Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Disjointed Thoughts

"Oh wad some power the giftie gie us To see oursel's as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, And foolish notion" ~ Robert Burns

Just a few things I've been thinking about instead of blogging lately.

1. A couple of days ago, I was driving my wife and her father to Richmond. They both had doctor's appointments with the same doctor.

We were passed along the way by several men on motorcycles. Each one of them had a World War II style German helmet on his head, and all were wearing a sleeveless jacket with the name of some motorcycle club (or gang) embroidered on the back.

My father-in-law, who is 86 years old and almost completely deaf, looked at the bikers and made this comment:

"You've seen one, you've seen them all."

I nearly lost control of the car laughing.

Isn't it interesting how people tend to dress and act alike just to fit in?

I guess I need to explain that statement, but I don't know exactly how. Let me share an experience I had some years ago to illustrate what I mean:

I was entering a recently built high rise office building in Kansas City, and standing outside the entrance were several young upwardly mobile professionals. They were all dressed similarly, and all were smoking cigars.

Now, the act of smoking cigars was a recent trend among the "upper crust" at that time. I would be willing to wager that those young people standing outside the Sprint PCS offices that day would have never considered smoking a cigar until they found out it was the trendy thing to do. After all, young Americans at that time had just recently started joining the campaign to exercise regularly and eat healthy, etc, and that included the cessation of smoking cigarettes.

So, what's the deal with cigars?

Well, naturally, anybody that's anybody smokes cigars so they had to also. I'm not really bothered by conformity, but, what happened to individuality?

2. I heard something on Mark Levin's radio program a while back, and I wanted to reference it for this blog at the time but I didn't know where to find the information. Not until I reached the pertinent chapter in Levin's book, "Liberty and Tyranny".

Dr. John Brignell, retired Professor of industrial instrumentation at the University of Southampton in Britain, composed an actual list of alarms raised in the international press that are intended to warn us all of impending serious threats to the human race that is caused by and/or will be caused by Global Warning. Here it is:

A complete list of things caused by global warming

Acne, agricultural land increase, Afghan poppies destroyed, Africa devastated, Africa in conflict, African aid threatened, African summer frost, aggressive weeds, air pressure changes, airport malaria, Agulhas current, Alaska reshaped, moves, allergy season longer, alligators in the Thames, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), anaphylactic reactions to bee stings, ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, animals shrink, Antarctic grass flourishes, Antarctic ice grows, Antarctic ice shrinks, Antarctic sea life at risk, anxiety treatment, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic ice free, Arctic ice melt faster, Arctic lakes disappear, Arctic tundra to burn, Arctic warming (not), Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, Baghdad snow, Bahrain under water, bananas grow, barbarisation, beer shortage, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billion homeless, billions face risk, billions of deaths, bird distributions change, bird loss accelerating, bird strikes, bird visitors drop, birds confused, birds decline (Wales), birds driven north, birds face longer migrations, birds return early, bittern boom ends, blackbirds stop singing, blackbirds threatened, Black Hawk down, blood contaminated, blue mussels return, bluetongue, brain eating amoebae, brains shrink, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain one big city, Britain Siberian, brothels struggle, brown Ireland, bubonic plague, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, camel deaths, cancer deaths in England, cannibalism, caterpillar biomass shift, cave paintings threatened, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, coast beauty spots lost, cockroach migration, coffee threatened, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), cold wave (India), computer models, conferences, conflict, conflict with Russia, consumers foot the bill, coral bleaching, coral fish suffer, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , coral reefs twilight, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, crabgrass menace, cradle of civilisation threatened, creatures move uphill, crime increase, crocodile sex, crops devastated, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, curriculum change, cyclones (Australia), danger to kid's health, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, deadly virus outbreaks, death rate increase (US), deaths to reach 6 million, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, depression, desert advance, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, dig sites threatened, disappearance of coastal cities, disasters, diseases move north, dog disease, Dolomites collapse, dozen deadly diseases - or not, drought, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early marriages, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, earthquakes, earthquakes redux, El Niño intensification, end of the world as we know it, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, English villages lost, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, eutrophication, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, pikas, polar bears, possums, walrus, toads, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, mountain species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches, salamanders, tropical insects) experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, fainting, famine, farmers benefit, farmers go under, farm output boost, fashion disaster, fever, figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fires fanned in Nepal, fish bigger, fish catches drop, fish downsize, fish catches rise, fish deaf, fish get lost, fish head north, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flames stoked, flesh eating disease, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, flood of migrants, flood preparation for crisis, Florida economic decline, flowers in peril, food poisoning, food prices rise, food prices soar, food security threat (SA), football team migration, footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frog with extra heads, frostbite, frost damage increased, frosts, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, geese decline in Hampshire, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, giant oysters invade, giant pythons invade, giant squid migrate, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacial growth, glacier grows (California), glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, golf course to drown, golf Masters wrecked, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, gravity shift, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, great tits cope, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, haggis threatened, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harmful algae, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, health affected, health of children harmed, health risks, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation affected, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, HIV epidemic, homeless 50 million, hornets, high court debates, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health risk, human race oblivion, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hurricanes fewer, hurricanes not, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice age, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, icebergs, illness and death, inclement weather, India drowning, infrastructure failure (Canada), industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insect explosion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of cats, invasion of crabgrass, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of king crabs, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, jets fall from sky, jet stream drifts north, Kew Gardens taxed, kidney stones, killer cornflakes, killing us, kitten boom, koalas under threat, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake empties, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers' income increased (surprise surprise!), lawyers want more, legionnaires' surge, lives saved, Loch Ness monster dead, locust plagues suppressed, lush growth in rain forests, Malaria, mammoth dung melt, mango harvest fails, Maple production advanced, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, Meaching (end of the world), Mediterranean rises, megacryometeors, Melanoma, Melanoma decline, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, methane runaway, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), migratory birds huge losses, microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, minorities hit, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, moose dying, more bad air days, more research needed, mortality increased, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountaineers fears, mountains break up, mountains green and flowering, mountains taller, mortality lower, Myanmar cyclone, narwhals at risk, National security implications, native wildlife overwhelmed, natural disasters quadruple, new islands, next ice age, NFL threatened, Nile delta damaged, noctilucent clouds, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks dying, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean acidification faster, ocean dead zones unleashed, ocean deserts expand, ocean waves speed up, oceans noisier, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, penguin chicks frozen, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, pines decline, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plants lose protein, plants march north, plants move uphill, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears deaf, polar bears drowning, polar tours scrapped, popcorn rise, porpoise astray, profits collapse, psychiatric illness, puffin decline, rabid bats, radars taken out, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rape wave, refugees, reindeer endangered, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, robins rampant, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, rooftop bars, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, Russia under pressure, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, seismic activity, sewer bills rise, severe thunderstorms, sex change, sexual promiscuity, shark attacks, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, short-nosed dogs endangered, shrinking ponds, shrinking shrine, ski resorts threatened, skin cancer, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, soaring food prices, societal collapse, soil change, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spectacular orchids, spiders getting bigger, spiders invade Scotland, squid aggressive giants, squid population explosion, squid tamed, squirrels reproduce earlier, stick insects, stingray invasion, storms wetter, stormwater drains stressed, street crime to increase, subsidence, suicide, swordfish in the Baltic, Tabasco tragedy, taxes, tectonic plate movement, teenage drinking, terrorism, threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tigers eat people, tomatoes rot, tornado outbreak, tourism increase, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, traffic jams, transportation threatened, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, truffle shortage, truffles down, turtles crash, turtle feminised, turtles lay earlier, UFO sightings, UK coastal impact, UK Katrina, uprooted - 6 million, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, violin decline, volcanic eruptions, walrus pups orphaned, walrus stampede, war, war between US and Canada, wars over water, wars sparked, wars threaten billions, wasps, water bills double, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whale beachings, whales lose weight, whales move north, whales wiped out, wheat yields crushed in Australia, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine - England too hot, wine -German boon, wine - no more French , wine passé (Napa), wine stronger, winters in Britain colder, winter in Britain dead, witchcraft executions, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World at war, World War 4, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.

If you doubt any of these were actually presented as threats resulting from Global Warming, you can click the link, and then click any of the threats listed, and it will take you to each article in question.


I'm thinking maybe the EnvironMENTALists would have a bit more credibility if they didn't contradict themselves so often and if they didn't try to convince us that everything in the world is a serious crisis.

I mean, seriously. Outdoor hockey is threatened? In who's world is that a crisis?

As it is, they simply look like tin-foil hat wearing over-the-top alarmists. It's difficult, if not impossible, to take anything they say seriously.

3. My nephew (my older brother's oldest son) just received his Doctorate in Education from Eastern University in Pennsylvania. He is an extremely intelligent young man, and a devoted Christian. He is also a Liberal Democrat.

He is so smart, in fact, that he and his father (my genius brother) almost beat my youngest son and I in a game of "Trivial Pursuit" a couple of Christmases ago.


I have never lost a game of "Trivial Pursuit" in my life, although another brother came very close once. Fortunately, my winning streak remained intact because his wife made him quit playing and go home. He was ahead, too.

I'm glad he is henpecked.

And my oldest son gave me some pretty intense competition once, but I prevailed in the end.

But I digress.

I have a hard time understanding how someone with my Dr. Nephew's obvious intelligence, education, and Christian faith could possibly be a Liberal, let alone a Democrat.

The Democrat party's platform of support for immorality, sexual perversion, abortion, racism, inequality, class warfare, atheism, taxing, and spending seems to me to be completely illogical, and, dare I say it? Stupid. These things are, to me, antithetical to intelligent Christians.

I'd ask him how he could support such obvious anti-Christian ideologies, but ... he's family, and I don't want to incite a divide between us. Family, to me, is more important than ideological differences. I won't jeopardize our family unity.

I guess I'll never know.


LoneWolfArcher said...

I have decided to remain silent no more. I will gladly tell anyone, including family members who claim to be Christian and yet still vote Democrat, that being a Christian and a liberal Democrat are impossible.

It would be like being alive AND dead. Or male AND female (okay maybe there are some like this).

Still, I like you was quiet on that point for a long time. But no longer. How a self-proclaimed, devout Christian could pull a lever to make Barack Obama president is beyond me. Admittedly, I was not jazzed about John McCain, but come on!

Susannah said...

"I have a hard time understanding how someone with my Dr. Nephew's obvious intelligence, education, and Christian faith could possibly be a Liberal, let alone a Democrat."

Me too, Mark. I have a cousin in the very same position as your nephew. He & his wife were both BIG obama supporters. Another cousin is a LDem too, but she's a tree hugger in Asheville, NC, so I at least understand that...

Most of us (except for the married-ins) are extremely talkative, emotional, sometimes loud people - esp when we're all together.

We do a Labor Day family reunion every year. Last year, my mom & her sisters handed down the edict that you live by - for the sake of harmony. Let's just say conversation was a bit muted. This year it ought to be interesting too...

Mark said...

Pamela D. Hart left this comment for this post on my Memorial day post. I guess she scrolled a little too far past the part of the post she wanted to comment on. Here is what she said:

Pamela D. Hart said...

Mark: I read "more bad air days" and got REALLY scared! I thought at first it said "more bad hair days" and I don't need anymore of THOSE! So, maybe global warming doesn't create bad hair days! I'm happy about that!

Seriously, that list is just ridiculous! Do people sit around a table and just make this up? Alphabetically, of course.

tugboatcapn said...

I can beat you at Trivial Pursuit.

Mark said...

Probably can now, Tug, now that my memory is getting bad.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Mark, I'm sorry I commented under the wrong post. Thanks for fixing it, though.

Daffy76 said...

Don't play him, Mark. Not only will you lose, he will gloat about it FOREVER.

Mark said...

Daffy, don't be so sure I'd lose. I am very good.