.
What are the changes?
There was a shift in weather patterns that led to fewer charges of Atlantic air north over the Pole, especially in Fram Strait. But on the Pacific side there was a push of sea-ice north through Being Strait. If I had time I’d love to study this shifting pattern in greater detail, (rather than deal with the denials of those who, for over a decade, have called me “a denier. “)
The air was a little milder than normal over the Pole, when compared against thirty-year-norms, last winter, yet it was far colder than most recent winters.
Notice how the red line actually dipped below the green line twice during the depth of winter, which hasn’t happened since 2015. Also the “peaks” above normal were far more modest. Compare the warm surges last winter (above) with the warm surges the prior winter (below).
If you add up the area of the space between the red lines and green lines you get a rough estimate of the amount of chill the sea-ice was exposed to, which can allow you to make a guess at how much thicker the ice got. However the milder air also tends to lead to more snow, which further insulates the ice from chill, and may further decrease the thickness of the ice. Therefore, because last winter had colder temperatures, and likely less snow, the ice may have thickened more, which may partially explain the failure of volume to decrease, despite more sea-ice being exported south through Fram Strait.
However less snow may have a contrary effect, now that the sun has risen north of the Arctic Circle. The snow has the ability, due to its high albedo, to delay the melting. Less-deep snow may mean an earlier start to the formation of melt-water pools. (And here is where cameras would be such a help.)
Despite the fact temperatures (and likely humidity) have been above normal during recent winters, this has changed, year after year, during the month of May. Often May has seen the first below-normal temperatures in many months, and quite often temperatures have remained more often below-normal than above-normal through much of the following summer. I’ll be interested to see if it happens again this year.
The fact summer temperatures are below-normal tends to suggest the sunshine is weaker. The so-called “Quiet Sun” may be showing its effect. Oddly, the “Quiet Sun” may also be showing its effect even when it doesn’t shine at the Pole, during the winter, and may be causing the warmer winters at the Pole.
This is utterly contrary to ordinary thought. How could a weaker sun make it warmer?
Warming might happen because the sun’s energy does not merely manifest in a way measured by thermometers, but also as energy measured by anemometers. A weaker sun might lead to weaker winds. If those weaker winds happened to be Trade Winds, the result would be less up-welling of cold waters to the west of continents down towards the equator. Less cold water at the equator would allow there to be more warm water (an El Nino rather than a La Nina), and this leads to warmer and more-moist air heading north to the Pole.
The arctic is in many respects a desert, with air that is very cold and very dry. The introduction of even a slight amount of moisture can have a huge effect in terms of temperature. The same amount of evaporated moisture which would result in a very small temperature rise at the equator, (and might even lower temperatures if a thunderstorm resulted), can result in a spike of winter temperatures at the Pole of over twenty degrees, (still below freezing). It is therefore wrong to give arctic temperatures the same “weight” as tropical temperatures.
In fact, if you give arctic temperatures the same “weight” as tropical temperatures, and created an “average” between the two, you might even create a statistical error, wherein the increase at the Pole would have the effect of “masking” a growing decrease elsewhere. A slight amount of mere moisture, at the Pole, could consequently corrupt the “Global Average Temperature”, which some politicians place so much importance upon.
I wish I had time to continue. I have only brought up two lovely variables which thermometers don’t measure, namely Trade Winds and humidity at the Pole. Truth is far more complex and beautiful, and includes far more subtlety than temperature, humidity and wind-speed. It is for the best, if we wish to be good stewards of the gift we call “our planet”, to remain humble, concerning our relationship with Truth. We must be constantly ready to be corrected.
The alternative seems to me to be an arrogant refusal to accept correction, and a behavior which seems basically adolescent. It seems but an immature, audacious certainty that “the science is settled”, and that Truth has nothing more it can teach us. It is the ossified enunciation of paralyzed thinking, addicted to polka-dots and enamored of big-wigs, and the great irony is that, in seeking to avoid correction, it invites more and greater corrections. In the end such Alarmism is simply a way of cruising for a bruising.
It has occurred to me that age does not merely make us infirm and decrepit. It also has a benefit, in that some of us become, (unlike certain professors), less likely to fall prey to the goofs of youth, chief of which is infatuation. We are less likely to seize upon an answer and think we have found the solution before we have even gotten our feet wet with the actual problem. The escape from infatuation is to know you do not know the answer, and this realization is fundamental to being truly responsive, which is fundamental to being truly loving.
Every dawn is fresh and new. We may think we know what the weather will be, but in fact we don’t. The most fabulous computers our world has seen (so far) have been devoted to telling us what the weather will be when we get out of bed, and we have seen them proved wrong. Before we go to bed we can study the work of brilliant minds, the computer weather-models of Europe, Canada, the USA, Japan, and others, and they may all promise us a sunny day, but when we rise from bed and step outside to sniff the air we hear the roll of morning thunder. Our Creator has his own plan, and does not heed the computer models. So who should you obey? What your government states the weather will be? Or what our Creator states the weather actually is?
I tend to side with the Creator, for He is the Truth. Computer models are but an approximation, sort of like a four-year-old’s drawing of my face, at my Childcare. I don’t scold the child for a lousy drawing, and I don’t suppose God scolds the fellows who devise computer models. But, when push comes to shove, I tend to consult a mirror before a four-year-old, when it comes to how my wrinkled, toothless, old face looks, and, when it comes to the morning’s weather, I prefer to step outside and sniff the air, and trust my nose more than I trust bureaucrats staring at computer read-outs, far away.
When I step outside to sniff the air I can’t tell you how many times the weather has surprised me. This proves I am not in control. Despite all the effort I’ve put into comprehending the complexity of New England weather, I’m still ignorant. I am faced with my own imperfection on a daily basis, but does this make the dawn imperfect? No, for even when the daybreak annoys me with snow I must shovel, it is perfect. I may call it perfectly annoying, but still it is perfect. If there is any imperfection involved, it is in my grouchy responses.
As a child-care-professional I make no claim to be perfect, though the government regulations at times seem to want to demand perfection, and to desire bubble-wrapping childhood so no child’s knee is ever seen with a scab. Instead of pretending perfection, I wear my imperfections as a reason to laugh, like a joker, like the child-care-professional Yorick, the court jester of Hamlet’s father in Shakespeare’s play. Hamlet recalls riding Yorick’s shoulders as a boy, and kissing him, and the way Yorick could make everyone laugh, but Yorick’s single appearance in the play is as a skull.
Facing mortality is a great blow to the optimism and infatuations of youth, which also owns a completely contrary sense of invulnerability. This is what makes Hamlet’s comment to Horatio so timeless:
Mortality is the great equalizer, because the exact same fate that befalls a jester befalls a king, and awaited Stalin and Sennacherib. Physically we are all doomed. But in terms of minds, Stalin and Sennacherib were downright depressing, whereas Isaiah, Shakespeare, and Norman Rockwell were (and remain) lively. The difference seems to be that the tyrant seeks power while the poet seeks love’s joy, and worldly power is perishable, while love is not.
A sort of epiphany occurred to me during the final weeks before our national elections, here in the USA, last November. At that time Alarmists were sticking with their arguments about sea-ice, despite the fact their arguments were utterly refuted. Worse, young and naive voters were convinced by Alarmist’s baldfaced lies. In effect I was zealously informed by youth (who didn’t know penguins don’t live with polar bears) that I knew nothing about arctic sea-ice.
If you look back across five years on this site you will see how I have sought to learn all I could about sea-ice, and to patiently share what I have learned. And yet some loud child, just barely of voting age, presumes to tell me what the Truth is, about sea-ice?
It stopped me in my tracks. Truth is such a beautiful thing, and I wanted so badly to share the joy and laughter, yet ignorance has power, and a virtual entity like “Google”, that exists unseen, can seek to demote me, so I sink twenty pages down on it’s “search engine”, so impatient youth will never “search” long enough to hear the truth I’ve learned about sea-ice. Instead they will just parrot the falsehood they have been indoctrinated with, by the politically-correct, who may not be aware of it, but are behaving in a Maoist manner.
Call me discouraged if you will, but I needed time to think.
It seems to me that, if Truth has the power I claim it has, and the pen has the power I claim it has, then there has been a singular lack of evidence that corroborates my belief. I seem to be standing in the same shoes that the sane people of Hitler’s Germany, of Stalin’s Russia, and of Mao’s China, stood in.
What was the use of telling the Truth? I seemed to be beating my brains against a brick wall.
I have recently finished reading “In The Garden Of The Beasts” by Erik Larson, describing the days leading up to the ugliness of the night Hitler first revealed the capacity of his hate and his inability to love, called, “The Night of the Long Knives,” from the view of the American ambassador and his somewhat randy and rambunctious daughter.
I don’t like that period of history, for I always see how Hitler could have been stopped, but none would heed the sane voices. Yet a fascination drags me to look at what I don’t like, perhaps to see how the sane managed to stay sane.
For example, when I first read “The Last Lion” by William Manchester, I couldn’t comprehend how Churchill stayed sane during the period 1933 to 1939. He could see where Hitler was headed, and what his aim was, and knew that if Hitler wasn’t stopped then war, and the death of millions, would be the result. But Churchill, (who knew first-hand the horrors of the trenches, and who wanted to avoid a major war), was called a “war monger” for stating Hitler must be confronted and stopped with a minor war. How great must have been his level of frustration! To be ignored, year after year, and to have his own imperfections magnified, as Hitler’s were forgiven. How did he manage to keep a shred of sanity, as the politically-correct steered civilization to a holocaust?
He must have had a mystic faith in some higher power, called Truth, which would win in the end. In a speech Churchill stated that if Hitler was not stopped, and achieved his goals, the world would face a new, prolonged dark age, made worse by the powers of modern science, but even that statement hints at an underlying belief in goodness. How? It suggests that even if the darkness is “prolonged”, it must lose eventually to the dawn of enlightenment.
It is ironic that Churchill was seen as a hawk and war monger, when what he desired was to confront Hitler in 1933, when Hitler was still weak, and when confrontation would allow the world to enjoy peace, and avoid the hell of war. He was the opposite of a war-monger. He was a peace-lover. But perhaps “peace”, at that time, was too intellectually attached to a royalty, wealth, and empire which God had decided to hit with His “ax”, because the empire’s rich exploited the empire’s poor, and when a rich man died “vultures would gather”, and that rich man’s “widow would be destitute”. People in power put the wrong things ahead of the right things, and lustful infatuation came before love.
When I read Churchill’s speeches from the 1930’s I have an odd sense the dude wasn’t really a politician. He was a poet. His prose has a cadence that your toes want to tap to, as you listen. There are some things that touch your heart, even as your mind objects. Such things have their origins in Truth, and seem to me evidence Churchill was a man living in proximity-to and association-with Truth.
That being said, it must be admitted Churchill (like all of us) had his weaknesses, one of which was a fierce loyalty in 1936 to the new English king, Edward.
Such respect of royalty may seem odd in Churchill’s case, for Churchill had an American mother, and gladly embraced a family-legend that his mother’s great-grandmother, (who had the wonderful Puritan name “Experience Martin”), had skin darker than her siblings and may have been the result of an indiscretion involving an Iroquois Indian. This would make Churchill a sort of “half breed”. (I should add that I’ve found no documentary evidence the family-legend is true). However it seems Churchill himself didn’t seem to mind the possibility he had some fierce Iroquois warrior blood in his veins. This may have given him reason to dislike Hitler’s emphasis on “racial purity.” If so, it perhaps should have also made him dislike King Edward’s contempt towards “inferior races” as well. Instead, Churchill enacted intense patriotic respect for the monarchy, (which American patriots can’t comprehend, unless they can comprehend that back then badmouthing the British monarchy was the English equivalent of an American spitting on the American flag.)
Edward is an odd character, for, at a time when great men craved power, he wanted to be done with it. Where Stalin and Hitler would kill for power, and Churchill would take the most unpopular stances with bulldog determination seeking to gain power through persuasion, Edward seemingly was more comfortable as an obedient and even subservient follower. Not that he didn’t have some strong opinions.
Edward had reason to hate communists, as his aunt had been murdered along with her husband, (the Russian Czar), and all her four children. Therefore he approved of Hitler’s hatred of communists. He also didn’t mind Hitler’s love of Germans, as he was largely German himself. He shared Hitler’s belief that some races were “inferior”, and in his travels around the British Empire he had little sympathy for his impoverished subjects, tending to see poverty not as a choice, or as a misfortune, but as brought about by the genetically diminished intelligence of an inferior race. Lastly, he didn’t mind Hitler’s autocratic mindset, because democracy had been such a shambles in Germany, which suggested an autocrat was necessary. To Edward the alternative to a fascist tyrant seemed to be a communist tyrant. Europe had seen few examples of revolution having results like America’s; largely European revolution resulted in some sort of “Terror” like France’s, and to resulting in people falling back to the “safety” of some sort of monarch, or a dictator like Napoleon.
One thing that made the royalty and the upper class so despised by communists of that time was that their lifestyle made them dependent on a staff of servants. Royalty were freed from doing their own laundry, which may have given them time to attend to other matters, but meant they were in fact inept, in terms of doing laundry. But some did not see themselves as inept, but rather as “more civilized”. People who lived more minimalist lifestyles, wherein one prepared ones own food, cut ones own firewood, and washed ones own clothes, were sometimes deemed “less civilized”, simply because such minimalists had little free time to sit about discussing politics at cocktail parties. It was not uncommon for the wealthiest English Brahman to not merely have clean clothes laid out twice a day, but to have a servant who dressed them. In some cases the servants were appreciated and well cared-for, (Churchill’s staff were largely devoted to him), but in other cases the staff felt disdained, because their unappreciative bosses looked down their noses and said the “inferior” should “know their place”. This belittling was what the communists most despised, and a servant’s natural dislike of an employer’s unappreciative snobbery was a resentment communists tended to nurture, like a small cut into an abscess, from a pout towards rage and revolution.
In a simplistic manner this tended to divide a nation’s naturally united people into Royalists and Antiroyalists, or the Bourgeoisie and the Prolatariate. To continue this simplistic division, Edward was faced with a choice between Hitler and Stalin, and, because Stalin was on the side that had murdered his Aunt and Uncle and all their children, the choice seemed simple. Though the pictures below are from a year later (1937) they demonstrate a friendliness between Edward and Hitler that likely would have made Churchill cringe. (Between the two pictures Hitler likely gallantly kissed the lady’s hand).
The woman in the above pictures is the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, who the king eventually gave up his throne for. The king was likely warned the relationship with her was unwise, (as “intelligence” [IE: gossip and spies] stated she had not only enjoyed an affair with Hitler’s foreign minister, Ribbentrop, but years earlier had an affair with Mussolini’s son-in-law [while in China, of all places]). However Edward likely knew much about the indiscretions of the upper class, having been a playboy himself, nor was he particularly upset about prewar, (pre-genocide) fascism, having been brought up to believe he was a king and superior to “commoners”, due to his “royal blood” alone. Ms Simpson likely was a person with whom he could be frank, about the foibles of leaders, and was a woman who knew much about the presumptions of the powerful, and with her he likely enjoyed a level of understanding he didn’t find elsewhere, and he fell in love.
Because king Edward had access to “red boxes” holding state secrets, (to keep him abreast of government decisions), and because Mrs.Simpson was suspected of being a spy, some were alarmed by how open he was with her. A private detective was hired to trail them. But in 1936 the upper class were oblivious to the approaching holocaust. Churchill’s deep distrust of Hitler, and of fascism in general, was not a widely held view. Many of England’s upper class, like Edward, felt Hitler was a good opponent for Stalin, and Hitler ought be supported, to stand as a “bulwark” against the rise of communism in Russia, and that Hitler could be controlled. Meanwhile Hitler felt England would eventually side with him, and that Edward could be controlled.
In spiritual terms both royalists and communists (in my view) are birds of a feather, for they both are based on autocratic concepts, and tend to want to be rid of restraints to absolute power, such as “constitutional monarchy” or “democratic socialism.” Royalists and Communists see each other as absolute opposites, and are unaware that, because “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”, they actually create each other, and are dependent on each other, due to the perverse, Karmic nature of hatred. This was about to become horribly clear in the Spanish Civil War, but in 1936 that nightmare hadn’t started yet.
Churchill clearly saw that Hitler could not be controlled by appeasement, and that force would be required, but had a difficult time marshaling public opinion, as the British public loathed the thought of another war. He finally seemed to making some headway in 1936, after Hitler ignored signed treaties and broke trust by marching troops into the demilitarized Rhineland. Hitler himself later stated that, if the French had marched their own troops in to meet him, he would have had to back off, and that his move was a big gamble. Confronting Hitler was exactly what Churchill urged. He was winning support, and at this point, (when reading “The Last Lion“) I feel a surge of hope (even though I know the future), for Churchill’s power-of-persuasion was on the verge of saving Europe from the approaching holocaust. But then, right when an ordinary politician would make sure to keep cultivating a popular position, mincing and smirking towards cameras and the press, Churchill does something in his bulldog manner that was bound to lose votes.
It was right then Edward announced his intent to marry the divorced commoner Ms. Simpson. The public was horrified. The outrage was not so much that Ms. Simpson was a commoner, (or a fascist spy), but that that she was divorced not merely once, but in the process of divorcing a second husband.
It is difficult for people nowadays to understand the shame and disgrace involved back then, when people broke their marriage vows. Not that the upper crust didn’t cheat on each other, but they didn’t divorce. (In fact some upper class marriages involved couples able to have tremendous rows about the affairs they discovered each other were having, who still were able to make-up, and laugh about their moral indiscretions, later in their marriages.) (King Edward VII (Edward’s grandfather) may even have had a door put in at the back of the palace, so Queen Victoria would not see his lovers coming and going, but he would never, never divorce his queen.) In conclusion, while an affair might be dismissed as a “foible”, a divorce was a big deal. In 1935, when Edward had introduced Ms. Simpson to his mother and father (IE “presented her at court”) his father was furious when he discovered she was divorced, for divorced women simply were not allowed in to be present at court. The English church deemed relations with a divorced woman “adultery”. The British press was silent about the kings “affair”, (even as the American press blared the news), hoping that the new king would get over his “infatuation”, and the affair could be discreetly dismissed. The British press imposed this self-censorship for they were well aware of the outrage that would occur if the public was asked to accept such a woman as their queen.
There was a lot of behind-the-scenes speculation about what gave Ms. Simpson her power. Edward seemed “under her thumb” and “to enjoy being ordered about”. Various pseudo-psychological ideas were bandied about, basically involving her being really good in bed, and the king being masochistic, but none of this solved the problem, which was that Edward was smitten. Finally the press couldn’t hide the romance much longer, as the English who visited United States read the great delight the American Press got over the idea of an American queen. Finally Prime Minister Baldwin visited Edward to bring things to a head, basically telling him the English people would not accept Ms. Simpson as their queen.
As this news broke Churchill was immediately loyal to the king, which cost him much of his new-found popularity. It was typical for Churchill to take unpopular stances, but when I read this part of “the Last Lion” I groaned and rolled my eyes. Why should Churchill be loyal? Edward disagreed with Churchill and felt Hitler should be allowed to militarize the Rhineland. He disagreed with Churchill and said the Italians should be allowed to march into Ethiopia. When the Ethiopian king visited England seeking aid, Edward refused to meet him. Yet Churchill remained loyal. Churchill floated the idea of a “morganatic marriage”, where the king could remain king but his wife would not be called “queen”, and it floated like a lead balloon.
Perhaps Churchill’s loyalty was in part due to the fact his own father had married an American, so he was less scandalized by Edward’s choice of a foreign commoner, but it also was founded on an old-fashioned British belief in near-blind loyalty to the king, (as a figurehead, if not in fact). As a rebellious American, I, of course, have problems with such loyalty to any worldly king, preferring a concept, “liberty”, as my ruler, (though that too can be a false god, if “liberty” is anything short of true Truth.)
In some ways the loyalty of those times seems quaint and archaic, though “those times” are relatively recent times. It is an indication of how brutalized ordinary faith has become, that fidelity, whether to a marriage or to a leader, is now something we deem laughable, and even sneer at. However loyalty was in Churchill’s blood, and even when he opposed he was “the loyal opposition”. He would lose all the political capital he had painstakingly gained before he would throw his king under the bus. This made me groan as I read about it, for Hitler marched into the Rhineland unopposed.
This was all the more exasperating because Edward had more compassion towards Hitler than he had towards Churchill. Fascists could be loyal to royalty, while communists killed royalty. Furthermore, if you want to play at being a pseudo-psychologist, Edward preferred heiling someone else, to being a king and shouldering the burden of responsibility. There are embarrassing pictures of him teaching the future queen of England to heil when she was just a child.
There are other pictures of Edward supposedly “heiling” Germans (when he may have been merely waving.)
But then Edward did something that baffled the mind-set of both Hitler and Stalin. He gave up power. For what? For loyalty to a lady he loved, loved more than power. In this manner he was equal to Churchill, (though not in matters of insight and intelligence.)
A picture that chills me is from 1937, which demonstrates Edward’s lack of insight and intelligence and especially foresight. He is inspecting the troops of the cruel and merciless Nazi SS.
One odd thing about this picture is that it may be photo-shopped. I have seen other versions of the same picture, wherein Edward has an arm raised and “heiling”. The question then becomes, which is the photo-shopped photo? Has the above photo been “cleaned up” by monarchists, or was the “heiling” photo “made politically-correct” by communists?
It doesn’t really matter, for both sides are haywire, in my humble opinion, for both sides are autocratic, and therefore cut off from the healing powers of Love. However even as late as 1937 Edward could have thought he was wise and politically-correct to heil the SS, and that Churchill was the naive and foolish poet. (Although Churchill was loyal to Edward, I see little evidence Edward returned the favor.)
The idea at that time was that Hitler could be controlled. By flattering here, and appeasing there, Hitler could be utilized as a useful puppet in the real war, which was against the communists who were determined to murder the upper class. Stalin was the beast, and Hitler was merely beastly.
By 1937 it was clear Hitler was a murderer. He didn’t merely disenfranchise and rob Jews; his insanely patriotic Brown Shirts didn’t merely beat American tourists who didn’t know enough to “heil” passing troops. Hitler himself had Rohm, his good buddy and leader of the “Brown Shirts”, executed, (just as Stalin had his former comrade Trotsky assassinated). Such behavior was definitely not proper among the English upper crust, but, because Hitler respected royalty where Stalin didn’t, Hitler’s atrocities could be winked at. The politically-correct felt Hitler could be cultivated, advised, and used as a useful tool, for Germans would eventually wage war with Russia (as Hitler promised to do in his autobiography). Then, as Germans and Russians slaughtered each other, the English politically-correct could sit back and enjoy the benefits of peace, and of being “better”, like Brahmans served by Untouchables, superior-to and more-civilized-than and intellectually-smarter-than murderous barbarians, like Stalin and Hitler.
In my humble opinion, if, ( and I stress “if”), these smug people, discussing international politics over scotch-and-soda at a cocktail party, actually had the control they imagined they had, then they should be included in the ranks of mass murderers. Of course, they would flatter themselves, and think they were saving the lives of British troops, and it would only be “other” soldiers dying, out of view. They would be deeply offended if I told them they were plotting the murder of millions of Germans and millions of Russians, to preserve their own lives of soft, plush, upper-class luxury. In a sense they were no different than Mao, certain that what was good for them was good for not merely Britain, but the entire World.
Such upper-class intellectuals had no real excuse for their vanity. They had attended the best schools, and had been forced to study dreary poetry, and had seen the work of the poet John Keats, who in fact describes just such hardhearted people as the elite of 1936 became, when describing (In 1818) two brothers who killed their own sister’s lover:
“With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt, Enriched from ancestral merchandize, And for them many a weary hand did swelt In torched mines and noisy factories, And many once proud-quiver’d loins did melt In blood from stinging whip;–with hollow eyes Many all day in dazzling river stood, To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.
For them the Ceylon diver held his breath, And went all naked to the hungry shark; For them his ears gush’d blood; for them in death The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe A thousand men in troubles wide and dark: Half-ignorant, they turn’d an easy wheel, That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel.
Why were they proud? Because their marble founts Gush’d with more pride than do a wretch’s tears?– Why were they proud? Because fair orange-mounts Were of more soft ascent than lazar stairs?– Why were they proud? Because red-lin’d accounts Were richer than the songs of Grecian years?– Why were they proud? again we ask aloud, Why in the name of Glory were they proud?”
What naive fools the politically correct of 1936 turned out to be! But they were sure they had things all figured out. To them politics was like a game of billiards, and they were certain they saw how all the balls lay, and that they had all the shots all figured out and arranged, but then the layout of things changed, because others shot first.
To jump ahead, rather than Germany and Russia exhausting themselves in a war between communists and fascists, in August 1939 Stalin and Hitler, supposedly worst and irreconcilable enemies, agreed to be friends. Who could have ever predicted that? But both evil men stood to gain, as they had agreed to together wipe Poland off the face of the map, dividing the spoils.
Then Stalin got to sit back and laugh, for he likely knew Hitler had been cultivated to destroy him, but, instead of communists being destroyed, he got to to see Hitler turn the full brunt of his military might onto peaceful and unsuspecting non-communists, as for two years communists enjoyed, if not peace and prosperity, at least time to recover from self-destructive purges, and an utterly bungled war with tiny Finland. (Little did Stalin know the enormous price Russia would pay for these two years of peace. It is never a wise thing to feed a mad dog, nor to help a Hitler.)
But now allow me to jump back to 1936, when the politically-correct were completely unaware of what lay ahead. It should have been obvious to these ignoramuses (and was all too painfully obvious to Churchill) that they were making some serious mistakes, (but instead they continued to believe they held the strings and others were the puppets, until they were completely embarrassed by the falling of France, when it started looking like Hitler held the strings, and that they themselves were the puppets, at which point they turned to Churchill, [likely not because they they thought Churchill could bring victory, but because they they themselves wanted to escape the blame of defeat.])
(In actual fact Truth held the strings, but powerful people seldom give credit where credit is due.)
1936 also marked the start of the Spanish Civil War. My take is that the nation was suffering the birth-pains of reform, with the people who desired reform arguing with those who liked the old ways, and, rather than a two-party-system allowing these disagreements to be worked out in a civil manner, things became uncivil. (This is called a “civil” war, though it is the exact opposite of civility.) What is particularly horrible is how outsiders exacerbated the incivility, rather than making peace. Hitler and Mussolini supported the traditionalists, as Stalin supported the reformers, and both sides got to try out their new weapons and their techniques for “controlling the masses”, and in the process did much to destroy both Spanish traditions and reforms. Meanwhile the politically correct of England didn’t lift a finger to help. They had a “hands off” policy, publicly stating the civil war involved the “internal affairs” of Spain, and needed to be resolved by the Spanish, while privately gloating how the Fascists and Communists were spending so much money, as they didn’t spend a dime. I think some patted themselves on the back, seeing Spain’s horrible suffering as proof they were successfully employing Hitler as a “bulwark” against Stalin.
Yet despite the government’s official non-involvement, the Spanish agony touched the hearts of all sorts of young poets. Even when doing so broke certain laws, they rushed to Spain to fight, some for Republican principles, winding up with Stalin’s troops, and some for Jesus and the Church, winding up with Hitler’s troops. Most were profoundly disillusioned by what they went through, and many accurately wrote about the complete inhumanity and stupidity involved. (A good example is Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”) My favorite example of an artist being disillusioned was Eric Arthur Blair, who joined the anti-fascist Republican side, and got shot through the throat by Franco’s fascists, yet, surviving that, also nearly got killed by the side he had joined, as the communists involved felt he should be “purged”.
Most know this poet by his pen name, “George Orwell”, (and whose work I didn’t at all like, when I was forced to read it, [“Animal Farm” and “1984“], in high school English classes, when I was fifteen, for I found his work “depressing”, and utterly unlike what I called “true poetry”, [which “inspired” rather than “depressed]”.) However Eric Arthur Blair’s view of Truth was based on grim, ugly facts, and on what he actually experienced, and he has been rewarded with the adjective, “Orwellian”, which describes how ugly life looks, if politically-correct standards are upheld.
Neither Hitler nor Stalin cared much for the advice of Jesus, but, along those lines, neither did the Catholic Church of Spain. The Spanish Inquisition is a horrendous example of a church disgracing the name of Jesus. And, if Karma is a reality, and if it is true that what goes around comes around, perhaps the Spanish Catholic church was merely reaping what it sowed, when priests, friars and nuns were murdered without trial in the Spanish Civil War. (The Wikipedia figures are: 4,184 priests, 2,365 monks and friars, and 283 nuns.)
However, in terms of propaganda, it doesn’t seem entirely wise for communists to have a picture like the picture below appear in the London Newspaper, the Daily Mail, with the heading “Spanish Reds war on religion.” (The picture below was such bad publicity that the cynic in me thinks it may well have been posed, and be propaganda.)
While it may be a Marxist belief that “religion is the opiate of the masses”, to actually execute Jesus a second time seems like unwise publicity for communists, for many of the proletariat, even when they dislike priests, like to go to the sanctuary of a church and to idealize that a Superior to priests is present on the alter. Therefore it was also bad propaganda to take an alter that looked like this:
And make it look like this:
However the worst publicity the communists could have ever imagined was named Andre Marty, who brought the paranoid insanity of a Stalinist purge to the struggles in Spain. Like Mao he felt it was necessary to “purify”, not by killing the enemy, but by killing soldiers on his own side. He held some title like “Commissar Of Foreign Troops,” which gave him the power to execute, (with only a pretense of a trial), any who begged to differ with him. This might include idealistic young poets who came to Spain to sacrifice their lives fighting Fascism, but who happened to think Trotsky had some good ideas. Rather than fighting a fascist they got killed by a communist. Of the roughly 5000 foreigners who died fighting for the anti-fascist side, only 4500 were killed by fascists, for Andrè Marty rather proudly stated he had executed 500.
But Marty couldn’t kill all the poets, and those he let slip through his nets are not kind to his memory. Hemingway is cruel, describing Andrè Marty, (not even bothering to change his name), in “For Whom The Bell Tolls“. In the case of Eric Arthur Blair, who barely escaped Marty’s purges, Marty (and Stalin) will be immortalized, as long as the book lives, as the evil pig Napoleon in “Animal Farm“.
Eric Arthur Blair had surprising difficulty getting “Animal Farm” published. Even when he found a publisher, the publisher changed his mind after a visit from a prominent member of England’s “Ministry of Information” (who later turned out to be a Stalinist double agent.) Such opposition seems a bit odd, considering Eric’s tale is basically a fairy tale and fable, involving talking animals. However those who read it seemed to know it held dynamite: Truth too true for revelation. (Stalin had become an Allie of England, after being double-crossed by Hitler, when the book was being written, and the book could have been censored then, because war-time censorship ruled, and being “anti-Russia” was unhelpful to the war effort. However, after the war was won, when the publisher initially accepted the book, such censorship should have been relaxed, yet still many of the politically-correct didn’t want to see the fairy tale published, and publishers continued a sort of censorship, taking on the role of “gatekeepers”.) This suppression not only didn’t discourage Eric Arthur Blair; it encouraged him to write “1984“.
However I have leaped ahead of myself. In 1936 the politically-correct had no idea where England would be in ten years, nor that they’d ever have to get Churchill out of power, in an attempt to regain their odd mode of highly hypocritical moral leadership. In 1936 they smugly sat back and watched Spain as fascists butchered communists, and communists butchered fascists, and thought to themselves, “This is how the game is played.”
This is not how the game is played. You are not allowed to sit back, when gifted with power, and to passively observe inhumanity. Sooner or later you will repent your inaction, as the inhumanity rises up to bite you. Yet so many politically-correct people in history believe it is wise to turn a blind eye to immorality, and then over and over are flabbergasted to find their own necks stretched on the guillotine. (The inventor of the guillotine was beheaded by his own invention.)
By 1936 Stalin’s inhumanity was obvious, as was Hitler’s. Stalin was purging many of his best generals, (which may explain why his army was pathetic when it tried to overpower tiny Finland in 1939.) Hitler had purged many of the Brown Shirts who were responsible for bringing him to power. Stalin in fact purged every “founding father” of Russia’s rebellion in 1917, because they were not Stalinist enough, because they were not Stalin. And, in like manner, Andrè Marty was killing the poets who bravely came to Spain to fight fascism. Is it any wonder his side lost?
This is not how the game is played. Killing the people on your own side is distinctly unwise. And, while Stalin and Hitler made this a “sin of commission”, to sit back and smugly watch was a “sin of omission”, (unless you, as an editor, censored or used “gatekeeper” status to silence those poets attempting to be whistle-blowers, in which case you were involved in a sly and subtle “sin of commission”). In all cases such politically-correct behavior will rise up to bite you, history shows.
For the sake of argument I’ll briefly entertain the concept that “desperate times require desperate deeds.” Some will argue that the Republican position in Spain was so perilous that Andrè Marty was justified in hacking off heads, to “discipline” troops.
I will counter by comparing his behavior with the behavior of George Washington, when he was in an equally desperate and perilous situation in December, 1776.
In twelve months Washington had fallen far. He had fallen from marching into Boston victorious, after driving the English out, to being driven from New York City defeated, and getting his army’s butt booted by Cornwallis clear across New Jersey and across the Delaware River, to where some of his his ill-fed, ill-clothed and ill-supplied troops wrapped their bootless feet in rags and left bloody footprints in the snow at Valley Forge. People who had praised him twelve months before, stating “We” are winning, were now grumbling that “You” are losing. He desperately needed help but wasn’t getting any. What did he do? Kill people who criticized?
No. Instead he was truthful, and expressed to everyone that he needed support urgently.
First, he told the colonial congress that if they didn’t send food and clothing they soon would have no army. Instead of food they sent four representatives unannounced, and Washington interrupted his busy schedule and showed them the army’s dire need in person, and the representatives got the message loudly and clearly, and brought the message back to Philadelphia, and then supplies-for-troops became a top priority among politicians in Philadelphia, (as did extra pay for the troops).
Second, he was truthful with his troops. He confessed they were in dire straits, and ordered that they fast and pray, for God’s help. He also pleaded for their help. Many had only enlisted for the year 1776, and had every right to to go home to their farms (where they would be warmer and better fed) on January first. Washington begged them to stay just two more weeks, promising them ten dollars extra in their pay, and also explaining that their nation desperately needed them, and that they had a great power and influence, in the present tense, that they might never, never have again. For a moment none of the sullen troops stepped forward, but then, slowly and somewhat reluctantly, most of them did.
Third, on a practical level, he demanded General Charles Lee bring 2000 troops down from the north and Colonel John Cadwalader bring recruits from Philadelphia north (around 1000). He got no response. Just then a letter from Lee to Cadwalader passed through Washington’s camp. In his need to know if reinforcements were coming, Washington opened the letter.
The letter continued an ongoing discussion between the two men about how Washington might not be a general fit for the job of freeing America. Such doubt might be expected from Lee, who had made it fairly obvious that he felt he, and not Washington, should command the Army, but Cadwalader was a friend and confidant of Washington’s, and the exposure of his dwindling faith likely hurt. (Basically the letter wondered if Washington lacked the necessary assertiveness to be decisive, suggesting he was too prone to back off. In essence it stated Washington retreated too much, and didn’t know how to attack.)
Stalin or Hitler or Andrè Marty would have had the two men immediately “purged”. Immediately “Liquidated.” Washington? He apologized for reading their mail, and explained why he had done so.
Washington’s gentleness might not be politically-correct among those of a dog-eat-dog mentality, but I think it was very effective. Honesty always is. At the very least it told both men that Washington respected their exchange of thoughts. How they then felt, I don’t know. However it seems that, rather than executing the two men, Washington took their accidentally revealed “advice” to heart, for he immediately became more decisive, and attacked.
He was helped by two things. First, his troops, who had felt neglected and forgotten, abruptly felt cared for, as Washington’s efforts succeeded in bringing foodstuffs, and perhaps more importantly blankets (which meant more than we can imagine, as the blankets were actually hand-made by supporters), and furthermore brought news that the public was touched by the soldier’s efforts and their suffering. Thomas Paine’s inspiring and poetic broadsheet, “The Crisis”, may even have reached the troops, though it is dated December 23 and they first crossed the Delaware December 25, (and communication was slower before the internet.) “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Ten days later the situation had radically changed. Washington had crossed the Delaware three times and defeated the English at Trenton, and then stalled Conwallis’s counterattack with delaying skirmishes at Five Mile Run and Shabakunk Creek, and a stand at the bridge in the Battle of Assunpink Creek. Then Washington out-maneuvered Cornwallis, for as night fell Cornwallis drew up his forces and planned to attack across the creek in the morning, certain he was about to “bag the old fox”. Across the creek bright fires burned and the clinking and clanking of picks and shovels made it sound like trenches were being dug and earthworks erected, but the fires and noise was made by a group of men left behind to create the illusion Washington was still there, as he slipped away. These noisy men slipped away as well, in the first dusk of dawn, and when Cornwallis attacked the next day he found no Americans. They were away, winning the Battle of Princeton. At this point the winter was growing harsh, so the British retreated north to await the warmer weather of spring. The Americans also hunkered down to await the spring, but in far more comfortable circumstances, as they had captured all sorts of provisions.
Though seemingly small victories, the news that Washington wasn’t in retreat, but that he had fought back and won, did wonders for American morale. On the streets of New York City, behind enemy lines, the news Washington had captured a thousand Hessian troops was spread by mouth, and the effect was electric.
But their joy is off the point. The point I wish to make is that Washington didn’t need to “purge” a single soul, to turn the tide.
In many senses Washington was down to his last dime; he was very nearly a general without an army, and had to plead with his troops not to abandon him, as so many had only enlisted for 1776, and were free to go home on January first. Yet he never threatened them. They were given a choice. Some did depart on January first, but most chose to stay, and to be part of tiny army that defeated a superpower.
When I compare Washington’s behavior to Andrè Marty’s, I sense I am seeing something missed by those who subscribe to certain unspiritual ideas about power-politics. It seems to be a difference between being crudely politically-correct or having a more high-minded Karmic-Correctness.
Once again the two different ways of behaving basically boils down to the difference between infatuation and love, yet this distinction eludes the logic of many. They cannot see why the American Revolution didn’t result in the “Terror” of the French Revolution, or the dual “Red Terror” and “White Terror” of the Spanish Civil War, or the terrible “Night Of Long Knives” of Hitler’s accent, or the terror of Stalin’s terrible purges or of Mao’s “Proletarian Cultural Revolution”.
If Truth must be known, the American Revolution also had its “terrors.” War is hell, and the American Revolution could well be called “The First American Civil War”. In areas under the Crown’s control Loyalists felt free to dispossess “traitorous” Patriots, (including some men who signed the Declaration of Independence), jailed other Patriots in prisonships so abysmal that many died, and hung some, (like Nathan Hale, a mere school teacher), as spies, but later these same Loyalists found themselves dispossessed of all wealth and property and sent penniless north by the thousands, to trudge to Canada. Yet, as these Loyalists trekked north, many would not have made it to Canada, were it not for the mercy of rural farmers whom they had formerly scorned as “bumpkins,” and had called “enemies of the Crown.” All in all, comparing the American Revolution with other Revolutions in other lands, it was a civil war with far more civility than usual.
To even suggest suggest history holds the fingerprints of anything “High” opens a can of worms, for many find belief difficult when they look at genocides, slaughters, and demoralizing behaviors. They do have a belief, but it is a belief in disbelief. In Truth, they are mistaken, and there is a reason for hope. And I could end this writing with that (but will go on).
As soon as I state, as an American, that the revolution that created the United States had a higher and more ethical side than other civil wars, I fully expect to “catch it from both sides”; for being a mushy dreamer who lacks the spine to take a stand. Why? Because in many situations I feel both sides are wrong. I assert that, unless one prefers to see a revolution and civil war wherein millions die, and wherein both the principles of reform and the principles of tradition are shattered, and wherein humanity degenerates to foulness and lowness, a so-called “centrist” position is desirable. All this means is one listens to others; one respects others; the reformer listens to the traditionalist as the traditionalist listens to the reformer; in other words, a “two-party-system”, where respect and honor and even loving-one’s-enemies are held in high regard, and beheading opponents is regarded with disdain.
People do not become faithless without reason. A baby is born with faith that its cries will be answered, but if left all alone in a cold and dark room it may be deeply scarred. In like manner many young idealists have wild hopes in a compassionate Almighty, and believe they are invulnerable because a kind Deity watches over them, and then, like the youth who dashed off to help “the right side” in the Spanish Civil War, have their faith mangled by the hell of war. They often then bounce from one extreme to the other; from naive faith to fierce atheism. In actual fact faith needs to mature, and become centered.
History demonstrates, over and over, that when a society loses faith in the decency of respect and honor, they in some way become disconnected to the roots of Truth. A withering of the lush, green and vigorous vines springing from love and liberty occurs. Even a “Chosen People” like the Jews can suffer ruinous exile from their capital of Jerusalem, as Jeremiah so poignantly describes in “Lamentations.” Conversely, when a people behave in an opposite manner, they become filled with some sort of sap springing from the roots of Truth, and they prosper and gain powers no one expected.
Allow me briefly sidetrack to an example of how things unexpectedly worked out for George Washington. It involves General Charles Lee, who was not being as helpful as he could have been, and who Stalin would have purged. Lee was taking far longer than he should have taken to bring the 2000 troops he commanded south to help Washington in the time of crisis. It has been suggested he had ulterior motives for his delay, and that either, (when he accused Washington of lacking the courage to battle) he was doing what psychobabble calls, “projecting”, (and he himself feared battle), or that he slyly calculated that if Washington’s troops were decimated as his force remained unscathed he would become de facto commander. He lacked Washington’s commitment to the cause; where Washington served without pay Lee’s letters complain he should be paid more. Then, as if divinity stepped in, Lee was removed, and no “purge” was necessary.
It happened like this: As his troops slowly preceded south Lee decided to forgo the discomfort of winter tents and to spend a night in a comfortable tavern three miles behind the lines. It has been suggested “a lady of the evening” may have been involved. Early the next morning a raiding party of 25 British horsemen, carefully avoiding the 2000 troops, came galloping up to the tavern. Lee hid in his nightgown, but the tavern owner’s wife, fearing her property would be torched, ran outside screaming that she was a Loyalist, and that General Lee had forced her to house him against her will. The English were delighted to capture a general. Then, with Lee out of the picture, the second-in-command led the 2000 troops south to Washington with haste.
(As an aside to an aside, General Lee did not go to a dismal prison-ship, but was housed well in New York City, (because officers treated officers with dignity, back then), and later was returned to Washington in a “prisoner-exchange.” Washington gave him a second chance, because trained generals were in short supply among ragtag troops, but when Lee again refused to follow orders, this time refusing to attack in the heat of a battle and allowing the English to escape a trap, Washington was done with him. And if you wonder how Washington could replace such a skilled person, again divinity seemingly stepped in, for Tadeusz Kościuszko unexpectedly arrived from Poland.)
Call me a dreamer if you will, and dismiss such events as luck and coincidence, but when I see these events sprinkled through history I always shake my head in amazement. It seems to me there is a Power whom the powerful are deaf and blind to, yet Whom the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
The politically-correct, who think they know all there is to know about power, are always blind-sided by this Mystery. This occurs because they see worldly power as an end-all and be-all, when it is actually a byproduct of a greater things: Life, Liberty and Love. Because political power is a byproduct, it actually is a bit like manure. Manure is a byproduct of farming, and valuable for enriching the soil of a garden, but it would be absurd to see manure as being so important that one blew up entire farms for piles of shit. Yet the politically-correct, one way or another, always seem to succumb to this lunacy, and, because they ignore what is important, preferring shit, they are always utterly amazed when power is snatched away and given to those who do not subscribe to their views; consequently they are blind-sided.
For an ancient example, when Genghis Khan was born around 1162 few cared a hoot about a bunch of crazy cowboys riding about and fighting neighboring cowboys on a remote prairie, far from the centers of power. When he died seventy-five years later, Japan, China, Russia, Persia and all of Europe feared him. How the heck did such a rural hick gain such power?
It seems to me that, though people now primarily see Genghis Khan as a mass murderer, he did have some spiritual qualities. He did slaughter large populations who resisted him, but also absorbed people who would work with him. He seemed to have a keen awareness of his own weaknesses, and knew that he needed others. For example, as a nomad he had no idea how to run a city, so he sought people who knew how to run the cities he conquered. Yet he did not always seek such governors from the politically-correct; he would ignore a Brahman of high rank in favor of an Untouchable who had a proven record of getting things done. In like manner, he ignored religious big-shots who thought they were high priests, in favor of humble friars and monks who could simply talk the talk and also walk the walk. This ability to judge men by the quality of their character, rather than the political-correctness of their caste, enabled him to first unite a collection of warring cowboys into a powerful nation, and, second, to unify the peoples he conquered into a religiously tolerant empire, (which was [and is] an unexpected tolerance to see, in one whom many now regard as a mass murderer).
In 1162 the politically-correct in China were likely imagining they had complete control over the Mongol cowboys to their north, and that they were clever and crafty to pit Mongol against Mongol, supporting one group of cowboys one month and another the next. And yes, such diplomacy might wreck havoc among the Mongol tribes, and cause much misery upon those distant steppes, but making misery elsewhere only proved (supposedly) that the Chinese were smarter and superior to northern-barbarian neighbors. When they tricked such loser Mongol tribes into killing each other off, what harm could come of it?
The politically correct of China were completely blind-sided by the Karmic consequences and repercussions. They never saw the Mongol cowboys coming, never envisioned unified hoards galloping south from over the horizon and taking over their entire land, and ruling it. Yet, like the Jews of Jeremiah’s Jerusalem, they got the “ax” they deserved. In fact, they got a worse “ax” than the Jews, for after the Mongols, China saw the invading Manchus of Manchuria, and then got Imperialistic Europeans. But would any of this Karmic backlash have happened, if they had treated Mongols (and other non-Chinese) differently, in the first place?
In like manner, in 1450, who, of all the politically-correct in Europe, as laser-focused (as they were) on the post-Byzantine treachery of the spice-wars between the Ottoman and Venetian Empires, payed any attention to three tiny kingdoms far to the west, at the very periphery of Europe, called Portugal, Aragon, and Castile? Yet, a half century later, the Pope was dividing the entire planet between the Portuguese and Spanish empires. Yet, even as Spain and Portugal gained their power, who was paying attention to the obscure Island to the north, Britain? Who then could dream that, (as I described earlier), Britain would come close to ruling the world? And yet, as the English first felt their power, who paid much attention to their thirteen impoverished colonies clinging to the east coast of North America?
The point I am trying to make is that the politically-correct often don’t see what is coming, even though they often exude a plush assurance that purrs like a sleek cat’s, and radiate confidence that insists they have power, and control. They don’t control, which is shown by how often history demonstrates them being blind-sided by shifts in power. They like to think they see the future and have invested wisely, but often wind up looking like an investor in horses and buggies just before the invention of the car, or an investor in typewriters just before the the invention of the word-processor. Their vision of the future is clouded, because they ignore Truth, and instead are besotted by power. They fail to see the true Source of power, and that power itself is a byproduct like manure. In this manner the politically-correct are worshiping a “false god” and are led by “false prophets.” To be blunt, they worship shit.
Not that there is anything wrong with a byproduct, in and of itself. As a farmer I call manure “brown gold” and recognize its power to be helpful in the nourishment of plants in my garden. But I do not value the shit more than the animals that produce the shit, which is what, in a manner of speaking, the politically-correct seem all too prone to doing. History seems to over and over demonstrate how the politically-correct put shit ahead of what matters more, and how they are then are astonished when their future turns brown and stinks.
In many ways the more wicked of the politically-correct are comical, if one is able to detach oneself from all the unnecessary heartache they cause. Like jealous schoolgirls, anxious to be seen as fashionable, they rush hither and thither from fad to fad, glad to be seen in the right place and in a panic when fashion shifts and what was right becomes wrong. Though pompous and vainglorious, (and highly offended if you equate them with schoolgirls), top-hatted bankers can be a joke. They are full of themselves when stocks soar, and then verge on suicide when markets crash. While money is no more evil than manure, love of money is a madness worthy of laughing at, reminiscent of a gambler’s yo-yoing mood as he makes ten thousand at nine o’clock and has lost it by ten. At nine he is radiant and struts through the casino with a babe on either arm, and at ten he trudges in despair with his complexion green, all alone, as his fair-weather-friends have all fled. Without roots drinking deeply of Truth, people are reduced to being but panicky lemmings dashing back and forth between two cliffs.
Sadly, faith in the Truth has been shattered by horrible amounts of unnecessary heartache. The very people entrusted with the upholding of faith have abused the trust so severely, and been such awful hypocrites, that people have lost faith in faith. Where Washington once ordered his troops to fast and pray, such faithful behavior is now deemed politically-incorrect. To suggest civility might have political benefits tends to be laughed at, in our cynical times. It tends to spoofed, (for example, in Monty Python skits). However even the spoofing of civility has an odd peacemaking power, because it makes people laugh, and it is hard to strike out in rage when you are laughing.
In fact I once knew a cheerful young man at an English public school, (back when corporal punishment was commonplace, and bullying and baiting were the norm), who sailed through many dangerous social-situations and escaped unscathed, simply by pretending to be terribly offended and challenging people twice his size (even teachers) to fisticuffs. In a voice halfway between an English Lord and Foghorn Leghorn’s, he’d shout, “Sir! You have pushed me too far! Honor is at stake, sir, honor! Prepare yourself for a pummeling!” Then he would prance about furiously shadowboxing jabs for one or two seconds with a fierce scowl, before predictably pausing, raising an index finder and one eyebrow, and inquiring in the most polite manner, “Queensbury Rules?” Somehow the way the young fellow’s eyebrows shifted from incivility to civility never failed to win over his enemy, often buckling his foe over at the waist with paroxysms of laughter. He made Foghorn Leghorn look dull.
Of course, certain politically-correct people no more like the humor of cartoons than they like the talking animals of “Animal Farm”. Why? Perhaps the antics of a loudmouthed rooster too closely resembles their own sophism. When a cartoon character expects one result, and another occurs, it too closely copies situations such as the the politically-correct of 1936 feeling smug about arranging things so Hitler would fight Stalin, and then being flabbergasted when Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact. In the first case it may seem a mere cartoon, with a silly rooster facing a chicken-hawk and/or cat and/or farm-dog and/or sex-crazed hen and/or younger-generation, while in the second case it may seem a deadly serious reality, but I see a similarity in the disapproval of the politically correct, and how they seek to censor not merely a political fable such as “Animal Farm”, but even cartoons.
It is not the soldiers on the battlefields who attempt to banish the slapstick humor of “Tom and Jerry” cartoons, but rather it is the politically-correct. Why are they so offended by a mouse clobbering a cat with an impossibly over-sized hammer? Is it not just a modern version of “Punch and Judy” puppets? Yet with pious expressions they state “Tom and Jerry” “encourages violence”. Encourages violence? Who is encouraging violence? Do they think those soldiers are out on the battlefield getting shot-at and shelled for the fun of it? Do the politically-correct think “Tom and Jerry” cartoons cause war, and war has nothing to do with their own lusts for luxury, privilege, power and sex?
Besides taxing my wallet, the politically-correct tax my patience. They seem to feel they can hold on to all the accouterments of love without the bother of actually loving. For, in Truth, love does tend to make a person rich and gives them power, but another gift is joy, yet the politically-correct have a terrible tendency to frown at laughter, and shame people for joking, and to gain more glee from scolding, than from confessing an embarrassment with a chuckle. They are epitomized by the garlic-faced priest, the dour schoolmarm, the glowering headmaster, and become absolutely furious when you demonstrate that they themselves are the joke.
They don all the trappings of love’s successful bounty, but are like small children dressing up as kings and queens. They flounce about, forgetting love works from dawn to dusk and puts in constant overtime, and instead they desire the harvest without the hard work. Then they become strangely irate when they see joy descend not upon themselves, but upon their servants. I think it makes them honestly angry to see there is more humor in a cottage than a castle, more good-natured hilarity on a noisy factory floor than in the morgue-like mansion the factory supports, and far more laughter in a reeking cannery than among the erudite nibbling pickled herring. Having experienced both sides, I know this to be true, but many poor envy the rich, as many rich resent the poor, because the grass is always greener on the far side of a fence.
In Truth, it is more blessed to give than to receive, and blessed are the poor, which in effect conversely means that the politically-correct are accursed. In their smugness they parody amazing ignorance, and are dunces to such a delightful degree that the heavens shout with laughter at their downfalls, which they richly deserve. However such humor is often hidden, here on earth. It is funny to see another slip and sit down hard on an icy pavement, but not so funny to be the one who falls. The haughty call another’s laughter at their discomfiture politically-incorrect, and even “unspiritual”. Then, when such humor bursts from tightly pressed lips, it appears sardonic or ironic or sarcastic, as a sort of gallows humor. However its persistence is a proof joy cannot be quenched any more than Truth can be destroyed. This is never made more clear than in the humor of poor soldiers suffering the hell of war.
The people who actually suffer on the battlefields, and in the trenches, are living so close to the end of life that they do experience joy in situations where the politically-correct deem it politically-incorrect to laugh. An example of soldier’s humor that struck me as amazingly incorrect, in all polite society, dates from the Korean war. But telling this tale involves explaining a great deal, (perhaps creating a long run for a short slide), because the actors on the stage need a background.
We need to jump ahead 13 years from 1936 to 1949, when Mao moved from doing good to doing bad. He moved from unifying China to attacking people outside his borders. In this manner he was a bit like Hitler. If Hitler had dropped dead in 1938, just after he annexed the “German” part of Czechoslovakia, he might be remembered as the man who unified the German people, and freed them from foreign oppressors. In like manner, if Mao had dropped dead in 1949, he would be remembered as the man who unified China, freeing it from the confusion of divided Chinese warlords, and foreign oppressors, ( non-Han “imperialists” from Manchuria and Europe and Imperial Japan). But no, Mao couldn’t stop at his own borders. Just as Hitler felt compelled to advance his fascist concept of German superiority outside his homeland, Mao felt compelled to advance his communist agenda outside his own borders.
Mao’s aggressiveness is in some ways understandable, if you look at the belittling attitude Europe had towards China during Europe’s most obnoxious and imperialistic period, towards the end of the 1800’s. The Chinese felt they were the most civilized people on earth, and Europeans were just a different form of barbarian, but Europeans felt the Chinese were primitive and in need of Europe’s supposedly-superior and politically-correct intelligence and modernization, and were busily dividing China up into “spheres of economic interest” which Europeans would control (just as India had been subjected to European control.) The Chinese revolted, with the “Boxer’s Rebellion”, which resulted in a humiliating defeat for Chinese patriots, and an increase in the imperialistic powers of foreigners in China.
The patriot who actually began throwing the foreigners out of China was Sun Yat-sen, (who Americans approved-of because he admired George Washington). He devised a uniquely Chinese blend of foreign ideas, using parts of American democracy and parts of European communism, which he called “The Three Principles of the People.”
The first principle is called by some “nationalism” or even “fascism”, but basically stated the Han Chinese should be ruled by the Han Chinese, and not a Manchu royalty. The second principle stated an individual had rights, and was downright American. But the third principle stated the government should be concerned with people’s welfare, and was European and socialistic. These three ideas never had a chance to jell and be properly worked out, as Sun Yat-Sen died in 1923, and no one followed who upheld his sane and “centrist” concepts, and instead things degenerated to a communist dictator on one side and a royalist-fascist dictator on the other, much like the situation in the Spanish Civil War, only in the case of China the communists won. Nor did the communist Mao display the sanity of the fascist Franco. Where Franco was made wise by the civil war that bled Spain dry, and kept Spain out of World War Two, Mao was eager for more bloodshed.
Why? Partly it was because Mao believed communism was good and would sweep over the entire planet like a new religion. He wanted to continue the “good work” he felt he had done in his homeland, extending communism beyond his shores. Second, he wanted to counter the idea that China was a dissolute push-over, and couldn’t fight back. Third, he wanted recognition on the world stage, as he wasn’t yet recognized as the legal government of China by the United Nations, and the defeated Nationalists, (relegated to the island of Taiwan), still held China’s seat on the UN Security Council. Lastly, like Hitler, he desired to conquer (or “gain-influence-in”) neighboring lands for China’s economic benefit, and to have satellite-puppet nations, like Stalin had. This made Mao, the second he stepped beyond his own borders, just as “imperialistic” as the imperialistic nations he so despised, only he saw his own imperialism as something higher and finer, and used double-speak to call it “liberation.”
At this point most in the United States appear gullible and naive. Americans thought war was over and treaties were binding, and that aggression-beyond-one’s-borders was something all had agreed was unwise, and that imperialism was wrong. America was busily (and somewhat proudly) working to grant America’s lone “colony”, (the Philippines), their independence. When Churchill gave his “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946, many Americans distrusted Churchill more than they distrusted Stalin, seeing Russia’s “excesses” (purges) at home, (which most Americans knew very little about), as an unfortunate side of a civil war, similar to brutalities which occurred in America’s Civil War, while seeing Churchill as an old-school 19th century imperialist, primarily focused on propping up the crumbling British Empire. (In fact some American socialists detest Churchill to this day, including a recent American president who had a bust of Churchill removed from the White House.) Churchill didn’t care. He squared his shoulders and, as an old man in his mid-seventies, thrown out of office by the people he had saved, once again expressed an unpopular view, which was poetic because it held Truth. It is well worth rereading, 72 years later, as much he said stands the test of time, and hints the old man may have had some degree of the “gift of prophesy”.
Two sections which strike me as particularly poetic (including the famous “iron curtain” section) are as follows:
” …We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the United States and throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable number of countries, some of which are very powerful. In these States control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of allembracing police governments to a degree which is overwhelming and contrary to every principle of democracy. The power of the State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating through a privileged party and a political police. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not conquered in war, but we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence… “
“…From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone — Greece with its immortal glories — is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy…”
Many in the United States did not want to hear this, in 1946. A huge effort was being made to beat swords back into plowshares. American military expenditures plunged from nearly 40% of the American GNP during World War Two to down around 5% just afterwards. The war had forced America to hugely increase its military from roughly 350,000 to at least 12,000,000 men, (some sources count 16,000,000), and, with roughly 60% of that force comprised of military men who didn’t volunteer and were drafted, huge numbers of men (and some women) wanted out of the military. They wanted to go home, and raise a family. The shift of so many from war-based-employment to the ordinary pursuits of working men made peace as great a shock to the economy as war was. Furthermore, few homes had been built during the Great Depression, and nearly none during the war, and now all the returning soldiers all required housing. People in the United States figured there were problems enough, inherent with facing peace, even in the United States which had no bombed cities, and that places which had seen cities leveled would be even more interested in building. Who in their right mind would desire more war and destruction?
Mao was who. Why? Because for him the war was not over. He must “liberate” Asia and the world from “imperialism”. He consequently brought horror to peaceful lands, certain he was improving society. He was not much different from the Spanish Inquisition believing it was righteous to chop off the hands of Native Americans in Mexico, because they were “heathens” who needed to be brutalized into seeing the Truth. Mao, like Stalin, felt he was pushing mankind to a higher and better level, by being brutal.
Ordinary Americans of that time appear in many ways baffled by the attitude of communists. In 1945 China and Russia were our friends. How could they be shooting at us in 1950, only five years later? Much of the United State’s policy seemed conducted midst bewilderment and confusion. For example, when hostilities resumed in Korea there was a need for Sherman tanks. Where were all the tanks we built to fight Hitler? In city and small town parks, where they had been placed as monuments to World War Two. Just imagine the dismay of peace-loving townsfolk, as mechanics arrived on town commons to rewire engines, and the tanks were then taken off the pedestals and went clanking up onto transport trucks.
Now skip ahead to young soldiers finding themselves yanked from plopping nickles into American jukeboxes and from slurping at ice-cream sodas, to being plunked into hellish battlefields in Korea.
The United Nation’s “police action” in Korea surged from the the 38th parallel to the extreme south, to the extreme north, south again and north again. However I will skip all that, and merely describe American soldiers laughing in a situation which no politically-correct person would think was a scene anyone could even smile about.
Korea has hot summers and frigid winters, and the laughable event occurred during the summer’s heat. The situation was this: After a savage fight, exhausted American troops were slumped in a farmer’s field. It was a period of relative calm which no one would call peace, except a soldier. The summer sun was beating down, and the soldiers were so tired they had not the strength to form a burial party to deal with the corpses of North Korean soldiers bloating all around them. What they desperately needed to do was to drink water and eat some food, but no one had much of an appetite, with not only dead bodies all around, but the hot and humid air thick with the stink of excrement, because Korean farmers fertilized their fields with human feces. The sergeant of this squad had to get his troops nourished so they would have the strength to stand up to an expected counterattack.
Most of the squad were were teenagers, or barely over twenty, (as the draft of that time had a deferment for people who had served in World War Two), but the the sergeant had seen action in the past, and seemed very old to the young men. He was described as a a heavyset man with an square, jutting jaw and a sour expression, stereotypical for a sergeant, but his age wasn’t stated.
If he lied about his age when he joined the army (as was quite common back then) he may have been as young as 28 or as old as 52. If he claimed to be 21 when he was only 17, he might have joined in 1918 (in the great excitement of that time), or in 1939 (to escape Great Depression poverty and unemployment, and also perhaps to escape working for FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corp). In any case he was “an old campaigner” and had experience on the battlefield. Korea was the third ferocious war that the United States had seen in thirty-two years. The sergeant had likely served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Southern France, and Germany by 1945. He knew it was important to eat, no matter how horrible the restaurant was, so he attempted to set a good example, as the veteran in the situation. Perhaps he berated his squad for complaining, but then sat on some wreckage, stolidly chewing a spam sandwich despite the fact the bloating body of a dead invader lay right in front of him. No matter how disgusted he may have felt inwardly, externally he was stoic, munching with machismo. But just then the dead body in front of him, due to decomposition creating gasses in its guts, produced a long, loud, and bubbling belch. The sergeant’s immediate and involuntary response was to vomit the entire sandwich he had just eaten.
His squad’s reaction was to promptly dissolve into helpless, weeping laughter. After looking around with a wounded expression for a moment, the sergeant began laughing himself. The prolonged laughter was the last thing any of the men expected, and was amazingly relieving and refreshing, and was an event one of the soldiers recalled with vivid clarity years later.
The humor in the situation is not all that different from the humor of seeing a pompous snob slip and fall on ice, the primary difference being that that sergeant was able to laugh at his own discomfiture. What is more surprising to me is that some politically-correct people, sipping drinks far from the battlefield, seem completely unable to get such a joke, and rather look down their noses at the resiliency of the human spirit. They seem to display a dour intellectual skill at downplaying courage, and to instead see joy in grim circumstances as a type of mental illness, as masochism, or sadism, or some other warped behavior, and to justify their disdain with extraordinary psychobabble.
The simple fact of the matter is that suffering cannot kill the Truth, and in fact can make appreciation of Truth keener. Not all hearts are hardened like Stalin’s when broken. Stalin is purported to have stated, regarding his first wife, “She softened my hard heart, and when she died I never again (was soft)”, but the poet John Keats, if anything, grew more tender due to the suffering he experienced nursing first his mother, and later his younger brother, as they died of tuberculosis. His beautiful “Ode to Melancholy” states:
“…Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave, And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die; And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Ay, in the very temple of Delight Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine; His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might, And be among her cloudy trophies hung.”
In a way Keats is merely speaking a truism commonly expressed as, “You’ve gotta pay the dues if you want to sing the blues.” When the politically-correct seek to avoid suffering they inadvertently deny themselves much that is most beautiful.
An amazing example of a poet finding beauty in hell is the war-poetry of Wilford Owen. Owen seemed a poet specifically born to tell the truth about the trenches of World War One, for fate had him survive, against all odds, until the final week of the war. (His mother received the telegram announcing his death as the church bells rang, celebrating the war’s end.) Various psychobabble tends to degrade the compassion he felt for his comrades-in-arms, (and even for the Germans he killed), as “homoerotic”, when in fact he was a somewhat delicate, prissy poet who adored green fields and flowers, yet was plunged into the exact opposite. The spiritual crisis he went through, and the amazing maturation he displayed, (moving from “songs of innocence” to “songs of experience” like William Blake), deserves admiration and not psychobabble.
Basically he wrote most of his best poetry when in a hospital, before returning to the trenches. We have rough drafts he never had time to fine-tune. In some ways it portrays a mind experiencing flash-backs, (what is now called “post-traumatic-stress” but back then was called “shell shock”). He simply tells the truth. One great poem describes witnessing the death of a fellow soldier who didn’t quite get his gas mask in place in time, and how “as under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” He describes the slow torture of a man gradually dying as lungs fill with blood, and mocks the statement that to die for one’s country is a glorious thing.
However, midst the realism of describing the true hell of war, he also describes the true heroism of the soldiers, and how in that heroism is both beauty and joy. In “Apologia pro Poemate Meo” he begins, “I, too, saw God through mud…” and concludes:
”…I have perceived much beauty In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight; Heard music in the silentness of duty; Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.
Nevertheless, except you share With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell, Whose world is but the trembling of a flare, And heaven but as the highway for a shell,
You shall not hear their mirth: You shall not come to think them well content By any jest of mine. These men are worth Your tears: You are not worth their merriment.”
The above poem, with its echo of “Ode to Melancholy”, does an amazing job of both describing the sheer, unnecessary hell of war, and also the heaven of brotherhood which appears among men in deplorable circumstances, from factory-floor to storm-at-sea to the gruesome landscapes of war. But who is the “you” Owen speaks to, at the end? It seems (to me) to be the politically-correct, who mix the oblivion of ignorance with downright condescending psychobabble. People undergoing shell shock don’t need psychobabble; they likely can only be truly helped by another who has been through similar hell, who has faced the crucifixion of simple men, (and who understands Christ truly did sweat blood before his humiliation, for they have witnessed ordinary soldiers undergoing hematidrosis.)
One mysterious poem among Owen’s notes contains amazing assonance, and also describes meeting a German soldier who he bayoneted the day before, in a dream. He may not have shown the poem to anyone. Reluctance would have been understandable, for one knows what psychobabble would state, about the peculiar “vision” he shared in “Strange Meeting.” In the eyes of many, dreary, so-called pragmatists, “Strange Meeting” is but the raving hallucinations of a shell-shocked madman.
Yet one needs to also ask, what is so sane about war? The First World War was basically a disagreement between Cousin George and Cousin Willy, and began with prancing horses and fancy uniforms. It was suppose to be “over by Christmas,” and there was even a somewhat accidental and unofficial truce in 1914 on Christmas, when the German and English played soccer in No-Man’s-Land.
The soldiers in the above picture faced trouble, for they were “fraternizing with the enemy”, and their starched superiors demanded “discipline”. Not that the men were immediately willing to stop “fraternizing” with their new friends, but when the officers ordered the artillery behind the lines to start firing on Boxing Day the men had to return to their trenches. The killing resumed, and it does not take too long, when friends standing beside you are cut down, before feelings of incidental friendship turn to hate. But I think the episode demonstrates war’s origins lie not among the ordinary soldiers, who the politically-correct like to call “low”, but rather among the “high”, the erudite sophists greedy for power. And perhaps it also explains why poetry gets along so poorly with politics, (unless you include mocking limericks).