My son is taking an "extreme climate" course at U of M. I told him about my last blog post. He told me that the issue of global warming is the subject of "climate science," which isn't the same thing as "weather science." I asked him what the difference is, and he said it's hard to explain succinctly. I asked, "Are they related?" And he replied, "Oh yeah, definitely."
After writing my jeremiad about the shamanism that goes by the name "meteorological science," I deleted the Accuweather app from my phone and resolved never to look at another long-term weather forecast again, except, maybe, the Chicago Weather Center Blog's. I would only rely on weather forecasts for the immediate future: 24 hours, maybe 48.
Consistent with my resolve, I checked the Saturday forecast yesterday morning at around 9:00 and saw that the weather folk were forecasting 35 and sunny on Saturday.
I then woke up this morning to two inches of snow.
The shamans couldn't tell "heavy snow" from "sun," just 18 hours ahead of time.
Frauds, the lot of them.
Are we relying on "meteorological science" to give us reliable information, and forecasting, about global warming? If so, consider me no longer agnostic about global warming, but rather a hard core atheist. Largely ignorant about the issues, granted, but still atheist on the fundamental grounds that the science on which it rests is patently unreliable.
I'm ignorant about the weather, but at least I admit it. The shamans not only think they understand it, they think they can forecast it . . . and not just ten days, but fifty years, into the future. Well, they can't even reliably forecast 18 hours into the future, so pardon me if I scoff at their 50-year forecasts.
Of course, if there are scientific disciplines involved in the global warming debate that aren't part of the meteorological shamanism, you can again paint me agnostic.
From Reddit's Today I Learned: TIL Alfred Hitchcock was notoriously hard on actors. He was once quoted as saying, “Actors are cattle”—a quip that stirred up a huge outcry. In response, he issued this correction: “I have been misquoted. What I really said is, ‘Actors should be treated as cattle.’”
Burger and beer? $250 (plus the cost of the beer). At this bar in midtown Manhattan. "A Midtown restaurant will sell a $250 hamburger — an umami bomb comprised of Kobe beef, foie gras, crispy pancetta, white truffles and caviar." Link.
Interactive Chart Finds Your New Favorite Beer For You.
Vodka is evolving. This article explains it, then finishes with this list of examples:
1. Napa Vodka Vintage Reserve, 40% ABV, $70 | Made from single-estate Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc grapes, it's reminiscent of a fruity eau-de-vie, but with a crisp finish. Serve chilled, with aged cheeses.
2. Hophead Hop Vodka, 45% ABV, $30 | A beer-lover's vodka, distilled with hops. Super-fragrant, with grapefruit, grassy and floral flavors. As close to gin as vodka can get without going over the line.
3. AO Vodka, 40% ABV, $50 | This clean, lightly sweet vodka from Japan's Suntory is distilled from rice. The exquisitely silky texture makes it a standout. Serve in a martini glass with a splash of dry vermouth and a ribbon of fresh cucumber.
4. Chopin Single Young Potato Vodka, 40% ABV, $50 | If you're going to try just one of Chopin's four Single selections, make it this one. The mild aroma hints at dark chocolate; on the palate it's buttery, with ginger and black pepper notes.
5. Karlsson's Gold Vodka, 40% ABV, $33 | Made from Swedish potatoes, distilled only once and rebelliously unfiltered, this is an earthy, downright savory vodka. The flavor evokes truffles sprinkled with black pepper. A top pick for Bloody Marys.
Fascism, Bilderberg, and the Vatican
Definition of Fascism: Use of coercion to promote a goal that is neither a good that is self-evident from the natural law nor a good that is supported by an overwhelming majority.
It differs from Socialism in this: It does not eliminate private property in furtherance of the goal. It uses other forms of coercion.
Every law contains an element of coercion, but that doesn't make every law Fascistic. Speed limits promote a public good that is both self-evident from the natural law (safety from immediate risk of bodily harm) and has overwhelming support in theory (if not in practice). Some laws are poorly implemented, but if pretty much everyone supports them, it's hard to call them Fascistic. Some laws are downright stupid, but if the goal was self-evidently in furtherance of a goal informed by the natural law, it isn't Fascistic.
What numerical majority is necessary to render an-otherwise Fascistic law non-Fascistic? I don't know. It depends on the amount of coercion in use and the importance of the public good. If 99 out of 100 people believe everyone needs to contribute one penny a year to maintain a statue of the community's founder, the resulting law isn't Fascistic against the one. If the same overwhelming majority thought each person must give 75% of their annual income to do so, it probably is (note: the confiscation of tax dollars, however, is a form of coercion that starts to bleed Fascism into Socialism, so this isn't the greatest example).
How do we discern the natural law? In this age of discord, it's virtually impossible. I lean with Brownson on this one: It's the role of the Catholic Church. So, obviously, we have two problems: (1) Christians who might otherwise agree with these ramblings would vomit at this point, and (2) non-Christians who are still reading (who didn't vomit at the reference to the natural law) will vomit now.
Why the Catholic Church? Simple: It is the only (the only, one and only) institution that has any plausible claim to do so and it stands outside the political sphere so it, among all institutions, has the least chance of having, and acquiring, a horse in the race. Granted, the Church's a-political role didn't gel clearly until Italian unification in the 19th century, but its a-political role has now been firmly established for over 150 years, and the groundwork for such an establishment had been laid a thousand years before that.
And what gives the Church that claim? Two things: (1) A good (not perfect, but good) track record of European advancement when Popes had leaders' ears, and (2) Its foundation as a spiritual and moral force (starting with Matthew 16:18). Both these points, obviously, can be debated and denied, but those are the pillars on which I'd set the claim (subject, as all things are, to modification upon discussion and further thought).
And if we don't acknowledge the Catholic Church's legitimate position to exercise this a-political role, our culture will increasingly come under sway of other groups who claim to be the a-political force that political leaders need to listen to. In this, I believe, the Bilderberg Group is merely filling a vacuum that naturally occurred when the Holy See's role in such matters was essentially rejected.
Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network ran this piece today, claiming that secession movements are picking up steam. Drudge linked to it. Now The Daily Bell is talking about it.
Could secession movements actually succeed? Bill Kauffman did a nice job discussing the different movements and their legitimacy in Bye Bye, Miss American Empire: Neighborhood Patriots, Backcountry Rebels, and their Underdog Crusades to Redraw America's Political Map. If this (quixotic?) idea has you intrigued, I highly recommend it.
If you're a fan of the principle of subsidiarity, I would think the movement would interest you and you'd be a proponent. I know I am. But then again, I think the Articles of Confederation should've been tweaked, not thrown away. The old United States would've run far closer to subsidiarity lines than the current U.S. of A.
I'm glad I wear Brute. I don't think that attracts anything (including girls). Reddit: "TIL Tigers, leopards, and jaguars love Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men. The scent is used to attract animals to cameras in the wilderness."
Welcome to Lent 2014. The time to repent is at hand, and we all have plenty to repent for. Forty days ain't enough time for all the work we have to do, but I'm sure we'll all give it (yet another wholly-adequate) shot.
May all TDE readers have a blessed Lent. With a dose of grace, I hope TDE will be a help in this regard and not a hindrance. We'll see.
Catholic Men's Quarterly, a one-of-a-kind general interest men's magazine written by Catholic men for Catholic men. Makes a great Father's Day gift.
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