HEARING VOICES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christians aren’t the only ones who hear voices.

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

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

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A BITTER SUNDAY

This sonnet will seem cryptic, at first.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now read the sonnet again:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

UNINTELLIGENT DESIGN

Sunspots 0412 latest.jpg

I confess there are times I am intimidated by intelligence. There is a certain sort of very-intelligent person who can adopt a chilling condescension which gets me ducking down like a prairie dog, and I don’t pop back up until they leave the room. This is a pity, for them, for they miss a lot, by being so smart.

This seems especially true in terms of meteorological subjects that involve many variables. The excessively-learnéd may know a great deal about a single variable, but, by dampening discussion with their superior attitude, they do not get input about variables they know less about, or haven’t even considered.

In some ways I prefer the company of the blissfully ignorant, for, in merrily bouncing impractical and impossible ideas about, they, like the proverbial hundred chimpanzees on a hundred typewriters, blunder across genius. Also, they are far happier and have more fun.

There was one occasion, around thirty years ago, when I knew a snide and overpowering individual who, after berating a timid fellow’s interesting idea, must have thought about the idea later, for he adopted the timid fellow’s idea as his own, and I witnessed him ventilate it about a week later among a different group, giving absolutely no credit to the timid one he had earlier berated. He was congratulated for “his” idea, and may have felt he was raised in others estimation, but he shrank considerably in my own.

I tend to hold the view that Truth is out there, free for all, and amazing, and that it is an exercise in vanity to take credit for It’s existence. To take credit would be as if a van Gogh, in painting a “Starry Night”, took credit for creating the stars and the night.

Not that genius doesn’t deserve recognition for seeing Truth, and for in some form communicating and/or replicating It, but Truth was there all along. For example, Bach deserves credit for seeing the mathematics of music, but those realities were there even when men beat drums in caves.

In terms of meteorology I think we are like men in caves, facing Bach’s harmony sung by angels in a vision. We are aware there is majestic perfection involved, but the meteorological violin and oboe haven’t been invented yet, and there is no way to scientifically communicate and/or replicate what we sense. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We just need to be very humble as we try.

I got to thinking along these lines because I have been lurking around the edges of various discussions about “The Quiet Sun”, at various websites. Everyone seems to know that the variations of a variable star must have some effect, as the Sun is the greatest power in the physical solar system, but no one seems to be able to put their finger on exactly what the effect is. I’ve ventured a few ideas, but I’ve discovered that when I venture an idea I swiftly get lambasted by superior intelligence, whereupon I adopt my prairie dog strategy.

Just because I’ve ducked down into my underground doesn’t mean I’ve stopped pondering, and soon enough I poke my nose up, to see if the intelligent people have left the room, and if they have I scurry off to seek my fellow fools, who can be found at assorted websites where intelligence is measured by happiness.

One idea I’ve chanced upon explains why the effect of the Quiet Sun is so hard to see. This idea suggests the effect is hard to see because people are looking for a single “thing”, when in fact the Quiet Sun is affecting every “thing”. Because the effects are occurring at many places at the same time, the effects tend to cancel each other out, or overlap, or to appear as a confusing mishmash.

In Truth, there is no confusion. It is all a splendid harmony. The confusion only occurs in our skulls, when we try to “figure out” something so vast. Therefore it pays to just give it up, from time to time, and just sit back and enjoy the view, or enjoy the ride. However then, as soon as we are refreshed and revitalized, our inquisitive side is bound to reappear, and we then should be able to have some fun, as long as we don’t allow our pride to spoil the pleasures of intelligence.

Because we are facing something that is so vast, involving multifarious manifestations, one thing I thought it might be fun to do is to compile a list of all the things the Quiet Sun “might” be changing. We would be, at this point in our discussion, like cavemen jotting down the notes of angelic music they hear, without attempting to figure out the structures of harmony and rhythm and modulation and counterpoint that Bach understood.

My purpose, or hope, is that, in creating such a list, we would avoid focusing exclusively on any one topic, and thus avoid the myopia of specialization. Then (perhaps) we might be more able to see how the Quiet Sun’s effects mask each other, cancel each other out, or harmonize in peculiar ways.

Furthermore I think that, in order to collect as many ideas as possible, (no matter how zany the idea may initially appear), all so-called “intelligent” people should be banned from the discussion. (Or at least from deriding each other’s ideas).

I’ll begin by sharing a couple of ideas I’ve chanced upon, and then give the floor over to others.

1.) The Quiet Sun has opened the North Pole’s “damper”.

This idea is based upon the hypothesis that, with the planet losing a lot of its heat at the Pole, there may be some dynamic that speeds-up or slows-down the loss of heat. (I have also heard this dynamic described amorphously as a “background”). I originally saw it as an Alarmist idea, explaining how CO2 could make it warmer at the Pole in the winter, but the concept had trouble flying because A.) The Pole has recently been below-normal during the summer and B.) If CO2 “closed the damper”, one would expect less warm air to rush up to the Pole, but in fact we have seen a meridional flow bring more warm air rushing north during the winters, which suggests a “damper” has been opened more widely. However, if these things disprove CO2 “closed” this so-called “damper”, then they might conversely indicate the “damper” was “opened”, and the Quiet Sun seems as good an “opener” as any.

(Intelligent people will want to know how the heck such a “damper” is constructed, which is why they are forbidden from speaking until we get our list completed.)

2.) The Quiet Sun reduces energy available for winds.

The image of cavemen lacking oboes and violins might again be useful, when we consider primitive people did (and do) have drums, and flutes made of reeds. The equivalent instruments used by our modern, (yet still primitive), form of meteorology are thermometers and anemometers. Most people who are looking for effects of the Quiet Sun use thermometers, and expect them to read lower-than-normal, but perhaps they should look at the energy measured by anemometers, and see if they are lower-than-normal.

This idea came up as an ingenious way to explain why the Quiet Sun was failing to chill the planet, as some expected it would. It was suggested that if the Trade Winds slowed even a small amount it would effect the oscillations between El Ninos and La Ninas, making the El Ninos stronger and the La Ninas weaker, and this would make the planet warmer (at least at first.) This would explain the counter-intuitive phenomenon of less energy creating more energy, (because less trade winds create more El Nino conditions).

(Of course intelligent people will….but they have to observe silence, for just a bit longer.)

Now I turn the floor over to others. I only ask that they number their ideas. For example, the next idea should be “3.)” This will help us later on, when we allow the intelligent people in, to begin their usual belittling process of scorn and derision.

However no deriding is allowed, for the first eight hours. The prairie dogs will not surface from their comfortable underground bunkers, unless there are no coyotes lurking, and no shadows of buzzards. I think that if we ban coyotes and buzzards we will soon have a somewhat fantastic garden of ideas.

After eight hours all the prairie dogs can dive for cover, as the intelligent descend upon the garden with their long knives. Sad to say, but they are a fact of science, and of art, and of life.

Strange to say, but the worst of the intelligent are seldom remembered, though they think they are grandiosely trumpeting the fabulous nature of their own brilliance and fame. Copernicus is remembered, Galileo is remembered, Alfred Wegener is remembered, but who remembers the intelligentsia that mocked them, scorned their ideas, and laughed aloud at the very mention of their names? (Even when the scornful are remembered, it is not in a flattering way.)

Perhaps it is for this reason that the best of the intelligent express their skepticism with gentleness, and respect for the dignity of fellow thinkers. After all, in a world when many seldom use the minds God gifted them with, we should be glad to meet people who do use their minds, even if their ideas seem “a bit out there”.

ARCTIC SEA ICE –Barneo Battles–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The translations from their Facebook reports of April 9 state:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barneo 1 632

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

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

Barneo 2 18034254_1348604608549967_1961900318052645606_n

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

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

Barneo 3 26733358_1603316963070780_6043413035535687553_n

Barneo 4 29572931_1603317013070775_6286306139557314037_n

 

Barneo 5 29694740_1604176379651505_7744059594372839495_n

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other words, stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL VIEW –Hollywood Goes Prudish–

One odd coincidence my wife and I share is that our best friends were both born on November 21. Her friend is still alive, but mine passed away a decade ago. I always pause to remember him on November 21.

The day I first noticed him I knew he was a force to be reckoned with. It was in fifth grade, and teachers had decided we should be trained at an earlier age to avoid the old-fashioned idea of a “home room”. I’m not sure what was wrong with having a home, but instead some advantage was to be gained from marching from room to room to study different subjects. Not that the teachers were all that more skilled at different subjects. But likely they enjoyed teaching certain subjects more than others, and they thought such joy might infect the students. Wrong.

The simple fact of the matter was that my homeroom teacher was a beautiful young woman who I think was deeply in love (the next year her last name was different, and by June she was very pregnant.) By her very attitude she made learning be a joy. She could have taught a subject she knew nothing about, perhaps automobile mechanics, from an antiquated Model-T textbook, and the students would have been so enchanted they would have learned more than they would have learned from the most skilled automobile mechanic. I had the feeling her classroom was a cloud of love, and don’t think a single student disliked her; most seemed enchanted.

No other teacher stood a chance, and to be ripped from the presence of this joyous young woman, and placed in a classroom taught by a somewhat embittered old lady, who deeply resented that her favorite subject “history” was to be called “social studies”, was a very uncomfortable experience for me, as was the fact I was among students who I didn’t know, but whom were supposedly “at my level.” The old lady did catch my attention when she backslid and taught “history”, but when she attempted “social studies” it was apparent the subject was Pig Latin to her, and the entire classroom was confused, and my attention wandered.

For some reason these radical changes were not enacted at the start of the school year, but in late March or early April, when students are first hit by spring fever. Traditionally school ended at around this time, for children were needed back at the farm for spring planting, and all the wild energy would be put to good use. Instead, at this time, there was an attempt to “channel” the vital energy of youth in some sort of theoretically “socially constructive” manner. Eventually, decades later, they gave up and decided it was better to drug the dickens out of wild children, somehow thinking that frying their brains was better than tanning their hides, but, back when I went to school, education created a time-warp between corporal punishment and drug’s mind-control, when permissiveness and freedom ruled.

At this time my parents were still married, and I was an “untroubled” child, fairly obedient in my way, and making good progress in school. I hadn’t become the outlaw I later became (though I was no saint). As a good boy, I did stay away from the banned part of the playground in early April, where the mud was deep. However, as my attention wandered during Social Studies class, I saw the shoes of a boy who had broken this rule.

The shoes were so muddy they appeared about twice as large as they actually were. It was a most amazing spectacle. The mud was drying in the overheated classroom, and clods and flakes were shedding from the shoes. There was already enough dirt to plant carrots around the feet, and the shoes had only started shedding.

At this point the feet started moving about, as feet do when they are stared at for an overly long period of time. Instinct told me to glance up at the face the feet were attached to, and I met the glaring, challenging eyes of a boy just daring me to call him a pig. I didn’t. The thought didn’t even cross my mind. Instead I thought the eyes were as interesting as the huge feet. And, as I thought this, the eyes changed. When, rather than judgmental, I looked curious, they shifted from anger to surprise.

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, though it was a stormy one. The fellow was never ordinary, but perhaps being born on the cusp of a water sign and a fire sign makes for billowing clouds of steam and thunderheads, and I’ve always thought thunderheads are beautiful.

He always tended to be more daring, while I was more prudish. At that time the “frontier” young men challenged involved the dangers of sex and drugs, and he paid a heavy price for being daring. I probably would have followed in his footsteps and paid the same price, had my stepfather not tricked me into attending a school about as far away from sex and drugs as it was then possible to find.  (Dunrobin, in northern Scotland.)

One thing we were always able to share was our minds. It is difficult to say exactly how we did this, other than to say our talks involved a lot of symbols, or images, or gestalts. At times a most rudimentary image would communicate more than you might think possible. We’d be talking about some esoteric topic and he’d say, “You mean, sort of like salsa?” and I’d reply, laughing, “Exactly!” An outsider would have no clue what we were talking about, yet we could talk for hours in a strange sort of complete understanding that also involved vehement disagreement.

Looking back, I think one thing he liked about me was that I could tell him what it was like to do what he had chosen not to do. I could tell him what it was like to be a virgin and still date the-girl-next-door. I could tell him what it was like to be off drugs for months in northern Scotland.

In terms of drugs, I was a prude compared to him. He had a zest for the entire world of hallucinations and unusual perceptions. I did too, but also had the sense we were on dangerously thin ice. But I will say this: If you are foolish enough to take such vile substances, don’t do it with small minds. Don’t do it with people who can say little more than, “Yowza. Am I ever wrecked.” Rather do it with a mind who can describe in great detail the various avenues it is going down. To “trip” with this individual was truly a journey so enjoyable that, were it not for the Grace of God, my brains would have become as fried as his became, because I enjoyed talking and laughing with him more than anything else.

When I went to school in Scotland he went to school in Boston, and, (in those primitive times before the internet), we exchanged two or three letters a week. Mine described a mind off drugs, plunged into the English literature necessary to pass “A” levels, and his blearily traced the wild scene in Boston, involving many women and parties and running a college newspaper even after he stopped attending classes. Then there was a horrible postal strike in England, and we couldn’t communicate.

When we reunited after a year we were able to compare our minds in a way, and on a level, that most people can’t. In a way most people can’t imagine I think he saw I had, by sheer luck, come out ahead.

It seemed unfair. He’d had more guts, was more daring, but wound up damaged, in some mental way difficult to describe. Call it frustration, for that describes it best. My mind was clear and produced answers, while his was muddy and produced frustration. However his honesty expressed where he was at. I liked his amazing poetry, though he produced less and less:

“When you’re in the mud
All you see is mud.”

I think one of the most awful tragedies of my generation was that the better minds were crippled. Hallucinogens were described by one Native American, (who left the Peyote Church), as “a trickster.”  They promise to expand consciousness, but retard it.

I can say this now, at retirement age, because I saw the danger and backed away from that frontier, like a person backing away from a volcano’s crater because he sees the expedition’s leader succumbing to poisonous gasses.  Not that I didn’t inhale and suffer some damage myself. But I survived.

People tell me, “I never quit and I can still do what I could do.” At age sixty-four that seems to me to be a terribly sad statement. It is like Beethoven at the end of his life stating, “I can still write the First Symphony.”  A mind is suppose to grow, and reach a Ninth Symphony.  To stay the same is to stay stuck, and involves a constant frustration, which eventually breeds a subtle antipathy.

I faced that antipathy in my childhood friend, especially when I renounced our adventure into the world of hallucination and turned to God. (And there can be no denying I was a naive pain, when I first sought a different “high”.) Yet we stayed in touch, despite the distance that had grown between us. I suppose, when minds have been as close as ours were, there is always a curiosity about what the other is seeing, and where it is going.

Eventually it became obvious to my friend that drugs indeed were a trickster, but his brains were by then only a shade of what they once were. He then accepted his predicament with class, and even dignity, though to think as a “straight” person was an exercise in frustrating futility. He actually sought to stop thinking, by doing a Yoga that made his mind blank, and it seemed to do him good. Nor did he ever stop believing in the “high” things he’d seen as a mere teenager blitzed on acid, even when he couldn’t see them any more.

He died of cancer of the esophagus, which cut him down in a matter of weeks. One thing I’ll always regret is that we never had a final talk. I hope he didn’t think I’d tell him, “I told you so”, or some such useless thing. Probably not. I think many who die without telling many friends just don’t want to cause others pain. I knew many artists who died of AIDS in the 1980’s who vanished without saying any good-byes.

What would I have liked to talk about, during a final talk with a dying friend? I think it would be the beauty we saw together, even in the process of making the wrong choices. If you focus too much on the wrong choices you only become bitter.

This brings me around to the peculiar agony currently afflicting the so-called “beautiful people” of Hollywood and Washington D.C.  Their raging seems downright demented to me, and a sort of spasm of guilt and a paroxysm of shame, manifesting as disgust and bitterness. Apparently being “beautiful” is not so beautiful, after all.

Harvey Weinstein was seemingly the pebble that started an avalanche.  Behavior which once was seen as “sophisticated” is now called what it always was, “sleazy”.

When I went drifting through California more than thirty years ago I found most people felt the ideas now manifesting were prudish. I know this for I expounded such ideas, and was told I was prudish, wasn’t a realist, wasn’t sophisticated, was naive, didn’t know how the world worked, would never get anywhere, was behind the times, wasn’t hip, and was in fact ugly. I wasn’t one of the “beautiful people.”

What changed things? I think the actual pebble that started the actual avalanche was the election of Donald Trump. Popularity means a lot, (and at times everything), to the Hollywood mindset, and such a mindset is horrified to see popularity shrink in any way, shape or form. To have Hillary Clinton lose,  (despite some glaring voter fraud assisting her), was a message no amount of explanation could deny. What was the message? “You are not popular. You are not seen as beautiful. You are not admired, envied, marketable.”

It is the strangest thing to see the facade crumbling. In some ways it looks like one of those “swings of a social pendulum” you read about, where people run like indecisive lemmings from one cliff to another, basically brainless and merely following the mob. However in other ways it seems like common sense rising up in “flyover country” to inform Hollywood and Washington nobody is really buying their bull.

I think our world has paid a terrible price due to the “trickster” of sex, drugs and greed. It is easy to become bitter, thinking of the pain and the people hurt, like my old best friend. However perhaps it is better to remember that, before the trickster tricked, people were speaking of “Love, Truth and Understanding”, and those things were and are and always will be beautiful things.

What will be interesting to watch is whether people behave like witless lemmings, running from extreme to extreme, or whether they have actually learned anything. For there is such a thing that people develop called “discernment”. I would like to believe that the 48 years since the “Summer Of Love” in 1969 has actually taught the USA a thing or two, and we are moving from producing a First Symphony to producing a Ninth.

In any case, Happy Birthday, to my old friend in heaven.

 

LOCAL VIEW —Damocles Hurricanes—

One sad side-effect of the Global Warming nonsense has been the promotion of people who think it is a sign of their cleverness to abuse the trust of others. They think stepping on others is uplifting. In the long run this is never true, both for the individual and for the society they belong to, but humanity owns a bad habit of learning the Truth the hard way: Mankind has a long tradition of thinking it is wise to lie. The process of learning that this dishonesty is the mother of much misery is the climax of many an ancient tale and tragedy.

For example, consider the snake in the Garden of Eden. The tale doesn’t go into what the snake’s motives were, but the result of misleading Adam and Eve was that, when the snake stood before Judgment, after he presented his case he discovered he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

Serpent with Legs Serpent JS papyri

So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.”

Eden was a state of naked Truth, but outside of Eden Truth becomes problematic because humans are afflicted by the subjectivity of their desires. For example, once one leaves the oasis one discovers a thing called “thirst”, and when thirst becomes extreme in a blazing desert one can quite honestly state “Water is the most important thing there is.” Then, after their thirst is quenched, they can with equal honesty state, “Many things are far more important than water.”

The same phenomenon is embarrassing when it involves human sexual thirsts. One reads a beautiful poem one once wrote about their spouse basically stating, “I only have eyes for you,” and then one looks across the room at an aging form who, perhaps, weighs 300 pounds, and then compares that form to a beautiful temptation that is smiling adoringly from another part of their life, and one no longer has eyes that don’t wander. One becomes an honest hypocrite, for one was truthful when they stated, “I want only you”, and one is equally truthful when one later states, “I hanker for another.”

In order to attempt to make some sort of sense out of sways of fickle desires people developed various moral codes, wherein one was expected to be “true” to their word. Rather than being swayed this way or that, one chose to take a stand. Some foundations are better than others, as every engineer learns.

But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.

Of course the typical con artist is certain that he is well founded; he is the wise person, and the trusting people he is fooling are “chumps.” This idea, that people who trust are chumps, actually represents the slow corruption of the wisdom of Solomon, which initially stated, “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

This idea, which basically states a spendthrift winds up broke, devolved over the course of time, and 1587 entered the English language in Dr. John Bridges’ work, “Defense of the Government of the Church of England,” as, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” Eventually this further mutated into “A sucker is born every minute.”

There is interesting dispute about who said this first.

https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/04/11/fool-born/

Confidence Trickster Hungry-Joe-04

But there is some part of the human psyche that knows “what goes around comes around,” and that a day of reckoning will arrive for every confidence trickster. Yet often we can’t help but smile at the doomed trickster, when he is only exposing the foolishness of others. (Or we smile unless we are the fool being tricked.)

An example of such trickery-we-smile-at is seen in the two swindlers who fool all but a child in Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Emperors New Clothes”, an amazingly short story which has entertained people all over the world, and is well worth reading and rereading, as it is brief yet profound.

http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheEmperorsNewClothes_e.html

Another (American) example of trickery-we-smile-at involves Mark Twain describing Tom Sawyer getting his disagreeable job of whitewashing a fence done, by others, who actually pay him to do the job for him. In like manner the American master of short stories O. Henry devoted a small book called “The Gentle Grafter” to the doings of confidence tricksters, and as one reads one often tends to have as much, if not more, sympathy for the criminal as for his victims. (And before my English friends tell me Americans have always tended to be rebels with no respect for the law, I remind them they don’t mind a notorious outlaw of their own, remembered as “Robin Hood.”)

I think we are only fond of confidence tricksters because they are exposing some sort of vainglorious snobbery that afflicts their victims, (unless we ourselves happen to be the vainglorious chump.) We may all be egotistical in some way, but some egotists step over a threshold into to landscape of inhumanity towards others, and we do not at all mind seeing such people taken to the cleaners and humbled. We know life could be better than such pompous victims make it, and that they are in some way guilty of an indefinite crime. Even though they may have done nothing that can be prosecuted, and even may be kind to those closest to them, those less near and dear perceive an aura of unkindness, of exploitation which leaves the poor poorer, and widows and orphan worse off (despite public shows of vainglorious philanthropy).

In other words, both the confidence trickster and his victim neatly fit into the category of “deserving punishment”, if what we value is both honesty and kindness. In many ways one cannot be the victim of a con unless wants to get something “valuable” for a price so low that slang describes it as “a steal.” Meanwhile a person disinclined towards such greed and “stealing” is more difficult to con. A true saint is impossible to con, (though he or she likely did not become a saint without downfalls in their past.)

In our innocent youth, the distinction between what was right and what was wrong seemed clearer, and the bad guy was recognizable because, after he stated what he plotted, he tended to go, “Nyah ha ha!”

Dishonest_John

As I watched old Westerns or Cartoons as a boy there was always an expectation that, in the end, the “bad guys” would “get what they deserved.” “Dishonest John” would mutter, “Curses! Foiled again!” In the end honesty and kindness would triumph.

I can’t claim I have seen this process prove true, as I have watched the world over the past fifty years. To the contrary, Dishonest Johns who call themselves wise have, in one way or another, stated that dishonesty is not merely legal, but the way to get ahead. Even the most moralistic tale on TV is punctuated by ads that are often outrageously deceitful, and politicians have become notorious for making meaningless promises, and being a sort of antithesis to a person who is “true to their word.” Therefore capitalist democracies cannot claim to stand for honesty, nor look down their noses at communism, despite communism’s clearly stated dogma that dishonesty is proper and wise and part of effective propaganda. Islamic theocracies also apparently state it is acceptable to lie to an infidel, which begs the question, how can the infidel learn the Truth if they are lied to? Yet Christian authorities have disgraced their religion as well. When it comes to “bad guys getting what they deserve”, it seems the dishonest have escaped punishment and done very well, so far. But I also feel the public has a growing sense of a Sword of Damocles hanging over their collective heads.

Sword of Damocles-WestallPC20080120-8842A

I think the public is not only aware when they are being lied to, but is aware that such dishonesty has its consequences. However the rich and powerful of the world are unable to extract themselves from the various sorts of deceit that brought them to power, and are trapped in a dishonesty that makes the public increasingly nervous.

To the powerful a jittery public seems one more thing they can exploit, by putting themselves forward as prophets and saviors, but often they are too obviously more interested in power and wealth, and therefore their self-promotion is merely further con-artistry, and only makes the situation worse.

In many ways I think the entire Global Warming absurdity is but a manifestation of a vast guilty conscience, afflicting the entire world. There is a general sense that humanity on a whole has been misbehaving, and must reap what it has sown, in some way, shape or form. Even when people themselves don’t identify with being the “bad guys”, they know their leaders are short on sainthood, (or, if they idolize certain leaders, then some other power the leader can’t control, such as “Big Oil”, is short on sainthood), and therefore the nation as a whole will “get what it deserves”, and the comeuppance won’t be pretty.

It is for this reason there are so many movies in the theaters based on an apocalypse or on post-apocalyptic themes. Many people have the general sense they are aboard a runaway train, or riding a raft above a thundering waterfall. The very people who caused fret in the first place then further exploit this sense of anxiety and hopelessness, but increasingly they can see people aren’t buying the snake oil. The con artists have created a monster, and like snake oil salesmen they need to leave town in a hurry, or face public rage, but in the case of Global Warming there is no place to run, for the scam has been worldwide.

The cure for this downward spiral is quite old and simple. It called, “the Truth.” Truth has a wonderful, refreshing quality, because you don’t need to make it up. It simply exists, involving neither policy nor strategy, neither trickery nor treasure nor trammeling. It is free for the taking, but dreadful to behold or even consider by confidence tricksters, for they not only need to confess, but fear they will have to give up ill-gotten goods. Therefore they are in the position of someone riding a bubble, which all know must someday burst.

Riding a bubble produces anxiety in both leaders and the people led by them. Some try to reassure, and some yearn to be placated, and some become restless and just wish the damn bubble would just burst, even if they must become the ones who do it, through drastic and violent actions. Few turn to the obvious answer, which is the Truth. Many succumb to the blame-game, jabbing pointing fingers at others, and few understand Truth belongs to no one, yet is available to all.

Hardest of all to grasp is that Truth requires an admission of ignorance. As ambiguous as it sounds, to know It we have to admit we don’t know It. This does not occur merely within an old fashioned Catholic confessional booth, but publicly and generally. “If we say we have no sin than the Truth is not in us.”

A confession of ignorance is actually an attribute of good scientist. It indicates an inquisitive mind. A person wearing a white coat, claiming authoritively to have all the answers, is all too often a pretender, and even an enemy of science. The Global Warming Alarmist’s arguments that a “consensus” prevents all further discussion is a sure sign of con-artistry, and of having something they don’t want exposed. A true lover of Truth welcomes questions, and what they doubt is pronouncements.

There can be little doubt we are facing a time of Climate Change, not only because the climate always changes, but because some major indicators of change are changing. The AMO, PDO, and Sunspot cycle are all undergoing profound changes, and an inquisitive mind wonders what changes they may prompt, and postulates various causes and effects, curious to see if such postulates will prove true, partially true, or be completely disproven.

It is no sin to forecast such changes, but it is sheer arrogance to claim absolute certainty, and especially to claim that CO2 is the cause of every change. Either that or such claims are a sign of great insecurity, and that the claimant is clinging to a straw in the hopes it will support them.

One thing to use, when making a forecast, is the past. One looks for similar situations, and wonders if history will repeat itself. One aspect of ignorance is to avoid looking at the past. One attribute of certain Alarmists is that they insist that what is occurring has never happened before, and is “unprecedented”, and they become quite angry with you if you point out “the only new thing under the sun is the history you haven’t read.

For example, in 1798 the sun went “quiet” in a manner similar to today’s sun, and there were enormous volcano eruptions in 1810 and 1815. Therefore one might wonder if history might repeat itself, and, if so, why. This is simple inquisitiveness, but to some Alarmists to even consider the sun and not CO2 might influence climate is not curiosity but “denial”, and a few even think the inquisitive should be hauled before a tribunal and punished. When it comes to inquisitiveness they prefer the horrors of The Inquisition, and place the inquisitive in the position of Galileo.

Inquisition Galileo_before_the_Holy_Office

In conclusion, these days any weather or geological event tends to involve a chorus of claimants clouding the issue. On one hand there are con artists who insist that, whatever the event may be, it had to be caused by CO2. On the other hand there is a public afflicted by a general sense of guilt and dread, fearing mankind will “get what it deserves.”

I heard this dual chorus when I looked into the volcanoes that have recently been rumbling in Bali and elsewhere, and I noticed it again when I observed recent hurricanes. The hype and sensationalism clouds the issue.

There are now two ex-hurricanes crossing the Atlantic towards England:

Twin Hurricanes two_atl_0d0

As these hurricanes arrive in Britain, as remnants, they will influence the development of a typical autumnal gale to the north. I personally am curious to see whether they will weaken or strengthen the gale. As big blobs of tropical moisture they might be expected to fuel the gale, but, because they have already spent so much of their energy, they might actually hold less “fuel” than tropical air that was pure and “unused” would hold. Which will it be? I think this sort of curiosity on my part is scientific, although, by confessing my ignorance, my curiosity certainly doesn’t put me forward as an authority.

However I confess I am also curious about the hoopla the two storms might generate, especially if the autumnal gale turns out to grow large. Join me as I study my fellow man. Though the storm has yet to develop, I have already come across the usual madmen in white coats, raging CO2 is to blame, and the usual doom-and-gloomers moaning and sighing it is a sign of End Times. Stay tuned, for in some ways such people are more fascinating than the weather (though you might not want to invite them to dinner.)