BAD LOSERS

 

Peanuts Comic

It is not merely the physical science behind Global Warming Alarmism that is rotten; the social science is equally rotten. The fiasco involves both the Sciences and the Arts. You cannot stick merely to facts, and avoid the topic of morality. Therefore this examination of the mutated ethics behind Global Warming Alarmism must begin with a very long digression, involving sportsmanship.

I have always admired good losers, because I am not one. For years I have made a New Year’s Resolution to become a better sport, but can’t keep the resolution. It only took me forty years to quit cigarettes, but quitting bad sportsmanship will take me longer.

Perhaps the roots are genetic, and boil down to owning an inherently bad temper, which my older brothers thought was amusing, when I was small. I was easy to disarm, so they would enrage me on purpose, just to see me dash off to the kitchen and come back at them with a carving knife. Then I grew as big as they, and my temper was no longer so amusing. The larger brother became more cautious when he teased, and the smaller one took a course in karate.

It wasn’t fun being a bad sport. I couldn’t lose a game of checkers without my rage uplifting me and sending me stomping about the room, wildly thrashing and accusing the other person of cheating. The only one who would play checkers with me was a special sort of person who was able to say, “You’re right. I cheated. You win. Want to play again?” (He did this so he could beat me again.)

When I grew to be a teenager I found it hard to keep a girlfriend, as most girls don’t particularly like childish displays of temper. But I do remember one diminutive girl who sort of liked beating me at tennis, despite my poor sportsmanship. I relied on brute strength, and towered above her, but she’d been to several tennis camps, owned something called “skill”, and I never could beat her.

The games always began with me saying I didn’t want to play, but she’d guilt me into playing by saying exercise was good for me and tennis was fun and something we could do together (when I was only interested in something else we could do together), so I’d wind up playing, and getting beaten. Sometimes the games began close, because I was much stronger and smashed the ball so hard she could barely see it, but as I tired my inaccuracy increased, and soon I’d be drenched in sweat while she looked cool as a cucumber, and my shots would start to stray and be “out”, and I’d get really mad, which always caused her to try very hard not to smile. That made me really, REALLY mad, so my next shot would be clear over the fence, which might be good in baseball, but in tennis it meant that once again a midget had beaten me.

I tried to explain to women that the reason I raved was because I was “sensitive”, and an artist, and not because I was a really bad sport. Amazingly, this sometimes worked, but not for all that long.

Another excuse for stomping about and raving was that I owned a “healthy competitive instinct”. This worked with the football coach, but not very well with women. Come to think of it, it didn’t work very well with my fellow artists, either, for back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s being competitive was not “hip”. It wasn’t “mellow”, “layed-back”, (and other words no one uses any more). In fact among artists having a “healthy competitive spirit” meant you were aggressive, a militant “hawk”, and a loser.

This exposed me to a perplexing ambiguity, for artists tended to be a collection of losers to begin with. They tended to flunk all their classes and never went out for sports. The only way they could see themselves as winners was to totally redefine everything, and to call winners “losers”, and to call losers like themselves “winners”. (Do not ask, “What about the production of actual art?” Being an artist back then was more a matter of who you hung out with, and where you hung out, and how you wore your beatnik beret, and, increasingly, what drugs you took.)

A shocking number of these friends of mine died young, either due to drugs or to AIDS, which would tend to suggest that when you are a loser you do lose, were it not for the fact that the survivors of this morally twisted collection of winners-are-losers nitwits are now running our nation, which is why my experience among losers is valuable, even though I myself was not very good at being a loser, and in fact was a bad loser.

Initially I had the required attributes of being a loser: I got poor grades and did badly on the teams I bothered to go out for. However I was a very bad sport about it. Then, as I gravitated towards artists, I discovered I was a loser even among the losers. I was a very bad sport about that as well.

It made me realize I was after something that the winners were not after, and the losers were not after. I needed to do some redefining of my own. Just as my fellow artists had redefined themselves as winners, despite being losers, I needed (simply to muster the self-esteem necessary for my egotistical survival), to redefine myself as a winner, despite the fact I was bad at winning and bad at losing.

Such a redefinition is no small matter. It has taken me half a century. Therefore you will have to forgive me if I digress yet again and take up a little less than a half-century of your time.

The pride and shame of New England is that we seemingly have a habit of redefinition. Sometimes the redefinition is a shining advance, and sometimes we fix something that wasn’t broken, and sometimes it is both. Both good and bad ideas have unintended consequences.

It continued long after the Boston Tea Party sparked a Revolutionary War, where the good idea of Liberty cost the young nation 1% of its population. A half-century later Oliver Wendell Holmes demanded doctors wash their hands (a decade before Louis Pasteur got the credit for discovering germs), and inadvertently this caused a crisis in the Church at a time when New England was the “Bible Belt,” (because germs were an invisible power other than God.) Not long after that other redefiners pushed the radical idea that slavery should be abolished in all places, which rather than mere paper legislation inadvertently led to the horrible slaughter of the Civil War, which cost nearly as many American lives as all the nation’s other wars combined.

And so it has continued, on and on, into my boyhood, where Timothy Leary advanced ideas about Liberty involving sex and LSD, inadvertently involving tragic consequences that many of us have seen play out with our own eyes, involving people we cared (and care) for deeply.

In conclusion, redefinition is no laughing matter, and nothing to take lightly. You can’t blithely reform things like the Ten Commandments or the American Constitution, without facing reverberations of a magnitude that is far from blithe.

To return to the topic of sports, as a boy I noticed New Englanders tend to be less athletic than the rest of the nation, perhaps due long winters stuck indoors, and perhaps due to an overdose of colleges and universities. New Englanders tend to be intellectual, rather than physical. Back in the last century the idea was that the only way New England could have a good sporting team was to invent a new sport. And this was proven by the fact that, during my boyhood, New England had among the nation’s worst baseball, football, and hockey teams, however we invented basketball, and had the best team for a while, before the rest of the nation figured out how to play better than our star Bob Cousy (who was ambidextrous and could amazingly (for that time) ball-handle with both hands!!!) (Nearly every player does that now.)Bob Cousy 122303Photo_Cousy

Considering I was a bad loser, it was rough to grow up last century, and be a boy supporting the last-place Red Sox, last-place Bruins, and last-place Patriots. You might think that, since I had so much experience supporting last-place teams, I would have become a better loser, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead it fed an intense craving within me to win.

I think this is how the psyche works. When we experience loss we replay it in our minds. The psychologists may call it “Post Traumatic Stress”, but we are replaying the films of the past game, noting the mistakes, and planning to play better in the next game. We own a craving to improve.

I often see this manifest the morning after the Patriots have lost a close football game. When I open our Farm-childcare, I get to see the state young parents are in, in the dusk before dawn, and after a Patriots loss many look haggard as they drop off their kids. They have suffered insomnia, as their mind kept replaying crucial plays, and they agonized over the details. Usually it is the young men who care about football, but the young wives suffered as well, for they had to sleep with the thrashing, kicking, sighing, muttering insomniacs. And of course I am able to empathize and commiserate, for I am the worst loser of them all.

This agony of defeat does not seem to be truly slaked by the thrill of victory. This century has seen New England win more than its fair share of championships, and an entire generation has grown up without a clue of what it was like to be a New Englander last century, but if anything championships have only increased the craving for victory, and made the agony of defeat worse. What’s more, if you win too often you become despised.darth-sidious-bill-belichick

Just as I used to stomp around raving and accuse friends of cheating when I lost at checkers, New England fans have discovered winning means you get accused of cheating. Cheaties 48971be54e96c1119e28f275122c9f4c_belichick_cheaties

It is interesting to stand back from all the emotion inherent in the agony of defeat, and see what actual improvements come from the pains of Post Traumatic Stress. One thing that becomes swiftly apparent is the importance of the rules. As one devises new and improved trick plays, one must constantly refer to the rulebook, to make sure the adjustments are legal. For example, one option that springs into my mind, during the agony of defeat, is to shoot the opponents. There is nothing in the NFL rulebook prohibiting this (I checked) however that isn’t the only rulebook we need to refer to.

And here’s where it gets interesting. It turns out that the rules we actually write down in the rulebook, for any particular sport, are but a dim reflection of higher and greater laws, which are “self evident”. These laws can be divided into two basic types. There are physical laws, such as the law of gravity, and then there are spiritual laws, which people tend to be a little squeamish about discussing.

In the case of football the physical laws come up because the amazing athletes push their physical limits. The spiritual laws come up when we attempt to keep them from hurting themselves too badly, and because we should care for these amazing men after they have sacrificed their bodies (and sometimes brains) and are crippled.

In the case of politics, and especially the politics of Global Warming, the exact same factors come into play, though some might protest politics is not a sport. But politics does involve winners and losers, and a rulebook called our laws, and the temptation to “amend” the laws, and to “redefine” how the game is played, and even what constitutes “winning”. It requires we be civil, if we are to call ourselves “civilized”, and that we follow certain set procedures we call “civil procedures”. And here again we see two basic types of laws that restrain man within certain limits: Physical laws and spiritual laws.

The physical laws are easier to deal with, because they are more obvious, though not always clear to a layman. They involve science and engineering, and require scientists and engineers to explain some of their less obvious details. For example, I once had a friend who wanted to install a huge hot tub up in her bedroom; despite the fact her plumber worried about the pressure this put on the drains. She learned to listen, after a major flood downstairs. Physical laws represent Truths that will not be mocked.

Spiritual laws are harder to deal with, because they often run counter to more selfish laws that politicians deal with, that are tantamount to a sort of Law Of The Jungle. For example, a politician needs to curry favor among constituents, and this sometimes tempts them to hand out money and jobs inappropriately, with the money diverted from the people and the job it was earmarked for. In the case of the levees of New Orleans, very little of the money Washington sent to improve the levees was actually spent on the levees, while a lot went to various sorts of “inspectors”, and to lawyers involved in endless environmental lawsuits. The result of this was that, when Katrina arrived, the levees were not ready to hold back the flood. It did not matter that the Law Of The Jungle had been obeyed, when The Law Of Nature arrived.

Politicians always claim they need more money, but money is useless if corruption misappropriates it. Few projects have involved cost overruns as insanely huge as Boston’s “Big Dig”, but the vast expense couldn’t change the result when substandard materials were used, resulting in a dangerously leaky tunnel that has already killed a driver with a roof collapse. Bostonians were happy when there were lots of jobs and Federal funds were being flung about, but they will be less amused when a tunnel-collapse cuts their city in half.

The Law Of The Jungle seems smart in the short term, but in the long term Truth will not be mocked. It is for this reason the Navy conducts trials. They will not trust a ship given to them by bureaucrats. The last high-speed troop carrier delivered to the Navy had its bow cave in, the first time it was tested in heavy seas. You don’t want to discover a shortcoming like that in the middle of a war.

It is hard to have such a trial when you are building a bridge, and it is embarrassing to all concerned when a brand new bridge has a structural failure, as occurred recently with the Nipigon Bridge in Canada. Glitches like that are suppose to be seen and ironed out when things are still in the planning phases, and not after a bridge is already built.

The sad fact of the matter is that we are likely to see more of these costly mistakes, not fewer, as long as we allow the political Law Of The Jungle to rule science and engineering. The sooner we erect some sort of barrier between politics and science the better off we will be.

This seems unlikely to occur until people recognize they can’t take the money and run. There seems to instead be the attitude that it doesn’t matter if levees fail in New Orleans, tunnels collapse in Boston, and bridges close in Canada, as long as one can retire safely to Florida. People think they can escape the consequences.

However this implies there are consequences, and some are not even willing to admit that. They assume they are the winner in a situation that causes others loss, and that others are the losers. They think that if there is karma to face or hell to pay, others will face it, as they sit back, eat cherries, and laugh last.

This is not how the Law Of The Jungle works. The king of the jungle doesn’t get to retire to Florida. The moment he shows any sign of weakness, he faces the jungle-consequences of weakness, of aging. Only a civil society cares for their elderly, or even allows the elderly to become philanthropists. In the jungle, as soon as you weaken, all your wealth is taken. That is just the way it works, when you abandon civil procedures and ignore spiritual laws.

Because of this some adopt a splendid hypocrisy, wherein they ignore civil procedures while amassing their fortune, but as soon as they have their hoarded pile they become very, very interested in the very same civil procedures they once so blithely ignored. Few onlookers buy this double standard, (though some will nod and put on an agreeable face, if paid a high enough salary). Gradually the hypocrite experiences a dawning, painful to behold, wherein they move from calling others suckers to realizing who the sucker actually was.

It turns out civil society is based on spiritual laws involving fairly simple concepts, such as being a good neighbor, and that it is better-to-give-than-receive. Some lawyers might scrutinize the scriptures of various lands and say it is only better-to-give-than-receive ten percent of the time (because “tithe” means “ten percent”), but nearly all religions include the concept of “charity”. However it is when examining the concept of “charity” that the most horrendous hypocrisy and most stupendous violations of spiritual law are seen.

The simple fact of the matter is that you are not supposed to get richer if you give. If you have a hundred credits and give ten percent, you are suppose to only have ninety credits left. Therefore you should be highly suspicious if you notice the giver winds up with three hundred credits. That money is coming from somewhere, and more often than not it is stolen from the very poor the charity was suppose to be helping in the first place.

I will not belabor you with countless examples of people who claim they are spiritual, and helping the widows and orphans, the sick, the oppressed, and those in prison, yet who wind up wealthier, even as those they claimed they would help wind up worse off. I’m certain you can think up examples of this gross hypocrisy on your own. What I would like to propose is that such behavior is actually the antithesis of charity, and a major violation of spiritual law.

It seems to me that, just as an engineer cannot mock physical Truths, people who work outside the sciences cannot mock spiritual Truths. In both cases the mocker will face a day of reckoning. Brown stuff will hit the fan. In the case of do-gooders, fewer and fewer will be persuaded by the altruistic arguments of the ones who claim they do-good. People disbelieve that glib altruism, when the speaker resembles a fat tick bloating off the lifeblood of a nation.

Rather than depressing you with examples of people involved in Global Warming discussions who resemble fat ticks, I think it would be less depressing to revert to contemplating young artists, and their losers-are-winners attitude.

When you come right down to it, art is very rarely a way to get rich. For 99.99% of all artists, giving the gift they were given is a form of charity, for the artists does not see much material gain. Even if they get some money thrown into their guitar case, as they play on a sidewalk, they could likely be making far more money hammering nails at a construction site. And many others do not play, or paint, or compose, or write, in public at all. They sing for their family, or friends, or in a church choir. They give for the joy of giving. That may be why poets are defined, in Sufi humor, as “proud beggars”.

This underscores the fact that the benefit of art, and all gift-giving, and all charity, is not a thing measured in dollars. Unfortunately, a very few artists, perhaps .01%, are so amazingly good that they do make piles of dollars. In my generation the example of this was the Beatles. By being successful they inadvertently gave the other 99.99% the false hope that they too might someday be millionaires, and “winners”. However the Beatles made their money by being more honest than most, and one truth they dared to sing was that that they were not the winners they appeared to be.

I sure wish I got paid millions for publicly confessing I’m a loser, but it hasn’t worked out that way for me, or for the other 99.99% of all artists. The real “pay” for art is in the joy of giving. This is why we speak of “playing” a guitar rather than “working” a guitar. The funny thing is that when you inform many young artists that they will not get paid as much as the Beatles for playing, they say, “Then the heck with it,” in which case they were not really artists. They were in it for the money, which makes them con artists. (Other artists get a Real Job to make money, but continue their art for joy, which is described by saying they have a “vocation” and an “avocation”).

The fact of the matter is that there is a distinction that needs to be made between the Arts and Sciences, but many of my generation failed to make it. Somehow they got it into their heads that giving should make you materially rich, and that charity should be profitable. What is more, they took steps to make charity lucrative, even though that violates spiritual law and is strangely grotesque, like a nursing mother with coin-slots on her breasts.

One .01% artist was Bono of “U2”, who became rich and famous enough to be asked to give the commencement address at a major American university, and he told our youth, “Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will.”

I think that future generations will look back at Baby Boomers, and will be stunned by our delusion that giving should gain the giver material wealth. It doesn’t. The wealth gained through giving is measured in joy. However so insistent are some that money must come from charity that they will ignore all the evidence so freely given by Reality, when one foolishly ignores physical and spiritual Truths. Truth will not be mocked, but when faced with the complete bankruptcy of their beliefs, some will just print more money.

“Just print more money.” Isn’t that the sign of a counterfeiter? To me it is also the sign of a bad loser, who can’t even admit that he or she lost the game with Truth.

(I could give countless examples from the history of Global Warming Alarmism of how individuals have lost the game, both in terms of physical laws and spiritual laws, but as this essay is already too long, I’ll leave the giving of specific examples to others.)

(Anthony Watts graciously posted this essay on his site:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/07/a-note-about-bad-losers-and-global-warming-on-super-bowl-sunday/ )

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BRADY AND BELICHICK —A GENUINE WITCH HUNT—

Darth Belichick

I was so completely disgusted by the nonsense being spouted by the reporters on sports radio regarding the inflation of footballs that I vowed to listen to no sports radio until the Superbowl. However the ridiculous hubbub can’t be escaped so easily. Even when I tried to escape into the world of weather maps, I discovered both of my favorite meteorologists, Joe Bastardi and Joseph D’Aleo, had posted on the topic of “inflategate”.

Interestingly, they both brought up, in a far more scientific manner than I am capable of, what I brought up in my post:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/meteorological-explanation-belichick-deflation-psychological-explanation-reporters-inflation/

I simply stated that I’d noticed that the balls on my Childcare playground lost pressure when they got cold, and regained it when the were warmed again. No one was removing air or adding air. I stated reporters ought do a bit of research, rather than leaping to conclusions.

Joseph D’Aleo did far better, by quoting someone from:

 http://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/2sxul5/deflategate_could_the_weather_have_an_effect_on/

Science teacher here. Given the conditions of the game, a ball which meets specifications in the locker room could easily lose enough pressure to be considered under-inflated. Some math:

  • Guy-Lussac’s Law describes the relationship between the pressure of a confined ideal gas and its temperature. For the sake of argument, we will assume that the football is a rigid enough container (unless a ball is massively deflated, it’s volume won’t change). The relationship is (P1/T1) = (P2/T2), where P is the pressure and T is the temperature in Kelvins.
  • The balls are inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 psi at a temperature of 70 degrees Farenheit (294.1 K). Let’s assume an average ball has a gauge pressure of 13 psi. This makes the absolute pressure of the ball 27.7 psi (gauge + atmosphere). Since these are initial values, we will call them P1 and T1.
  • The game time temperature was 49 degrees F (278 K). We are attempting to solve for the new pressure at this temperature, P2. We plug everything into the equation and get (27.7/294.1) = (P2/278). At the game time temperature, the balls would have an absolute pressure of 26.2 psi and a gauge pressure of 11.5, below league specifications.

*Furthermore, given that it was raining all day, the air in the stadium was saturated with water vapor. At 70 degrees, water has a vapor pressure of 0.38 psi. The total pressure of the ball is equal to the pressure of the air inside the ball and the vaporized water in the ball. At 49 degrees, the vapor pressure of water is 0.13 psi. Up to 0.25 additional psi can be lost if the balls were inflated by either the team or the refs prior to the game. Granted, it’s unlikely that anyone would inflate balls from 0, but it easily could cost another couple hundredths of a psi in pressure.

  • For a ball that barely meets specifications (12.5 psi gauge), it’s pressure would drop to 11.1 psi during the game… enough to be considered massively underinflated. 

(The discussion proceeds from there, and makes for some interesting reading. However most sports reporters didn’t even consider this possibility. They leaped to the conclusion air had to have been removed from the ball.)

The stupidity of the reporters is emphasized by their conclusion that the balls were weighed, rather than the air pressure measured. Some actually thought a football weighed 12.5 pounds, but Tom Brady was throwing balls that only weighed 10.5 pounds, (when in all likelihood the balls he threw were rain-drenched and made heavier, though not pounds heavier)

How could reporters be so stupid? It takes no brains to hoist a ten pound weight in a weight room, and know it weighs more than a football. (I assume sports reporters spend some time in weight rooms, even if they themselves don’t exercise.) It seems even the logic of personal experience went into abeyance.

Another thing I’ve seen through personal experience involves water condensing inside a ball. I notice this at my Childcare when we blow up balloons. The water vapor in breath, (which you notice making puffs of steam on winter mornings when you breathe out), can form drops on the inside of the balloon on cool days. I imagine air made steamy from hot showers in a locker room might do the same thing, inside a football, as a football cooled. This would cause another drop in pressure, (and is what clamps the lids of canning jars down, if you happen to be a person who cans vegetables, but I don’t suppose sports reporters do that.)

In any case, there are plenty of things that can cause a football’s pressure to drop, without anyone releasing any air.  The question then becomes, “Was this done intentionally?”

Another question might be, “Even if it was done intentionally, is it illegal?”  After all, if the balls pass muster, they have passed muster, haven’t they? Until the rules are written to specifically ban balls that lose pressure as they cool, one could conceivably fill a ball with hot steam, so they were at 12.5 psi when passing muster, but flat as a pancake when they reached the field, and they still would be legal.

I wish Belichick or Brady had said that. Oh, the howling that would have ensued!  People dislike the fact that, when people strive for excellence, they test the rules as they test the limits. However I think it goes further. People, especially underachievers, just plain dislike overachievers.

For example, in the hysteria about the inflation or deflation of footballs, everyone assumes it helped Brady throw better. The actual data shows he threw worse with the under-inflated balls, including an interception. Therefore, if one is going to leap to the conclusion conspiracy was involved, why not leap to the conclusion someone was attempting to sabotage Brady’s ability to throw? Why not imagine some sinister gambler bribing the ball boy to fill the balls with hot, moist air?

Why not? Because it doesn’t fulfill the childish need some have to belittle excellence:

darth-sidious-bill-belichick

Cheaties 48971be54e96c1119e28f275122c9f4c_belichick_cheaties As I have watched this “deflategate” stupidity play out, I can’t help but think I am actually watching a bunch of bad losers. I’ve tried to watch it from afar, but it seems to be wherever I turn. People seem to have grown up in a cushy America where everyone gets trophies at award ceremonies, so no ones feelings will be hurt, and therefore people have developed no resistance to loss, and have no resiliency, and simply can’t stand it, and must savage those who win.

If you can’t stand loss then you can’t stand life. Life is full of loss. This is especially obvious as you get older, and dear friends pass away. However that does not diminish the beauty of the gift life is, nor erase the real reason for living.

What is the real reason for living? Well, I am not going to launch into that sermon, tonight. However I will say that both Belichick and Brady know all about losing. Hasn’t anyone noticed they have gone a while without winning a Superbowl? It hasn’t stopped them from pressing on, or seeking to excel. Nor have I heard them screech at the people who have beat them, “You cheated!”

Losing is a part of the game, and if you can’t take it you shouldn’t get involved. This is something I teach the children at my Childcare. When we eat a carrot I make sure they know a carrot lost its life, and when we roast pork over the fire I make sure they remember the pig. However the clearest example of losing I can give them involves the game of checkers.

Though my Childcare emphasizes the outdoors, sometimes the weather is so awful we stay in, and sometimes I teach the little ones to play the game of checkers. Usually I teach them to play each other, but quite often they want to play me. If I can’t avoid it, I play them, and beat them.

Admittedly a shred of egotism may be involved in the fact I remain undefeated, when it comes to playing checkers with children under age seven, (through there have been some mighty close calls), for I am seldom a winner in other areas of my life. However my aim is to counter the belief that children should always be encouraged by sheltering them from the fact life involves loss.

Loss hurts, but so does skinning your knee. I don’t think childhood should be bubble-wrapped, and think skinned knees are part of a healthy childhood. As is the pain of losing.

Sometimes, as I inform a child I have just beaten them at checkers, they turn their innocent face up to mine, and it winces with the pain of loss, and twists to rage, and they yell at me, “You Cheated!”

What do I then tell them?

Oh for goodness sake! You are not a five-year-old! If you don’t know the answer to that, you need to stop and do some thinking.

That is what I think a lot of Americans need to now do. Too little of “escapegate” involves rational thought, and too much involves the mentality of a witch hunt. It likely should be renamed “hategate.”

People need to take a hard look in the mirror, and understand where this sort of hysteria leads. It led to six million Jews dead. It led to Jesus crucified.

Not that Brady and Belichick are saints, but I have noticed something. It is not the people who have struggled through many losses to excel at something who are screeching Brady and Belichick should be punished. Rather it is the losers.

Losers need to know it is OK to lose, and also that the escape is to admire and emulate the winners. It does not make a loser better to attack those who are better.

Meteorological Explanation–Belichick Deflation—Psychological Explanation—Reporter’s Inflation

Belichick MTE5NDg0MDU1MzM2MDI3NjYz

Every fall, on the mornings when when the weather first gets cold, the inflated balls children play with at our Farm-childcare sag and become downright flabby.  It is particularly noticeable in September, when the weather can be quite variable in New England, and the balls can be flabby in the crisp, frosty coolness of a 32° morning, and tight and bouncy in the heat of an 80° afternoon.

Therefore, when I first heard of all the fuss and bother about “Belichick”s Balls,” the very first thing that sprang into my mind was that the balls were inflated in a over-heated weight room, where the temperature was 78°, and then brought out into a windy and rainy night where the temperature was down near 40°.

Not only would the footballs be cooled by the temperature, but a sort of “wet-bulb” temperature, (lower than the actual temperature), would be reached by the fact the footballs were wet, and in the wind, and, due to the fact available heat becomes latent heat when evaporation occurs on a wet surface, (whether it be your skin after a swim, or a football on a rainy night,) further cooling would cause the air to “shrink”, or contract. No “deflation” is involved in such science. No air enters or leaves the balls.

In conclusion, if the balls were at the low end of the legal limit, when they were indoors at 78°. they would become “illegal” when moved outside, where it is over thirty degrees colder.

This seems a logical thing to consider, if one is a bumpkin farmer, or if one has a sixth grade science education.

The fact not a single sports reporter has brought this up reveals far more about the IQ of sports reporters than it does about the morality of a successful football coach like Belichick.

Using simple science, we can infer sports reporters are more stupid than bumpkin farmers, and lack a sixth grade science education. If any inflation is involved, it does not involve footballs, but rather the egos of reporters.

I challenge all reporters to defend their gross failure to investigate subjects properly, before reporting. In all honesty, they display the mentality of Junior High school schoolgirls who care more about who they are seen with, than whether that person has a shred of morality, credibility, or decency. Just as a thirteen-year-old girl lacks the life-experience to know that to be seen walking with some guy who has status, some “Quarterback” or some “A-student” or some “Star-of-the-drama-club” or some “whatever-has-status-this-week” means very little, reporters sell their souls for what means very little.

This is the only explanation I can come up with for the fact reporters completely ignore issues that matter, and instead focus on making mountains out of molehills.

The science of “Global Warming” is one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of mankind, involving high officials in governments all over the world, but will reporters investigate it?  No, instead they make mountains out of molehills, screaming like old ladies screaming at a mouse, when a quite ordinary big snowstorm occurs.

I challenge reporters to defend themselves. Are you mice or men? Why are you inflating small things all out of proportion, while ignoring the big things? Are you not “straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel,” and “pointing at the mote in another’s eye while ignoring the plank in your own”?

To return to the subject of football, I am disgusted by the failure of sports reporters to even mention, as a possible excuse, the expansion and contraction of gas in a ball relative to temperature. A true investigative reporter would do an experiment with a football, measuring the pressure indoors at 78° and outdoors at 42°. Only a fool cares more about fostering doubt and rabble rousing, inflating things to sell papers.

If reporters cannot answer this simple challenge I can only assume they are not real men with real wives, but are the sort of quasi-man who sleeps with an inflated doll.

 (PS: What am I going to do? I simply will refuse to listen to sports reporters, in the two weeks between now and the Superbowl. They produce a pound of hype for each crumb of decent analysis, and why should I waste my time on fools who are focused on making discord? Instead I’ll listen to Beethoven, and listen to a man who was focused on making harmony.) (A deaf man could hear more Truth than a reporter with 20-20 vision can see.)

(Note: Despite my resolve to avoid this topic, I was sucked into further discussion of the science behind what can change the pressure in footballs at:  https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/brady-and-belichick-a-genuine-witch-hunt/ )

LOCAL VIEW —UPS AND DOWNS—

The last oppression of cold crested Saturday, with morning readings down at -1.3°  here (-18.5 Celsius.)  A sneaky arctic high pressure had bulged south behind a weak storm passing to our north, and rather than the warm-up computer models had promised, we had an extra day of cold north winds to endure.

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All day Saturday the chill winds blew from the north, and temperatures never crept out of the high teens, and in the evening temperatures again began falling, and were down to 15° (-9° Celsius) as night fell. Then they halted, as the crest of the high pressure passed over, and the wind died.  Then south winds began to blow and by dawn the temperatures had risen overnight to 25° (-4° Celsius).  As the rising sun faded into a grey smear of cloud temperatures swiftly climbed past freezing, and as church let out at noon and a mist of rain began, they passed 40°. (+5° Celsius.)

It was our first thaw in days, but the ground hadn’t had the chance to thaw, and in fact was still well below freezing. The powdery snows, packed and polished beneath the tread of tires and feet, were instantly glazed by an amazingly slippery sheen of ice.  Even as the rain grew heavier and water flowed over the tar, the layer of greasy ice persisted and even grew, as Facebook, Twitter and Cellphones went wild with reports of skidding cars and road closures.

Typical. We can’t even have a rain without making a winter-event out of it.

I had my driveway nicely covered with both sand and grit from my coal fires, but the glaze covered that so perfectly that simply walking from my parked car to the front steps was nearly impossible. I must have looked absurd, with eyes bugging, and spread palms well out from my hips, and feet far apart, attempting to shuffle up the slightest incline, and only winning briefly before slowly sliding back.  I had to walk through the front garden, where the snow crunched under my feet, to make the front steps.

Ridiculous.  After all, the air temperatures were over forty, and the rain was so warm it didn’t freeze at all on twigs or the windshields of parked cars, yet still the earth remembered the cold.

The air brought messages of hope, but earth
Remembered the cold. Mild rain froze on streets
And made walking a joke, a laughing mirth
Where a man of pompous dignity greets
A snuff-nosed grandmother all waggle-kneed
As she walks clinging to window boxes.
They proceed like drunks, with the cautious speed
Of snails. It’s a good fate for two foxes,
For they have looked at messages of hope
With icy regard. They live for their pensions
Which they endured cold for, and cannot cope
With warm messages. It creates tensions
When into a world that only knows cold
Comes word of worlds that are warm, spoken bold.

 Obviously my response was to write a sonnet, for it was just as obvious being responsible, and doing what was on my “to do” list, would be tantamount to suicide. I had planned to restock the porch with firewood, but to walk with arms full of wood over such a treacherous surface would be unthinkable. So I thought up a sonnet instead.

Soon the rain was heavier, and it was unthinkable to go out in that, but my goats don’t care what I think, so I had to go feed them. I slithered out and headed off. The roads had been heavily salted and were bare in most places, but here and there the rain had washed the salt away and a new glaze had formed, and made my truck act in a way that made my hair stand on end.

I stopped in at the local market on my way, where a surprising number of people gathered to gossip about how terrible the driving was. It made me scratch my head a little. If the driving was so terrible, why did they do it to go to the market? I didn’t ask, for the answer was obvious. The “Big Game” was approaching, and they were not going to miss the game to drive to the market for cigarettes. (Addiction is a terrible thing, but the things people will do to avoid withdrawal-symptoms can bolster ones belief in the power of the human spirit….If only that power could be channeled towards good.) (Of course, not all were there for cigarettes. Some were there for beer, or snacks, or, in a few cases, the addiction may have been to the market’s gossip, itself.)

I continued from there to the gossip of my goats. They were muttering to themselves, huddled under the barn, trying to figure out what their human is up to.

I’ve stopped giving them hay, because they waste 95% of it. They nose through it, tossing it aside for the stray blackberry leaf. And once the tossed-aside hay has touched the mud, they sneer at it. They are surprisingly fussy, and I’ve known farmers who, after feeding their goats, pick up all the tossed-aside hay and feed it to their cows, who have no problem with it. But I have no cows, so the hay is wasted. And then the goats are so hungry that they, having wasted their hay, bust out to eat the bark off the neighbor’s expensive flowering crab apples, or bust into the barn to eat a rare and valuable 1939 copy of Life Magazine.

I discovered, at the feed store, a hay that snobby people serve to their horses. It is compressed into large pellets, and is a blend of alfalfa and timothy, and my goats eat 95% of it. Though it is, pound for pound, three times as expensive as a bale of hay, I did the math and figured more of this stuff was winding up inside my goats, dollar for dollar.

My goats can’t do the math, and are distrustful of all changes, and are trying to figure out what I am up to. I still give them hay, but it is the stuff they already tossed aside, and I only give it to them so they will have something to toss aside. After all, winter gets boring, if you are a goat, and I don’t want to deprive them of their fun.

However they are extremely suspicious of the delicious green cubes I mix in with their grain. Not that they don’t fight among themselves to eat first, but they regard me with deep suspicion. What am I up to? They know there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Then I headed home. The thaw was starting to sink in, and rather than a glaze over packed powder, in places things were turning to deep slush. As I drove I clicked the truck radio to a sports channel, to hear news of the Big Game, and heard an absurd waste of breath about how the people of New England should respond if the local team, (the “Patriots”), lost. Oddly, it seemed another version of “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

In my opinion, the people of New England have been served an incredible free lunch. I state this because I, as a boy, suffered through long years when New England’s Baseball, Football and Hockey teams were losers. (The Basketball team was a glorious exception to the rule.) Because I have know the suffering of thirst, I can recognize the past decade-plus as a Garden of Eden.  The football team has been especially good.  It always has winning seasons, nearly always makes the play-offs, has advanced to the semi-finals a record number of times, and now was on the verge of advancing to the American holy grail of the “Superbowl” for a record number of times.

However the group of sports commentators focused not on gratitude, but how ungratefully people should behave if the Patriots failed. (The Patriots didn’t; they clobbered their opponent, but the commentators didn’t know this yet.)

I was so disgusted I shut the radio off. To me it demonstrated how people (who are unable to do what the people they criticize do) demand too much. It doesn’t matter how superb a coach or athlete is,  or how many times they have given you the reflected glory of a championship, the day they lose the Big Game you somehow have the power, the right, and the ingratitude to throw them under the bus.

(And if you are a surgeon who has saved many lives, the day you tire, and fail to save a life, the lawyers, who have never saved a life, descend and…)

Life has its ups and downs just like the weather does. Lawyers are trying to figure out how to sue the weather, but I suspect the weather will always laugh at them.

I got home in time to stock the fires, though it was so warm we hardly needed stoves, and then headed off to see the Big Game at my Oldest Son’s house, (I gave up on paying for TV a couple years ago.) The good guys won, if you are from New England, though they have won to a degree where most of the rest of the nation despises them, preferring the “underdog”.

By Monday morning the surge of warmth was consolidating into a low to our north, which was sweeping colder air our way in its wake, first with a cold front bringing Pacific, Chinook air, but eventually with a second cold front bringing back the arctic.

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Despite the lack of Arctic air, it was still January, and temperatures dipped to 29.7° (-2.3° Celsius) last night, which meant all the slush had turned to stone, and all the rain-washed surfaces were slick ice. So I started today driving to the town garage in twilight and shoveling sand into the back of my truck and then driving to the Childcare and spreading it about the lots. Then I had to deal with getting bags of grain and hay for goats, and lastly with getting bags of coal and splitting wood and stacking it on the porch to get ready for the coming cold.  I ache. So I suppose I could call it a “down” If I so chose, however recently a number of friends have pointed out to me, pointedly, that I am darn lucky to be able to do this stuff at age sixty-one, so I guess I”ll call it an “up”.

As I worked I listened to the sports commentators on the truck radio, with the volume turned up loud so I could hear outside the truck. I had to shake my head. The same fellows who were going on and on about how unforgiving they should be, of the local team lost, were relishing the local team’s victory in a manner that can only be called “gloating.”

I have nothing against appreciating victory, however these fellows had shown their true colors in their pre-game nervousness, when they faced the prospect one always faces when playing a game: The prospect of losing. The prospect of “down”.

These fellows are of the crowd who states “we” won, when the local team wins, but rather than “we” states “they” lost, when the local team loses. What they fail to comprehend is that what makes a great team great is that they stick together. There is no “them” on a good team, among its members. You share the “downs” along with the “ups.”

If the spectacle of grown men running about chasing a silly ball has any meaning, it is because the efforts of the athletes can teach us things that have meaning in our own lives. To me, the meaning comes from the teamwork. It comes from the fact that, in any given play or situation, some are losing and some are winning in the individual battles with opponents. Some are “up” and some are “down”. The adjustment that then is made, the way the stronger help the weaker, the way the individual talents compliment each other, is what can turn a good team to a great team.  That is what I learned to watch for and to admire, back when the idea of the local “Patriots” team winning more than it lost was but a fond dream, and I continue to watch for the same thing today, now that the fond dream has come true.

To put it in another way, if I, as an American, really believe that “United We Stand, Divided We Fall,” then I do not associate myself with winners, calling them “we,”  as I disassociate myself with losers, calling them “they.” Instead I believe we are all in this together, and are all on the same team.

I have a brother-in-law who actually does more than believe this. In the summer he is very busy running two businesses, but in the winter both businesses, (a house-painting business and an ice-cream-stand,) go through times that give him a lot of free time. He therefore joined a group of men who rush to help fellow Americans, after bad weather, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, have clobbered such people with a “down”.

Tornadoes are the most blatant and obvious “downs”, because they can hit with very little warning, and don’t care a hoot if you may have been in the middle of an “up” only minutes before. Their power is something you might want to see on film, but never first hand. (While driving cross-country this fall I passed through a forest north of Little Rock, and every tree was without a branch. It was a forest of trunks.)

People who have experienced having a tornado make absolute mincemeat of all their hopes and dreams tend to be cynical about life having an “up” side. My brother-in-law confesses that one of the nice parts of his volunteering is that the people he helps are in a state of disbelief about his arrival; they are so “down” it is hard to believe anything as “up” as fellow Americans arriving to help can possibly happen. Occasionally he will drive to get donuts for his crew, and a crowd of local people will spot the logo on the side of his truck, and spontaneously start cheering, as if he is the winning team.

However my brother-in-law does experience a lot of the “down” side of weather. The same weather that arrives up here in New Hampshire as a pleasant January Thaw may have brewed tornadoes in Alabama. What is an “up” here may be a horrible “down” there, and I am proud my brother-in-law can rush down to show them we are on the same team.

One of the worst “downs” I heard about involved a tornado that was a sort of meteorological fluke, and the people were unable to get any warning from the weather bureau that it was coming. There was a thunderstorm, and a sudden roaring like a freight train, and people had between fifteen and thirty seconds to react, before their homes were reduced to kindling.

The saddest tale he told me involved a young mother in a mobile home, who had only seconds to react but who did what the authorities advise, which is to flee, babe in arms,  to the bathroom and crouch in the bathtub. Then her home was completely destroyed. The sheet-metal roof was torn to strips like paper, even as wind propelled straws with such velocity they penetrated the sheet metal. Two by fours were twisted to splinters that stabbed the woman’s face. Concrete cinder-blocks were lifted like leaves and then slammed down, smashing the bathtub and the woman’s legs. Worst of all, her baby was sucked from her arms, and vanished into the grinding, roaring darkness.

Talk about a “down.” When they found this woman midst the wreckage she didn’t seem to care about her crushed legs. It was all, “My Baby! Find my baby!”

They did eventually find the baby. It was a half mile away, propped between the forking trunks of two shattered trees. And it was cooing and babbling and, amazingly, completely unharmed.

Talk about an “up”!  And the interesting thing about this “up” is that it had nothing to to do with the efforts of mortal humans after a natural disaster. Rather this “up” was an impossible happening within the “down” of the disaster itself.

Memo to self: Do not rely too much on logic, for “up” is found in unlikely places.

However locally the cold is coming down, We nudged up to 34.3° today, (+1.3 Celsius), but it may be the last time we are above freezing for a good, long while.

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