October 26, 2020

Saturday Ramblings: December 12, 2015

The Christmas Dad Bought Our Rambler, Eberts

The Christmas Dad Bought Our Rambler, Eberts

Isn’t that a lovely scene portrayed above? Ah, Christmas with the family. It was all so perfect, right? Well, as we ramble today, we feature a few more realistic pictures of what family Christmas is often really like — quirky, strange, and downright dysfunctional. Actually, some of these family Christmas photos make me want to convert to Judaism.

At any rate, are you ready to ramble through a winter wonderland? Let’s join this happy tree-family and go!


Ramblers-Logo36But wait. Before we go any further, here is a public service announcement —


Donald Trump is banned from entering this post today.

This is only temporary, until we can figure out what’s going on with him.

So, in other words, it may be a while.

Thank you.


For some of you, this is your worst nightmare — doubled.

Ramblers-Logo36Here in the land of “Hoosier Hospitality,” and also the first state in the U.S. to turn away a Syrian refugee family last month after the Paris attacks, the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis decided to stay true to their values by defying Governor Mike Pence and welcoming a Syrian family on December 7.

Here is Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin’s statement:

Syrian-Refugees-IndianaI would like to bring you up to date regarding the question of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis resettling a family of refugees from Syria. The family arrived safely in Indianapolis last night.

I thank Governor Pence for meeting with me last Wednesday, when I was able to explain in some detail the plight of this family as well as the role of the Archdiocese’s Refugee and Immigrant Services program in welcoming them to Indianapolis, where the family already has some relatives. I listened to the governor’s concerns regarding security and prayerfully considered his request that we defer from welcoming them until Congress had approved new legislation regarding immigrants and refugees. I informed the Governor prior to the family’s arrival that I had asked the staff of Catholic Charities to receive this husband, wife and their two small children as planned.

Three years ago, this family fled the violence of terrorists in their homeland of Syria. After two years of extensive security checks and personal interviews, the United States government approved them to enter our country. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis was asked to help resettle this family through its regular participation in a program that is a public-private partnership between the federal government and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its Migration and Refugee Services.

For 40 years the Archdiocese’s Refugee and Immigrant Services has welcomed people fleeing violence in various regions of the world. This is an essential part of our identity as Catholic Christians and we will continue this life-saving tradition.

We welcome this family during Advent, a time when the Christian community asks God to renew our hope and recognize God’s saving power among us. As we wait with hope during this season of Advent, I ask all people of good will to pray for peace in our homes, local communities and throughout the world.

This is happening in other places as well. In Georgia, a Southern Baptist megachurch helped resettle a Syrian family there, and in one of our neighboring states, Westminster Presbyterian Church of Wooster, Ohio, has volunteered to accept up to three refugee families from Syria or elsewhere. And this from Texas: Refugee Services of Texas, an affiliate of several Christian refugee organizations, settled six Syrian refugees in Houston on Monday, the AP reported. It expects to settle nine more before the end of the week.

Way to go, Church! Now that’s how to fight the culture wars! With grace and welcome.


I guess you can never have (or wear) too much Christmas.

Ramblers-Logo36According to a new Barna survey, there is a disconnect between how well pastors think churches are doing in discipling followers of Jesus and how well their parishioners think they are doing.

Here’s what the poll found:

Less than 1 percent of senior pastors and discipleship pastors told Barna that “today’s churches are doing very well at discipling new and young believers.” Six in 10 said that churches are discipling “not too well.”

But those in the pews disagree. More than 9 in 10 said that their church “definitely” (52%) or “probably” (40%) does “a good job of helping people grow spiritually.”

On the other hand, those pastors think their own church is probably doing okay at it.

While only 8 percent said they are doing “very well,” another 56 percent said their church was doing “somewhat well at discipling new and young believers.”

“Pastors give their own church higher marks than churches overall, but few believe churches—their own or in general—are excelling in discipleship,” the report stated.

What do you think might cause this variation in perspectives between pastor and pew?


Bob Cratchitt, mistreated by his boss Scrooge, only had enough money to buy his family four pairs of pajamas for Christmas.

Ramblers-Logo36As of Friday, 143 people had lined up outside the TCL Chinese Theatre along Hollywood Boulevard for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, some of them have been there for almost a week now. That’s right, they started camping out nearly two weeks before the film’s first showing next week, at midnight, December 18.

_87123081_getty1According to CNN:

The gathering is structured according to specific rules: they all have tickets, which makes the effort more academic than practical, and are allowed to leave the line for errands and breaks.

The tents are promptly dismantled each morning, and to top it all off the occasion doubles as a charity event, with money going to the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Hey, if there are any Internet Monk readers in line, give us a report!

Seriously, how many of you are planning to see the new Star Wars movie right off the bat? I know my sons have tickets here in Indy and my grandson will be going too. What are you looking forward to?


Aww, he looks just like his daddy!

Ramblers-Logo36We don’t talk about NBA basketball enough around here. Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are making an early bid to be considered one of the greatest teams of all time.

635593043210421208-USATSI-8272280As I type these words, the Warriors have just beaten the Celtics in double-overtime to go 24-0 on the season. That’s 24-0. Tonight they became the first team in league history to sweep a road trip of seven games or more. Here in Indianapolis earlier this week they scored 79 points in the first half alone before going on to a 131-123 win.

In an article in the New Yorker, here’s what former Pacers great Reggie Miller said about GS’s star player and last year’s MVP Steph Curry, who — incredibly — seems to have gotten even better this year:

“He still has a lot of chapters to write,” Miller said, “but, right now, you could certainly consider him among the top five shooters of all time. The streak that Steph has been on since last season rivals the greats of the game. It’s hard to say he’s better than Larry Bird or he’s better than Steve Kerr, his coach, because those guys did it for much longer. But for this short a period he’s in that group. And he keeps improving. If he can beat his own record for most threes in a season, then you’ve got to consider him one of the best ever.”

Miller said some very nice things about Curry’s personality too. Noting that past NBA greats like Michael Jordan and himself were fierce competitors who didn’t always play nice, Reggie sees Curry taking a different approach:

You don’t have to be like Mike anymore. You know, Mike was an asshole. I was an asshole, too. But you don’t have to be an asshole to be successful. Steph is living proof.


Yes, Photoshop is from the devil.

Ramblers-Logo36What a mess it has been in my beloved Chicago lately. Protestors have been out daily, calling for justice in the light of police shootings and charges of cover-up by police, government authorities, and the mayor himself.

1116156_630x354Chicago became known as the murder capital of the United States in 2012, after it registered 503 homicides, more than any other city. In 2014, the city registered 411 killings, more than New York (333) and Los Angeles (260), two cities with larger populations.

But it is the release of some recent videos showing police shootings, inconsistent stories by the police, long gaps between incidents and the release of information, and a long history of mistrust between segments of the public and the police that has heated up the conflict in recent days. On Monday it was announced that there will be a federal investigation of the city by the Justice Department.

The most high-profile case relates to [the police shooting of Laquan] McDonald. The 13-month gap from the incident until the charge and video release was too long for some, who accused police and Emanuel of a cover-up.

It contributed to Garry McCarthy losing his job as Chicago’s police superintendent and spurred calls for [Mayor Rahm] Emanuel to resign. The furor grew when the public learned about the other officers’ accounts.

There’s also Ronald Johnson, killed by police eight days before McDonald. On Monday, reporters first saw video of his death, with Alvarez saying the officer who killed Johnson won’t face charges.

There also has been renewed focus on 17-year-old Cedrick LaMont Chatman, whose 2013 death near a bus stop was captured by four video cameras.

In his address to the City Council, Mayor Emmanuel said, “We have a trust problem.”

No kidding.


In Christian tradition, the story of Christmas begins in the Garden of Eden. But . . . seriously?

Ramblers-Logo36Here is the latest report from the climate change summit in Paris, as reported by Reuters:

paris-climate-2015At the tail end of the hottest year on record, climate negotiators in Paris will aim on Saturday to seal a landmark accord that will transform the world’s fossil fuel-driven economy within decades and turn the tide on global warming.

After four years of fraught U.N. talks often pitting the interests of rich nations against poor, imperiled island states against rising economic powerhouses, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will unveil the latest text of a climate deal on Saturday at 9 a.m. (0300 ET).

He hopes to secure a sweeping agreement to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions within hours. If that fails, the talks could run into Sunday.

Officials from 195 nations were locked in negotiations through the night, seeking to resolve the final sticking points, none seemingly insurmountable: the phrasing of a goal for phasing out carbon emissions later this century; the frequency of further negotiations meant to encourage even faster action.

“All the conditions are in place to have a universal, ambitious final deal,” Fabius told reporters late on Friday, urging a drive to resolve what are still deep disagreements on issues such as finance for developing nations.

“There has never been such a strong momentum.”


Merry Christmas from the sweetest family I know.

Ramblers-Logo36Finally, this week in music history. We lost a lot of great ones on this week: Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, John Lennon to name a few.

But we also had a very auspicious birth. On this day, December 12, one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century was born:

Happy 100th birthday to Frank Sinatra.

The Wall Street Journal suggests eight ways you can celebrate this grand occasion, but we’ll settle for the following performance of “You Make Me Feel So Young,” from 1962.

Truly, the Chairman of the Board.



  1. In Chicago when a family abuses its own members in brutal ways and disregards all rules of civility it is no one’s business but those in the family. But when outsiders commit the same brutalities to that family, well then, it is time for protests and outrage.

    Out of all of those deaths(300-500 per year) how many were committed by police? How many were committed by members of the outraged party? and who were the objects of protest?

    No matter, the manner of all of those deaths is an outrage, and a symptom of a much deeper problem…sin!

    • Oscar,
      The police and civil authorities are rightly charged with the responsibility of both upholding the law, and not abusing their own authority. When a pattern of abuse of authority is exhibited, as it has been in Chicago for decades (including police corruption and torture of suspects), that can’t be sidestepped by referring to the general theological doctrine of human sinfulness. Those who govern and police should be held to a higher standard, and should be held accountable for abuse of authority.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > Out of all of those deaths(300-500 per year) how many were committed by police?

      But the ones that were committed by the police WERE COMMITTED BY THE POLICE. I’m sorry, but this reads like a decades old trope used by whites to dismiss protests against police corruption and abuse.

      > How many were committed by members of the outraged party?

      Zero? There are ~890,000 black citizens of Chicago.

    • Clay Crouch says

      Either I don’t understand your metaphor in the first paragraph or you couldn’t be more wrong.

      • Richard Hershberger says

        He is riffing off a standard right-wing talking point. Whenever some cop is so sloppy as to shoot a black man in the back while on camera, and this provokes commentary that perhaps police ought not do that, we see the talking point dredged up that far more blacks are murdered by other blacks than are by cops. The idea is that the people talking about that cop shooting that black guy in the back don’t really care about blacks being murdered, or they would instead be talking about black-on-black murders. If you, at this point, are scratching your head and going “Huh? But wait a minute…” then good for you. The talking point doesn’t stand up to even cursory scrutiny. But then, it wasn’t meant to. People who have the “Huh? But wait a minute…” aren’t its target audience. It is aimed at people who are looking for some reason why they need not care about cops shooting black guys in the back.

        • Shooting black guys in the back…SIXTEEN TIMES!!!…in the most infamous of the recent cases in Chicago.

          And how many cops ever go to jail for unjustified shootings? No one’s really sure, because nobody keeps tabs. Police departments are local, and participate in the few federal studies that have been conducted on a volunteer basis, if they so choose. Nobody even knows how many shootings by police actually occur.

          • So, I guess it is just fine that people kill each other with impunity IN THE HUNDREDS and no one sheds a tear? It is just fine if a subculture in a community commits collective suicide because no one dares to speak to the causes? If it doesn’t conveniently fit on a bumper sticker or a protest sign then it gets ignored?

            The police department DOES warrant investigation because of a culture that has developed in response to their frustration and, yes. RACISM by a few. MOST cops are decent people trying to do a job in a difficult situation. The guilty need to be punished, the blue culture changed. But do not forget the source of their frustration. If you just deal with symptoms you never deal with the pathogen.

            And in a side note: you guys rise to the bait so readily that it isn’t any fun casting out a line.

          • That Other Jean says

            How many police shootings actually occur? The US edition of the British newspaper The Guardian has been keeping a US-citizen-reported count of those that end in death: It’s up to 1,068 this year.


            That’s probably an undercount, since not every incident is recorded or witnessed, unfortunately.

          • A rather transparent diversionary tactic, Oscar. Put your thoughts into other people’s mouths, and then try to get them to answer for them. But I see that, in fact, no one has taken the bait. Maybe the fishing is more sporting here than you give it credit for; maybe it’s not like shooting……fish in a barrel…

        • Bravo. Well put.

        • ‘the officer discharged his weapon, striking the offender.’

          Relevant – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2015/12/12/why-laying-off-copy-editors-makes-us-all-dumber-and-less-free

      • Oscar, that’s what I thought, you couldn’t be more wrong, and I think it’s called deflecting.

    • I think I understand some of what OSCAR is saying . . . IF he is alluding to black-on-black crime.

      will there come a time in the city where police will hesitate to respond to incidents within the black community, in that city, or in other places?

      something bad happens, something very bad . . . and ALL police are made to look irresponsible and that is unfair

      seems to me that ALL communities need to work on their own standards of conduct when the crime is ‘in-house’ among their own members
      AND that police need to supervise their own who give off signs of being out of control vis-a-vis frustration and pre-judging

      a little more responsibility all-around would make a difference

      OSCAR is right in one thing for sure: ‘sin’ . . . sometimes it’s in what you fail to do that ends up in the suffering of others

    • “And in a side note: you guys rise to the bait so readily that it isn’t any fun casting out a line.”

      Keep casting it’s fun to watch them take the bait.

  2. Someone get Bob a shirt. Thanks for a good chuckle, CM. It was much needed.

  3. I have no intention of seeing the “new” Star Wars movie at all. As a life long fan of science fiction and fantasy I find the whole series banal to the point of extinction. I do highly anticipate an upcoming adaptation of J G Ballard’s novel HIGHRISE.

  4. In the creepiness department, the Krampus ain’t got nothing on those two dudes. That photo gives me the willies; how can those kids be so nonchalant?

  5. Three cheers for those churches helping Syrian refugees to settle here! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

  6. Adam Tauno Williams says

    > how many of you are planning to see the new Star Wars movie right off the bat?

    My friends and I have tickets for opening night. Couldn’t get in until a late show (10:45PM) but it should still be a party. Tickets here sold faster than cheap whiskey.

    > What are you looking forward to?

    I hope the movies are decent; the most recent three were pretty bad. But Star Wars is to modern America as Apple Pie was to the frontier. In general any place filled with people who all want to be there is a recipe for a good time.

    I believe one of my friends who is crafty is making jedi robes.

    • Thrice burned, quadruple shy. After the wretchedness of the prequels, I’m sitting this one out unless/until I get some FANTASTIC word of mouth about it.

      • In my opinion, when they brought in the Ewoks they lost me. After watching the first movie it occurred to me that the whole Star Wars thing was just a cultural phenomenon. It wasn’t very good and was followed with more of the same. Never the less, I’ll STILL see the latest one, probably some time next year when it comes out on DVD or pay per view.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > just a cultural phenomenon

          Nah. It is a story we repeat too often to be a phenomenon, right down to the whiney petulant teenager protagonist, and the anti-establishment coconspirator, although the entire narrative is pro-institutionalist. That is so very American.

      • That Other Jean says

        Sooooo much what Eeyore said.

  7. Those family pictures are the creepiest ever (except for the last on, that is).

  8. The Rambler pictured in the snow scene…about 100 years ago. Amazing how things have changed…thank you to the Dodge brothers for producing the first cars with an electric cranking motor.

    I recall what one of Robert Heinlein’s characters said about “progress”; “Progress ceased with the Model T. Everything since is just refinement.”

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > thank you to the Dodge brothers for producing the first cars with an electric cranking motor.

      Yes. I have a titanium wrist thanks to the absence of an electric starter. It is important to ensure the timing is retarded when crank starting an internal combustion engine. I got my five minutes of fame at the hospital as everyone wanted to come see a real-life 21st century “Crank Break”. Once upon a time it was very common injury, and I’ve had numerous elderly men at church show me their lumpy wrists left to them by their own Crank Breaks (from pre-X-ray and surgical bone setting – Hurrah! for modern medical technology)

      > I recall what one of Robert Heinlein’s characters said about “progress”;
      > “Progress ceased with the Model T. Everything since is just refinement.”

      There is a lot of truth to that. For example the mid-century automobile abandoned the transmission design of the Model-T as it – at the time – couldn’t handle the torque of larger and stronger motors. Now with great leaps forward in metallurgy 21st century automatic transmissions harken back in design to the T’s transmission.

      On the other hand Henry Ford often sounded like a near-luddite and refused to implement improvements until utter necessity forced his hand. Probably the result of being an ego-maniac.

  9. Gee, thanks, Mike. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wipe my mind clean of those Christmas pictures. . .

    • Randy Thompson says

      These pictures are a good reason for making more of the Krampus this time of year, and turning him (it?) loose.

  10. What do you think might cause this variation in perspectives between pastor and pew?

    If you start aping the organizational and social patterns of American corporations, don’t be surprised when the pathologies that come with those models start cropping up.

    I’ll even wager some of these pastors have pointy hair…

    • Excellent point, Eeyore! I think the same could be said about government entities. In our rush to run everything like a business (commerce seems to be the new solution to every problem known to mankind), it shouldn’t be a surprise that business problems are part of the deal. I know churches can’t pay the electric bill with peace & goodwill, but religion has really become a consumer product with churches run by CEOs and marketing plans with measurable data to mine. It’s really not a surprise attendance is waning as people decide their time & money can be better used elsewhere.

    • http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/fashion/mosaic-oasis-hillsong-churches-los-angeles.html
      I wonder how their survey went. Interesting article, btw.

      • Interesting article, especially the statement that people come because they want “authenticity and simplicity.” and then we read how many people it takes to put on this huge production every week. Nothing says simplicity better than having a production team!

  11. “The central issue in the scientific debate on climate change is the extent to which the recent (and future) warming is caused by humans versus natural climate variability. Research effort and funding has focused on understanding human causes of climate change. However we have been misled in our quest to understand climate change, by not paying sufficient attention to natural causes of climate change, in particular from the sun and from the long-term oscillations in ocean circulations.
    Why do scientists disagree about climate change? The historical data is sparse and inadequate. There is disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence, notably the value of global climate models. There is disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence. And scientists disagree over assessments of areas of ambiguity and ignorance.
    How then, and why, have climate scientists come to a consensus about a very complex scientific problem that the scientists themselves acknowledge has substantial and fundamental uncertainties?
    Climate scientists have become entangled in an acrimonious political debate that has polarized the scientific community…There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists. Reinforcing this consensus are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests.”

    • This is from testimony given on Capitol Hill this week.

    • Who said this?

      • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

        Someone who is not a climate scientist, apparently. I mean, I expect the general public not to understand climate data modeling (raise your hand if you understand systems of differentials on the imaginary number line), but instead of thinking about how we can be better stewards of the earth, some in the public try to push everything into some kind of weird conspiracy theory bucket where Bad People are trying to keep us from enjoying our hot-rods or something. When one considers that just about every corporate interest on the planet is aligned with increasing energy consumption, that entire story arc just comes across as dangerously insane and flamboyantly ignorant.

        • Dr. Judith Curry- Professor and former Chair of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech.

          She is very much a climate scientist.

          • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

            Reminds me of the PhDs that Answers in Genesis hires. As if hiring people with real degrees will legitimize their unwillingness to come to terms with the data.

          • She is a climate scientist who, in a nutshell, says we should proceed carefully because scientists aren’t sure, at this point, how much of the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is man caused and how much effect it will have in the future. But I do find it interesting that many of the same people decrying taking action on climate change until we have more data are willing to carpet bomb the Middle East or register all Muslims just in case a few of them might do damage. Shouldn’t we wait until we have more data on that, too, before taking action?

          • Dr. Fundystan-

            She used to be an alarmist, who re-evaluated the data and how some scientists were handling this issue.


            True, but what solution would be best, and what would be unnecessarily damaging? Perhaps in your Mid-East analogy the carpet is best seen as the “consensus” said there is trouble and before analyzing all the complexities, they carpet-bombed. They jumped on a solution that perhaps did more damage than had they recognized complexities.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Dr John Christy, Alabama’s climate scientist. While he is a clinate scientist, he is one of the 3% that do not believe in anthropogenic global warming, since he believes that anthropogenic gasses such as CO2, methane etc have no affect on the global climate. This is a bery isolated position, and should be taken into account when he claims there is widespread disagreement.

        Also, this was a ridiculous panel, since of the 5 people on it, we had three denialist climatologists ( William Happer, Judith Curry Curry and John Christy), a Navy meteorologist, and the slightly unhinged right wing political commentator, Mark Steyn. There is no way that this was a representative panel, that they could have heard more than one side, or anything. Political grandstanding with prepackaged outcomes to stroke their ears. A prime example of how politicians piss away tax payers money.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          RDavid, see my comment above – but you are correct, it was Curry’s testimony, not Christy’s.

          Here is the thing though: When evaluating this, for any committee to carefully pick people that will confirm their bias, especially when these are in the extreme minority, is not credible. Furthermore, in amy science you will get outliers, and most of the time these guys are nuts. Like the guys in medicine who do not believe that HIV cause AIDS and all that sort of thing. So when confronted with this, one is bound to carefully examine the arguments in contrast with the standard opinion. Also, it might be a good ideanto examine the motives – for instance the “studies” that said sugar intake does not contribute to obesity – that was funded by Coca Cola. Or the “studies” that show smoking is perfectly fine – that were supported by Big Tobacco.

          This does not mean the majority is always right. But it does mean that contrary opinions should be carefully checked.

          Also, it is easy to corrupt some with money and fame, but I would seriously warn against thinking 97% of professional people were deceived – especially in the HIGHLY competitive world of academic and professional science. To disprove somethi g and make your name is highly, highly attractive.

    • Reminds me of a post I read about a year ago on another forum. It’s not ‘scientific’ and I’m not a climate scientist (but apparently the guy doing the research is, or wants to be), but I found it interesting. I’m not a climate-change denier, but not quite ready to sit in a dark, cold house all winter either.

      “I was discussing the topic of climate change with my brother-in-law during a camping trip this weekend. He did his thesis on “Climate Engineering”, a fascinating subject BTW. I was pretty interested to see that he started his research thinking that climate engineering would soon be necessary to offset the advances of global warming, but he finished his research being adamantly opposed to it. (for now)

      What he realized is that we are very deep into climate theory at this point, and very shallow on science. The Climate predictions that have been made in the last 20 years have one thing in common, a 98% failure rate of overstating global surface temperatures. Now keep in mind, he believes man made global warming is very possible, in fact he thinks it might just be manifesting itself in some form we don’t yet understand. (like heating the oceans or upper atmosphere first). He also believes it could turn into global cooling, or simply have no major effect. In other words, he is open to many outcomes.

      What I gained from speaking with him is that their is still not any real scientific fact in climate prediction, at this point it is very much speculation. He quoted a study that looked at all the official past climate predictions. They looked at 117 predictions that were made and found that 114 of them grossly overestimated an increase of global surface temperatures and only three allowed for the possibility of our current temps. Many of these predictions were made with a 90 – 95% probability of accuracy, but failed miserably.

      The point he learned is that climate predictions have to be absolutely accurate if we are going to start engineering ways to adjust the Earth’s climate. At this point, we are terrible at it, and until we can predict even a 20yr climate forecast – Climate Engineering needs to wait.”

      • I think I agree with this thinking. Heck, meteorologists can’t even get TOMORROW’S forecast right, so I’m not sure the forecast ten years from now will be all that correct.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Meteorology DOES NOT EQUAL climatology.

          The former works with short term events. The latter with long term trends.

          • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

            Sigh. This is an example of my post above. People don’t understand the math or DOE, so they essentially create a narrative to support what they want to believe. Not trying to sound all Sheldon Cooper or anything, but it is predictable and pedantic to the point of annoyance.

    • Good questions and statement. Apparently everyone in our country is a scientist on the side and has an irrefutable position one way or the other. I find there tends to be a correlation between those that have a fervent position on the issue and those who are highly obsessed in politics.

      We live in a culture now that views issues as black-and-white. I’m guessing that ultimately this issue is more deep and complex than is often portrayed, just as most things in life. Given that though, I am by no means opposed to taking preventative measures now as a precaution, and simply live greener by taking better care of our planet and its finite resources, whether (man-made or natural) global warming is “true” or not. But don’t send me the picture of a single graph and give me the “this proves it, case closed” argument, and that I’m an idiot if I don’t agree with all your inferences and conclusions from that particular study. One of the (if not the most) greatest truths that governs all the branches of science, that has been verified throughout all of time, is that the more we learn, the more we know we don’t know, and things that appear simple on the surface are much more complex upon closer inspection.

      I see this happening all the time in the health/nutrition industry as an example. It can certainly be difficult when it seems that every day there is a new study that complete negates the study preceding it. First we’re told that “x” is bad for you, and then days later a new study comes out saying “x” is actually good for you after all. And around and around we go…

      • It all started when people began building bonfires to defeat the darkness at the winter solstice and when some Chinese people decided to beat on drums to chase off the dragon that was eating the sun during an eclipse. Today it is computer modeling without the benefit of past scientific observations.

        The majority isn’t always correct, they are just the majority!

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Well, can we say the same about the majority of the evidence?

        • That Other Jean says

          While I have not seen/do not understand the huge majority of the evidence for human-induced climate change, there does seem to be evidence–in the form of melting ice, rising water, dying forests, desertification, extinction of animals and plants, and other occurrences–that something is happening to the planet. Whether human activity is solely or partly at fault, it seems extremely short-sighted to ignore its contribution and continue what we’re doing. We likely can’t stop whatever is going to happen, but if we don’t begin seriously to try to understand and limit its effects, human beings will shortly find themselves in desperate trouble.

          • When you have consistently tracked consistent rises in CO2 levels in the atmosphere…

            When you have an exponential increase in the burning of fossil fuels worldwide, starting in the 1800s…

            When you have worldwide overall recessions in ice pack cover and glaciers…

            When overall worldwide temperature records are being broken in greater and greater frequency…

            At what point do we decide that the animal in front of us that has feathers, waddles and quacks is NOT a dog? :-/

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            Exactly. We are talking about multiple streams of evidence – but here’s the key. If we were going through normal warming cycle, like the climate has done many times over the past 4.5 billion years, it would be one thing. What we do have is accelerated change, associated with industrial activity. THAT is the key.

          • Keep in mind that Dr. Curry is not saying it is not taking place, or that humans are involved. Her point is that there are legitimate questions of degree (no pun intended), and that we need to be careful about offering solutions if we don’t fully understand the situation.

            Likewise, she is concerned about the intimidation factor taking place within the scientific community.

          • Jean, fairly stated, probably the most objective comment of the bunch. There is no doubt that something quite out of the ordinary is happening. There is also no doubt that our narcissistic human nature is savaging the planet, our Mother, to maintain and increase our comfort level come what may. That we are dealing with cause and effect is not at all evident, despite our programmed consensus.

            In my minority view, there are causes at work that don’t get mentioned in the evening news, not even on NPR. This is mostly irrelevant. We may or may not be able to deal with outside factors as best able, but we can stop exploiting our Mother Earth for profit and power. There are consequences. These are two separate issues. The results of both are not separate, they are combined. Some of this we can control, some of it we can’t. Will we wake up? Not so far.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            Charles – like which causes?

            Also, the evening news is the last place to learn about science, or what is going on in the world of science. They are almost guarenteed to screw it up.

            See http://www.amazon.com/The-Geek-Manifesto-Science-Matters/dp/0552165433

      • We don’t have enough consensus to deal with anthropogenic climate change. A “solution” will be imposed by force, pimped out as “necessary” and “fair”. It will not “work”, which is to say it won’t ameliorate the climate, but the costs will be borne by whoever is the political out-group of the moment, as well as by the vast mass of faceless poor in the more vulnerable countries, where their elites are not hindered by the need for accountability.

        The “solution” will be wildly unpopular in the United States, as the inconveniences will be supported by the rapidly dwindling middle class (mostly White), whereas there will inexplicably be plenty of resources available for the protection of the elites, as well as whatever social engineering projects will be undertaken to increase unanimity of opinion under the new regime.

        DEACON: For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

        CHOIR: Lord, have mercy.

        DEACON: For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord.

        CHOIR: Lord have mercy

        I have a very bilious view of any attempt to create unity-in-diversity outside the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

        • I disagree. Fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) are the backbone of modern industrial civilization. No, repeat, no nation is going to commit economic suicide by curtailing FF use enough to make a practical environmental difference.

          And I say this as someone convinced that climate change is real, and caused by human activity.

          • Oh, I think it’s real as well. I also don’t believe that concern for the environment is the overriding motivation for the kerfuffle. It’s another shuttlecock in the diversionary game of power between the Business wing and the Government wing of the Therapeutic Empire.

            If we could all live at Cuban levels tomorrow, the seas would still rise by 3-5 feet by mid century.

            I think societies on the brink of collapse double down on the behavior that brought them to the brink in the first place, don’t they? Didn’t the Mayans indulge in an orgy of pyramid building and human sacrifice as the cornfields withered around them?

          • Actually, I think you agree with me. Or I agree with you.

            We won’t “fix” this. I don’t think we can “fix” this, but we’ll demonize each other and make each other thoroughly miserable trying.

          • Well, when it comes right down to it, it’s a lot easier to kill our neighbors than it is to love them, isn’t it? 🙁

          • Any agreement that comes out of the current climate summit in Paris will include transfers of funds from wealthy developed nations to poor undeveloped ones. The purpose of these transfers is to soften the devastating economic setback that the agreement is bound to produce in poor nations that are trying to develop.
            What is the likelihood that the amelioration that these funds are meant to bring will benefit the poor of these developing nations? Who will even oversee that they are used in the ways intended by the agreement? Does anyone believe that it is not the poorest people of every nation who will disproportionately bear the burdens that this agreement will involve?

          • “And I say this as someone convinced that climate change is real, and caused by human activity.”

            So you are saying that you are certain natural forces play NO role? It is all (100%) human related?

  12. I met my wife Teresa on Valentine’s Day 1997. Our first date was a week later, Feb. 21, to see the Special Edition release of The Empire Strikes Back. We have tickets for the Dec. 17th preview of The Force Awakens. So even if there was no 3 hour time difference, we will be on our way home and to bed before those TCL punks get inside.

  13. Now wait just a minute. Right after the part about this being a Trump-free post you put a picture of him in the next frame (not Santa, the guy on the left).

  14. Speaking of Sinata made me remember this article from CNN a few years ago.


    • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

      I hope everyone noticed Google’s politically correct attack on straight white Christian males. No, repeat NO, Google doodle of Sinatra on his 100th birthday!

  15. After seeing those family photos, I understand the jihadist point of view a little bit better.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Yeah, those are so just not right.

      And I hate clowns

      • still trying to sort out when all the ‘clown fear’ started . . . was there some horror movie or a novel by Stephen King that started it? My daughter’s best friend is very fearful of clowns . . . and she’s forty-something with four children! I’m no clown fan, but I don’t get the ‘fear’ thing.

        • Google Stephen King’s “It”. That might’ve been the start of it, though I think people found clowns a bit creepy before then.

        • Brianthedad says

          I had never read a Stephen king novel or anything like that when my first face-to-face experience with a clown happened at a parade. I was probably 6. A clown stepped out of the parade and came over to me and my parents. I was terrified, hiding behind mom’s legs. Bozo on TV? No problem. Clown in a story? Fine. One in person bouncing around trying to give me candy? Horrifying. I’m 46 now, and most clowns just creep me out.

        • I was terrified of clowns as a kid, long before Stephen King came along. Clowns are just creepy; the only place they belong is inside the rings of a three ring circus, where they can be kept track of from afar.

  16. Meh the force be with you.

  17. Vinnie from Tennessee says

    Trump…Climate Change…Chicago politics…Muslim Refugees…NBA a-holes…naked Christmas traditions….and finally Frank Sinatra…I thought, for a moment, I clicked on the “Mother Jones” site. “Jesus wept.” MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

    • no offense, but when I hear the name ‘Vinnie’, I think of New Jersey or NY City

      now, Tennessee might not be ‘Bubba’ country, but ‘Vinnie’ country? !!! 🙂

      • Vinnie from Tennessee says

        Given the nickname Vinnie while serving in the Navy in Brooklyn in the 70s. My Sheepshead Bay buddies said my real name was not Italian enough. Good observation, Christiane! P.S. “Bubba?” Really? VERY rare. And “NO!” I don’t have a washing machine on the front porch and I didn’t marry my cousin. 🙂

  18. Hmm, I think in general that congragations see things from a very different perspective than pastors. For instance, I think in our own church there are many long time members with very deep faith. But when the current pastor tried to force us into the evangelical mode, that is we should be out there getting people to pray a special prayer and/or dragging our friends and neighbors to church to “hear the gospel,” it bombed. See we are busy walking with the Jesus we’ve known longer than him. We feed the hungry, clothe the homeless, provide school supplies to needy children and make quilts and shawls to comfort the sick. When we bring someone into our fellowship, they find we are pretty honest with our shortcomings and we seek God daily. But if you want to follow Jesus, we don’t care whether you have said a magic prayer or not. Naturally our pastor would grade us down on discipleship. We don’t fit the mold of what he is looking for.