Archives for the month of: January, 2014

Carbon dioxide is one of the essential ingredients of life.

Watts Up With That?

OPINION By Craig D. Idso, Ph.D.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama advocated an energy policy aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which he claims are causing catastrophic changes to the earth’s climate and “harming western communities.”  In his policy prescription, the president advocates a combination of increased regulation of the energy and transportation industries and more government spending on research designed to bring low-carbon-emitting sources of energy, i.e., so-called renewables, to market. He considers those actions to be the only viable options “leading to a cleaner, safer planet.”

But the president’s concerns for the planet are based upon flawed and speculative science; and his policy prescription is a recipe for failure.

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Dr. Collin Garbarino started a facebook group for reading through Augustine’s City of God, here https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReadingCityOfGod/. He is archiving it at his blog, here http://collingarbarino.com/reading-city-of-god/.

I joined the facebook group and have been enjoying the reading. It has been quite striking how much of what Augustine wrote 1600 years ago sounds like something that was written today. He commented about answering replies, and you would have thought he was running a controversial blog with its share of trolls and contrarians.

Our reading for yesterday was chapters 19 and 20 of book II. See if this doesn’t sound like it was written of the USA:

Chapter 19

Of the Corruption Which Had Grown Upon the Roman Republic Before Christ Abolished the Worship of the Gods.  

Here, then, is this Roman republic, “which has changed little by little from the fair and virtuous city it was, and has become utterly wicked and dissolute.” It is not I who am the first to say this, but their own authors, from whom we learned it for a fee, and who wrote it long before the coming of Christ. You see how, before the coming of Christ, and after the destruction of Carthage, “the primitive manners, instead of undergoing insensible alteration, as hitherto they had done, were swept away as by a torrent; and how depraved by luxury and avarice the youth were.” Let them now, on their part, read to us any laws given by their gods to the Roman people, and directed against luxury and avarice. And would that they had only been silent on the subjects of chastity and modesty, and had not demanded from the people indecent and shameful practices, to which they lent a pernicious patronage by their so-called divinity. Let them read our commandments in the Prophets, Gospels, Acts of the Apostles or Epistles; let them peruse the large number of precepts against avarice and luxury which are everywhere read to the congregations that meet for this purpose, and which strike the ear, not with the uncertain sound of a philosophical discussion, but with the thunder of God’s own oracle pealing from the clouds. And yet they do not impute to their gods the luxury and avarice, the cruel and dissolute manners, that had rendered the republic utterly wicked and corrupt, even before the coming of Christ; but whatever affliction their pride and effeminacy have exposed them to in these latter days, they furiously impute to our religion. If the kings of the earth and all their subjects, if all princes and judges of the earth, if young men and maidens, old and young, every age, and both sexes; if they whom the Baptist addressed, the publicans and the soldiers, were all together to hearken to and observe the precepts of the Christian religion regarding a just and virtuous life, then should the republic adorn the whole earth with its own felicity, and attain in life everlasting to the pinnacle of kingly glory. But because this man listens and that man scoffs, and most are enamored of the blandishments of vice rather than the wholesome severity of virtue, the people of Christ, whatever be their condition-whether they be kings, princes, judges, soldiers, or provincials, rich or poor, bond or free, male or female-are enjoined to endure this earthly republic, wicked and dissolute as it is, that so they may by this endurance win for themselves an eminent place in that most holy and august assembly of angels and republic of heaven, in which the will of God is the law.

Chapter 20

Of the Kind of Happiness and Life Truly Delighted in by Those Who Inveigh Against the Christian Religion.

But the worshippers and admirers of these gods delight in imitating their scandalous iniquities, and are nowise concerned that the republic be less depraved and licentious. Only let it remain undefeated, they say, only let it flourish and abound in resources; let it be glorious by its victories, or still better, secure in peace; and what matters it to us? This is our concern, that every man be able to increase his wealth so as to supply his daily prodigalities, and so that the powerful may subject the weak for their own purposes. Let the poor court the rich for a living, and that under their protection they may enjoy a sluggish tranquillity; and let the rich abuse the poor as their dependants, to minister to their pride. Let the people applaud not those who protect their interests, but those who provide them with pleasure. Let no severe duty be commanded, no impurity forbidden. Let kings estimate their prosperity, not by the righteousness, but by the servility of their subjects. Let the provinces stand loyal to the kings, not as moral guides, but as lords of their possessions and purveyors of their pleasures; not with a hearty reverence, but a crooked and servile fear. Let the laws take cognizance rather of the injury done to another man’s property, than of that done to one’s own person. If a man be a nuisance to his neighbor, or injure his property, family, or person, let him be actionable; but in his own affairs let everyone with impunity do what he will in company with his own family, and with those who willingly join him. Let there be a plentiful supply of public prostitutes for every one who wishes to use them, but specially for those who are too poor to keep one for their private use. Let there be erected houses of the largest and most ornate description: in these let there be provided the most sumptuous banquets, where every one who pleases may, by day or night, play, drink, vomit, 113 dissipate. Let there be everywhere heard the rustling of dancers, the loud, immodest laughter of the theatre; let a succession of the most cruel and the most voluptuous pleasures maintain a perpetual excitement. If such happiness is distasteful to any, let him be branded as a public enemy; and if any attempt to modify or put an end to it let him be silenced, banished, put an end to. Let these be reckoned the true gods, who procure for the people this condition of things, and preserve it when once possessed. Let them be worshipped as they wish; let them demand whatever games they please, from or with their own worshippers; only let them secure that such felicity be not imperilled by foe, plague, or disaster of any kind. What sane man would compare a republic such as this, I will not say to the Roman empire, but to the palace of Sardanapalus, the ancient king who was so abandoned to pleasures, that he caused it to be inscribed on his tomb, that now that he was dead, he possessed only those things which he had swallowed and consumed by his appetites while alive? If these men had such a king as this, who, while self-indulgent, should lay no severe restraint on them, they would more enthusiastically consecrate to him a temple and a flamen than the ancient Romans did to Romulus. Footnotes [113] The same collocation of words is used by Cicero with reference to the well-known mode of renewing the appetite in use among the Romans.

St. Augustine (2013-03-30). City of God (Kindle Locations 1808-1813). Waxkeep Publishing. Kindle Edition.

It seems to me Augustine had good and timeless insight, as well as good and timeless advise.

A note on the Kindle edition of the work, it cost me 99 cents from Amazon. The same translation is available free (including the few transcription mistakes) in HTML. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1201.htm (There is also the possibility of downloading (or ordering on CD) “an ocean” of information.)

At AmericanThinker, Bruce Deitrick Price writes:

“This insight is presented in a new book Credentialed to Destroy where author Robin S. Eubanks talks about classroom techniques that render students confused and defeated. Instead of gaining confidence in their ability to function effectively, the children learn they are incapable. The goal seems to be to break down each child’s spirit, in the hope of creating a group mentality. Socialists like that outcome.

At the end of this process, where is the individual human and that individual’s relationship with God? This child’s only relationship is with a group. Otherwise the child is conformist and stunted. Abstract thinking is reduced. Horizons of every kind are limited, by design.”

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/public_schools_vs_christianity.html#ixzz2rXhHs4Pr

His statement makes the point of why I think it is such a specious argument to suggest that school provides “social” training. No it doesn’t. It provides indoctrination in socialism and progressivist thinking. I have yet to meet an “unsocialized homeschool child.” They just don’t exist. Maybe they aren’t like a typical school child, but individuality is beautiful.

Mr. Price, in his article, points out how the schools, more specifically, our federal government in the schools, are against Christianity and all other religious and philosophical teaching that exults the individual, the soul, and human free will.

Progressivism and leftist thinking in general is against the human soul. The schools are filled with it because so many leftists and progressives have been stacking the deck against us for decades now. It even affects the best of our teachers. It is a sad circumstance, and we all need to do our part to support the children and the teachers as well as we can.

For us and our boys, that means taking them out of the schools and teaching them at home.

Also, as to unsocialized homeschoolers, well, Kris says some of us are, well, at least we are a little weird. She is probably right.

http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/about/

(I don’t know her, and am not much familiar with her writing, but i thought her blog worth pointing out in context.)

At FEE.org I found

Dystopias Seen, Dystopias Imagined

JANUARY 23, 2014 by SANDY IKEDA

(Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/dystopias-seen-dystopias-imagined#ixzz2rX81nvjE) worth the while.

It was his crosslink to http://www.franz-oppenheimer.de/state1.htm, that has me writing.

Mr. Oppenheimer says, “There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one’s own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. Robbery! Forcible appropriation! These words convey to us ideas of crime and the penitentiary, since we are the contemporaries of a developed civilization, specifically based on the inviolability of property. And this tang is not lost when we are convinced that land and sea robbery is the primitive relation of life, just as the warrior’s trade – which also for a long time is only organized mass robbery constitutes the most respected of occupations. Both because of this, and also on account of the need of having, in the further development of this study, terse, clear, sharply opposing terms for these very important contrasts, I propose i. the following discussion to call one’s own labor and the equivalent exchange of one’s own labor for the labor of others, the “economic means” for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the “political means.””

We all know that forcefully taking is wrong. (Coercion of any sort, all the same.) Oddly, nearly half of us think it can be justified by labeling it liberalism or progressivism and claiming it for the greater good, as though inflicting pain on a few is justified if the pain of many is lessened, even if that lessening is demeaning and dehumanizing to all.

We complicate things. The simple rule is to do what is right.

When I am wronged, I must first ensure I do not add to wrong. I must consider, first, how to not be part of the problem, and I had better do what I can to elevate the problem, if I can.  Read the rest of this entry »

Over at AmericanThinker, Thomas Lifson comments on some absurd propaganda.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/01/how_global_warming_makes_it_warmer_and_colder.html

It would be somewhat humorous if there were any possibility it was supposed to be, satire, hyperbole, and such, but no, they (at least Oleg) really seem to think people will accept such drivel. Sadly, some will.

Dr. Judith Curry has my full esteem. MEM, not so much.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

 “If you see something, say something.”

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It takes two things to do anything, anything at all, time and energy. The sun and life on this planet spent eons concentrating energy for us in what we now call fossil fuels. Wouldn’t we be ingrates to not use it?

Watts Up With That?

Landmark Report Calculates Societal Benefits of Fossil Energy to be at Least 50 Times Greater than Perceived Costs of Carbon

Benefits outweigh supposed costs by range of 50-1 to 500-1

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I knew this man. I think God tried to warn me, and I didn’t hear well enough.

We all know someone else who fits this. If only we can come to our senses.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7-A7sqvEc8

http://www.danielamos.com/da/kalhoun/bigwarmswede.html

Words by Terry Taylor
Music by Terry Taylor, Tim Chandler and Greg Flesch
©1991 Twitchen Vibes/ Brainstorm Artists Int’l.. ASCAP/BMI
He will always trust his own vision
Could be a dangerous man
He’s guided by no one
Attracted to the sound
Of the interior voices
He will not listen hard enough
To any other man

Chorus:
He gets a big warm sweet interior glowing
He gets a grand elitist superior knowing
This convinces us he’s infallible – yeah

By sheer force of will
He leaves a deep impression
Self-confidence persuades us that he is a saint
Then we watch him tear apart another city
Turns it to dust and ash
A mighty nation’s falling

(Chorus)

He downs another coffee
And the feeling grows
He’s building monuments so high
In his expanding mind
He eats a six course dinner
And hears the voice of the spirit
This voice says
“Well done my very good and faithful servant”

(Chorus)

Terry Scott Taylor, especially combined with this group we’ve known so long as Daniel Amos. They really are among the best every. The world so often misses the greatest among us. It is sad we fall for those who seem to have a glow, as well as those who glitter and shine with a false flame.

As good as all their work is, much of it true masterpiece, their latest is absolutely the best album of 2013, and the best of Daniel Amos. Amazing on so many levels. Dig Here, Said the Angel is a worthy of addition to your collection.

If you are one of the vinyl devotees, then you can get a special edition disk at their website:

http://www.danielamos.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Dig-Here-Said-The-Angel/dp/B00E84OIYI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390628485&sr=8-1&keywords=daniel+amos

Spotify has all their work as well.

I found an article at American Thinker worth pointing out.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/on_running_from_reality.html

Quoting (Don Sucher):

“Young children often have an aversion to reality. Their ways of running from it are often amusing: the pretend friend, the one that takes their side when things are difficult, and the pretend enemy, the one who takes the blame for their errors and misdeeds.

“Parents traditionally have strived to help their children cope with reality through instruction, emotional support, and abundant love. But today it is increasingly common for parents instead to protect their children from reality as to teach them to effectively deal with it. And such parents typically have come to expect, and receive, support in these efforts from society’s institutions — especially the public schools.”

He goes on to talk about chemical means of avoiding reality, and of misuse of religion. He indicates that it all leads people to abdicate their own responsibility for their own lives. I makes many of us completely dependent upon the government, looking to politicians or other public figures as our “gods.” He says we need people to live up to their personal responsibilities in order to have a free society, and progressivism encourages the opposite of what we need for our free society. I’ll add that progressivism is simply against the human soul. Progressiveness is against all that is good, right, and noble in the individual, in the human soul. (I liken it to Borg. The collective is everything; the individual is nothing.)

It is a good article, but I’m most interested in the part about our societal institutions helping parents who want to shelter their children rather than help the children learn to deal responsibly with reality.

He says precious little. This quote is about all the more he says about the children:

“Too, we see the family structure — once the great bulwark of protection for society’s traditions, and the place where children were taught to face reality as free, independent, adults — under attack.”

It is the “free, independent adults” part that I’m considering. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m barely old enough to remember any of the early days of Peter, Paul, and Mary, but Mom had the Peter, Paul, and Mommy album, and we played it a lot when I was young.

I pretty much know all the songs on it by heart, and it isn’t uncommon for me to sing out a chorus when events prompt a memory of one or another of the songs.

My kids know “It’s Raining,” “Going To The Zoo,” “Boa Constrictor,” “Mockingbird,” and “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” mostly from me singing. I’ve given them bits of “Make-Believe Town” before, but this morning at breakfast, Elizabeth was putting jam on a biscuit and exclaimed that she almost dropped her book in the jam.

I belted out, “He studies in books, where nobody looks, because they’re all covered with jam,” and the kids all said, “Huh?” Well, I managed to complete the verse, and they understood, but Joseph asked more, and so I pulled up Spotify, found the album, and started it playing.

That was neat! Not only was it quite nice to pull up the old memories and good feelings, but it was gratifying as a daddy to see the kids positive reactions, especially Joseph, the most artistic of us.

He started singing along, even to the ones he’d never heard before. It was almost like the “Marvelous Toy,” passing it along.

Does a daddy’s heart good.

I was also struck by the wisdom in those children’s songs.

I encourage all men to remember the advice of the turtle dove, “Court her night, court her day, never give her time to say, “Oh nay.” (That’s  how you win her, and that is how you keep the love strong!)

As a daddy, this one is particularly significant to me:

Tell me why you’re crying, my son
I know you’re frightened, like everyone
Is it the thunder in the distance you fear?
Will it help if I stay very near?
I am here.

Refrain:
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
And if you take my hand my son
All will be well when the day is done.
Day is done, Day is done
Day is done, Day is done

Do you ask why I’m sighing, my son?
You shall inherit what mankind has done.
In a world filled with sorrow and woe
If you ask me why this is so, I really don’t know.

(Refrain)

Tell me why you’re smiling my son
Is there a secret you can tell everyone?
Do you know more than men that are wise?
Can you see what we all must disguise
Through your loving eyes?

(Refrain)

These floods in England are an example of how dangerous environmental regulatory agencies are the world over. EPA really is the most dangerous thing known to all mankind. We the people must rise up and stop the runaway regulatory agencies.

Watts Up With That?

By Paul Homewood

image

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/weather/10564671/Stranded-the-island-in-the-middle-of-the-English-countryside.html

There was an interesting report in last Sunday’s Telegraph about recent flooding in the Somerset Levels. I’ll  not reprint the whole thing, but would certainly recommend reading it.

The essence of the article is that the flooding there, which began late last month and peaked on 1st January, are the worst in living memory. 

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As a fellow central Oklahoma resident, I’m reblogging Dr. Deming’s article to encourage and support him. Boomer Sooner

Watts Up With That?

Falling temperatures are giving climate alarmists chills

Global warming is nowhere to be found. The mean global temperature has not risen in 17 years and has been slowly falling for approximately the past 10 years. In 2013, there were more record-low temperatures than record-high temperatures in the United States.

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Promises, promises.

This does, however, look promising. It is at least interesting. I’m moderately confident humans will never travel between stars in time frames less than centuries, and I’m certain we will find no one when we finally get there, but much of sci-fi just might prove out.

LBNL has announced 3DTDS. They published in “Discovery of a Three-dimensional Topological Dirac Semimetal, Na3Bi.” described here: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2014/01/16/natural-3d-counterpart-to-graphene-discovered/

High temperature superconductors looked quite promising some time back. We are still waiting on those. Perhaps we will have 3DTDS computers a little sooner than we might have superconducting power transmission lines. We will just have to wait and see.

They published in “Science” http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/01/15/science.1245085.abstract (Just the abstract. They want you to pay to read it. Never mind you already paid for it with your tax dollars (through the Department of Energy).

At First Things, R.R. Reno writes about inequalities becoming more prominent as a topic in the coming year, particularly in the US.

“Taken broadly, equality is incoherent as a measure of social justice. Equal with respect to what? Religious people have a more mature vocabulary. Social justice involves respect for the dignity of the person, subsidiarity, and solidarity.

“We can use these concepts to transform current anxieties about inequality into more focused and fruitful reflection. Globalized economies dominated by mega-bureaucratic states inadequately protect human dignity. They discourage self-governance (subsidiarity) and fail to sustain a robust sense of solidarity. These lines of analysis should be the focus of our efforts, not defending capitalism or free markets.”

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2014/01/looking-ahead-to-2014 

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