Monarchism

in American Charles Coulombe (though he’s too Blue for this Red Tory!), a couple brief, interesting articles:

  • The Monarchy in Australia,” written before the republic referendum, mostly regarding the ‘orthodox’ forms of religions, and monarchy.  I note especially (and with apology to Pacific Islanders), “For in the end, the greatest argument in the world on the issue at hand remains this: these United States are the most powerful nation in the world, and they are a republic. It matters not that, save ourselves {sic!} and Switzerland, the world’s republics sway giddily between chaos and despotism. In the face of all reason and logic, and even though it is generally understood rather than stated, here is the heart of the matter. Really though, it is a sort of Cargo Cult approach to politics. Instead of building an imitation airstrip so that phantom cargo planes bearing goods will come, the Keatingites would build an imitation republic, sure that ‘nationhood’ whatever that may be, will follow.”
  • and “In Defense of Monarchy,” a general USA-eye-view survey of the question.  Although given the abuses of some if not many U.S. Presidents – especially the (alleged) incumbent – I’m not so sure I want even a good king or queen regnant to have as much power as they!  What’s painfully clear from the last six years is that the mere “power of the purse,” even the power of impeachment and removal, are not sufficient checks on corruption and authoritarianism.  But he goes over some familiar territory – including all the great ironies – in unique ways!  I note especially, One of the major roles of the monarch is as ultimate guardian of the law….  It has rarely happened in this century, but on several occasions, where prime ministers have tried illegally to hold on to power, or to void their respective constitutions, such as in 1930s Italy, the sovereign or his representative has acted decisively to maintain the rule of law. In other cases, where the political classes have been unanimous in their support of or opposition to a measure against the interests of the people, such as in 1990s Thailand, the sovereign has raised his voice, when no one else could speak….  If anything, if the institution is ever to regain its effectiveness, kings must begin to act in regard to politicians not as if they were the chosen servants of the people of legend and tale, but what they are: the governing caste, whose interests frequently run counter to those of the folk from whose votes they claim to derive legitimacy.”  I also didn’t know Washington kept post-Communist, Orthodox Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia from restoring their monarchies.  Shameful internal interference in societies Americans don’t understand!

We could’ve been Canada!

King George III and Parliament sent the Carlisle Commission to the rebellious colonies less than two years after July 4, 1776, proposing

  • to agree to nearly all rebel demands and complaints,
  • to recognize their Continental Congress as a legal and permanent body of the [Protestant] “British states throughout North America” (no longer colonies or provinces, but “states,” suggesting each one’s “British” sovereignty!… in retrospect, a ‘Dominion’ more like early Australia with its States, than earlier Canada with its Provinces),
  • representation of the “states” by “agents” in Parliament, and of “Great Britain” in State “assemblies,” for their mutual interests,
  • “a perfect freedom of legislation and internal government” for each State,
  • and military alliance,

“so that the British states throughout North America, acting with us in peace and war, under our common sovereign, may have the irrevocable enjoyment of every privilege that is short of a total separation of interest, or consistent with that union of force, on which the safety of our common religion and liberty depends.”

But since the rebels had just concluded an alliance with France – “absolutist,” monarchist, Catholic France, the Ancien Regime – with whom they had been talking since before July 4, 1776, and for whose benefit they had even passed their joint Unilateral Declaration of Independence, their Congress insisted on nothing short of complete independence… and five more years of bloody, destructive war, political and ideological ‘cleansing’ – civil war, really – etc etc.

Interesting reading.  Tragic.

(Glad to note that WordPress has found a way to include bullets in bullet lists now!  🙂  )

Va. Tech questions

Totally politically incorrect.

  1. Will parents tell their kids not to pick on other kids, for fear they might turn around and shoot them someday?
  2. Can research determine if there’s any correlation between amount or degree of relational/sexual intimacy, and intensity of stalking/violence against college women by (ex-)boyfriends?
  3. Can we get some real Gun Control around here now?!!!

A form of justice for Sand Creek (Colo.) Massacre Indian victims

Russia Gets its own Fox News

Sort of.  I would’ve commented there, but got this “Invalid key” thing that WordPress Help isn’t responding on.  (Starting to act like Blogger, guys!!!)

The blogger seems to think democracy is alive here in the States thanks to John Adams.  Well, it may have been (though as a Red Tory I doubt it even then), but it certainly died by 12/12/2000, Constitutional Memorial Day, if not long before.

New tallest building in America proposed for Chicago

Maybe Prince Charles is right: ugly as sin.  Why must architects inflict this kind of crap on the public?!!!  Not to mention easy terrorist targets, that one and the new one at the WTC in NY.

And this is the WINDY City!

(Not the winding city!)

‘Conservative’ MP proposes WWW censorship in Canada

See this blog.

Not that it has a snowball’s chance, even in the Great White North!  Her ruling party (not truly classically-conservative, as I’ve said many times before) may have a plurality in the House of Commons, but far from a majority, and they don’t control the Senate, which hasn’t ceased to be a House for “sober second thought” (yet).  And anyway, Private Members’ Bills are rarely enacted in Canada, even from within the Prime Minister’s party, especially from back-benchers.

Anyway, there’s really no need; other laws aplenty cover this stuff.  And constitutionally: c’mon, the Minister of Industry turned into a deputy Attorney General?  Real bad idea.

IRS monitoring sermons?

So goes an item in the ‘conservative’ rumor-mill.  Right up there with Madalyn Murray O’Hair banning religious broadcasting.  G-men fanning-out across the country, Men in Black with earpieces, coiled wires, and fedoras, invading tax-exempt worshiping communities, eavesdropping on their preachers, ready to yank their tax exemption if they say anything “political.”

Unlikely.  How many worshiping communities are there in America – hundreds of thousands? millions even?

Some citizens’ groups might be, especially Americans United for Separation of Church and State… headed by a minister, btw.  But as long as churches allow strangers to visit….  (Time was when they didn’t, though… still remembered in every Orthodox Liturgy when the priest or deacon cries out, “The doors!  The doors!”  The ancient ministry of Porter didn’t used to be a “greeter” ala Walmart – and I appreciate greeters! – but more like a bouncer!!!)

This ‘conservative’ article has no reason to misstate the law, ISTM.  So preachers are allowed to say “political” things, they just can’t explicitly endorse or oppose specific candidates or parties for elective public office… IF they want their worshiping communities to retain their tax exemption.  Some preachers and communities forego tax exemption, and say whatever they wish.  Remember, tax exemption is not a right in America, it’s a privilege.  It doesn’t belong specifically to religious groups and organizations, but to all not-explicitly-political non-profits who register for it with the IRS… and most religious groups – sometimes incredibly – seem to qualify as non-profits, especially worshiping communities.

But I had a thought: Every non-profit as such is governed by a board of trustees or directors (except Catholic dioceses that are legally structured as [terminology varies from State to State] a “corporation sole,” where all civil legal authority is vested in the ruling hierarch or “ordinary” – the bishop, archbishop, or cardinal).  Therefore, legally and technically, statements by a minister, even if s/he is a member of that board, even chairperson of it, do not equate to statements by the congregation itself.  Often, especially in Protestant and Jewish congregations, the preacher is just an employee of the board or of the congregation as a whole.  In any case, for the non-profit as a whole to endorse or oppose a candidate or party would require a vote of the board or even the whole congregation.

I have to wonder if the preacher-as-organization principle is rooted in the Catholic diocese idea?  But there are numerous kinds of structures of religious organizations.  Even some officials called “bishop” are less powerful than others in different denominations, civilly and legally speaking.

Theologically, of course, ideally at least Christian worship is an action of the whole people, in Greek laos ergon, the origin of the word liturgy, a term for corporate worship in the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican/Episcopal, and Lutheran churches, possibly others.  And theologically, the sermon or homily is fully a part of that, and theologically should be speech not just to but of the Church, even if delivered by only one member of it, even one who is not legally its president or chairman, but merely an employee.  And also in reality, of course, in much Protestant worship in America, the sermon is the center or climax of the worship service (a Catholic priest-liturgist once snidely called this model “lecture-as-worship.”  rrrREAR!).  HOWEVER, this level of theologizing would surely qualify as “excessive entanglement of the state in religious matters,” and so the IRS shouldn’t be permitted to take it into account!

Therefore, we must ask the IRS – or the federal courts – if statements by one member, chairman, president, or employee of a church, synagogue, temple, mosque, Meeting, etc. – except a Catholic bishop as discussed above – should really be considered an action of the whole non-profit corporation in favor of or against one or more candidates or political parties.

Realistically, of course, many people do in fact take what their preachers say as church statements, unless they’re clearly guest speakers, especially under an IRS-allowed candidates’ ‘equal time rule.’  And even then, if they say something controversial, the question arises in at least some members’ heads, Does the Church agree with this person or statement?  A sermon is not quite the same as a speech at the Shriners’ Convention, or a comedian’s stand-up act, or a soliloquy in a movie.  But again, should the IRS be engaging in this level of ‘theologizing,’ or would this be, under the law, “excessive entanglement in religion”???  If the IRS wouldn’t be so exacting concerning an address by an equivalent officer of the American Red Cross, the Lions’ Club, etc., why should it treat religious congregations differently than all other non-profits, singling them out like this?

Not that I want “Red Churches” to come out full-force in support of the Republican Party – though of course alot of them are already anyway!  But when their apologists talk about “speaking truth to power” (or at least concerning the powerful, if not present), well, “Blue Churches” would be more capable of doing so IMHO, because the Red Churches ARE THE POWER!!! (except in certain isolated, relatively-more-progressive communities – “community standards,” anyone? States’ Rights? local autonomy?  Apparently only when it agrees with ‘conservatives’!)  And they claim not to desire Red and Blue churches, but of course we have them already!

(Don’t get me started!: Someone wrote that “the churches” made the American Revolution.  But there were churches on both sides of that struggle… and I happen to believe some were right… and some were wrong!!!  But even there, were they endorsing candidates? parties?)

Has Chuck Norris turned into a ‘neocon’ Fundie columnist?

U.B. deJudge.  Makes me think twice about buying that Bowflex or whatever!

So much for “liberal Hollywood”!

More on Bifocals

Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life, only in reverse?  (Except I have presbyopia, not crossed eyes.  And for any Orthodox readers, that has nothing to do with the priesthood!  😉  )

Wonderful.

From what I hear, I’m not a candidate for laser surgery.  My eyes are too dry.

God love the young lady, though… she’s 10 now.  With one goofy writer for a Dad/Pastor!  😉  (It’s OK, I was a Protestant seminarian once….)

Moral Outrage and Constitutional Democracy

Mr. Yuk logo

Lots of Americans get morally outraged about lots of different things.  There’s 30,000 Christian sects alone, here, after all.  But there’s undoubtedly for a whole lot of us a major and unique “yuck factor” when it comes to “intact Dilation and Evacuation (or Extraction),” aka “Partial-Birth Abortion.”  Nobody dies when men sleep with men or women sleep with women (in her dissent, Justice Ginsburg alluded to the Texas “sodomy” case whose Supreme Court resolution basically ended criminalization of private, non-commercial same-sex intercourse between consenting adults in the United States, absent lethal, incurable sexually-transmitted disease) – except said men and women when those who hate, fear, oppose, make sport of, or seek to “teach them a lesson,” murder them.  Even many people who consider themselves normally “pro-choice” are repulsed by the idea of a kid who almost made it out into the world, only to have his brains sucked out and his skull crushed by his doctor still in his mother’s womb.  (This makes me, and I think Justice Ginsburg, question just what people know about the relatively more common – but still rather rare – abortion technique called “Dilation and Evacuation by Dismemberment,” alluded to by me earlier… the “chicken” bit.  As Neil Diamond put it so well oh so many years ago, “I’m not a man who likes to swear,” but: JESUS CHRIST!  How can a doctor who does that sleep at night?!  Anyway, by the time they’re doing that one, it ain’t “a mass of cells” anymore, but unmistakably, visually human.)  There may even be thought something un-American (Look out!) about seeming to give a kid a chance and then take it away.

“Seeming,” because from what I read, usually we’re not talking about a viable baby in these procedures, a child normally scientifically, medically considered to have fifty percent or greater chance of surviving outside the womb, to begin with.  Usually second trimester, fourth-to-sixth months of pregnancy.  But people naturally identify with the tyke in the versions of this well-known drawing, more than with him a few months earlier when he had a tail, and gender-ambiguous genitalia, and an oblong head, etc etc etc.  In the picture he looks almost-born, denied the chance of life by a slim moment.  Intact D&E seems unnecessarily cruel and crude, and late.

In fact, Justice Ginsburg’s dissent documents pretty succinctly (scroll down to page 58 of this PDF – not as numbered by the document itself, but in the cumulative page numbers in Adobe’s page-number box at the bottom-center of the screen) the cases when intact D&E is alleged to be medically indicated, when we’re talking about abortion at all, when other alleged options are considered more dangerous to the life or health of the mother.  In fact, one gets the sense that intact D&E is on the whole better for the mother, less risky, than dismemberment D&E… even less ‘barbaric.’  Go figure!

One area where her dissent is telling, though, is in her ideological devotion to “reproductive choice.”  Factually I call it ideological because it seems to form the basis of her argument, not the kind of cool, “rational” legal arguing we’d prefer to hear from our judges, “liberal” or “conservative.”  (Though she never “drops the gloves” like Scalia so often does; I have long thought he should be disbarred: Can a disbarred judge continue on the federal bench??)  For Ginsburg, “reproductive choice” doesn’t end until… well, when exactly?  Absent allowed State restrictions in the third trimester, how late could a baby, even a viable one, be aborted?  Day before due-date???  Does the beginning of natural labor perhaps protect him? sometimes they can even stop labor.  And of course under the influence of those drawings, some people might fear that even during natural birth – ‘up to his belly button’ – the baby isn’t safe from a decision to abort him.  And they’re morally outraged: not just Victorians and Puritans and Fundamentalists and Talibans and male chauvinists and Catholics and Muslims and Amish and moralists and ethical hairsplitters and control-freaks and hypocrites and such, but others also.

Another way of looking at it is that “reproductive choice” took place when the choice to have (voluntary) sex without contraception or less-radical surgery than abortion – tubal ligation (female and/or male) – took place… or even to risk it then, since nothing is foolproof except chaste abstinence: the choice to reproduce.  Sex isn’t just “a new way to dial your touchtone phone”:* It’s reproduction, let’s not forget!  Maybe it doesn’t have to be all the time; in fact, it biologically can’t be.  And it certainly has other benefits!!  But when sperm joins ovum and cellular subdivision begins, human reproduction has already taken place.  When a person/couple/family become aware of the pregnancy, the “choice” – if they consider that they have one – is whether to discontinue it, whether to kill “the baby,” to end her/his life, development, growth from a smaller human being into a bigger human being, etc.  (And the late Bob Casey Sr. surely rues the day his name became associated with the phrase “the fetus that may become a child,” from the Supreme Court ruling in the Casey abortion case!  Since the Emancipation of Black Slaves in America, what good law has ever given one person life-or-death power over another innocent person – or potential person if you must – without the explicit consent of the latter?!  What valid legal system says if a woman “wants” the child in her womb at any given point in time, it’ll be considered a “person,” but if another doesn’t want hers at another point in time, he’ll not be considered a “person”?!!  This is the upshot of Ginsburg’s ‘female sovereignty/self-determination/self-development’ ideology: each woman as her own one-person Supreme Court.  IOW, legal chaos, anarchy… by definition, injustice.)

(*–In the ’70s an AM radio disc jockey opened the mike after the song “Do You Wanna Make Love, or Do You Just Wanna Fool Around?” and asked, “Do you wanna make love… or is that just a new way to dial your touchtone phone?!”)

Doubtless there are numerous moral tragedies among the million or more surgical abortions that take place in America every year – situations where people feel faced with no good decision available, for physical, medical reasons, or reasons of familial destitution where there is perceived a total absence of social support systems, or possibly extreme mental illness, or feelings of utter incapacity in the face of anticipated ‘disabilities’ of the expected child, or possibly (actual) rape or incest.**  Ginsburg associates at least some intact D&Es with second-trimester diagnoses of profound deformity or deficiency in the baby.  Be that as it may, is it necessary to push the envelope as far forward in the pregnancy as will be tolerated, and then some?  Human beings have been bearing, and raising, and sometimes seeing die very young, very ‘deformed’ or ‘deficient’ or ‘disabled’ babies, almost as long as there have been human beings.

(**–Although most people don’t realize that the genetic abnormalities commonly associated with incest/inbreeding require several generations of it to manifest; just one won’t do it.)

The thing is, America claims to be a Constitutional Democracy, one whose constitution is even codified in a single document (more or less), not an absolute democracy.  Majoritarianism is qualified by limits on governments and rights of individuals against governments.  But because we also retain a Common Law system of case law (yes, “judge-made law,” it’s older than parliamentary/congressional/legislature-made law!), there’s some give-and-take.  Ginsburg chides the Court majority for slippery moralization, but the fact is there’s plenty of slipperiness to go around in this Carhart case.  Another problem is that there’s a long, intermittent tradition of the Supreme Court being treated as a super-legislature, playing politics and Parties fighting for control of it, all to the detriment of the Rule of Law (ie, Common Law and its -based legislature, executive, and judiciary).  So “moral outrage” must take a procedural second-place to the System itself, unless we are to replace the System itself with another.

And all America needs is more systemic experimentation.  Arguably, it’s such expermentation that’s gotten us here in the first place.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban: Another Disingenuous Republican Deception?

Remember, it’s only a banned PBA if the baby’s navel (think umbilical cord) is outside the birth canal, ie, in fresh air.  I’m no obstetrician, but how hard would it be to keep that from happening.  What committee crafted this law?!!  Why the belly button?  Why not the third rib, or the left butt cheek, etc.?

Can you say Lip-service?  Sherrrr ya can!  Red meat for their base?  Activate their voters?

There were abortions before Roe v. Wade, so we know outlawing it won’t end it.  People could just go to Canada, or Latin American countries where it’s legal, or Europe, or elsewhere, if they can afford it.  So whether or not you’re working for a Supreme reversal or a Constitutional Amendment or violent revolution (which I don’t support)* or whatever… why not also work to reduce the causes of abortion.

(*–I’m not joking about violent revolution: I just read a WordPress blogger make reference to the alleged inability to effect his desired changes here nonviolently, eg, politically, in this day and age.  What’s he want, another elite minority special-interest revolt like 1775-83?  Don’t fear us Monarchists…!)

Midlife

Speaking of those bifocals, I don’t consider myself old enough for them, but for a fleeting moment, I thought I understood the Midlife Crisis – the desire to prove my worth with a much younger woman… who doesn’t need bifocals!!!*  And/Or a hot, fast car with a loud stereo blaring Classic Rock!

(*–And I should make clear that this is not my usual approach to women – for better or for worse!!)

The arc of the universe bends towards

IRONY!

Or as an Irish Catholic priest I once knew opined, “Sometimes I think Murphy’s Law* is God’s Law!”

A year-and-a-half ago, my health coverage stopped paying for my eyeglasses.  Now I’ve been prescribed BIFOCALS!!!!!

Bifocals are MUCH more expensive than normal glasses.  And I’m on Disability.  😦

(*–“If anything can possibly go wrong, it will.”)

Abortion revelations

I thought I knew what abortion involved.  I grew up Catholic in the ’70s, in parochial school, with the constant opposition to abortion from all directions.  I thought all abortions started off with a needle in the uterus to kill the fetus before it was removed by suction or induced labor.

Then in the ’90s I heard about this “partial-birth abortion” thing, where activists said the baby – well-along in development, big enough so that s/he couldn’t be passed through the cervix and birth canal without either inducing labor or collapsing her/his skull – and for some reason wasn’t killed first – was killed by the very collapsing of the skull, with his/her legs/torso hanging out.  Not alot of technical details, though.

I thought I knew.  I didn’t know that I didn’t know all about it.

Now I read that suction abortions – nearly all U.S. abortions are this kind – don’t involve prior fetal death… that some abortions involve dismembering the live fetus in utero like a Goddamned chicken and pulling out his/her body parts through the birth canal one at a time (who ever thought this was safe for the woman?!!!*)… that it is alleged that some “partial-birth abortions” come out head first, questioning the “partial” part of the nickname… and that the only kind where they do the fetus the honor of putting him/her out of her/his misery before butchering him/her, or tossing her/him in the Dumpster, or the biohazard incinerator, is the induced-labor kind, which is apparently rather rare.

 And this is from a (once-)reputable major-market newspaper once owned by a reputable national chain… not an “activist” website or tract or something.  Supposedly ‘just the facts.’

I’ve been around a bit, but I’m scandalized.  My God, what have we been doing?!  What barbarism!  Do most people know to this level of detail what abortion involves?  Do most women who undergo abortions?  Am I an exception?  If not, is it responsible medicine NOT to inform the patient that they suck the live baby out of them OR tear him or her out of them alive piece-by-piece?!?!?!  This wouldn’t be ideology or preaching, just telling the patient about just what unusual things are being done with “her body.”

In any case, if plants and paramecia react to injury and pain, the least we can do for our littlest sisters and brothers if we are going to rip them from the womb is minimize their pain and put them to death before doing anything else to their bodies/relics.  And I think we would presume they feel pain – if plants and paramecia do – even without the research that DOES suggest they do.  What kind of inhuman imagination could even conceive that they wouldn’t, or say ‘We’re not sure’?

(And speaking of viability, if babies are normally able to live outside the womb upon completion of the second trimester, should they be killed after viability at all???  [Apparently some States outlaw abortion after viability except in cases where the life or health of the mother are implicated – as allowed by the Supreme Court.]  If their mother doesn’t want to complete the nine months, can the baby be completely delivered – alive – by induced labor sooner, and kept in the hospital until they can be released to adoptive parents?)

(And if the kids on whose flesh some common vaccines were cultured were suctioned in lieu of death, in my mind that just makes that crime “that cries to Heaven for vengeance” even worse!)

(*–Ironically, apparently one of the motivations for PBA.)

Is Mitt Romney the Mormon JFK?

Kennedy’s election marked the socio-political “arrival” of Roman Catholics in the Protestant USA.  And now I hear conservative talk hosts touting Romney, defending Mormonism in spite of Evangelical fear/hatred of it, etc.  Except that Mormons are already powerful in this country and government, and not just in Utah either… it’s just that people who’ve never lived west of the Mississippi don’t realize or recognize it.

I’m not saying I’m for or against Mormonism.  To me it’s just another conservative Protestant sect… though most conservative Protestants traditionally deny they’re Christians at all, usually in the same breath with Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I tell you, though, I’d rather have an M or a JW for a neighbor than many other conservative Protestants: they’re supportive of each other, generally nice to everybody, law-abiding, JWs are pacifists….

Global Warming: Impacts for Millennia to Come!!!

(Sorry, I was delayed by Great Week/Pascha-related pursuits.  This is the report that came out Friday [PDF].)

You’ve heard the MSM take on it.  Not alot new for readers of this blog, although some of the regional specificities are… as is the question: Why are governments allowed to futz with what is supposed to be a scientific document?  It smacks of Bushie “faith-based [pseudo-]science”!!!

Anyway, some highlights you might not have heard, in the order reported:

  • –Greater carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to greater acidity in the oceans, harming shellfish and species (like humans!) who depend on them directly or indirectly. 
  • –Africa will be the worst-hit because of its poverty.  Severe reductions in agricultural output – this is on top of those already being experienced on account of HIV/AIDS, poor policymaking, etc.  Increased desertification.  Warmed lakes will impact fishing and other aquaculture.  Up to a quarter-billion people there will lack sufficient water just 13 years from now.
  • –In Asia by mid-century more than a billion people will have less freshwater.  South and East Asia’s increasing urbanization and industrialization will increase all GW effects there [as well as globally!].  More infectious diarrhea and cholera.
  • –Increasing coastal development and population growth anywhere will be more New Orleanses waiting to happen.
  • –Lots more deadly European heat waves.  And southern European agriculture will be more vulnerable to drought.
  • –In Latin America, the eastern Amazon will become savanna by mid-century!  Semi-arid areas will become arid.  Much agricultural land will become desert.  Less water for drinking, farming, and hydroelectricity.  Poverty here too will make adaptation difficult.
  • –Less water in the dry western U.S.  More forest fires and pest and disease damage.  More and worse urban heat waves, rough especially on the increasing elderly population.
  • –Just to make it official, small islands anywhere in the world will be more vulnerable to sea-level rise, temperature rise, and extreme weather events.  By mid-century, especially in the Caribbean and Pacific, small islands won’t have enough drinking water during dry seasons.  [‘Water, water everywhere….’]
  • –If you scroll down to page 15 of the report (remember again, this is the “Dummies” version for policymakers; the whole, longer text won’t be available to us mortals for a couple more months I guess), every bad effect in the chart whose description starts at the left-hand side, near the zero (0) temperature-increase indicator, starts REAL SOON.  Time to wake up!!!
  • –Global sea level is rising about half a centimeter a year through 2080… that’s about 16 inches from the 2000 level.
  • –Thanks to fiddling by the Bushies, Communist Chinese, and Saudis – talk about an “Axis of Evil”!!! – this report is less gloomy than the (“conservative”!) scientists think it will be in reality!
  • –Higher sea levels will introduce sea-salt into groundwater, river estuaries, and irrigation water, meaning even less usable water!!!
  • –For the first time, scientists talk about relocation and migration of threatened/impacted populations!!!
  • –They also talk about GW impacts over “millennia” – plural!!!  (This is in connection with assessing the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets.  Apparently they – or somebody – don’t want to be total doomsayers about these just yet, but if it’s like the February chapter, they haven’t been able to take into account unexpected increased melt in the last several years.  They may have a gloomier assessment of this in the next full report around 2013.)
  • –Although an Upper North Atlantic Little Ice Age isn’t expected this century, some slowing of the Gulf Stream and cooling of the North Atlantic Ocean IS now expected (p. 17): “Impacts of large-scale and persistent changes in the {Gulf Stream} are likely to include changes to marine ecosystem productivity, fisheries, ocean carbon dioxide uptake, oceanic oxygen concentrations and terrestrial vegetation.”  They focus on Europe, but it has to affect eastern North America somewhat as well.
  • –As recently illustrated by the NY Times, vulnerability to the effects of GW is increased by poverty (in the global sense).
  • –In summary (p. 20, emphasis added), “Even the most stringent mitigation efforts cannot avoid further impacts of climate change… which makes adaptation essential, particularly in addressing near-term impacts. Unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt. This suggests the value of a portfolio or mix of strategies that includes mitigation, adaptation, technological development (to enhance both adaptation and mitigation) and research (on climate science, impacts, adaptation and mitigation). Such portfolios could combine policies with incentive-based approaches, and actions at all levels from the individual citizen through to national governments and international organizations.”
  • –And just as a reminder, when the governments made them reduce some of their “confidence” assessments from “very high” to just “high,” it was a reduction from 90 percent probability to 80 percent (see p. 22, Endbox 2, paragraph 2).  A difference which makes no difference is no difference.  F*cking politicians!

My own concluding reflections:

  • –Unless the rest of the world can do something about it, between GW, Peak Oil, AIDS, and expected increased political instability, Africa is going to be a basket case.
  • –Again, unless the rest of the world can do something about it, further-urbanizing and industrializing China and India are going to face warmer temps, higher sea levels, greater river flooding, less drinking water, more coal mining, more pollution of air, soils, and water, more infectious diarrhea and cholera, more lung cancer from the pollution, more skin cancer from the planet’s reversing magnetic field, more nuclear power and certain plant accidents and/or sabotage… and alot more people, fatter and sicker.  God help them!
  • –Why people are still moving to the Southeast U.S., already intolerably hot and humid in the summer, now with intensifying hurricanes and tornadoes and imperiled coastal communities, is beyond me!  Even summers in the rest of the Eastern U.S. are just awful!  I’ve actually calculated that the best place to live in North America, GW-wise, for now, is Santa Barbara/San Luis Obispo Counties, California (maybe not right on the coast!): not too hot in summer, not too cold in winter – i.e., saving on fossil fuels for cooling and heating – not too humid or snowy(!), without the long winter nights farther north requiring fossil fuels (or nuke power) for extra lighting.  Of course, as the climate warms, this Nice zone will creep up the Coast….
  • –In any case, we should discourage further coastal development, and encourage people to move away from the coastlines and flood-prone areas – worldwide.
  • –Step-up desalination of sea water for human usage worldwide.
  • –Plant more trees in heat-prone urban cores, perhaps removing unused buildings to do so.
  • –Start thinking about relocating inhabitants of the world’s small islands… voluntarily of course.  Meanwhile, of getting them usable water during dry season.
  • –All that Northern Canadian freshwater will be worth its weight in gold!
  • –Gotta love how this “theme” doesn’t display bullets in its supposed “bullet lists”!!!

April is IBS Awareness Month

Has the Easter Bunny left the North Pole yet?

Just kidding.  Christ is Risen!  Indeed, He is Risen!

MS Word inventor going into space?

By no means let him “View Codes”!!!  😦

Causers, Sufferers of Global Warming

dramatically illustrated in this NY Times “interactive” graphic.  Hint: Industrialized/ing countries cause it and are comparatively better-equipped to deal with it, many LDCs are not.  Although with this caveat: Static or increasing crop yields they expect in some places probably remain dependent on petroleum-based fertilizers (Eat Oil!!) which will end when petroleum does, real soon.  Also, there’s no way I see Australia coming out of this in great shape: Sydney’s suburbs are already burning up, literally.  That’s a continent that’s already almost entirely desert.

Global Warming: Alaskan Evac

Joe Klein Pans Bushies

In TIME mag.  “Unfit to lead.”  Where ya been, Joe?  Alot of us knew this 9 years ago!  HIGH CRIMES.

Global Warming vs. Weather Forecasting

Some deniers point to the failings of their local TV weatherperson and ask how any scientists can claim to predict Global Warming planetwide for the next thousand years or more.  Reasonable question.

The answer is that it’s actually usually easier, scientifically, to analyze general worldwide trends, than which jet streams or cloud formations are going to appear over this or that particular point on the earth’s surface more than, say, 24 hours in the future.  What GW scientists aren’t saying is that your block will get a thunderstorm more intense than usual next weekend, or for that matter, that your town’s daytime high (or worse, overnight low) next weekend will be 0.03 degrees Celsius warmer than usual, or whatever.  All they’re saying is that on average, the long-term trends, verified by complex mathematical models that have successfully predicted what we’ve already gone through in recent generations as if it hadn’t happened yet, portend that the world’s overall temperature will keep rising as far ahead as we can see, caused by Greenhouse Gases that have had known effects and will continue to because we know how these gases behave in the atmosphere, how long they can be expected to last up there, etc etc etc.

For example, the global average temperature won’t even be affected by a relatively-more localized Upper North Atlantic Little Ice Age if it happens, though Western Europe and eastern North America will certainly feel different until the global average overcomes the local Little Ice Age effect.

Like dropping an ice cube into a boiling pot.