Response to Giff...

Ah, Giff... trying to impose order on chaos.. I can relate to that. I'll bite. Strictly Western value? Reading history [certainly chaos], man's inhumanity to man seems a constant across the ages and cultures. We, in the West seem to be getting over it, starting with the Reformation, culminating perhaps in the moral tone of America after WWII [I am not an America basher, her positives far outnumber her faults], and now swinging to the opposite pole with our "liberal" tendencies - even to the point of not defending (even apologizing for) our Western values. Obama is nothing if not the epitome of that outcome. What is galling, frightening is that our Eastern/Mideastern foes are throwing our liberal "guilt" in our faces, when what they need is their own Reformation. When the government and the religion are the same thing, it is rather difficult - at least we separated the two in the West. The "West" may not live to see this if we don't stand up! Barbarism and Tyranny are still possible. We descended there pretty complete in the 20th century. Only our founders (America) posited that men are by right free I think! But what do I know... I am an engineer. Imposing order on a small scale. The world would be very different if not for Nelson [Bonaparte], America, and Churchill [Hitler]

Hard to see how Tamerlane, Vlad, Cromwell in Ireland, the Japanese in Nanking, Nazi SS can be any less worse... The Romans turned Carthage to salt IIRC. The Japanese, the Germans are arguably our best allies now. Nobody was more "jihadi" than the Japanese. We could have imposed upon Iraq maybe to the same end, but we don't have the fortitude now, having been "liberalized." History may judge us severely for that.

I have always believed that it all exists, evil and good at the same time, the yin and the yang, right, not just Western? We have to pick. We have to outnumber the evil.


Well, extremism is certainly the order of the day.  Just look at the climate change debate.  The AGW people want to prosecute the "deniers" - at one time we all thot the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the earth.  They think science is settled??   Just sad.  They are a religion now.  We know NOTHING compared to what we will know in 100/1000 years. 

And the more I look at physics/cosmology [I am one who really wanted to be an astronomer/physicist but wasn't smart enough/couldn't get grad money] it looks very much like a religion to me.  Just different symbols, a special course of discipline that nobody understands but them.  And interpretations that are the stuff of movies of course.  It has come full circle.  science is magic again!! And I become more religious.... in my own way of course! 

Love talking about this stuff with somebody who doesn't want to prosecute me :-)

Liberal Minds..

�Liberal minds feel profound guilt for all the sins of man for all history. As youth, we were all this way..... We were taught this by our schools. It [man, that is...] has to be corrected at all costs.  The 20th century was one gigantic failed experiment in this attempt [Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Cambodia, Chavez, endless really..].  What the schools rarely taught is that the creation of America and its constitution is probably the epitome, the culmination of all that is good in history so far.  But the liberals can't get over the guilt involved in even this profound achievement, every Washington or Jefferson who owned slaves, every CIA or NSA misadventure.  Our ancestors were all of us slaves and masters, saints and sinners somewhere.  Unthinkable of course to liberals, and to the most recent victims of the cruelty of man to man.  They even have to correct history to do this.  It is repeating itself now. Safe spaces?  Woodrow Wilson [tho a racist to be sure] being removed from Princeton?  Any historical trace of the Confederate flag?  Any statue of a Confederate general?  Be very afraid. Those of us who opposed Obama at least thot he could speak to/address/complete? the reconciliation of the races.  He has made it much worse. He is all Alinsky - tear it all down!  He hates this country as the worst liberal does, tho of course he praises it out the other side of his mouth.  No good can right a single wrong.  Indeed he has said recently that racism is congenital - part of our DNA.  We are all racists......  Well, we are all sinners.  I'll go with that. Christians got that one right.   There really is no "correcting man" is there? 

I am fearful that America is/was really an exceptional place. I say that because I fear that the future will look much more like China than the US.  China may have achieved some market-based economy in a once very communist country.  America has come at it from the other direction - pretty much unfettered freedom and capitalism gradually reined - and chained- in. 

I understand Christians have a particular burden in being gracious, but still believing in the uniqueness of Christ [I am the way etc...]. I consider myself "Christian" but I am not burdened by believing in any particular "truth."  There are only choices.  Some of them really bad of course - but that is a judgement to be made, that is where my "Christianness" enters in.  

FB Musings
A musing/warning/suggestion to all posters hereon from your friendly administrator [nee spiritual advisor?]. Hoping to avoid turning this FB page into a poisonous dialogue. [Political|religous] correctness has come to MonumentRoad FB page. On our very small private site we find those who find the last 7 years of American [and world] progress a total collapse of everything moral and sensible in our history. We also find those who view the last 7 years as a somewhat rocky road, nonetheless approaching nirvana on earth, especially here in America. Hard to believe in either case. But it is symptomatic of the divisions America is experiencing, and the seeming collapse of world order in general. Be not afraid. The world, even America has been at these [even worse] crossroads before [just ask those people 70+], and we will see it thru. What we will come out on the other side is not known, but is surely deserved. The divisions in religious thought are equally profound of course. So we are called to being more [politically|religiously] correct in our musings. Would not want to offend anyone too seriously in this day and age. They seem to become ISIS adherents, or religious fanatics in general. Very hard being normal in this Internet of Things world. Can't we all just get along? [remember who said that?]

Young and Old, Optimtistic and Pessimistic, Great SF, scary SF

As a young adult I treasured the movie 2001.  It is my all-time favorite movie.  I remembered walking by a theater with it showing when I was having my draft physical in KC in 1968.  I got to see it later, and I remember watching it at Stanford a few years later, on campus, complete with the wafting fumes of marijuana.  I have had various books "explaining" the movie over the years, including of course the Arthur C Clarke book and books.   Tho the movie was a cut above the book for sure.  I also enjoyed the 2001 sequels, especially 2010. 
I also distinctly recall the movie Aliens, tho I made it a point to NEVER see it.  Just the thought of that future possibility was scary, and kept me up at nights.  [I finally rented the movie MANY years later, took it home, and sat with my hand on the fast forward button.  I have still not really watched the sequel movies!].  I enjoyed the Star Trek series, especially Start Trek NG, tho in recent years I have had a very hard time watching some of those when I bump into them.  They strike me as hopelessly naive.  2001 still stands after all these years.  There is nothing hopelessly naive about 2001.  I think it is stark truth.  The future is entirely unknown and mysterious, but we must go there nonetheless. 
I think these two movies encapsulate my attitudes young and old, tho 2001 captures my entire life attitude.  I was very naive and optimistic as a youth, as are most youth raised in the West in favorable circumstances.  As I aged I learned about how the world, especially the REST of the world, and especially in old/ancient times really sucked big time.  Growing up in the West, especially America in the last few centuries has made optimistic people of us, only dulled by age. 

Msg to Ashley 11-2016

Ashley, I apologize for "hijacking" your thread. The confluence of different views [within the family] on FB is unique. It is certainly not the norm in the poisonous blogosphere, on either side. I find myself unable to resist... maybe I should. If you want to unfriend me maybe you should. I have lived 71 yrs and concluded that most everything is vanity and messed up. I have met some very intelligent people, esp like you, who I hope are open to receiving barbs from people like me. That is our only hope. We used to believe in compromise in this country. There was no "truth" -- we had to come to the middle. We have retreated to opposing viewpoints in our country/our world. O thinks he has the truth, and, dare I say, the Evangelicals suffer the same fate often.... My son [Kevin, as a gay] is beside himself. Maybe I am old and out of date. My Dad certainly felt that way. I am feeling that way too, because I am definitely feeling I am on the "losing" side in this progressive world. I consider you on the "losing" side too-- Christian, and I admire you for sticking it out. In fact, in 100 years, the world will be Chinese and Muslim and "Western Civ" will be "no more," and not even appreciated!! [have we ever appreciated our forbearers? --just look at England]. The China "approach" to the world, as non-individualistic and authoritarian as it is, is probably the future. Nevertheless I go down kicking and screaming trying to point out all the absurdities I see. And there are a LOT. a LOT! of them. I am STUNNED that people don't see them. Am I that stupid? O has brought them out in droves. Sorry to say..... He has divided us more than ever. There was SUCH hope there. But he was a politician with the worst of them. Trump is NOT a politician. That is really the only positive I can see right now. He is no Reagan, yet! Take care please!

Seth Miller response to on

As a “lukewarm denialist [is that like a deplorable?]” I read with interest your reasoned argument. At least you didn’t claim this is settled science, as the religionists in the rank blabber about. I accept that Earth is warming, and CO2 is increasing due to us, but I feel I cannot take these issues seriously [esp if “we have/had only 10 yrs to act”] until those who can do something about this will act — the Chinese, etc. The US is an angel is most respects. And I really ponder who really understands this when the IPPC states [in their last report], and shows [by their graphs] that they do not understand how the climate works. So I am unerstandably? also loathe to commit trillions to these government-academic near-incestuous “causes” to keep the temperature from increasing a few tenths of a degree. Should the emphasis shift to mitigation? I really think the religionists in the rank are the denialists when it comes to sane procedures. Accumulating all this evidence is good work for climate scientists, but statistics will lie, especially when you rejigger the past? John

Well, I do appreciate the response. I hope you can understand my point of view. At least you sound much saner than the rabble I hear too much of.

I think China promised Obama they would be taking action by about 2030. Not too serious a response to the “world has only 10 yrs left to respond” — stated by Gore, Hansen, Mann, etc etc probably 10 or more years ago. Does China/Russia/India/etc know something we don’t? Meanwhile the US has decreased CO2 substantially. They have screamed wolf too often, all to feed their empires. I have no problem with renewable energy, few sane people do. But it is inescapable that this cannot supply [even a small portion of] the world’s [growing] energy, much less stop the growing CO2. Google’s study a few years ago [IEEE spectrum 11–2014] pointed this out. We owe our modern lives to carbon and will for a long time. What I am objecting to is the incestuous relation of this agenda with governance and the demonizing of sane alternatives. They have stolen the word skeptic and labelled the sane questioners and alternativists as denialists. The trashing of people like Anthony Watts and others, who is a sincere alternativist is despicable. We are the skeptics and rightly do so. The world is slightly warming, CO2 is increasing, we don’t know the exact mechanism, and the scaremongers are doing the world a huge disservice by turning climate alarmism into a religion and demonizing the skeptics and sane alternatives. This is a terrible time for the “science” of climate science. It has been corrupted. I REALLY fear the hubris of projects that maintain they really understand the climate system [The IPCC says they do not] and will monkey with the Earth’s mechanisms. in the years to come. I hope that is not what you are suggesting. We can only mitigate any coming warming. Renewable energy will play a very small part. We need to be sane about it.

My summary of politics summer 2016 to summer 2017

Comey was a real spoiler for all sides this past year.  Hillary to this day thinks her private server was a "nothing burger," but I wish somebody had asked Comey if that is what he thought in his questioning.  She would have been taken down another deserving notch if he had been asked that question and answered.  How could he say it was a nothing burger -- he spent most of the last year investigating it!   But nobody wanted Hillary for sure, even most of the Democrats.  The country is truly divided into liberal, multicultural enclaves, mostly in the big cities, and --what is left of-- America in the rest of the country.   Trump was a bull in a China shop and took over the Republican party.  Most of the Americans in the "rest of the country" saw him as a very flawed but powerful counterforce to the swamp and the rejiggering of what America was "meant to be."   When he was elected, most assuredly to the surprise of all America,  war was declared by all the entrenched interests of the swamp to discredit, take him down.  Democrats, old line Republicans, Deep State, Obama loyalists still in government, especially gov bureaucracy, which is now approaching a "nomenklatura."   This all in spite of his clear victory.  This was/is a tragedy of immense proportions in American history.  The only comparable moment in American history is probably the election of Andrew Jackson.  It is ironic that it will probably take a bull like Trump to drain the swamp.  But his success is not a foregone conclusion, and doubts linger about whether he is really a swamp creature at heart.   He is a wheeler/dealer for sure, but the deals we wind up with?  There are powerful forces aligned against him.  The argument of the swamp creatures is that the election is invalid, and it was the Russians that hacked that election, and get thisin collusion with Trump and his allies.  Every seemingly routine leak, every week, by the NYT or the WAPO over the past 6 months mostly touted some variant of this.  However,  by the time of Comey's testimony to Congress on 6-8, it was clear that there was never any collusion [even Chris Matthews concluded this], that virtually ALL of the news reporting of fake stories over at least the last 6 months was false and made up, taken out of context, and leaked by innumerable, mostly anonymous sources from within the government and the corridors of power in NY and Washington.  Trump was growing increasingly/frighteningly frustrated with all this, taking his anger out on Comey -who he knows was not investigating him, and who also knows most of the fake news was just that --and would do nothing about it!  Trump pretty much faulted him for miring the country in this morass [knowing he had the power to dispell much of the myth].  It is really no wonder Trump fired him for doing this.   Of course to the liberal mind, it looked like Trump was obstructing with the "Russia" investigation, which Comey and co knew had nothing to do with Trump.  Comey it seems, retaliated in turn when Trump "hurt his feelings" by calling the FBI a "basket case" because of all of it --- essentially causing a special prosecutor to be placed for the "Russia" investigation we now know to be pretty much made up.  I am amazed that Trump has maintained his optimism in the face of all this.  Let's just hope he has not gone off the cynical deep end.  I have no doubt that the Democrats will never cooperate [as if they would before] with anything he wants to do.  So the Republicans better find some common ground and get their agenda in place.  The only hope for the Republicans maintaining any power is if the economy can get recovered and humming again.  And then, maybe in a generation, or a few more presidential cycles, the Democrats can see their way to living with it.  The Democrats face life or death here.   The Republicans as well if they don't get their agenda in place and the country restored to some semblance of a capitalist economy. 

Of course, it is true [at least all members of the swamp absolutely believe this] that Russia has tried their damndest to influence/denigrate the America election process, but it is becoming increasingly clear that it is certainly not with Trump's collusion.  Or any member of his team as far as we can tell.  The Special Prosecutor will hopefully sort this out, and soon, if he values our country.  Let's hope he is not at heart a political animal and drags this out for years.   This is the only hope the swamp creatures have left!  The effect however, is that the Russians have certainly made a mess of American politics, and distracted them [Trump etc] from their domestic and global agenda prospects - the stated goal of the Russians, just by the way!!  But it is unmistakable that it is with the "collusion" of the Democrats, the swamp, and the Deep State, not with Trump!   Will anybody ever point this out!!!   I doubt it.  So it is ironic that it is them who should be impeached for sure!  Trump was incensed with the leaks of "collusion," but not a single leak as to his innocence in all this [three times told this by Comey].  Rubio was right to hang this fact on Comey in the questioning.  This anger led to his twitter storms and invective against Comey. 

If Trump can contain his anger and continue his agenda, and the Republicans can get their agenda in place, I see hope that the country can revert to its course.  And not go off some socialist/utopia cliff [think Soviet Union, Venzuela, Cuba, most any state-controlled "paradise,"  of maybe even some of the European socialist "utopias"] Of course the die seems cast on the healthcare front, so it is a fact that at least [I would say] 1/3 of the American economy [now ..soon.. including the 1/6 attributed to healthcare] will be controlled/mandated from Washington.  This is not good news, but it seems we are headed there.  So is this not a good enough bone to throw the socialist/utopia crowd in our country?  I hope so.  I will not live to see the outcome of all this struggle for sure.  But I feel emboldened to at least state the case as I understand it and experienced it.  Many youth would just tell me to shut up, but it is for them that I do not.