There was a rally in Newnan, Georgia, on Saturday, April 21 – one day after Hitler’s birthday. I mention that only because the media characterized it as a “neo-Nazi” rally. The rally was led by Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement. [“Nazi” is an abbreviated form of “National Socialist German Workers Party.”] About a dozen people labeled by the media as neo-Nazis or fascists, most in really cute costumes with shields and flags, rendered Nazi salutes and faced (at considerable distance, apparently, enforced by police) perhaps a hundred people labeled by most of the media as Antifa (Anti-Fascists). (Fox news said only that some of the opposition were members of Antifa. I don’t know how anyone could be sure … I mean, do they have ID cards or something? Another reason to be careful about believing what we read in the news. Besides, shouldn’t everyone in America be against Nazism and Fascism? Well, perhaps if they really knew what those were. But that’s another story.)
Both groups were outnumbered by as many as 700 police-persons.
Our goobernor tweeted that we should "pray for Newnan." Lot of help, there, Goobernor. Thanks for the thought. Go back to sleep.
Schoep "criticized illegal immigration, skinny jeans and the removal of Confederate monuments." He also claimed the "Nazi salutes" were actually "Roman salutes." (I would really like to know where that came from.) Bert Colucci (sounds Italian, to me – see below) the soi-disant Chief of Staff of the National Socialist Movement said we should put illegal immigrants "in camps ... Like we did the Italians, Germans and Japanese." Oops! He forgot Jews, although a sign at the rally attributed to the Neo-Nazis "claimed Jews were behind the refugee movement." Maybe these folks are all-inclusive bigots, after all.
You know, of course, that the US government interned Americans of Japanese ancestry in concentration camps during World War II. Did you know we also interned Italians and Germans? The Italians and Germans were almost all non-citizens (diplomats, businesspersons, students, and merchant marine sailors) who happened to be in the US when we declared war on Italy and Germany. Few, if any were American citizens. (Of course, the history of these actions is considerably blurred by those who conducted them, those who abhor them, those who claim they never happened, and those who think they didn’t go far enough.)
Skinny jeans? I guess that should be added to the list of things to be banned if we're going to make America great again. What about Confederate monuments wearing skinny jeans? The possibilities are endless.
As many as ten of the opposition (Antifa, Antifa-wanna-bes?) were arrested for refusing to take off their masks. Apparently, there’s still a law on the books in Georgia banning the wearing of masks in public places. It was designed to target the Ku Klux Klan, and is suspended on Halloween, or the jails would be full of kids in Darth Vader and Spiderman costumes – and masks. Selective enforcement of the law? Is that “right”? No. It isn’t. It’s fundamentally wrong. On the other hand, it’s often reported that the Antifa people try to get photographs of the Nazis in order to “out” them to their employers. Yet Antifa people wear masks to protect their own identities? Another fundamentally wrong thing.
Yes, we live in a crazy world.
This is letter I sent to the Fayette County, GA, Board of Commissioners and to "The Citizen" newspaper.
I am a citizen of Fayette County and an Air Force veteran with more than 20 years service to this country. I am opposed to the Fayette County Board of Commissioners recognizing April 26 as “Confederate Memorial Day,” and the month of April as “Confederate History and Heritage Month.”
I was reared in the South until college graduation at age 22. I was thoroughly indoctrinated in the Confederacy. In grammar school, during assembly, we sang songs from the southern side of the Civil War: "The Girl I Left Behind Me," "The Bonny Blue Flag," “Dixie,” and others of that ilk.
On May 10, which was Confederate Memorial Day in North Carolina, we were dismissed from school to walk to the Courthouse where we decorated a Confederate Monument with flowers. (This, of course, applied to the white schools. Integration, although ordered by the Supreme Court before this, was not implemented until at least 12 years later.)
After the ceremony at the Confederate Monument, the Children of the Confederacy (of which, of course, I was a member, having a great-great grandfather who died in Pickett's Charge, Gettysburg) went to the home of the docent of society for cookies and punch. No, we were not marked absent or tardy from school.
I was a Distinguished Military Graduate from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, which, I learned, was created first as a garrison to house the young men of Charleston, SC, following a slave uprising.
I learned the (possibly apocryphal) story that the first shot in the "War of Northern Aggression," as the elders of my family described it, was fired by cadets from The Citadel under the command of a man who was said to have been a relative.
I learned that my paternal grandfather had been a member of an organization that was a front for the Ku Klux Klan.
I learned about segregation at an early age, but that's another story.
History must be preserved. While those who do not remember history may not be doomed to repeat it, those who do learn from history will certainly annihilate them. It is far past time to relegate the history of the confederacy and the civil war to textbooks, and not in flags that fly from pickup trucks, not around bonfires where stand men in white robes and hoods, and certainly not in the chambers of the Fayette County Commissioners.
Paul Lentz, Peachtree City
Thomas Malthus was an optimist. His mathematics – word problems – would not be allowed in today’s schools because they are too hard, too complicated, and too unfair. Nevertheless, they were correct in their times. He predicted that population would increase exponentially (warning: word problem) while food production would increase only arithmetically (another word problem) until population exceeded food. The result would be what is sometimes called a Malthusian Crisis; sometimes, a visit by the Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (I promise to explain why five and not four before this article ends.)
Malthus suggested several outcomes, Famine and Disease being the most likely. Others have added War (to control scarce resources) and the ultimate result of the first three – Death. Those are the traditional “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” based on the myths in the Book of Revelation.
To those I would add the fifth likely cause of Death and the Fifth Horseman – Global Climate Change.
Back to my first sentence. Why do I say Malthus was an optimist? Is it not already true that the world’s population seems likely to exceed its capacity to support human life? Is it not already true that we have overtaken the amount of greenhouse gasses Earth can sustain without catastrophic results? Is it not already true that perhaps nine million people die of starvation every year? Is it not already true that half-a-million to one million people die of malaria each year? Is it not already true that more than one million people have died as a direct or indirect cause of war in the past year? Is it not already true that a quarter of a million people or more will die as a direct result of climate change in 2018? Is it not already true that antibiotic-resistant strains of staphylococcus aurous and typhoid fever (caused by Salmonella tryphi bacteria), and other deadly diseases are infecting populations – mostly in what we consider the third world? Is it not already true that in the United States black babies die at twice the rate of white babies?
Wait a minute! Where did that last come from? Malthus never…
No, Malthus never wrote about the endemic institutional racism in the United States that keeps black mothers from the pre-natal care that would keep their babies alive at the same rate as white babies.
Is institutional racism the Sixth Horse of the Apocalypse?
Based on what I read in the news, it may be. It just may be.
* * * * *
Media reports today (Sunday, April 8, 2018) include (again) claims that government forces commanded by Bashar al-Assad have (again) used chemical weapons on civilians
The response from the world is (again) denial from Syria, “alarm” from the French government, and a wimpy response from the British Foreign Office. In their words, if this is true “it is further proof of Assad’s brutality.”
I haven’t seen anything from Trump, by the way. But, then, I no longer subscribe to Twitter, which seems to be the official organ of the United States Government. (The official nature Trump’s penis, which seems to be leading his philosophy, I fear to contemplate.)
But I have seen photographs of children, hooked up to oxygen masks and heart monitors, and wonder if any of these children are still alive.
Where are the good people of the world? The evidence is overwhelming that chemical weapons – chlorine gas from barrel bombs, and perhaps other similar weapons, for example – have been repeatedly used to attack civilians in the Syrian war. Whether the fault lies with Assad, some ill-defined “rebels,” ISIS, or the Turks and Kurds, it’s clear that children are dying not only from chemical attacks but also from bombs released by Turkish, Russian, and American planes. Perhaps others.
The proximate fault – the match which ignited this fire – may lie with one of the several combatants. However, the ultimate cause lies with you.
Yes, you, who have read (or could have read) of this horror for years.
You, who could have joined with other good people to force your government, whether of the United States or of Britain, or of France or of Russia or of many other nations to stop the insanity.
But you did nothing. You sat in front of your television sets, glued to the latest basketball, soccer, or cricket match, glued to the latest fake-reality show, glued to the current “who has talent” display, while munching on some unhealthy snacks, while people, including children, died at the hands of despots.
Their blood is on your hands.
Mental health (with respect to the Christian Terrorist in Austin, TX and the shooter in Florida) and Trump's latest sexual escapades are both red herrings *. The first was created by Trump in order to distract people from the real issues (military assault weapons in the hands of children, for example); the second is more likely serendipitous – for Trump.
* Red herring: something that is intended to be misleading or distracting from an important issue. Logical fallacies may be used as red herrings.
In Trump's usage, mental illness falls in the class of relevance fallacies, the notion that one topic is connected to another topic in a way that makes it appear that the second should be considered when considering the first.
If you believe Trump, then studies of mental illness and throwing money at detection and treatment become the sine qua non of preventing mass shootings and gun violence. If you believe the premise that children shouldn't have military assault weapons then things that fall under the rubric of "gun control" become the sine qua non.
The problem is exacerbated by the seeming inability of the American people to conduct a civil, rational, and logical conversation about this issue – or most issues. No matter what the issue, we the people seem to be immediately and rigidly polarized. I blame social media as well as the so-called mainstream media.
By the way, did you catch my logical fallacies? Tying "children" and "military assault weapons" together was designed to provoke a strong emotion and increase polarization. Saying "sexual escapade" rather than "adulterous behavior" was designed to minimize the importance of that issue.
What about "Christian Terrorist"? The man was a home-schooled, Christian fundamentalist who, if the press is to be believed, attended a home-school social group that conducted war games with cream pies. No one seems to be calling him a Christian Terrorist (much less a "White Christian Terrorist"). If he'd been Muslim, the press and Trump would be pissing "Muslim Terrorist" and "radicalized" until their bladders were flat.
If you want to read how one NY Times writer explains his coverage, try this link:
My linking "Christian" to "Terrorist" is no more valid than Trump and the press linking "Muslim" to "Terrorist." Or, it is equally valid. God is love and Jesus preached "love thy neighbor"? Yes, but Jesus also told his disciples, "If you do not have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one." Of course, it's all mythology, and the Quran is largely plagiarized from the Jewish Bible.
I've said this, before. It's in the introduction to "Holy Fire": "If Hitler and Goebbels had the internet, we'd be speaking German."
Can you imagine Leni Riefenstahl turned loose on YouTube? Compare "Triumph of the Will" to something like "Across the Pacific," which (after “Casablanca”) is probably the second best Hollywood propaganda film of the era. (Second best, in this case, is still pathetic. Seriously. Picture Sidney Greenstreet kneeling at a Japanese style altar committing seppuku.)
At the risk of hyperbole (itself a fallacy of logic), the internet may be more dangerous than nuclear weapons.
Recent articles have described the use of gray water – incompletely treated sewage – in snow machines at Arizona ski resorts and elsewhere. The Hopi nation is suing to stop this practice at one resort, and it appears that at least one court believes their case should proceed.
This reminds me of a battle over the use of incompletely treated sewage to water the soccer fields of one southern city. These fields are used by youth soccer leagues. The city and the sewerage authority (separate entities) both claim it is safe. At least one environmental scientist has argued otherwise. But, like so many issues, it’s been buried by a series of statements from politicians, nebulous statements, proclamations such as “It’s safe. Trust me. Take your Soma.”
The Hopi battle against the use of gray water from sewage plants is likely to be a harbinger of things to come. One of the problems in this county is that while the county provides water to all residents, much of the county is rural, and people are “on septic.” The water that is removed from lakes and streams and pumped to them does not flow back through a sewage treatment plant then to the lakes and streams. At best, it evaporates and may join clouds that may drop rain on our watershed. In other words, we’re taking out much more than we are putting back. And that’s a problem that is going to get worse as the county grows. Developers are adding literally hundreds of new homes just north of me. The new residents will increase demand for water. Although they will be on sewer, they will be watering lawns and landscaping and filling swimming pools. That water, like septic, evaporates and doesn’t always get back in the lakes and streams.
I’ve been reading Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse.” It talks about why civilizations such as Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, the Greenland Norse, the Maya, and others collapsed. So far, it seems the reasons are (1) people making decisions the consequence of which they couldn’t foresee and (2) leaders making decisions to benefit themselves at the expense of the populace.
There are often environmental factors associated with (1). For example, the Greenland Norse arrived during a climatic warm period, and thought the weather would always support their kind of farming and herding. Then, there was a cold spell, crops failed, smaller and more remote farms could not support the farmers, so they moved to towns or larger farms and stressed the limited food supply. Eventually, most of the colony starved to death. They could not foresee the cold spell, and only a few degrees of cooling killed them.
Easter Island is an example of (2). Chiefs required the people to erect all those statues, which took labor away from farming. Moving and erecting the statues required a lot of wood (logs to roll them on, if I remember correctly). Eventually all the trees were cut down. Without tree roots to hold the soil, and without people to work the farms, the soil became depleted and – once again, everyone starved to death.
Yes, there are reasons to believe that our civilization may be headed for collapse. Several of my friends and I are reading things like “The Dark Mountain Manifesto,” which predicts that civilization will “die from civilization” and calls for “new stories” to guide us away from collapse. Daniel Quinn, who years ago wrote “Ishmael” and “Beyond Civilization,” among other books, blames overpopulation and the “stories” that drive our civilization. He suggests that in order to survive we will have to adopt tribalism – something he says is already happening in ghettos and among so-called minority populations. Dimitry Orlov, a Russian who studied the collapse of the Soviet Union and has drawn parallels with the current situation in the US, suggests stocking up not with gold, but chrome steel pipes to make bicycles.
I find myself always angry, sometimes fearful, but seldom optimistic when I read the news. I read many news sources from many places including The New York Times, Aljazeera (Qatar), occasionally Al Arabia (Saudi Arabia), Associated Press, National Public Radio, The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (United Kingdom), Reuters (Canadian), occasionally Sputnik and RT (two Russian news sources) and others. I often skim articles in the Google news feed, and usually read several of them. I am trying to separate fact from speculation. I have learned that the first 30%-50% of most articles, even in the most stately of news sources, is factual reporting and the remainder of the articles is speculation and commentary disguised as news and designed to fill space. I also find it interesting to see the difference in how these sources treat the same story.
I believe that Russian Internet Trolls and others are using social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, as well as some I’ve heard of but never used, to draw people to web sites to read what is truly fake news. I believe there is enough information to accept the suggestion that Robert Mercer and a tiny group of rich mega-donors have virtual control of all major elections. We don’t need the Russians to hack our voting rolls or voting machines. We have been turned into a nation of sheep who gladly follow a rightist or leftist bellwether. (By the way, a bellwether is a castrated sheep.) I know social media companies analyze their users, learn their likes and dislikes, and use that to direct advertisements, links, etc. to draw their users to spend more time on the site (earning more advertising money for the company).
I don’t want the social media companies, the Russians, or Robert Mercer and his ilk telling me what I need to see. Therefore, I no longer use Facebook or Twitter, and have not signed up for any other social media sites.
I do use the Google search engine – often. Google probably has a hard time figuring out what I like and dislike, since my searches are all over the map. After all, I’m currently writing two science fiction books, and just finished a book that dealt with cremation, autopsies, and organ transplants on and around the Navajo reservation. Still, I know that some ads I see are targeted to me because of my past behavior. For example, I once spent a couple of hours researching wheelchairs for a friend. For about a month afterwards, most of the news sources had at least one ad for wheelchairs. So far, however, no one has tried to sell me a cremation oven.
EnergyBulletin.net :: Closing the 'Collapse Gap': the USSR was better prepared for collapse
Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media. The Guardian, 26 February 2017
Does the ontogeny of the Russian internet trolls recapitulate the phylogeny of the Bolshevik revolution?
It was recently reported by legitimate sources that when the most recent Florida shooting reached the media, Russian internet trolls set their bots to create messages on social media which pumped up the number of followers of various hashtags and addresses on both left and right (e.g., #taketheguns, #saveourguns) simply in order to get people to click on real fake news sites which these same Russian trolls created. It seems that these trolls are bent on stirring up confusion and conflict among the American electorate. And it appears that they are succeeding. Lenin said, "You cannot do anything without rousing the masses to action."
If the Russians want to rouse the massives * of this country, certainly the actions of these trolls seem well designed.
* "Massives," as in "Television is the opiate of the massives," who sit before it with a six-pack of beer and a plate of tortilla chips covered with something resembling melted linoleum, glazed eyes fixated on a modern gladiatorial game or a fake reality show or a foxprop * news channel.
* By the way, I coined the word "foxprop" for my book, "Holy Fire," and may have used it elsewhere. Here's the definition: Disparaging term for political propaganda. From the kitsune, a fox of Japanese legend—a shape shifter—and the legends of the Quechua, a fox of the Andes—a scoundrel.
Lenin also said, "People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises."
And that, IMHO, encapsulates a lot of what is wrong in our society, a flaw that the trolls are exploiting. Too many of us have no idea of what's really going on in politics and religion. Our politicians, in particular spend a great deal of time and energy hiding their real purposes. We are distracted by Twitter messages, real fake news sites, extremists on the internet (remember, there are no gatekeepers on the internet), and the modern version of "bread and circuses” (see opiate of the massives, above).
There is a cooling; there is a heating.
What an elegantly simple way of describing – not climate. Perhaps the seasons. Temperatures generally rise in spring and summer and decline in fall and winter. But these seasonal changes are not climate. If one is to talk about climate, one should use the word correctly. By definition, “climate” is a description of long-term trends in weather. Trends that are at least ten years long, often more. Climate is not an instantaneous measure of temperature, but includes a long-term average.
By those rules, there has been a recent heating of Earth. Every year for the past 17, the average global temperature has been at least 0.4° C warmer than the average during the 20th century. That’s clearly “a heating.” By those rules, the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8°C since 1880. On the other hand, there hasn’t been a cooler-than-average year since 1976. It would be more correct to say, “Forty-one years ago, there was a cooling; since then, there has only been a heating.”
Eight-tenths of a degree C? That’s just a shade less than one-and-a-half degrees F. Difficult, but not impossible to detect with a tongue or a fingertip. On the other hand, that is an average of temperature readings taken from around the world. In some places, the local average increase has been higher than 0.8°C. In some places, the local average increase has been lower. (Ref 1)
Earth is warmed by the sun, by radioactive decay from deep within Earth, and by heat left over from the primordial Earth (the Hadean Eon, from about 4.5-to-4.0 billion years ago). What is important about the last two is that they are slowly but inexorably decreasing. (Ref 2) The only source of an increase in Earth’s average temperature is the sun.
The sun’s output is known to fluctuate. For example, there is an eleven-year cycle in the number of sunspots.
When there are more sunspots, the sun radiates more light than when there are fewer. In addition, when there are fewer sunspots, there is a lighter solar wind. More cosmic rays strike Earth’s atmosphere and may create aerosol particles that may create more clouds which reflect more sunlight. (Ref 5)
Recent research (Refs 3, 4) offers other measures of solar activity, and suggests an increase in some measures during the early 20th century. The effect on climate, if any, is not yet known; however, solar activity has leveled off in the past several decades, while average temperatures on Earth have continued to rise.
The amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by Earth depends, first, on a number of cyclical factors, including the eccentricity of orbit (how close to the sun the earth is) and some wobbling of Earth’s axis, as well as the imbalance in land area in the northern and southern hemispheres. These factors were first captured by Milutin Milancović in the 1920s. Please see Ref 6 to begin a look at this.
We should be able to agree, at this point, that Earth’s internal heat is not causing a rise in average global temperatures, but that the sun’s affect on Earth’s average global temperature is the culprit (if culprit is the right word).
There is not, however, enough of a difference in solar energy explained by either the Milancović cycles or sunspot cycles to account for the recent (since 1880) increase in average global temperatures. A simple reason is that these things are, after all, cyclical and we would expect they would “level out” over the past nearly 140 years.
If you will accept what has been presented so far, perhaps you would also be willing to accept the notion that the rise in average global temperature can be laid at the feet of greenhouse gasses.
In preparation for writing the fourth book in the “Stuff of Life” tetralogy, I’ve been reading Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.” So far, I’ve read about Easter Island, Montana (at least the Bitterroot Valley), the Maya, Pitcairn Island, and the Anasazi. What I’ve taken from this is that those collapses are largely due to bad decisions made by people in power, usually decisions made to benefit those in power at the expense of the public. Certainly there were other factors, including (let me whisper these, lest I offend) climate change and people’s inability to restrict breeding (think Malthusian catastrophe).
An order from Amazon was scanned as being at the PTC Post Office at 4 AM yesterday morning and then scanned as Out for Delivery about 11 AM. Now the order is marked as "Carrier Delay" and neither Amazon nor I can find anything else.
A package for which I paid much money for Two Day Air, and which was marked Out For Delivery by UPS on Wednesday, then marked delayed until Thursday, then marked delayed until Friday, then marked for delivery by 4:30 PM Friday was finally delivered at 5:50 PM on Friday.
Peachtree City offices and I suspect most of the schools were closed for several days. All this due to perhaps an inch of snow.
Oh, yes, and the entire government was "shut down" because either (1) some people got the guts to stand up to a bellwether that is leading us to disaster, or (2) some sort of pecker contest among idiots on both sides of the aisle, or (3) the entire Congress overdosed on Imodium and is so tight and full of feces they can't do anything, or (4) lack of interest. Perhaps, all of the above.
How are these things related? I hypothesize that they are all symptoms of the civilization we have crafted being too fragile to be sustained and well into its inevitable decline.
For a long time, I thought it was Thomas Jefferson who said that the new Republic would exist only until the people discovered they could vote themselves largess from the public purse. Apparently, there is some debate about who said that. (For example, see the reference, below.)
Still, I cannot help but watch as the current administration and its allies vote themselves and their supporters largess in the form of tax breaks for multi-millionaires while pretending to offer crumbs to the middle class while also killing off the poor and people of color by restricting or denying reasonable medical treatment. I cannot help but be aghast at the lack of honesty and ethical behavior by the administration and the coterie of vultures with which it has surrounded itself.
(Final message to supporters of the current administration, only: Are you offended, yet? Good. Maybe, just maybe, that will cause you to think for a change.)
I have a friend who is a “conspiracy theorist.” No, he’s not a nut; he just likes pulling my chain with outré theories. He has proposed everything from ancient astronauts to the existence of a creator god who is also a personal savior.
His latest, however, trumps (pun intended) everything. He’s decided that (1) Trump (the one in the White House) is an alien; (2) Harvey and Irma are some god’s punishment or test of the human race; and (3) these are signs of the “end times.”
Oh, and (4) all these things play together nicely, somehow.
I cannot comment on (1) (that Trump is an alien) except to say that he’s definitely not my idea of a president. Remember when “gravitas” was considered important? What ever became of that? No, Trump lacks gravitas. In fact, sometimes it seems that he’s taken gravitas into negative territory.
Harvey and Irma. There’s a lot of crap on the internet. You knew that. There are no gatekeepers on the internet, and we are responsible for understanding and assessing all that we read.
I won’t call it fake news, even though some of it is what that is. $3500 fares on a major airline? In your dreams. The person who posted that is one of the reasons the rest of us Primates are called stupid. Post an anecdote and get the state’s attorney general involved. Weatherpersons are wrong and shouldn’t be paid? Another of those cretins who thinks they know the cost of everything (but, as the adage goes, know the value of nothing). It’s been shown that if the TV weather persons simply said, “Tomorrow’s weather will be a lot like today’s,” they would be correct more than 50% of the time… unlike their usual attempts to spin the information from the National Weather Service—which is where they all get their raw data. Meteorologists? It’s like calling me a doctor because I know how to access the internet’s medical sites.
Yeah, I know some of them have degrees in meteorology, and some really know what they’re talking about. However, most of them appear to be slaves of the networks, which are fighting for ratings. The worse the meteorologists say things will be, the higher the ratings, and the higher the advertising revenues. Did you know that “meteors” were once defined as anything that appeared in the heavens, from clouds to comets? Just saying, you know.
I find it disappointing that the Christian fundamentalist preacher who ordered Irma, in the name of his god, to return to the Caribbean, failed in that attempt. I also wondered what he had against the peoples of the ravaged Caribbean islands who would face the brunt of his curse.
It was interesting to see that an ugly haint, known as a right-wing political pundit, claimed that Harvey was her god’s punishment of Houston for electing a lesbian mayor. That was almost as ludicrous as the mega-church preacher of the ‘my god wants me to have a mansion and G5 jet” persuasion who claimed that Harvey was his god’s test of the people of Houston. I guess we can assume that the 70+ people who have already died failed that test. To bad we don’t know exactly why they failed. Nor do they include the thousands who are devastated by the storm, the hundreds who will die from cancer after exposure to toxic chemicals that got into the water that soaked into their drywall, and on and on. You should be able to complete this picture.
A news story I saw last night showed Trump at Camp David meeting with his cabinet about Irma. Apparently he started the meeting with prayer. Ummm. That didn’t work for the Xtian Fundamentalist preacher who ordered Irma, in his god’s name, to “turn back.” I just don’t understand. If you believe your god can stop (or mitigate) a storm, you must (if you are a rational person) believe he (or she) also caused the storm. But, why would he?
Of course you know that an infamous (and ugly as sin, initials AC) political pundit and author said that Harvey was her god's punishment of Houston for having elected a lesbian mayor. Of course, this mayor wasn't in office when the storm struck. What? Her god couldn't gin up a storm earlier? He (or she) forgot?
Joel Osteen, he of the "Jesus wants me to have a mansion and a G5 jet" said Harvey was his god testing the people of Texas. I guess it's safe to say the 60+ people who have already died so far failed that test, as did the thousands who are displaced, and the hundreds who will contract cancer from the toxic chemicals that got into the water and then into the drywall of their waterlogged homes, and the thousand who will suffer stress as a result of the storm. Looks like Joel's god got this one right... with all the testing that has happened and will continue to happen for years... he (or she) got a lot of bang for his (or her) buck.
Of course, it goes without saying that god (some god) is testing the people of the Caribbean islands, Florida, parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, etc. with Irma. I'm not sure what this god is doing with Irma's little brother, Jose, who is likely to spin around and flake out some 700-800 miles due west of Miami. Perhaps god (he or she) decided Jose wasn't needed. Why, then, didn’t he (or she) simply cancel that storm? Inquiring minds want to know. (Maybe Trump can turn Jose into a divine border wall, but only if he prays enough.)
I think it is just as logical to say that Harvey and Irma are some god's punishment of this nation for having elected Trump.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.