Climate Change and Global Warming: To Be or Not to Be?

The former local weatherman, Kevin Williams, tweets a photo of all his weather chums at a restaurant. "Aha!" I said. "I KNEW it. It IS a cabal! There IS collusion!" He liked that.

Now, I happen to know that Kevin Williams thinks global warming is a hoax. It is no secret. He is very open about it. He follows and sometimes retweets content of the man-on-a-mission climate change denier JWspry. (NOT, so far as I know, any connection to the JW of Jehovah's Witnesses) So I tweeted: "Are they across the board on global warming or on the same page, one way or another?"

No answer.

So I tweeted: "Ahh. Avoiding the answer to that question is the key to continued cohesion. Probably as it should be. Not everything has to be a fight."

He liked that one.

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Of course. You can't fight all the time. People believe what they believe, according to how they interpret the facts. Or more likely, they believe what they believe, and then spin the available facts to give themselves intellectual cover. We are not nearly so unemotional as the champions of critical thought would have us believe. We are dominated by emotion forged in experience and we thereafter consult our brains to make it fly logically.

It is even as the Bible says with spiritual things. "Prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God," says Romans 12:2. "Taste and see that Jehovah is good," says Psalm 34:8. What if someone tastes and sees that he is bad? Other than to advise he check his taste buds, there is little you can do about it. So don't get into judging. Present your version of truth as persuasively as you can and leave it at that. God knows whether he is a Trinity or not. He also knows whether he exists or not. Let him sort it out.

I asked Kevin (or was it JWspry?) about a previous post I wrote of how there was now 'Weather on Steroids.' He said it all depends upon what is reported. If you eagerly report all record highs and ignore all record lows, it does create that impression. Reporting means a lot. As Florence was churning over the Atlantic to deluge the Carolinas, everyone warned how it was especially fearsome because it was gathering strength over exceptionally warm waters made so by climate change. In fact, they were exceptionally cool waters and the surprise was that it became such a monster despite that.

Every time we hear, "it was the hottest summer since the year such and such," that means it was hotter in that year, and if anything, we are witness to global cooling, with lower highs. The stranded polar bear photo has admittedly been misrepresented, Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' book has been lambasted for mishandling data to paint dire scenarios which have not panned out. To the extent emotion is the true driver in human affairs, Upton Sinclair's quote is the one to watch: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Big money is involved, either way, in climate change.

Me, I don't go there. It's not my cause. If humans are not ruining the earth in a Revelation 11:18 scenario via global warming, it is not as though they are too responsible to ever ruin the earth; it is that their combined activity is not powerful enough to do it. They are ruining it in plenty of other ways. To the extent 'ruining the earth' reflects the ruining the earth scenario of Genesis 6, it is not environmental factors at all being spoken of, but violence. Do we live in a violent world today? Tell me about it.

 


There Was Not a Moment to Lose

"At the home of Victor Vomidog, an alarm panel light pulsed red. Victor read the incoming feed. It was serious. Someone was saying nice things about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Instantly, he swung into action. There was not a moment to lose. He opened his door and whistled. The media came running. “Witnesses are selfish!” he cried. “They only think of themselves! Why don’t they help everyone? Why do they just do their own people?” That evening, media ran the headline: “WHY DON’T THEY HELP EVERYONE?”

"But they had asked the wrong question. The headline they should have run, but didn’t, because they didn’t want to deal with the answer, was: “WHY AREN’T OTHERS DOING THE SAME?” The answer to the first question is obvious: Witness efforts consist of volunteers using their vacation time. Just how much time is the boss going to grant?"

(from Tom Irregardless and Me)

Of course, it is about opposers' efforts to denigrate the disaster recovery work Witnesses are known for.

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Who We Are, Why We Are, and Where are We Going

I used to love it when Watchtower publications would run that Vermont Royster quote. After remarking on how far we have come science-wise, he added: “Yet here is a curious thing. In the contemplation of man himself, of his dilemmas, of his place in the universe, we are little further along than when time began. We are still left with questions of who we are and why we are and where we are going.”

It is pretty obvious why Jehovah’s Witnesses would love those words; they make clear that a shallow world of materialism will not do. You can even think those words every time a Kate Spade or Anthony Bourdain takes his life. Or anyone else. Suicide is all the rage today. People decide that ‘Hotel World’ has not that much to offer, and they line up at the counter to check out.

Isn't it a little missing the point when people look for the one factor, maybe social media, that is tipping people over the edge? Or suggest that it is all a matter of better mental health care? 

“For over half a century, as a journalist, author, and teacher, Vermont Royster illuminated the political and economic life of our times. His common sense exploded the pretensions of "expert opinion," and his compelling eloquence warned of the evils of society loosed from its moorings in faith,” read the citation when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1986.

There are few things I enjoy more than exploding the pretensions of "expert opinions."


You Don't Have to Rub Their Noses in It

So much understanding of basics as: Why does God permit #suffering and the concept of relative freedom lies in understanding of the book of Genesis ...Adam and Eve... but when you refer to it, people roll their eyes...it is a religious fable to them. You get as much #bangforthebuck with such folk by suggesting that they take it as metaphor.

You may get even more, for people love metaphors and they love the idea of proving themselves sensitive and smart by discerning the underlying message.

You don't have to rub their noses in it and insist they take it literally. Go for the underlying message. It is all order of presentation. You can clean up the rest later.


The Icing on the Cake Comes in the New System

The #3 2018 Watchtower made the point about healing: "Consider: If the Creator designed our bodies to heal physical wounds, can we not have confidence in his promise to help us recover from emotional injuries, too?"

Two things interfere, qualifying the healing to a "help us" healing. 1. The mind is in the business of remembering, unlike the knee you scrape, 2. With the knee you scrape, you can get it away from whatever scraped it. In this system, that can be more of a challenge, and won't completely cure out until the new system. As one brother said somewhere on the broadcast: 'In the new system, resurrected people will look back and say 'how could you ever have lived during those times, with the constant stress?"

But we can smoothe it out to some extent, even now, just by activity, routine, who and where we hang out, our 'input' and so forth. "He binds up the brokenhearted" happens even now, but the icing on the cake comes in the new system.

#Watchtower #Healing

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Now THAT would be 'Power of the Children'

Yes, I found the original tweet and it is how I remembered it:
 
"High school students are talking on message boards to make April 20th the day they all walk out of school and don’t come back until Congress updates the gun laws as it’s their lives on the line. Plz retweet or share for visibility as this is a great idea.." #FloridaSchoolshooting
 
The panicked grownups have tried to water it down to some symbolic nonsense involving a one-day boycott of 17 minutes for 17 students. But imagine if it was done for real - imagine if they didn't come back until things were fixed. Now THAT would be the power of the children. Shut down the education industry. Don't you think THAT would impel the powers that be to not rest until they came up with some sort of a solution!
 
It would be like people refusing to go into the war. The children don't have to weigh in on which side it right. That is for their mentors to figure out. It's exactly how things should be framed: Not gun-free vs armed veterans on patrol. Not right vs left. No. Let it be children vs adults.
 
Why should they walk into a potential shooting gallery each day? Maybe Nancy Reagan had a point: "Just say no."
 
It might be a new role for the FBI. Make them truant officers.

Help Me Out on a Call

A sister placed magazines with a college kid, conversed a while, and he said she could call back. His father, however, would not likely be welcoming, he said.
 
She gave the call to me. I made it. He was not home. His father was, and the son had been right. The father was not welcoming. Neither did he tell me to get lost. Well – he did, but it was not in the ordering sort of tone, and I said I had not been looking for him anyway, but his son. He was the family head, and I told him I would not try to sneak around him, but did he mind if I called again on his son? The kid was smart, I told the old man, and that must mean his parents are smart. He said his son was his own person, and if he wanted to speak with me again, that was up to him.
 
I called again. The son, of course, was not home. The unwelcoming dad was. He was in a wheelchair, as he had been the first time. One bumper sticker on the family car read “Born right the first time.” The other said: “There are death squads in America; they’re called insurance companies.” I think we overdo our advice to take cues from bumper stickers, but this time the Ten Commandments could not have told me more. All that remains is to fill in a few blanks.
 
Sometimes I open with Job 34:10 – “it is unthinkable for the true God to act wickedly.” I like the verse, I told him, because some people think he does act wickedly. And some see all the nasty things going down and say: “I don’t think there is a true God.” It plays into the theme of why there is suffering, I told the fellow.
 
He wasn’t nice. I made clear that the instant he told me to go away, I would. We were conversing through the storm door, which added a measure of challenge. I almost reached to open it, for it was awkward for him to do so, but I decided it would be a bit much. He laughed derisively at my Bible verse. “You’re here because you want to tell me about suffering?” he shot back from his wheelchair. I answered: “No. I want you to tell me. I don’t have to talk at all. I want you to invite me in and tell me.”
 
I said: “Look – everyone has a story, but no one wants to hear it. So I will,. I've got the time.” He’ll never see me again anyway – what does he have to lose? I told him. He answered sarcastically that he could never get over the Christians’ “need” to “save” people. Look, he said, he was one of the 5% who are atheist. “Yeah – I’m here to change that,” I answered. This is far more blunt than I would ever be ordinarily, but I decided I would answer him in kind. It was not even true, really, or at least it was not a goal I realistically held. I also told him that he was right – we are Christian, and it is a bit much that we should appear out of thin air, but that Jehovah’s Witnesses are in a league of their own.
 
He responded by saying his number one man from his working days had been a Witness, and that he had been the nicest, most reliable fellow in the world. “Yeah, we’re all nice,” I said. “You think I’m nice? Wait to you get a load of Clyde,” I motioned to the brother behind me, who could barely make out through the door what the man was saying. His praise for the brother he once supervised at work didn’t yield me as much ground as might be expected. After two or three more minutes maneuvering, I told him that while I would like to know more, one can only go far, and we would take our leave. He didn’t cry over the prospect, but had never taken the bait of saying I should go.
 
I am not sure what to do. I will let it go, probably. One more call in a few months to see if anything has moved, and then I am done. Maybe before, but I have no plans at the present. Any advice?
 
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photo: castle-greyeres-wheelchair

The Shooting Channel - A Solution for St. Louis

Now that the cop was exonerated in the St. Louis shooting, the city braces for a third night of protests. A solution is needed. Here is one written last year.

"In the course of their job, police shoot hundreds of people per year. How should one report this? Put all shootings on TV. All of them. Run them 24/7 in the order in which they occur. Create a dedicated channel: The Shooting Channel. Make it freely available. Give every network a cut so no one will complain about ratings. Promote ‘The Shooting Channel’ heavily. Ban shootings on any other channel.

Put white-on-black shootings on. Put black-on-white shootings on. Put black-on-black shootings on. Put white-on-white shootings on. Put Hispanic-on-Methodist shootings on. Put Buddhist-on-nudist shootings on. Put redneck Alabama white-on transgendered Vietnamese shootings on. Put them all on. Let viewers decide for themselves which shootings are significant and which are yawners. Otherwise, the newspeople will cherry-pick their favorites and start a race war."

What were there - about 5 or 6 highly hyped shootings that summer? They culminated with another shooter taking out several Dallas police officers, so much had rage been stoked. Did not the news media suddenly switch to 'love-in with police' mode to atone for their very different mode just before?

Two of the shootings were not intentional white on black shootings at all, though they were both hyped that way. There was the black man shot in Florida. He was not the target. He was caretaker for an autistic white man with a toy gun that fooled the cop - the cop got spooked and missed his target. The other was the white cop in Charlottesville whose actions triggered several days of violence. Turned out he was not a white cop at all but a black cop. Both incidents were initially reported as 'white cop shoots black victim' and hyped as proof the police were racist. Neither correction was more than a buried footnote when the facts came to light. Why does the media do this? Not for me to say. But 'The Shooting Channel' will solve it.

The italicized words are from 'No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash,' an ebook that is not exactly flying off the shelf as it ought but I hope to remedy that here. The solution proposed would never come about, but only for monetary reasons. Insofar as public information can cool rage before it begins, it is the answer. Perhaps ALL police shootings should result in community outrage - that is for others to decide. Perhaps there IS racism within the police, but is not demonstrated by highlighting just a hand-selected few shooting incidents. When a study was made of the Philadelphia Police force, released in 2015, it showed blacks were more likely, not less, to be shot by a black or Hispanic officer than a white one, as the former were more likely to experience 'threat misperception.'

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/702101

St louis


You, Too, You Silly Kid - Double Down on the Cyberbullies

"Are you 14, 15 or 16 years old? Did you do something really humiliating or kinky and has it been photographed, or worse yet, captured on video? Either solo or with someone else? Do vicious people threaten to post it online and launch it viral?...I can’t imagine the pressure a youngster must face thinking humiliating photos may go viral.


"The greatest lesson Trump will teach you has nothing to do with governing. He will teach you about surviving end-of-the-world humiliation.’ The words he never thought would see the light of day became more familiar than the Lord’s Prayer. What would he do? Imagine that family of his – they must all have been humiliated and shocked! What of his own pain? Even the ten-year-old had to have heard it.


"Did he wither away and die? He quickened his pace! He doubled down! Hours before the second debate he called a news conference - reporters never ran so fast. ‘We’ve got him! We’ve got him! He’ll plead - he’ll beg forgiveness - he’ll cry, but it will do him no good! We’ll make him grovel and grovel and grovel some more, then we’ll kick him to the curb broken, like we’ve broken hundreds before him!’ But it was a trap! He’d put together three persons guaranteed to embarrass them! Their jaws hit the floor as they burst into that room, their reactions caught on camera.


"You, too, you silly kid! Double down! We’re all silly at one time or another, and many are silly till the day they die. You’ll never be silly again, and if it actually works that way, this nightmare will not be a bad thing. This is your fifteen minutes of fame, but not the fame you ever imagined. You may get more. It doesn’t matter. Double down! Be like Mona in the ministry when the householder answered the door naked to unnerve her. “I’m a registered nurse,” she told him. “You don’t have anything I haven’t seen before!”


"It’s the same with you. You’ve got nothing that anyone hasn’t seen before. You’ve done nothing that anyone else might not have done but for the grace of God. Beautiful children are committing suicide out of mortification their embarrassing deeds will be posted for the world to see! Tell them: ‘that photo you have of me strutting about naked? Well, there’s an even worse one of me masturbating that you don’t have!’ You’ve got nothing that anyone else doesn’t have. Double down on those bastards – or they will eat you for lunch! They will even kill you if you go suicide.


"You’re in over your head, aren’t you? Seek out someone – a parent, an elder, a friend – and spill. You may be pleasantly surprised. Or you may find you’ve chosen wrong and it blows up in your face. It doesn’t matter. Choose again. One of them may even call a cop and if that happens you are likely to find an arsenal of anti-bully warriors at your side.


"Scared you’ll be humiliated before your friends? Terrified that your parents will be crushed? Worried you may catch heat from the elders? Look, it was a stupid thing you did, but people have been stupid since the beginning of time. Pay no attention to the damned SPCA’s when they tell you things are getting rosier and rosier – they don’t look too rosy at the moment, do they? Drop to your knees and pour your heart out to God – he knows a lot of people – you’ll be okay. It’s a vicious world that lures and breaks children, but don’t let it happen to you. Fess up before whoever you must, for they, too, are human. Take the hit and start afresh. In a few months, it will be someone else’s turn and everyone will forget about you."

From: No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash


Norway's Massacre and the Spread of Hate

There's an advantage to being older. It's not a complete downer, as pop 'culchure' might suggest. The advantage is that you remember things. Thus, when they try to sell you turds disguised as diamonds, you can spot that they are turds, even if the moderns eagerly embrace the diamonds, wondering why they fail to satisfy. You can also stand up to other moderns who think people today are no different from those of yesterday....only that they have Ipads, and the ancients didn't.

It's not so much facts you remember. Facts are chronicled pretty well on the internet. It's the flavor of the times you recall, which if that is recorded anywhere, it is sniffed at by those educated today as being “anecdotal.” and thereby unreliable.

For example, I am older than the airline hijackings craze of the 60's. It used to be you could park your car at the airport, buy a ticket, and hop on the plane. Nobody wanted to strip search you. Nobody made you walk through wands, puffers, X-rays, and buzzers. Show up ten minutes before departure time? Not a problem. Wikapedia pretty well captures the hard facts of those first hijackings....they were exclusively to Cuba then, but they completely miss the soft facts....that is, how hijackings and the news coverage thereof changed society.

I remember well the atmosphere, if not the specifics, of that first commercial airliner hijacked in the U.S, for it froze public thought. This would have been 1967 or 1968. The plane sat grounded, I forget at which airport, its crew overpowered by desperadoes with some unspecified demands. They wanted to publicize their demands. This was a new tactic. Nobody in the media knew what to do. Should they treat these fellows as common thugs? Or should they make them celebrities, broadcasting their demands for all the world to hear? The uncertainty lasted a day or two. Finally the news people decided to cooperate....the public had a right to know, and the networks had a right to ratings. Hijackings thereafter became a staple of life, the perfect vehicle for any malcontent to gain a listening ear, though they were somewhat abated by international agreements to arrest and extradite any hijacker to their country of origin. Before the late 1960's, there were 2 or 3 hijackings per year worldwide. After the late 1960's, there were 41 per year. (until 1977, the last year of this study)

Fast forward to 2012 and the public trial of Martin Breivik, a killer whose deeds rank as especially heinous even in an age where the slaughter of innocents is commonplace. Distracting authorities with a car bomb explosion parked by an Oslo government building, he boated to nearby Utøya island disguised as a police officer and shot to death 69 persons, mostly children, at a summer youth camp. Many more were injured.

Now, you don't give someone like this a stage upon which to justify his actions. You just don't. A stage is what this fellow wants more than anything, and the deed itself is his means with which to attain it. "Your trial will be your world stage," Breivik exhorts would-be followers through his on-line manisfesto, posted just before his attacks began. Sigh....of course, authorities are granting him his stage. His trial is broadcast throughout Norway to all local courthouses. It's being given exhaustive news coverage. And is he ever savoring the moment! He glides through the courtroom, smiling, gesturing raised-fisted to the cameras. He has no remorse, he would do it again, he says, he ought to receive a medal. It was self-defense for his race, he claims, and the only time true democracy reigned was when Hitler was in power.

Court psychiatrists, before his trial, declared him insane. This did not please him, for who pays attention to a madman? He wants to be paid attention to. Obligingly, other experts reversed course, and declared him sane, even though 'disturbed.' Pleasing him was not their purpose, of course....it was popular outrage they wished to placate....but it was the effect. Those experts watch him closely during the trial, analyzing words and gestures, so as to determine sanity.

Is it not more fitting to ask whether they are the insane ones? Not individually....I don't mean that...they're all honorable people doing their best. But collectively, what on earth is wrong with them? Doesn't that Romans 1:22 verse come to mind, about people who became foolish while asserting they were wise? Breivik's not insane, he's merely hate-filled. Hate-filled people are dime a dozen. But enabling him to broadcast hate throughout the world, surely it takes an “insane” society to do that. If curdled words spread like gangrene in Paul's day, how much more so now. (2 Tim 2:16) We'll see it here in the States, too. Some sick bastard will do some unspeakable deed, and the televised talking heads will speak about it for weeks, mulling, analyzing, and of course, repeating. It's as though they revel in watching their own demise.

On the PBS NewsHour, Margaret Warner asks: “has concern been expressed that this, even though what he says isn't televised, that this trial is giving him a platform to air his views.....that the openness of this trial is giving him that platform?” Norwegian newsman Anders Tvegard, who'd been smooth to this point, stammers though his response. Tvegard's a man with a conscience, no doubt, and he's not comfortable with his role in connecting the man with an audience. After all, is that not the only real difference between Breviek and Hitler.....Hitler found his audience?

“Norway's now taken back to those horrible hours and days last summer, July 22 and -- July 22,” Tvegard says. “And it's -- the national grief and sorrow is back." Trying valiantly to fashion turds into diamonds, he continues: "At the same time, people are listening to what he's saying, like, thinking, how is this possible? Can he really mean that? And to some, it is good to hear that he is a complete lunatic. His views has no resonance in the rest of the public. He does not belong to a political party......to them, it's comforting to see that he is a maniac.”

But I suspect his 'maniac' label is comforting to the 77 victims' families in the same sense that it was comforting to Jews to discover Hitler was a maniac.....namely, not at all. Though perhaps....just perhaps.....it is comforting to some others in that it permits absolution from any sense of responsibility. Breveik doesn't come “from us.” We didn't produce him. Why, “he does not belong to a political party.” What more proof does one need? Few people.....and the more prominent they are, the more this is true....want to confront the fact that, in some unexplained way, this system of things cranks out hate-filled persons nearly as fast as Apple cranks out Iphones.

I don't write much about Satan on this blog. Many persons who visit are skeptics, and if they laugh their sides off over mention of God, what will they do at mention of Satan? Moreover, it's hard to draw a line of demarcation, to apportion blame between deeds of twisted  humans and the truly satanic. Suffice it to say the world reflects Satan's values....greed, selfishness..."soft" qualities which inevitably fuel eruptions of “hard” qualities, such as murderous hatred. Several times the Bible points to Satan, not God, as the ruler of this system of things. (John 14:30, 2 Cor 4:44, I John 5:19)

Religion, for the most part, serves to put a smiley face on all of this. It deplores the symptoms, to be sure, and suggests no end of band-aid approaches. But it buys into the overall structure of the world, it's division into nations, it's faith in human self-rule....ingredients which inevitably produces the symptoms it deplores. It has no real problem with the overall structure itself, only the symptoms, and tries to put itself into the driver's seat. To my knowledge, only Jehovah's Witnesses recognizes the true cause of world distress: a Satanic rebellion of long ago. Only Jehovah's Witnesses recognize the ultimate solution: destruction of this system of thing to be replaced by God's Kingdom rule from heaven. Only Jehovah's Witnesses restructure their lives, at considerable personal sacrifice, to tell others of these overall causes.

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Tom Irregardless and Me             No Fake News but Plenty of Hogwash