Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mann Bites Dog Mann

Most of you are aware of the litigation-media war between Mark Steyn and Nobel Piece-of-a-Prize winner Michael Mann.

This is a review of Steyn's latest salvo, the book-length "A Disgrace To The Profession: The World's Scientists, In Their Own Words, On Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick And Their Damage To Science - Volume I" (Compiled and edited by Mark Steyn, with illustrations by Josh). So there.

I expected the book to be on the dry side compared to Steyn's usual joyous romps. I was wrong. It was a pleasure to read. I was laughing by the time I reached the Table of Contents. Steyn organizes scientists' criticisms of Mann by theme and keeps the "plot" moving. Criticism, meet witticism.

The book's organization is brilliant: each section begins with an overview by Steyn, followed by a series of two-page, bite-sized critiques of Mann. They're like a Pez dispenser, you finish one, another pops up, staring you in the face. Daring you. OK, just one more. Just one more. This is definitely the last. No more Pez today!!!

What a compendium of biting criticisms. As the litigation proceeds, we'll see how these Mann bites dog Mann.

Two bristlecone pines, way up!

Get the book here.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Greece: The Greasy Slide Down (and the way Up)

Greek financial/capital markets are tanking.
Greece is a festering sinkhole of dishonesty and corruption. It is reaping what it has sown. It is a capital repulsion force field.
Ever notice how western nations characterized by corruption are either Roman Catholic or Orthodox? I say this not out of enmity or bigotry; as far as I can see it is an observable fact. Greece needs a Protestant Reformation; one that upholds the Ten Commandments as a societal obligation before God.
Look to Singapore for an example. It started from scratch after WWII (actually started with a Confucian-Protestant British cultural heritage) and prospered through integrity, hard work, and good decision-making. It became a capital magnet. It prospered. It took a generation. There are no quick fixes -- especially when the problem is cultural and moral.

May God bring enlightening, uplifting moral reformation to Greece.

And that's the way the praying Ball bounces.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reading the Koran at the Vatican

Reading the Koran at the Vatican -- is this passes for "contending for the faith" these days? Does the present pope really believe that the Koran is an authentic revelation from God, or is he just playing nice, some kind of evangelism-by-stealth?

Apparently Francis -- if that's his real name -- said: "It is my hope that this meeting will mark the beginning of a new journey where we seek the things that unite, so as to overcome the things that divide".

What divides Christianity and Muslims?

* The divinity of Christ
* The saving death of Christ
* The resurrection of Christ
* The inspiration and reliability of the Old Testament
* The inspiration and reliability of the New Testament
* Christ, Saviour and Lord, 
* Christ the fulness of God's revelation, i.e., no need for a Mohammed.

Sure. Let's set all this aside -- the guts of the Christian faith -- and focus on what unites Muslims and Christians. Which would be what?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pan Am Tickets? -- Fuggedaboudit.

I thought since I was in Toronto I might as well check out Pan Am tickets for tomorrow.
Went to the main site.

As far as I can tell, it is impossible to know what events are on tomorrow -- the ticket site simply won't cough up this information. Must have been designed by someone who doesn't stand to lose or gain based on ticket sales.

Guess I'll just stay home.

And that's the way the Ball doesn't bounce.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The British Legal Mind -- a Dying Breed?

A woman in the UK gets jail for distracted driving that killed a cyclist. Here's the UK judge's reasoning:
… Judge Lord Kinclaven said driving while using a mobile phone "has the capacity to wreck lives and literally kill". 
 Check.
He said: "Use of a hand-held mobile phone is in itself an unlawful act. 
He says "unlawful act" as if it were a bad thing?!
"The fact an offender is avoidably distracted by the use of a mobile phone when committing an offence of this sort will always make an offence more serious."
Check.

This judge thinks the way I do. I attribute it to my Canadian British Judeo-Christian upbringing, rooted in the notions of personal responsibility and respect for the law.

Compare/contrast this with the wooly thinking that passes for left-wing compassion these days in much of the west. Illegally in the country? No prob. You're just "undocumented". Committed several crimes/felonies? No prob. We feel your pain. Catch and release.

Can a nation that jettisons its own Judeo-Christian roots and despises its own Law long survive?

We'll see.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.




Saturday, July 04, 2015

My Big Fat Greek Crisis

Coat of arms of Greece since 7 June 1975.
Coat of arms of Greece since 7 June 1975. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Crises like this one usually have one of two root-causes: structural or moral. Greece has both.

Structurally, it leans towards communism/socialism. Retirement at 50. Socialism is de-moralizing; it sucks the moral fibre out of people.

Morally, Greece is a de-moralized, corrupt country. Dishonesty and evasion are the norms -- everyone's on the take, and no-one's a giver. Well, the countries that loaned Greece money were givers. That's about it.

Here's a great example of Greece as a structural/moral problem that I came across in The Telegram:
I am 52 years old, and get a Pension of €1,400 per month, and dont know if i will get the next payment. I would vote NO, i have been retired since the age of 50 and get the money sent from Greece, and can use the council Gyms in London for free, free meals on wheels from Hackney Council, it is a good life.

Free, free, free. A good life = one that someone else pays for.

Greece's problem is not financial; it is moral. It never had a Protestant Reformation.

It needs one.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Did the US Congress Exempt Itself From Obamacare?

Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from ...
Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from Nevada and Majority Leader of the United States Senate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This Forbes article gives the answer: not exactly.

* Prior to Obamacare, Congress enjoyed subsidized healthcare provided by the federal government.

*The Obamacare bill as passed into law required Congress and its staff to purchase their health insurance through an Exchange at full price.

* In 2013, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), (apparently under direction from the President) issued a rule allowing federal subsidies to continue.

* Republican Senator Vitter subsequently introduced a bill to reverse the OPM rule and "require the President, Vice President, executive branch political appointees, and all Members of Congress and their staff to purchase health insurance through the Exchange and without subsidies from the Federal Government". The bill was blocked repeatedly by Democrat Harry Reid.

There is no law that prevents a US employer from subsidizing a US employee's healthcare. So, there is nothing wrong with an employer subsidy per se.

However, Congress was, by a law they crafted and passed, required to purchase their insurance through an Exchange, without subsidies "as it is written in the original bill which no one read and a majority signed". They then flouted this law with the help of a ruling from the OPM, apparently at the urging of the US President.

Which is about par for the course for the Obama era.

Related articles

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter Sunday: We Have A Winner!

English: Icon of Jesus Christ
English: Icon of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Good Friday, everybody (with the exception of the disheartened disciples) was sure they had come out on top; they had won.

The political-religious establishment was sure it had won, because it had proved victorious over the One who challenged its power.

Mankind was sure it had won, because it had silenced the accusing Voice.

The Devil thought he had won, because he had killed the Holy One, his archenemy and nemesis.

But God, largely absent as an overt actor on Good Friday, knew he had won because what went down went down according to his plan.

The cross is a fascinating intersection of competing interests, all of whom, according to their own terms, thought they had "won". But on Easter Sunday, after Evil had thrown everything it had in the Son of God's face, God played his hand. He raised Christ from the dead.

A singular act in history. Trump card. Game over. God wins.

God took everything Evil had and triumphed over it. That, by itself, is an incredible message. But, there's more. He didn't just triumph over it; he used evil's power to effect his win. Because of the crucifixion of Christ, mankind in Christ had been justly punished for its rebellion; an acceptable sacrifice to God had been made. Now God could justly and freely forgive and declare innocent whomever he chose. As the apostle Paul put it, God proves through the cross to be both just, and the justifier, of those who trust in Christ. God used evil's power to destroy evil's power.

It wasn't just a win; it was  a complete and utter rout. The message that God used evil to overcome evil is too sublime to be of human origin. It has the earmarks of the divine. It is worthy of belief.

* * *

As humans we tend to think that the death of Jesus was the easy, natural, thing, and the resurrection the hard, spectacularly supernatural thing: Christ -- easy to kill; hard to raise. In fact, the opposite is true. Christ was sinless. He could not justly be put to death. God, who cannot perform an unjust work, needed some help. He needed injustice to do the evil work of killing Christ. And evil's malign intents played right into His hands.

In fact, the resurrection was the easy part. How hard could it be for God to raise up the divine, sinless One whom Scripture says death not only did not hold, but could not hold (Acts 2:24)? While the cross is the strange, if sublime, work, the resurrection is simply God being God, albeit an unparalleled display of his power.

There are two streams at work in human life. The stream of evil, sin, and death. And the stream of resurrection life. The person without Christ operates in the first stream only. The end-game is death. The Bible calls it "perishing". It's an end-game from which there is no escape. Apart from Christ.

The person in Christ operates in both streams. The power of the cross cancels sin, renders sinful human nature inoperative, and negates the devil's sublimely evil influences over our lives. But we also pivot to the new life offered in Christ. As Scripture puts it, if we were reconciled to God through Christ's death, how much more shall we be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).

Because he lives, we shall live also. At Easter, God won -- and so did we!



Friday, April 03, 2015

Good Friday: Everybody Was A Winner

The Devil and Evil won, because they succeeded in killing the Holy One, the Devil's archenemy, master, and tormentor.

Mankind won, because it succeeded in silencing the Voice accusing it of sin.

The political-religious establishment won, because they were victorious over a major pain in their butt.

God won, because things went according to his plan.

The cross is a fascinating intersection of competing interests, all of whom, according to their own terms, "won". The question: can God use the greatest display of evil to achieve the greatest display of good?

Stay tuned…

It's Friday, but Sunday's coming.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

“A Senator’s Job Description is Public Service”

A Canadian Senator has huffed and puffed that “a senator’s job description is public service”.

Unfortunately for tax-payers, "public service" is now progressive-speak for "massively entitled".

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Militant Islam And the Language of Appeasement

President Obama excels at exculpatory language when it comes to militant Islam, as do most quisling European political leaders.

Western politicians' unwillingness to use honest language regarding the threat of Islam in general and militant Islam in particular is perhaps driven by an unwillingness to differentiate between "us" and "them". As such, it amounts to a cultural death-wish.

Mark Steyn, as always, is one of the best sources for clear-headed analysis.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Has David Suzuki become the Al Sharpton of Canada?

That's what this photo brought to mind: Have protest -- will travel.

Come to think of it, has anyone ever seen David Suzuki and Al Sharpton in the same room together?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Global Warming Up The Yin-Yang

Global warming science has a yin-yang quality to it. For every prediction of warm, there's an alt.universe counter-prediction of cold. Snow/no-snow. Drought/floods. Both ends are covered. When the weather falls somewhere in the middle, it is evidence of the yin-yang duking it out for global climate supremacy. It's all science, and if you disagree with this post, you are a Denier.

The above science-friendly post qualifies me to teach America's children.

Friday, November 07, 2014

"By the end of the century…"

Alarmist climate rhetoric used to be "the next 5, 10 years". Suddenly it's "the end of the century" -- where it is safely beyond the vagaries of present-day observation. No more "snow is a thing of the past", "here come the floods/droughts". Now everything you read is "by the end of the century".

Anybody else notice this shift in rhetoric? It's almost like alarmists and acquiescent journalists are like those schools of fish that suddenly change direction and move as one.

Speaking of global warming, I know it's real because I've experienced it. Just reached Phoenix and the warm, dry heat of winter. I've experienced global warming for myself, and it's wonderful!

And that's the way the Ball bounced.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Baseball Weirding: Another effect of global warming?

Roy Halladay
Roy Halladay (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Baseball games didn't use to last this long.
The game was only the second-ever MLB postseason contest to last 18 innings, and at 6 hours and 23 minutes, it was the longest MLB postseason game by time. 
Scientists at BallBounces say we should expect more games like this; shorter, longer, weirder.

CO2: It's Everywhere™.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Mystery Item on Saturn's Moon Confounds Scientists

Surface waves
Surface waves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A mysterious feature has got scientists flummoxed and Michael Mann is too busy saving a sizzling planet to ride to the rescue. As he might put it, "I'm only one Mann!"™
Some of their current explanations for the feature include "surface waves, rising bubbles, floating solids, solids suspended just below the surface, or perhaps something more exotic."
Too easy. It's a moon toilet.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Intolerance on the White House border

Logo of the United States White House, especia...
Logo of the United States White House, especially in conjunction with offices like the Chief of Staff and Press Secretary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A guy jumps the fence and dodges security. And this is news? The White House jumper was an undocumented visitor. He should have been welcomed to the White House and given a cold drink and pass to any area of the White House. Along with an admonition to check in within 90 days.

Maybe now Obama knows how American citizens living along the southern border feel.

Why should Obama expect a fence and a security when he has gone out of his way to degrade the fence and security along America's southern border?

The border with Canada is still secure -- agents of the US government are still there to confiscate your dog food, Kinder Eggs and undocumented bagpipes.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Climate Change Science circa 2024

English: Long-term average precipitation by mo...
English: Long-term average precipitation by month (mm/day and in/day), based on 1961-1990 data. Animated GIF. Mollweide projection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sept 2, 2024. NY NY, MexiUSA. The UN confirmed today that the chief cause of climate change has been determined: it is caused by massive carbon-spewing HAL climate modelling computers. Climate models produced by these computers show that, unless the plug is pulled immediately on these carbon hurlers, the Earth will soon enter a climate death spiral.

However, Chief Scientist Morkle Mangg, representing the government-funded Consensus R Us Consortium of Concerned Scientists (CRUCCS), disputed the results. He said a cautious, go-slow approach was appropriate: “Really, we don’t know what in HAL is going on”, he said. “This is no time for alarmism. A bit of skepticism is in order here, a bit of  humility. Look, climate is not some rinky-dink greenhouse glass-closed system that can be mapped by tree rings; it is unbelievably complex: there are unknown knowns, known unknowns, known knowns, unknown unknowns — none of us really has a clue what’s going on. What we are sure of is this: this is no time to pull the plug on anything — especially climate science funding. Of this we are absolutely certain.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Michael Brown "Gentle Giant" Media Narrative Goes South

The media's consensus narrative of an angelic "gentle giant" lasted about a day.
Then the consensus narrative morphed to something like "once the villainous Ferguson police were replaced by the tolerant, accommodating, highway patrol, peace and goodwill prevailed, laughter even". That lasted about another day.
Then the consensus narrative morphed to "at least the highway patrol have the good sense to let the overnight looting go un-challenged, so as not to rile up the 'hood". That lasted another day or two.
Now, the national guard have been called in. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton can sleep peacefully: "mission accomplished". 
Meanwhile, the lawyers for the Ferguson liquor store have gone on record that the store did not call in the theft, and did not hand over the video to the police willingly. According to the article, they did this because store owners in Ferguson are in fear of retaliation if they call in thefts or "rat" on the locals. They are in fear of their lives of "gentle giants" like Michael Brown.

The media narrative gone south.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Barack's Big Fat American SUVs

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK”

- Barack Obama

Is this the same Barack Obama who bailed out GM and dines in sumptuous splendour at the White House?

The Western left wants Africa to starve while we hit the drive-through for a double-patty and a super-sized.

I love Western-style development, wish more of it upon Africa, and despise the duplicity of the left. Does that make me a bad person?

That's the way the Ball bounces.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Israel-Gaza: A Way Forward?

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...
Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip), the Golan Heights, and portions of neighbouring countries. Also United Nations deployment areas in countries adjoining Israel or Israeli-held territory, as of January 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What other country puts up with the incessant bombardment of its territory and ongoing loss of life due to terrorist activities?

Israel should go on notice that, effective 2015, it reserves the right to take or reclaim any land area from which missiles are launched at Israel. If/when Gazan militants decide lobbing a few bombs Israel's way will advance their cause, Israel should move in and take the immediate territory -- be it a town, village or city.

This way, it will be entirely up to the Arabs whether they get a Palestinian territory or not.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.

The way the Ball bounces

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"