Joe’s Comment – A terrific cartoon by Theresa McCracken.
Sometimes obeying the letter of the law is counterproductive.
Sometimes you are “out of the box”, literally, but still in it.
Dr. Tim Ball
Joe and I rejoice with Dr. Ball – the court case brought against him by Michael Mann (author of the “hockey stick” graph) has been decided.
The libel suit against Dr. Ball was dismissed.
Mr. Mann will now live in shame and infamy.
Bravo Dr. Ball!
At a function in 2017, Dr. Ball (jokingly?) quipped that Mr. Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State”, due to Mr. Mann’s refusal to publisize the data he used to create the infamous graph.
Mr. Mann brought charges of libel against Dr. Ball in the BC (Canada) Supreme Court. Joe and I and most sane people considered this suit a S.L.A.P.P. (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) in the face of science.
Because such a ludicrous suit could not be filed in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Two early breaking articles here, and here.
Dr. Ball was awarded full compensation of all legal costs, which literally total millions of dollars. Whether the $$$ is USD or CDN funds, we don’t know.
Joe remembers a time long ago we were “awarded” compensation by a court.
That is when we learned that collecting said compensation is another matter altogether.
Also, if the Mann team decides to appeal, the gears which grind ever so fine could soak up another half decade and millions more $$$ to resolve.
An appeal requires new evidence.
If Mann sticks to his obstinate ground that will not happen: he refused to bring forward the data for “all to see” (thanks Ms. E. Thrasher).
In our mind that is the end: Q.E.D. (quite easily done or quod erat demonstrandum (what was to be shown) – your choice).
However, the Berra Effect©
and those applicable of Murphy’s Laws© have not completed their iterations –
Joe reckons that although the situational report is post “the truth will out” by no measure is the story over.
What the consequences of truthing might be are yet to be seen.
Steve Bannon on Hong Kong
Joe and I are not the most astute political swivel-heads.
Indeed, that is an order of magnitude understatement.
We have been mostly napping politically for our entire life.
Joe and I are also true believers in capitalism, free speech, liberty, private property, the rule of law, and free trade.
We also believe (to the death) it is required that virtuous men defend the weak and defenceless against tyranny in all its malevolent forms, and agressively oppose those intent on various expressions of evil.
All our adult life we have wondered why some folks will have trade with totalitarian regimes which suppress their citizenry.
To us it seems the ground rules of trade require establishment of necessary humanitarian minimums: the old saw about “it is better than it was” is weak and dull.
The British government (unlike the Chinese government) honored it’s agreement.
Now a confrontation is inevitable.
Hong Kong is a world-changing event: the current resistance to the CCP smothering freedom and liberty for the Hong Kong people will have ripple effects throughout the world for 100 years.
For tone-deaf political radar-less people like we, how to gather data to crunch and perspectives to view and ideologies to analysis is a really big deal.
Before 2015 we didn’t know diddly about Steve Bannon.
Now we listen to him for perspective and world-view and analysis:
Joe says one excellent precipitate from technology is that people find it increasingly difficult to ignore facts due to the “Chicken Man” phenomenon: “Bawk bawk bawk bawwwwwwk, Chicken Man! He’s everywhere, he’s everywhere!”:
Indeed, everywhere there are everyday “normal” people armed with nothing more than a modern miracle – a cell phone.
For 10+ years and more a cell phone has been much more than a talky-talky. It can, in the hands of a skilled operator (Joe and I are exempt) calculate, communicate, photograph, cinematograph, and distribute widely.
The army of Chicken Men (and women damn it) is ubiquitous.
Far off obscenities perpetrated against human beings is more and more difficult to ignore.
In past centuries, news of crimes against humanity took months, even years to be known.
Now bad news travels at the speed of light.
The important question is what do a virtuous and informed populace do with the bad news?
Joe and I have been down this trail before. A quote from Sunday Rant – 0717:
“This is a good time and place to quote Charles Krauthammer from his book “Things That Matter“. The introduction to this book is as valuable as the entire collection to Joe and I for the insight Mr. Krauthammer has about politics. Here are a few paragraphs –
…….”Accordingly, this book was originally going to be a collection of my writings about everything but politics. Things beautiful, mysterious, profound or just odd. Working title: There’s More to Life than Politics.
But in the end I couldn’t. For a simple reason, the same reason I left psychiatry for journalism. While science, medicine, art, poetry, architecture, chess, space, sports, number theory and all things hard and beautiful promise purity, elegance and sometimes even transcendence, they are fundamentally subordinate. In the end, they must bow to the sovereignty of politics.
Politics, the crooked timber of our communal lives, dominates everything because, in the end, everything – high and low and, most especially, high – lives or dies by politics. You can have the most advanced and efflorescent of cultures. Get your politics wrong, however, and everything stands to be swept away. This is not ancient history. This is Germany 1933.
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,” – every schoolchild is fed. But even Keats – poet, romantic, early 19th century man oblivious to the horrors of the century to come – kept quotational distance from such blissful innocence. Turns out we need to know one more thing on earth: politics – because of its capacity, when benign, to allow all around it to flourish, and its capacity, when malign, to make all around it wither.
This is no abstraction. We see it in North Korea, whose deranged Stalinist politics has created a land of stunning desolation and ugliness, both spiritual and material. We saw it in China’s Cultural Revolution, a sustained act of national self-immolation, designed to dethrone, debase and destroy the highest achievements of millennia of Chinese culture. We saw it in Taliban Afghanistan, which, just months before 9/11, marched its cadres into the Bamiyan Valley and with tanks, artillery and dynamite destroyed its magnificent cliff-carved 1,700-year-old Buddhas lest they – like kite flying and music and other things lovely – disturb the scorched-earth purity of their nihilism.
Politics is the moat, the walls, beyond which lie the barbarians. Fail to keep them at bay, and everything burns. The entire 20th century with its mass political enthusiasms is a lesson in the supreme power of politics to produce ever-expanding circles of ruin. World War I not only killed more people than any previous war. The psychological shock of Europe’s senseless self-inflicted devastation forever changed Western sensibilities, practically overthrowing the classical arts, virtues and modes of thought. The Russian Revolution and its imitators (Chinese, Cuban, Vietnamese, Cambodian) tried to atomize society so thoroughly – to war against the mediating structures that stand between the individual and the state – that the most basic bonds of family, faith, fellowship and conscience came to near dissolution. Of course, the greatest demonstration of the finality of politics is the Holocaust, which in less than a decade destroyed a millennium-old civilization, sweeping away not only 6 million souls but the institutions, the culture, the very tongue of the now-vanished world of European Jewry.
The only power comparably destructive belongs to God. Or nature. Or, if like Jefferson you cannot quite decide, Nature’s God. Santorini was a thriving island civilization in the Mediterranean until, one morning 3,500 years ago, it simply fell into the sea. An earthquake. A volcanic eruption. The end.
And yet even God cannot match the cruelty of his creation. For every Santorini, there are a hundred massacres of innocents. And that is the work of man – more particularly, the work of politics, of groups of men organized to gain and exercise power.”
Joe and I are not religious but we pray for the people of Hong Kong.
There are billions of Chicken Men (and women damn it).
Every now and then one of them makes a decision to change the world.
We have an image in mind of someone who did just that –
and what the results were.
Maybe this time.
Maybe the magnificent rebellion of millions of Hong Kong citizens will change the world and bring down the gangster government of the so-called People’s Republic of China.
If there ever was an Orwellianism, a “newspeak”, the very expression People’s REPUBLIC of China epitomizes that misinformation. It causes Joe a headache.
Our fervent wish, our prayer, is that the CCP dies without shots fired, its iron fist disintegrates into rust, the inheritors of the “Great Leap Forward” and their ilk are quietly removed from power.
Call us dreamers.
An observation from Dave Morrison (of Blue Collar Logic) about the Obama money-grubbing game plan, and how the Munificent Mulatto™ and the Mooch™ are rolling in greenbacks, all thanks to We The People getting sucker punched for the nth time:
Joe, in his darker (can you believe it) moments often ponders whether America is just one giant Hollywood daisy-chain butt-fuck gang-bang of the gullible and innocent and well-meaning average (and below average) American Citizen©.
Then, Joe realises our leader in Canada is a grade 3 drama teacher.
Joe and I have a grade three person (8 years old going on ∞) living at our house.
Believe us when we say, with emphasis, grade three persons do not need a drama teacher.
Visions of a turtle on a fence post should be flooding your thinky hole.
Unless you are only using your thinky hole to hold your ears apart.
There must be a bible verse (or more) that tells what happens to the undeserving, the abusers, the wicked, the base.
Joe recollects the lyrics of a song by Dolly Parton, sung by herself, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris from the Trio album – “Farther Along”:
Mr. Siler is the other half of Blue Collar Logic, commenting on the culture, the world, the people.
Mr. Siler reflects on whether, as some progressive pundits/entertainers/wackbirds maintain, the good ol’ U.S. of A. can “survive” another 4 years of the current POTUS, Donald J. Trump.
No need for a spoiler alert:
This episode Mr. Green comments on the big fat Canadian mouth of former PM Kim Campbell.
He proceeds to rip up and rant on about a variety of current events.
Joe says he’s approaching apogee time.
His ranting has reached a plateau:
Joe and I have a steam boat in the back yard.
A neighborhood friend, George Job, is the owner.
He is 87 years young this year.
When he and his wife Patricia moved from the area four years ago (time she’s a flyin’) he had no place to store the boat. You know how that story ends…..
Last time he came around was in May or June.
You can guess what the result of our conversation was – Joe says we’ll have enough $$$ by Spring if we don’t drink it all away.
If George makes it to 2020, we’ll celebrate by getting the steam engine working, and put the boat in the lake.
Never run out of fuel around here.
Pictures and adventure stories to come.
In the meantime, here’s a wonderful small steam engine with boiler doing honest work turning heat into electricity:
The function of cholesterol in the human body is a subject of disagreement between doctors, researchers, and the pharmacutical industry.
Lay persons too (that be Joe and me and anyone not recognized as a “medical professional” by the esteemed arbitors and “approved” experts; the “legal” entities who decide the “legitimate” players in the game of health).
In our personal situation, it is a disagreement between Joe and I and our excellent GP Dr. Louis B.
Following standard procedure, Dr. B. had noticed an “abnormal” (i.e. not statistically average for our age/mass/activity/etc.) high level of the dreaded cholesterol (not the “good” cholesterol) in our screen testing for our annual medical. Also elevated blood pressure. His recommendation was a staten – Lipitor, then Rosuvastatin (after we refused to continue Lipitor after a one week trial). And something for the blood pressure called Telmisartan.
Joe and I like our brain.
And our heart.
It is we. That is to say, they are (part of) us.
We changed noticably on these medications – an uncomfortable change.
We pointed out to Dr. B. that both conditions were “normal” for we – our record in his office is uninterrupted back to 1972, before he took over the practice from Dr. Hugh C. We have always had high cholesterol, high(er than “normal”) blood pressure, and an elevated pulse. Life is exciting us, we supposed.
Dr. B. and I came to an understanding after a terse exchange: no medications whatsoever.
He called it “live and die naturally”.
We called it “live naturally”. WTF is this dying?
Joe (as close to an engineering persona in our repertoire of 37 or so in our head) asked Dr. B. what best approach to prolong our autonomous and self-mobile fully articulate existence without medication.
He said loose weight, Fatso.
Dr. B. had a point; we were 270 lbs.
Hence our interest in finding out what’s what in the world of nutrition, healthy nutrition, and nutrition specific and unique to the entity described legally as David John Drover, esq. will make us perform best.
A lot of researching, video watching, recommendations and advice from family, friends, and others have led us, Joe and I, to take a reluctant interest in that which we have little interest – our personal health. We have been fortunate.
Food is food, right?
As Joe points out, a gasoline engine doesn’t like diesel fuel.
Nor does a DC motor like alternating current.
Perhaps a body just might have specific nutritional needs.
Perhaps our body might have a perfect diet, constantly changing with our needs.
How you do dat?
Much research followed.
This rant has been a repository of many influential (to us) presentations, discussions, data, and theories we studied, which have altered our understanding and behavior.
Anyway, after a year of a very low carb/no fibre high fat/protein self experiment, we have reduced our weight by 60 lbs. Our energy level is good. Our head is clear (our judgement – your opinion may differ).
However, the dreaded monster cholesterol (not the friendly saintly cholesterol) still is “abnormal”.
We did some research, including hearing the views and opinions of Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Karry Mullis, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Shawn Baker. We mention those two because of their refusal to take cholesterol medication based on their knowledge of the human body.
Here’s another presentation about cholesterol – that mystery body product.
Joe insists he doesn’t grasp all the machinations of the mechanism yet, but this Dave Feldman fella is more or less talking Joe’s language.
Give us data!:
POLITICS, POLITICIANS, WACKJOBBERY, HUMOROUS, STUPID
A topic that should consume conscious thought cycles in the pre-frontal lobe of every citizen everywhere on a repetitive basis is how do “successful” nation states be that way; be successful.
Joe and I are grateful to live in North America in a “Western” culture (so far).
We wonder why, compared to the rest of the lunatics, our cabal called Canadians fare so well.
And our brothers (and sisters – but that’s as far as we go) to the south fare even weller, perhaps wellerest.
This week’s sermon is a discussion about aspects of that very subject.
Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute leads a discussion with a distinguished group of economists to ponder why the U.S. of A. has lead the world in many improvements in the period of 1919 to 2019. The panel includes George Schulz, former Secretary of State, who has been alive for 99 of the 100 years in question:
WEATHER (OR NOT)
This week in Vernon BC has been a valiant effort by Ms. Summer to keep up appearances.
The days have been (for the most part) warm and warmer.
A small touch of rain one day.
OK. Two days (early Sunday, too).
We still keep the doors of the house open at night.
The dew is heavy on the grass and windshields of our 30+ vehicles every morning.
The sun, that lucky old sun, while rolling around heaven all day is getting up later each morning and hitting the hay earlier each evening.
As we get older it seems the advent of cold dark icy mornings has less appeal than imaginable.
From the year of our birth here’s Mr. Louis Armstrong singing “That Lucky Old Sun”:
All a fellas can do is keep whistling past the graveyard, and keep on the sunny side of the street.
Like they sing (Benny Goodman & Ms. Peggy Lee – 1941 – “On the Sunny Side of the Street”):
Time to hibernate coming up!
Joe (busy) Mekanic
p.s. Ramirez, summer almost gone –