Category Archives: Mother Nature

Resilience

Our news cycles are a constant drumbeat of alleged omens of doom.  Ebola, climate change, wars, earthquakes, urban decay and dying honeybees are only a few of dangers we face supposedly that will lead to our destruction or extinction.  I have some good news.  Homo sapiens is a tough dude.  You think things are rough in our era of the early 21st century then you have no appreciation of the history of Man.  The facts are that we have created many dangers to our existence over the millenia and Mother Nature has thrown the kitchen sink out us many times and yet here we are.

If you think ISIS is a terrible danger to our future then remember our ancestors managed to survive one way or another the Huns and Vandals destruction of the Roman Empire and what everyone would have defined as civilization at that time.   The Great Plague of the 14th century wiped out anywhere from a fourth to a third of the population and left a devastated countryside.   Many understandably believed that was the End Days of earth.   But again we trudged forward.  Each generation of Man without fail concludes that it is the most important of all ages and that if it fails significantly that all Mankind will tumble….such is vanity, all is vanity.

Was it  50 million or 100 million killed in the 20th century wars? But all was rebuilt and now we argue over the desserts on the table rather than the basic foodstuffs to sustain survival.  despite the predictions of a Sartre or Bertrand Russel or Rachel Carson even more of us are here and living better, far better than anytime in recorded history.

Even if the worst predictions of climate change are accurate if will not be something that our progeny won’t be able to handle and survive.  The coastlines have receded and waxed for a long time and our ancestors managed all those geographical difficulties; that is a truism or you and I wouldn’t be here today having a debate about climate.  In historical perspective it was only a blink of the eye when we had our last Ice Age.  Can you try to imagine what that did to our ancestors?  The seas retreated dramatically.  You could walk from Britain to the Continent on dry land.
The Ice sheets reached down to the Loire valley and to modern Manhattan and formed the Great Lakes.  All those folks dependent on the seas for mussels and other sustenance had to relocate and then in another joke of Mother Nature everything reversed and the waters of the seas rose again dramatically and what was inland become coastline again.  They had only primitive tools and their brains to survive such upheavals and yet they did.  There were no canals, bulldozers, cranes and computer projections to aid them or any type of machine tools.

Next time you see some thugs on TV trying to demonstrate their toughness and give those intimidating stares do remember that they pale in resilience and courage to all our ancestors.   Those past gene donors  over the history of Man were the true tough guys.  They figured it out whatever the challenge, improvised and fought tyranny in the end for us to enjoy the fruits of this century.  The shame is to not live up to their same standard with the determination to control our own destiny whatever the circumstances of fate put in our way.

“Theirs but to do or die”  Tennyson….www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Coming out of a winter hibernation and a move so its time to crank up the word machine and brush off the mental cobwebs…..

Moving ain’t fun.  A fundamental truth.  Especially true if you have been in the old homestead for a long time.

The Russians call the Ukraines in Kiev Nazis.  Even some of the media has picked up on that theme and talks about the Ukrainians who fought with the Nazis during the War leaving the clear impression that the Ukrainians were true Nazis at heart.  The truth is much more complicated.  Stalin during the ’30’s literally starved to death untold millions of Ukraines.  The exact number will never be known.  In addition many of the Ukraines like the idea of owning their own piece of dirt as had been their tradition for centuries.  When the War and the Germans came it is true that many of the Ukraines joined the German army to fight against the commies and Stalin.  That did not make them fans of Hitler or the Nazis but simply people who were faced with two difficult choices but decidedly believed the Nazis were the lesser of the two evils and the Germans fostered that notion with hints of some autonomy.  They weren’t Nazis, they were Ukrainians fighting communism.

If Monica wants to be taken seriously then she should have avoided that picture spread with her lounging on the couch.  Didn’t exactly portray the image of a mature gal not trying to exploit her prior persona of the Linda Lovelace of the White House.

When will the civilized world quit pretending that Africa is a legitimate part of the world community?  The latest episode in Nigeria is only representative of their dysfunction.  There is not only Nigeria but we have Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Cameroon, the Congo, Uganda, Chad and Libya to name merely the most outrageous places.  The West needs to stop sending any kind of aid.  Those people have the resources to do quite well.  It is up to them to make the countries and world they want.  We can’t import decency or democracy.  Their militaries by turn are cowardly, incompetent, tyrannical or corrupt.   They need to live in a house they built, not one provided by the Peace Corp.  Can anyone honestly say that the generosity and sympathy of the West has made any significant difference in the last 60 years?  That is three generations.  How would letting them fend for themselves possibly be any worse than the current situation.

Remember that science is never “settled”.  The very nature of the beast is questions and then more questions after apparent answers are found.  Not my brilliant observation but from David Deutsch.  He refers to the dire predictions due to  global warming, prophecies, not science.  Just for you consideration, he is an Oxford don, world renown physicist, philosopher and member of the Royal Society, not exactly marginal thinker or denier.  He would no doubt be apoplectic being called a “denier”.  Check out his The Beginning of Infinity.  Pretty heavy going but worth it in the end.

The current rate for a 10 year Treasury note is about 2.5%.  That rate is strictly a function of the market manipulation of the Federal Reserve.  What do you think  the rate would be if the Fed was neutral and let the market alone determine what the proper rate should be?  Maybe 2% or maybe 6%.  Whatever you think it would be the difference between a true market rate and what the Fed is dictating now means that there are some serious losers in the market due directly to their policies.  Those losers aren’t so-called fat cats on Wall Street necessarily but there are some of them too.  For every trade on Wall Street remember that there is a seller for each buyer whether for stocks or bonds.   Pension plans and unions are some of the biggest investors along with endowments of major universities on Wall Street.  Current losers are the seniors for sure and the savers among us.  It makes those in their mid years to start eating their seed corn rather than save because there is no incentive or reward for saving  in the near term.  Supposedly the Fed works for our benefit but its hard to discern that benefit.  Seems more like the inmates are running the asylum or Dr. Frankenstein let loose on the financial system and sure enough he has created a monster he can’t control.

We’ve all known someone who talks too much.   They will never shut up.  Worse they think you are interested in everything they have to say;  even the stuff that is stupid,  logically inconsistent or borders on that line between outright lies and embellishment.  Why does such a thought evoke images of daily briefings or speeches from the occupant of  the White House of today?

We are approaching  the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  I wonder what the average heart rate was for those boys jumping out of a C-47 or down the ramp from a LST?   It had to be a terrifying experience and their bodies reacted accordingly.  We should be very thankful that they were able to overcome that fight or flee syndrome all men have in face of extreme danger.   I not only tip my hat to them but am grateful and worry whether this generation is worthy of the sacrifice they made.

Strange we don’t hear a peep about the antarctic ozone hole or the impending ice age that were all the rage 30 years ago based on “settled” science.  Although the Yankees might have thought they were in at least a mini ice age last winter.   But, lo, spring came again as it has since the earth began spinning and circling the Sun.

“The instinct of ownership is fundamental in man’s nature”  William James, American psychologist and philosopher. http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Well, the Holidays are over and the hibernation will be interrupted long enough for the current thoughts and ramblings of the gray matter…..

Another State of the Union address and again we call for the elimination of the current method of delivery.  It is pure political theatre and propaganda.  Regardless of what party controls the White House the prevailing showmanship of the delivery should be stopped.  For well over 100 years the State of the Union was a straightforward written report to Congress from the President.   We need to really tone down this useless drama show.  It should be a business meeting between the Executive and Legislative branches of government.  Put it on C-span and no applause and distractions.  Let the President and his Cabinet present facts and figures about our economy, national security and society.  Let the Congressmen ask questions and challenge the data and assumptions and proposed policies.  It should be give and take.  The Presidents written report should be no longer than 20 pages in length, anything more and you’re getting hyperbole and fluff.

Saw a shooting star the other night.  It was the first one I’ve seen in a number of years what with all the bright lights of the city and trees and roof lines.  It was quite dramatic and very bright as it descended to earth.  So large that I actually listened for a boom.  Did see one so large and close that it produced a loud boom decades ago.  Better than any fireworks display when they are that large.

Not at all surprised that so many people were having their private insurance policies cancelled due to Obamacare.  Those reading these pages remember that I said that would happen back in ’10 when the thing was passed and I actually read the bill.  It provided that the policies being grandfathered in could only be those that never changed.   “Any” change meant they no longer met the standard of a “qualified” plan as approved by the bureaucrat in charge, the HHS Secretary.  So if your premium in the plan you liked was $300 per month and it increased by $5 per month then that change would kick you to the exchanges and you had to get the government approved plans, period.

Fighting wars half-heartedly is always a recipe for disaster. Korea and Viet Nam are probably the worst examples but Afghanistan isn’t far behind with that current guy in the White House view of the military and the mission there.   The object of any military action should always be to destroy and subdue your enemy and do so with all the resources at your command.  History teaches well the old maxim that when you go against and remove the King you better get rid of all his heirs also.   If we aren’t committed to eliminating the Taliban as a force then we might as well get out completely and go back in at our pleasure when we detect specific threats.   If our guys can’t conduct aggressive offensive operations as of now then they are merely becoming targets for the attacks of the Taliban at their pleasure.

Read another detailed and thorough article this week about the probability of our magnetic field starting another flip.  That means the magnetic poles will switch places and your compass would point south, not north.  If that is beginning to occur then it makes a mockery of the concern over alleged global warming.   The process could take thousands of years and the effects on Mother Earth would be enormous.  Weather would change for sure as would the overall climate and the effects of the increased radiation from the Sun would tear apart much of our modern infrastructure built on electrical power and electronic machines of all stripe, not the least of which would be your handy computer.   The magnetic field has flipped many times over the eons and many scientist believe we over  due for another  anytime.  The magnetic field has already weakened and some view that has the harbinger of the flip.  So another item to add to your list of worries but this one is real, the danger is only a question of time, not an if.

About two weeks before we dropped the first A bomb on Hiroshima a US sub made one of the most unusual attacks of the entire War.  The sub had already sunk several Jap ships in a harbor and was due to return to base but the captain noticed a  railroad trestle right on the shore line that was used by the Japs to transport supplies to the war making factories nearby.  They couldn’t have used a torpedo but were innovative both captain and crew.  They decided a shore party could attach a explosive device to the tracks and get the next train to pass after installation.  It took several days to figure out how to do it.  They used the explosive charges that normally are used only to scuttle the ship for the pow factor.  But then they had to devise a method to make the “bomb” explode at the right time to take out the train.  They jerry-rigged a trigger from a battery and copper wires.  The trigger was to be placed under the metal rail after they dug out a small pit for the explosives and then when the train passed over it would depress the rail a bit and that would close the electric circuit and ignite the device.  In the dark of the night a couple of nights later the landing party of 8 went ashore, dug the pit and placed the device there.  As they were heading back to the sub in a rubber dingy a train pulled into sight and then onto the trestle area embankment and sure enough it worked and everything went sky high.  The Captain was already a Medal of Honor winner when this took place.   Needless to say it was the only sub to take out a train during the War.

Even the Fed is beginning to taper.  Now if we could only get Congress to “taper” also and spend less.  I don’t feel like I get a bang for my tax bucks paid, er, extorted, to the Federal government, do you?

“Liberty alone demands for its realization the limitation of the public authority, for liberty is the only object which benefits all alike,…”  Lord Acton, British historian  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

The surprise isn’t that history repeats but that folks are surprised when the same thing occurs again and they think it is something new.

If you  searched or stumbled across the back pages of the news today you may have seen the article about the arctic sea ice.   Since spring of this year we have seen repeated stories about the allegedly alarming reduction in the arctic sea ice and as a harbinger of global warming doom.  Yet, today in the small print we note that the sea ice there has actually increased by 30% this year.  But the media types immediately in the same articles continue the warming that the “models” show that the ice will decline rapidly.  Where’s Groucho when you need him–who you going to believe your lying eyes or what these smart folks tell you?

Both the message and the messenger are important on the major issues of the day.  Syria is a case in point.   Hitler was a great messenger regardless of his evil.  His message was evil for the most part.  Yet it can’t be denied that he could sell the message extremely well.   Check out those old videos of his speeches.  He was very effective with his audience and that is what counts.   In Syria we have the bad combination of a terrible message and an ineffective and arrogant messenger.    The I, Me, My guy in the White House is so egocentric that he makes the issue all about him.  That wears thin after a while and has in this instance.  There needs to be a compelling message and that hasn’t been presented.  Exactly what are we attempting to achieve in Syria?   Whatever that may be, do the facts at hand regarding the combatants there and their goals match up with any vital interests of the US?

Harry Truman was not my guy.  Didn’t like him but he did speak plainly which is appreciated.  At least you knew the devil and his designs.  When faced with a similar conundrum about picking sides between two abhorrent foes he was direct.  When Hitler invaded Stalin’s play pen old Harry said clearly that he didn’t like either of them and he hoped that would slaughter each other.  This was before he become vice president.  At least he knew evil when he saw it.

Vladimir Putin, the great peace maker.    That is something for an old KGB hired hand and ruffian.   I believe he has read his Machiavelli more carefully than our guy.

After a long hot summer it is hard to believe that in only a few weeks some parts of the country will see the first flights of Canadian geese heading south.

We are all familiar with  the basic story of William the Conqueror and his conquest of England and the Battle of Hastings in 1066.   The Normans were on the move during this period of history.  What very few know is that a relative of his Robert Guiscard was during the same time frame conquering and liberating much of central and southern Italy and Sicily.  He and his quite small army threw out the Muslims from Sicily and areas of southern Italy and at the same time dominated Rome and the Pope.  The Pope was glad to have him because he was Christian and was fighting the Muslims and restoring the prestige and power of the Church.  Old Robert also was about gaining power and dominion over as much land as he could.  He even expelled the Byzantine empire from those central portions of Italy.  His children were married off to cement alliances and his 12 sons aided in the conquests.   Those independent Italian  principalities lasted well into the 19th century.  Napoleon’s son become the King of Naples centuries later.  Robert never had more than 10,000 Normans to accomplish all this.  He formed alliances with local groups who had their own  reasons to want the Muslims out and have different rulers in other areas that weren’t dominated by Constantinople.

It is a truism of investing that you don’t buy or sell stocks of feelings or emotions.  But I guess those green tree -huggers slept through that part of the class.  They are still buying Tesla even though the stock is selling at a negative, yes, negative 89 times earnings.  And about 80% of their “earnings” come from selling those energy tax credits to others, not selling and making a profit on  cars.   Good luck to you if you are one of those investors.  Sooner or later morning comes and one has to face the reality of the day, not the dreams of the night.

The Great Pyramid of Cheops is the largest.  The square base is aligned correctly on a north /south and east/west setting.   From the chamber of the Pharaoh buried in the middle there are two passage ways that run at about a 45 degree angle up to the surface hundreds of feet about ground level.  The one facing south points directly at the belt of Orion; Orion was the Egyptian Osiris God.  The one pointing north faces true with the North Star.   Clearly those two markers in the sky were very important to them for whatever reason.  We’ll likely never know for sure why but we know when they constructed these huge structures that those stars were very important.  They went to a lot of trouble to make those alignments happen.

Even as late as this summer Bernancke has continued to insist that the Federal Reserve is not monetizing the debt.  That simply means printing up new money to cover the Federal deficit.  Let’s see, they have been buying 45 billion per month of US Treasuries for well over a year.  The US has run a deficit over or near one trillion dollars for 5 years now.  The Fed now owns more US Treasuries than even China even though some politicians keep talking about the Chinese being our largest creditor.  The Fed is buying about 75% of all US Treasuries trying to keeping rates low. Those rates have jumped dramatically this summer from 1.4 in May to near 3.0 as of today.   Would the US treasury have been able to borrow all those trillions without the Fed at such low rates?   And remember when the Fed “buys” treasuries it does so with a keystroke on a computer, not real money.  But not to worry we’re aren’t monetizing the debt.

“The law is silent during war.”  Cicero.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

If you can spare a dime, I’ll give you two cents worth of unvarnished wisdom in exchange…or at least stoutly stated opinions on life and the world.

What is it with all this dithering at the White House about which side to choose in Egypt?  There are clear lines of demarcation.  The Muslim Brotherhood is the enemy of democracy as we know it and are definitely prone to violence and suppression.  The Generals are a bunch of angels but at least there would be much more stability under their rule and a greatly reduced risk of violence and terrorism being spread from Egypt or indeed fomented by the Brotherhood.   In the real world you have to deal with those in power and those more closely aligned with your own country’s interest.   That doesn’t make the Generals are best friends forever but they are clearly the best alternative.  Get on with it and support them and foster as much influence as we can in that region.  The other course is self-destructive to our own interest unless we want even more terrorist attacks.

Go back a few months to those headlines in the Spring about the global warming threat de jour.  You may recall that we were scheduled, due to global warming per the Al Gore ideologues,that we were going to have a really bad hurricane season with 11 predicted and four making landfall; also we were to have a very bad wildfire season and a significant increase in tornadoes.  The facts so far this year–zero hurricanes, and in spite of the real problems for those directly affected, the wildfire season is much less than a normal year so far and lastly, even the NOAA folks have acknowledged that the tornado season has been remarkably quiet even with the tragedy in Moore.   I predict boldly we will have extreme weather somewhere ever year.  Giant blizzards and searing heat waves and outbreaks of hurricanes and tornadoes.  Thus it has ever been in recorded history and thus it will be.   Oh, the IPCC draft also owns up to the standstill in warming worldwide for the last 16 years.   According to the wizards of smart it is the Sun (duh), ocean bottoms heating up or even as they admit, maybe, just maybe they overestimated the effects of CO2 in the atmosphere.   Stay tuned, the report will change when the politicos at the UN get their hands on it.

Like bureaucrats everywhere ever time the Fed when it gets caught doing something generally viewed as wrong they simply re-define the issue.  Bernancke with a straight face says he is not monetizing the national debt.  Yet for two years now the Fed has been buying 75% of all the Treasuries issued.   But he says that is monetary policy and investing and not simply allowing the US government to spend money it doesn’t have by printing more money every time it buys those Treasuries to fund deficit spending.   It would be different if real investors from around the world were buying up those Treasuries and putting real money into the coffers but the Fed with a keystroke on its computer merely creates money out of thin air.

It is still hot as the devil, but you can look at the calender and take hope.  Fall is approaching and the start of school, high school football and the hunting season.  When all those get going it just feels cooler.

All that hype about Musk’s hyperlink or hyperloop transportation made us smile.  That idea has been around for decades.   Any casual reader of science fiction will have come across descriptions of such transportation methods.  They all involve a tunnel and the carriage being suspended by magnetic opposing forces or air and they always travel in their own self-contained system because you couldn’t have two of those carriages traveling at those speeds passing each other.  The wind vortex would dislodge them.   It is a quite old idea and very feasible with one huge caveat.  The cost would be prohibitive.   Like the New York subways system on steroids but the tunnels even more structurally secure and the carriages would have to be more or less bullets in motion.

Anyone besides me remember that phrase the guy in the White House repeated ad nauseam in the run up to the passage of the Obamacare law where he stated over and over that “the average family will save $2500.00 a year in premiums”.    All those who expect to save that much be advised we are meeting in the phone booth on the corner next week.  Have ANY of you or any of your friends or relatives reported to you they are going to be saving $2500.00 next year on their health care?

In view of the alleged gas attacks in Syria I read like you did that our military was “updating” its target list for Syria to attack the manufacture or distribution of gas weapons.  I suppose we’ll never get away from political spin and propaganda.   They issue such press releases and nonsense to give the great unwashed the impression they are doing something special in response to those alleged gas attacks.  Some facts and clarity–it is the military’s job to constantly “update” potential targets around the world.  That is their job.  Don’t know if they do it daily, weekly or whatever but the process is always ongoing.   The Air Force and Navy intelligence guys are doing that as part of their regular duties.    And no doubt our drones are watching carefully for any signs of gas weapon deployment daily.   There is no “updating” going on just the routine duties of our guys in uniform.

“Truth is the greatest of all national possessions.  A State, a people, a system which suppresses the truth or fears to publish it, deserves to collapse.”  K. Eisner  19th century Bavarian journalist.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

We’ll do some politics and history to celebrate the 4th and our heritage…..

The announcement that the employer mandate in Obamacare will be delayed for at least a year raises several troubling questions, not the least of which is the legal authority of the President to take this action on his own.  The Obamacare act uses the word “shall” to implement this provision on Jan. 1, 2014.  Will this usurper ever bend to the injunctions of the rule of law?  What higher duty does any President have than to see that the laws are “faithfully executed”?  We need to remain a nation of laws, not diktats of mere men.  Regardless of the merits or demerits of the Obamacare act we must preserve our adherence to the rule of law or we are swimming in deep waters of turmoil.  Sure hope someone will challenge this delay in the courts.

In shouldn’t be surprising that the guy in the White House would ignore the laws he finds inconvenient to advancing his radical liberal agenda.  Look at his non compliance with two circuit court opinions on his alleged “recess” appointments to the Labor Board and his total failure to enforce the existing immigration laws.  He unilaterally granted special status to those illegals he deemed worthy by executive order over a year ago.  This was contrary to the existing law of the land.  Let Congress pass the laws and if he wants different laws then ask for them.  He is asking us to bow to his diktats like serfs of old.

It was with mixed emotion that I attended the 4th of July parade in my neighborhood.  I want so much to  have pride in the nation and its leaders.  But our current direction is not anything I can support.  I don’t want Big Brother or Big Sister dominating my life.   It is hard to have pride in a nation that believes me and my fellow countrymen are incapable of taking care of ourselves.  If they don’t trust us to do the sensible and moral thing then why should we trust them?   Neither condescension nor dominance is the right path for leadership of a free people.  Those work only in the totalitarian states.

Boy are all those European nations really doing the Casablanca routine with their shock and dismay that the US is spying on them.  Give me a break.  Intelligence gathering goes on all the time even among the closest allies.  During WWII our diplomats and yes, spies, gave confidential reports all the time on the intentions and actions of Great
Britain and for sure the Soviets.   Doesn’t mean we don’t like them or trust them but sometimes self-interest gets in the way of even mutual goals.  I am not offended that the British or Swiss poke around as much as they can to discern the intentions of the US.   Hell, most of the time we can’t discern the intentions of our own government.   Just like the inspector in Casablanca who was “shocked, shocked” to learn of illegal activity, nothing will come of this one and it will fade away.  After all would those feigning outrage want us to reveal everything we know about their spying on us?

You should be reminded that even before the Declaration of Independence in July 1776, that we had already fought very significant engagements against the British in open rebellion in Boston.  Bunker Hill, Washington’s appointment as commander and the withdrawal of the British from Boston had all already occurred.  The British had moved their strategic location to New York by this time.  The Declaration is a great document and rightly revered by those who love personal freedom but it was really stating the obvious.

The Summer Solstice comes about June 21 each year and is our longest day.  Intuitively one would think that would also coincide with the hottest time of the year.  The days have been lengthening for months at that point and after that date the days begin their steady shortening for the rest of the year.  Why is it that July and August are the hottest time of the year when the length of the day is already in steady decline?   Most places in the northern hemisphere by mid August are 45 minutes to an hour shorter than they were in mid June yet it is hotter.

When worrying about global warming take a peek at some history before you reach any conclusions.  First, the current drought in the US in NOT the worst in memory.  You read that false headline all the time when there is an article about global warming and it goes without challenge.  I don’t have to read or research this allegation, I lived it.  Yes, we do have a drought underway in the Southwest but so far it is peanuts compared to the drought we had from the late ’40’s to the late ’50’s.   This latest drought has only been about 3 years so far.  In the mid ’50’s if you drove thru the Southwest you could see dead cattle, horses, goats and other live stock literally lying in the pastures.  I did with my own eyes more than once.  Nothing of that sort is occurring yet at this time.  In 1939 and again in 1940, at the beginning of the War they had really hot summers in England.  Some predicted then drastic changes.  Churchill had special linen suits tailored due to the extreme heat.

Likewise during WWI there were many examples of extreme weather.  There was lots of scientific discussion of the cause and many very smart people speculated that the weather changes were due to the huge artillery barrages from the trench warfare on the Continent.  It is true that millions upon millions of tons of artillery rounds were fired by both sides throwing dust and debris into the air which was carried by winds and that included the toxins from those shells, such as cordite.   I have enormous respect for science but do like to make sure it is science unbiased by a political agenda.   Study, look at details, be sure to separate conclusions from fact and reach your own conclusion.  Don’t trust for God’s sake computer models.  Those are just computations based 0n human input with all the foibles of humanity.

“Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work”   Proverbs 24/29.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Let’s Count The Ways To God

Many men over the ages have wanted proof that God exist.   They seek tangible, measurable scientifically based answers to their quest for belief.   One may disagree with their skepticism but it is understandable since God is silent and remote doesn’t make daily appearances on TMZ of SNL.   They see they problems Man has caused for one another and question how any God can exist that condones and causes such misery.   In the current very secular world there is a new round of non belief because many adopt the simplistic notion that there is no evidence of a God.   I for one came to God not only as a matter of desire to have that faith in something bigger than Man but through a rational examination of our universe.

All atheists or agnostics would concur that the laws of physics, rules of chemistry, laws of mathematics and Gaia or Mother Nature have no soul, heart or concern for the outcomes of the interaction of these fundamental laws of the universe.   Mother Nature has no purpose.  It simply exist.   She doesn’t care if a bit of matter is a solid rock or a vapor of gas or whether it explodes or merely fades away.   Gravity doesn’t care a hoot if Earth is here much less whether we inhabit it.  With that purposely and random interaction of matter, time and energy let’s take a look at a few matters that allow Man to exist at all.   We’ll start from the inside and work our way outward to the far reaches of our universe.  To be an atheist you have to believe all the following is mere chance.

The Earth has a molten core.  Many heavenly bodies do not; they are merely giant rocks (a la the Moon).

Not only is it molten but it is iron and rotates and swirls.   That motion is not essential to the existence of the earth.  That motion creates our electromagnetic field.  Without it to protect us from radiation we would not be here.

We have our poles because of the electromagnetic field and they haven’t reversed during the last eons which has allowed us to come into existence.  Poles at the equator would have eliminated prospects for life on Earth because of radiation flows from the Sun.

We have water on our surface.  We haven’t so far found another object in space with that.  Without that we would not be here.

Our water likely came from outer space by comets crashing into earth.  But earth just happened to be in the right orbit to collect those collisions.

We have lots of water.  There is nothing written in the law of physics or chemistry that we have this much.   It could have been that we only had water equal to the Great Lakes for the entire globe and that could have been at the South Pole.

We are blessed with both salt and fresh water, both of which are necessary for the diversity of life on Earth and thus us.

We have an atmosphere.  Most bodies in the universe do not or have one toxic or too thin for life of any kind.   We live only because of it and its protection.

Our surface water has tides because of the Moon.   The tides give us life.  Without tides to cleanse and renew the seas we wouldn’t be here.

The Moon is just the right distance to give us favorable tides.  Closer and they would destroy everything, farther away and the tides would  too weak to be effective.

The Earth rotates.  Many heavenly bodies rotate only barely or so rapidly to thwart life.

Our 24 hour rotation is perfect for life.  Imagine if the rotation was much slower–so slow a summer “day” lasted for a month.  That would be a hard August or January.  Life would not exist without exactly the rotation we have.

That rotation also gives us our currents throughout the oceans which in turn gives us our climate and weather.  We complain about it but fact is that our weather and climate is just right for Man.

The Earth is tilted at a 23 degree angle.  That gives us our seasons.  Again, without that we would not have the flora and fauna we do and we certainly wouldn’t be here to argue about anything.

We are the Goldie Locks distance from the Sun.  Closer and we would be Venus and farther away and we would be a frozen Neptune.   You may not like 100 degrees or 30 degrees but it beats 600 degrees or minus 300.

Our Sun is even the right age for our existence.  When it was young it was feeble compared to now and could not have supported us and in its old age it will eat us up as it expands.

There are more but that is a pretty good list of facts and events that worked out remarkably well for Man.   Literally if any of those had not occurred or happened in a different way it is a scientific fact Man would not be moving upon the Earth.   Maybe some cockroaches or moss would have developed under some other scenario but for Man to walk the Earth all the above and more had to be exactly the way they evolved for us.  Yes, some might say out of a vast universe that all those matters finally just came to hand by happenstance.   Really?   Now who is taking a leap of faith?    Someone knowledgeable in the laws of probabilities could go figure the odds.  I assure you the odds would make one of those thousand number long iteration of Pi look positively huge by comparison.

You have to walk your own path toward or away from a belief in God.  My brain and yes, my heart lead me to Him.   I posit that takes less faith that a belief that Gaia favored us by a mathematically inconceivable convergence of coincidence.

“Truth will out”  Anon.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Hopefully you are still in communication with the outside world there in your bomb shelter hiding from those N. Korean missiles….if so then here are some thoughts to mull while passing the time.

We recently wrote a blog about the Tesla story with those tax rebates and rigged batteries to limit range capacity and the Global warming cabal.  A footnote, just a couple of days later Hansen of the Goddard Institute announced his resignation from his government job.  He of the religious convictions regarding global warming.  To give you a hint of his perspective during all the time of his pontificating on the subject you might be interested to know that his new life is one of litigation.   He intends to join in a number of lawsuits by the Greenies to fight carbon and promote a carbon tax.   Those who have blindly followed him for the past decade have had a leader that is about as much scientist as L. Ron Hubbard.

We are all familiar with the three configurations of water on Earth, a solid (ice), liquid and a vapor.  But that is just on Earth.  In space in morphs into a another stage.  The ice in the comets whizzing by us when it gets close enough to our Sun will not melt as on Earth and become a liquid then vapor.  It sublimates directly into a gaseous form of the components.

One doesn’t know whether to cringe in fear or laugh out loud at the recent bloviating from N. Korea.  They do have lots of cannons and tanks and of course a few nukes lying around.   An attack would be horrible no doubt but the outcome would result in mass destruction in their own backyard.   Even if we didn’t want to do much you can rest assured the South Koreans and Japanese would respond with vigor because they would see such a conflict as a threat to their very existence.   It is harder to know how to respond because of the looks of that kid they have allegedly running the country.  Looks do matter and he looks like a cartoonish Saturday morning character on a kid’s show.  It is hard to see any redeeming physical feature in that guy.   And his best buddy is Dennis Rodman!   Hard to take someone like that seriously but I suppose we should.   He sure doesn’t have the looks or demeanor of someone with gravitas like a Churchill or a Reagan.

In case you haven’t seen the latest about the Obamacare coming soon to a hospital or doctor’s office near you, the Navigators that are supposed to aid everyone in learning how to read the 61 pages of instructions to sign up for the new pr0gram and help you move through the online version will come from the same background as the guy in the White House–they are going to be your local community organizer.  That is not a joke, check it out for yourself.  The guidelines for their selection state specifically that they should represent specific demographics in the community and speak the language of the people there.  If you live in a majority minority neighborhood and you are white then no need to apply; you don’t meet the specs.  The act says they should come from community organizations, like ACORN type folks.  Well, for one I thought everyone eligible would already be proficient in English.  It is still a requirement for naturalization.  Illegals are not supposed to be eligible.   It will pay over 20 bucks an hour and they plan on over 20,000 of these Democratic recruiters, er, Navigators.   I am sure they will do a great job of registering new voters but have some doubts about the quality of advice about which insurance is best for the people wanting help.

The unemployment rate and jobs numbers for March are out.  Both numbers are so fuzzy.  The participation rate is the lowest it has been in 35 years and that is probably the most significant number of all.  That is the number of people actually working versus those in the total workforce.  There is a better way to gauge how well or awful the economy is doing. All those numbers are based on surveys on only a few companies and households around the country and the rest is “modelling” to project the final numbers.  Each month the States send in real numbers, not estimates or survey analysis to the Commerce department that gives the total for all income taxes withheld from employees and sales tax revenues.  Yes, the self-employed aren’t in those numbers but it still covers the large majority of our population.  Those totals will go up or down depending on the health of the economy.   At least they are real numbers, not subject to manipulation or guesswork.   That total number each month would give a much more accurate picture of how we are doing than the current estimates we get.  This is not an original idea with me but it is a good one.   I like anything that is based on raw data rather than numbers that are the result of bureaucratic massaging.

Really enjoyed The  Bible shown on the History channel.  Thought it was well done.  They sure couldn’t cover all the stories in the Bible and finished in 5 episodes but wish they had substituted the story of Joseph for Samson.  His was such a great story of the rise and fall of circumstances and ultimately redemption.   So many of the best and worst of Mankind’s attributes are revealed in that story.

They found Richard III’s body recently and confirmed through DNA that it was he indeed.  He has been vilified over the centuries for his alleged murder of his two nephews after he had them held in the Tower of London when he assumed the Crown after his very short reign as regent for one of those nephews who was the son of Edward IV.   Shakespeare of course made that alleged murder famous in his play of that name.  The bodies of the nephews were indeed found about two centuries later in 1674 under a stairwell in the Tower.   There has never been any conclusive proof of the murder.  It was a turbulent time at the end of the War of Roses and many deaths and assassination among the royal contenders.  He may not have ordered their murder it is just as likely that one of his supporters did the deed with his tacit approval.   Much like Solomon condoned the death of his rebel son Absolom, until the deed was done when he was racked with grief.   Richard probably didn’t have much time for regrets though as he had to fight off rebellion from the beginning of his short two-year plus reign and the threats from France and Brittany.   Still a good murder mystery.

At Bosworth field per the Bard spake Richard III,  “A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse.”   Richard III, Act V, scene v.   http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Well, you’ve paid the price of admission so we might as well let you in on the thoughts of the day concerning the news of the day…..

You can’t listen or watch any news source without hearing almost daily items about the problem of identity thief and the grief it can cause.  The breaches of security run the gamut from Facebook to the IRS.   Here is a novel idea–how about we go back to a cash society for the payment and settlement of debts?   It wasn’t that many decades ago that cash was the norm for receiving your wages.  The average worker whether in an office, mine or factory floor would get an envelope filled with the cash for their earnings for the week, bi-monthly payment or whatever.   Almost all purchases of any goods or services were paid for with cash on the barrel head.   You say it would be inconvenient for utility bills or other payments.  But the banks and other financial entities would quickly have “ATMs” virtually everywhere for buying money orders very cheaply for payments through the mail.   When you pay cash you don’t have to show ID or anything else.  Yeah, yeah, I know the Gen Xers wouldn’t know how to do it but it would sure solve the identity thief problem overnight.  There is a side benefit also; the Feds wouldn’t be able to track every move you made and every expenditure; your privacy would be much broader.  Think about it.

If you want a preview of a possible outcome to the current discussion about changing our immigration policy watch what happens in Italy over the next couple of months.  They have very restrictive immigration policies in place now and there is a movement by the left leaning parties there to open up citizenship to more immigrants.  Most of the arguments you hear in the US are the same as those being debated in Italy both pro and con.   The north of Italy will be opposed the most and the southern and more impoverished portion will be all for it because they get most of the central government welfare benefits paid for by the northern regions.  Keep an eye on this for your own illumination.

Those of you who stayed awake in your science class know that Polaris, the North Star, is our traditional guide to finding direction since it is a constant in the sky.  You learned that it is not  quite true north but close enough for most practical navigation purposes just like magnetic north is close enough.  But the wobble of the Earth is changing and over the next couple of centuries Polaris will move slightly and it will be just about dead on true north.  Mother Nature is helping us even if we don’t deserve it and even though She could care less.

Well, golly, we are shocked, shocked to learn that the Federal Reserve in its most recent minutes said that it kinda, sorta, sometime, maybe, would have to quit buying all those Treasury notes to fund the US deficits.   Since they are buying almost 80% of all that debt it will mean higher interest rates an even more debt.  That is if Congress and the Lefties don’t ever get the fiscal house in order.   The market is reacting as expected and moving down rather dramatically.  It will hurt lots of investors in the short-term but the sooner we let the real market of millions of people making millions of decisions every day about what to do with their money we will  have a robust economy again.    The Federal government is the worst “business” executive you can imagine when it comes to allocating resources.  Even the manipulators of the Dark Side realize they can’t do this forever.   The Fed has been pulling a curtain to hide the true effects of constant deficit spending for several years now but finally even they realize it is just a curtain and the reality is what is going on behind it.  Like quantum physics, we might not be able to see the action behind the curtain but we can sure see and evaluate the effects of those actions.

The next time you are wowed about some new building, dam, bridge or stadium we have constructed in recent days and wonder how they figured out how to build it you should also be awed by the ability of the ancients to construct great edifices.  The Roman aqueducts are an example.  They brought the badly needed water to Rome.  Often the decline in elevation would only be a couple of feet per mile or even less.  You know that water only moves down hill and so did they.  But if there was anywhere that the trough in the aqueduct where it leveled out or was only ever so slightly uphill the whole project would be worthless and the water wouldn’t move.  They didn’t have GPS or laser surveying equipment to measure heights or elevations.  They used plumb bobs, staffs and measuring chains to do all that work and got it right over a distance of miles and miles.  Now that is a truly incredible feat.   How many of our modern-day civil engineers could do the same work with that equipment?

For those who might think having women in real combat roles in the modern military you should take a bit and read Jake Tapper’s “Outpost” about the fighting in Afghanistan.  There are many other examples of what combat is truly like in the literary world.  But that is one that depicts the most modern version of combat.  Just read it and see what those men had to do to defend themselves, attack the enemy and to aid each other when wounded.  Read and reflect on the reality of those situations.  Women simply aren’t  strong enough to carry (literally) the weight, run fast enough and move ammo and other vital supplies in the quickness of time required by combat.  Yes, maybe a few can but you don’t build and army around the exceptions you build it with what is best at hand.

“My way of joking is to tell the truth.  It’s the funniest joke in the world.” Bernard Shaw.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

We didn’t even  look for things to interest us but the flow of information and misinformation from the media compels further review…..

Wow, Mother Nature revealed again how puny our doings on earth are in the grand scheme of things with that asteroid display over the Urals mountains Friday.   The reports are of hundreds of injuries and some relative severe damage to windows and structures from the sonic boom caused by the explosion of the descending asteroid.  Ironic that the news has also been ripe in the last week with the information about the passage of that large asteroid some 17,000 miles away today which in astronomical terms is whisker close.   Of course what we never remember is that each and every day we are bombarded by thousands of smaller asteroids which in turn shower us with hundreds of tons daily of debris from space. It pollutes our atmosphere and the EPA is doing anything about it!

The blooms on the Bradford Pear trees are going to burst out today or at least by tomorrow; they are on the verge.   At our latitude you can about set your calendar by them; they come out within 48 hours either way of Valentine’s Day each year.

Noticed several news items this year critical of the whole concept of the State of the Union address as a relic that should be radically changed.  It has become pure political pageantry.  I have said it should be eliminated for several decades now.  The President should issue a formal written report to Congress and have a serious working meeting for a day with top Congressional leaders where in fact they question him about the current concerns and issues of the day and the actions he purposes.  We get enough campaign speeches during the election season there is no need for another.  This should become the norm regardless of the party in power in the future.  The Congress can control this if they have the will.  After all it is they who have to invite the President to make the address in such a formal setting.  They can change the rules of the delivery of his report.

Once we got the cell phone it was only a matter of time til we reached the Dick Tracy stage of a communication device like he had.  Yep, the news now is that a couple of outfits in the biz are thinking of a “watch” smartphone.  You can phone with it, send messages, see videos and pictures and receive everything you get on the smartphone your carry in your pocket.  It was bound to happen.

Those people much smarter than me are finally also talking about the problem of our debt/money printing style of economic planning and policy and its effect on the value of the dollar.  A few decades ago well over 70% of all international transactions were denominated in dollars, today the figure is just barely over 60% and declining steadily.  Have a very strong and esteemed currency is good for our US economy even though it makes our exports a bit more expensive.  There are many more off-setting advantages to having the world standard currency.  More and more the yuan, Swiss franc and Japanese yen are used for those international transactions.  Factually, the Chinese have stopped buying our Treasuries already.  For a couple of years now they have bought them but at the same time have sold off other that matured and thus there net holdings have held steady at about 1.1 trillion.   The world markets (think Singapore, Australia, the Middle East, Japan) will one day soon turn on our debt (Treasury bills and notes) and stop buying them because they will fear even more Federal printing to cover our debt and deficits.  The interest we have to pay on those bonds will skyrocket.  You ask what does that have to do with Joe Blow–plenty, all his credit card, car loan and mortgage debt will go up even more and the Feds will likely demand even more taxes at the same time to cover the increased government expenditures.   The ONLY reason our Treasure debts are so low right now is because the Federal Reserve is buying over 80% of all of them with freshly printed made-up money on that money tree they have out in the back yard.

Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense or Surrender?

Some watch the science or history channel and see those episodes about how the Earth is doomed in the long run because our Sun will someday go nova and literally devour us as it expands.  Yep, that is true.  But we will already by long gone anyway.  The outer core of the Earth is molten iron that rotates around the inner solid core.  That movement of the iron is what gives us our electromagnetic field.  You know, the magnetic north pole and south pole.  Well, it is what also protects us from the Sun’s radiation now, today.  Without that protection we’ll not survive.  Mankind and all other forms of life worth discussing with be fried.   Just as Man doesn’t live forever, Mankind will not last forever.  We would have to leave the Solar System for another world.  That ain’t likely for lots of reason not the least of which is we won’t find another earth-like planet and it would take millions of years to get there unless you can find one of the time warp thingies.

The good and bad in man, the noble and venal haven’t really changed since recorded time.  The nature of Man is so poignantly revealed in the Bible stories.  The worst of evil, Satan, and lots of heroes but most of them as to be expected have their faults too–David, he slew Goliath, was a hero but he also had Uriah slain just so he could have his wife.  We haven’t and won’t fundamentally change regardless of modern secularist theories and that isn’t all bad because we each still have the choices to make that direct our life.  We have plenty of examples of the choices we should make even when they are the harder ones.   You just don’t go wrong doing the right thing even when you are pummeled by others at the time for doing it.
“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil”  Proverbs 3, 7.  Good advice then and now.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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