Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Have We Wrought?

"My concerns about __________________________ began soon after we had our first child."

"I was a new mom, feeling very overwhelmed with the realization that I was now irreversibly responsible for this tiny creature. There was no turning back. I remember crying every day at five in the afternoon, the witching hour, my stress level at a breaking point. My husband and I would look at each other as if to say, 'What have we done?'" -- Laurie David

OK, what is it in this first decade of the 21st cc. that is going to make you cry daily and take your stress level to the breaking point?

Is it:

a) the risk of marriage break-up (1/2 of all American marriages fail)?

b) the risk of job loss and being unable to provide the necessities of life to your child?

c) loss of healthcare insurance, or the unavailability of competent medical care for your child?

d) the risk of a disabling or debilitating disease?

e) the threat of a terrorist attack?

f) nuclear annihilation? or...

g) other... _____________________

Hint: this same phobia has led school children to despair about the point of doing their homework, since we are all going to fry and the end of civilization is at hand.

Hint2: Ted Turner says it is going to lead to cannibalism.

Hint3: We've got (pick one):

a) 15 years

b) 10 years

c) 96 months

d) 5 years

to act.

Hint4: If we do act, a lot of people are going to get very, very, rich.

The List

We interrupt this blog to bring you the following public service announcement.

Now, start worrying.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Science Is In

I let my long-time Time Magazine subscription lapse around the same time they published the Lone Polar Bear picture. They said cut back on unnecessary mailings. I've never looked back.

I took a peek at Time Online the other day. They're still on about AGW. And still up to some of the finest alarmist rhetoric this side of Mercury rising. Here's a sample: "[U.S. Energy Secretary] Chu methodically explained that the science is clear, that we're boiling the planet".

I never knew that the planet was heading for 100 degrees Celsius, but who am I to argue with a scientist?

Further on, "This earth, he concluded, is the only one we've got; it would be illogical and immoral to fry it."

I so totally agree. I can think of a lot of things we could do with the planet -- spray-paint it, decorate it with yellow ribbons, lease it to visiting aliens, but frying it would be, like, totally illogical, and, frankly, if the word isn't too old-fashioned, immoral.

Plus, I knew we were cooking the planet -- I came across that last week, but I never knew that both boiling and frying were involved. I guess it only makes sense -- water is a huge greenhouse gas polluter, and oil is, well, just plain evil -- it would have been better if all those dinosaurs had never died.

For balance and depth, I thought I should check out a second source -- so, over to Newsweek: "more of China and India—especially in the north—will broil... according to the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change".

So, Time's science expert has the Earth boiling and frying, while Newsweek's has it broiling -- do I detect a minor science tempest in a teapot brewing here?

Boiling, frying, and broiling the planet -- The Science Is In.

And that's the way the too-scared-to-breathe Ball bounces.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Defending the Resurrection

How good are you at defending the resurrection?

this resurrection apologetics quiz.

Let me know how you make out.

Then, go to Wintery Knight Blog for a whole lot more.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On the Road Again - PEI to Toronto (pt. 2)

Breath-taking moment driving north on I-91 from Derby, Vermont-- the mountains, the mists hugging the low-lying areas...

Side-trip to St. Viateur Bagels in orthodox section of Montreal. Bought three dozen sesame seed bagels and showed total discipline by limiting my in-car munching to exactly one. The smell of the bagels kept me company all day -- as did the audio book on the Wright Brothers that I'm all most finished -- about 16 or 18 hours worth -- I got 8 minutes to go --guess I'll find out if their flying ideas ever got off the ground!

Ate at Mexico Lindo, authentic Mexican, in Whitby.

Arrived Toronto about 6pm. All-in-all a great drive. 1800 km. total.

I'm thankful for a safe trip.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Late Breaking...

"Michael Jackson death ruled murder".

Given MJ's self-chosen destructive lifestyle, if there's going to be a murder ruling, the ruling should be that he murdered himself.

On the Road Again - PEI to Toronto

On the Road Again -- now there's a great song by Willie Nelson.

Hit the road at 6 am. today. On the way out of town, there was a beautiful early morning rainbow in the western sky, and a beautiful sunrise in the east.

Spotted a stealthy-like-a-fox coyote crossing the highway and heading into a field while on PEI. On the New Brunswick side, spotted a young moose crossing the road and heading into the forest. In Maine, ran across (not literally) a flock of wild turkeys by the side of the road trying to decide what their next move was going to be.

Bargain-of-the-century at the L.L. Bean Outlet Store in Bangor, Maine -- picked up a $40 Adirondack all-weather chair cushion for $5. Phoned ahead on my US cell phone and got a personal-size Uno's deep-dish. Ee-yumm! This will serve as lunch and supper -- and will keep me going until my next Uno's scheduled for mid-September in Raleigh, NC.

Another flock of wild turkeys in Vermont. (Ball Bounces Future Quote™, circa 2020: "In the last ten years we have come to realize humans are more like wild turkeys than we ever imagined.")
Headed up Vermont 91 towards Quebec and thoroughly enjoyed some quaint and beautiful side road detours. (Memo to self: must return.) Spending the night at a clean and comfortable Super 8 in Derby Vermont -- next door to a Rite Aid and a McDonalds, and across from a pizza joint.

Every American I met was super-friendly and helpful. I mean, every one, from the Uno's guy, to the L.L. Bean lady, to Pharmacy man -- every single one.

Life is good.

Tomorrow: on to Toronto!

And that's the way the Ball bounces -- on the road again.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Global Warming Causes Brain Damage!!!!

Lake Tahoe straddles the border between over-regulated California and under-regulated Nevada. The waters of Tahoe are alpine cold. The smell of Ponderosa Pine up in the Sierras is a wonderful thing. Lake Tahoe is a gem.

Some U.S. government officials made the trek to Tahoe to drop in on a summit to save the Lake. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein took the opportunity to blame global warming for the degradation (loss of clarity) of the Lake.

Then, on a more personal level, she went on to drop a global warming bombshell: “The real culprit in my mind is global warming”. This was her first admission that something is wrong, er, "upstairs".

So, there you have it: by their own admission, global warming is damaging the minds of high-ranked U.S. government officials.

"Global Warming -- Rotting Your Brain Since 1972"™

It's getting scarier by the day -- we are into Invasion of the Body Snatchers territory now.

And that's the way the kept-on-ice-away-from-it-all Ball bounces.

Global Warming Does It Again!!!

You're sitting in your chair, reading the news, minding your own business, not thinking about hockey sticks or houseboats or Al Gore when, wham! -- global warming hits you between the eyes and stings like a bee.

I was reading an article about Asian hornets terrorizing the French. I had mis-read the title, thought it said Asian tourists terrorizing the French, and had this funny image of Japanese tourists in sun hats whacking the French with their Burberry umbrellas.

OK, so it wasn't Japanese tourists, it was Asian Hornets, and, no, Asian Hornets is not the name of a Japanese basketball team.

Anyway, once I got into the meat of the argument I expected the usual came-over-in-a-shipment-of-Asian-pears kind of story-line, no-natural-predators, etc. and, sure enough: "thought to have arrived in France from the Far East in a consignment of Chinese pottery... rapid growth due to "lack of indigenous predators".

My guard was down. Hadn't even had my first coffee of the morning, then this:

"They first settled in the forests of Aquitaine, but quickly fanned out to surrounding areas, thriving on rising temperatures linked to global warming..."

Whack. Global warming strikes again. Like darwinism, it is becoming UE4E -- the ubiquitous explanation for everything inserted into every storyline.

But, in this case there may be something to it. Prior to global warming, the forests of Aquitaine were a sub-Arctic wasteland and the summer frosts would have quickly killed off these sun-loving predators. But, no longer. Now, in the steamy sub-tropical country formerly-know-as-France, menacing Asian hornets thrive.

Sheep are shrinking, Asian hornets are menacing. The only thing that remains pretty much the same are honking big houseboats.

Oh, and one more thing before I go and do something useful -- the article also had this: "Beekeepers suspect that the creatures are also massacring other indigenous insect species."

First it was global warming and the "mortality rates" of trees. Now it's insects massacring other insects. It appears the humanization of nature has begun.

Can accusations of insect genocide be far behind? International World Governance Insect Tribunals, maybe?

And that's the way the stings-like-a-bee Ball bounces.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Global Warming: The Rattling-China Syndrome

Remember The China Syndrome? The beleaguered hero, Jack Lemmon, has been shot and is lying on the floor of the nuclear power plant. "I feel it", he croaks. Feels what? The vibration of a self-destructing nuclear plant, that's what. Only he feels it -- and he announces apocalyptic doom to the others.

OK. Remember The Hunt for Red October? The hero, Jack Ryan/Alec Baldwin, is flying and the china tea cup and saucer set is rattling due to turbulance.

Got them in your mind?

OK. Fast forward to 2009. The fear of nuclear annihilation at the hands of a) greedy Republican businessmen led by snarling Dick Cheney look-alikes, or b) those Ruskies, has given way to the fear of an overheated planet and an angry, PMS-driven Gaia about to blow her top. The heroine, -- are you following this? -- U.S. Senator Stabenow, is flying and her coffee cup is rattling.

Cue the musical theme "Love Is All Around" by the Troggs.

"I feel it", she croaks, lying prone on the airplane floor, her coffee-cup rattling menacingly. "Feel what?" the stewardess bends over to gently ask. "I FEEL IT!" she croaks. "FEEL WHAT?!!" the flight attendant probes with a tone of alarm. "Gaia -- the globe -- it's WARMING!!!"

GLOBAL WARMING -- I FEEL IT (with apologies to the Troggs)

I feel it in my fingers
I feel it in my toes
I feel it when I'm flying
And so the crisis grows

It's written on the wind
It's everywhere I go
So if you love the planet
Come on and let it snow

You know I believe it, I always will
Turbulence is shaping the way that I feel
A new beginning, or it's the end --
On Greenpeace, friend, you can depend

I see Al Gore before me
As I lay on my bed
And then I get to thinking
If he don't rule, we're dead

You give your credits to me
And I give mine to you
We need off-setting credits
For everything we do

You know I believe it, I always will
Turbulence is shaping the way that I feel
A new beginning, or it's the end --
On Greenpeace, friend, you can depend

It's written in the wind
It's everywhere I go
So if you love the planet
Come on and let it snow
Come on and let it snow
Come on and let it
Come on and let it (come and let it snow, baby)
Come on, come on, come on let it snow baby
Come on and let it snow
Come on and let it snow, baby
Come on and let it snow

Breaking News: Bible Supports Darwinian Evolution!!!

"In the last ten years we have come to realize humans are more like worms than we ever imagined."

-- Biologist Bruce Alberts, past president of the National Academy of Sciences; editor in chief of Science. Author of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a standard cell biology university textbook.

Ball Bounces Bible study-of-the-Day™:

"Deuteronomy 28:39: You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them."

Oh, my gosh! Humans eat grapes -- and so do worms!!!! We are like worms!!!


"Job 17:14 if I say to corruption, 'You are my father,' and to the worm, 'My mother' or 'My sister,'

Headline: Major Biblical Figure Acknowledges Darwin's Theory: Claims Worm For Ancestor!!!


Job 25:6 "how much less man, who is but a maggot— a son of man, who is only a worm!"

"Only a worm" -- what could be better than that as proof of darwinism? This fits the reductionist view of darwinian philosophy perfectly . But, Job, quibble-time: Which is it -- maggot or worm -- the Bible is so full of contradictions!!!


Psalm 22:6 "But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people."

Psalm 22 is a messianic psalm -- strongly connected with Christ and his passion.

According to this psalm, the proper understanding of human beings is to not even think of ourselves as beings created in the image of God, capable of rational thought, creativity, moral choice, and as potential vessels for the Spirit of the living God -- the correct view is to think of ourselves as lowly worms.

Oh, my gosh, the darwinists have been right all along!!!

And now, stepping out on a darwinian tree-of-life limb, the first Ball Bounces Future-Quote™, circa 2050: ""In the last ten years we have come to realize humans are more like dirt than we ever imagined." -- Richard K. Ball.

Future-Quote Scripture support:

"the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."


And that's the way the worm-like Ball bounces.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Deceitful Deniers Are Toxic Traitors

In this reasoned and measured article, writer Amy Hoyt Bennett rightly accuses AGW deniers of dastardly deceit and toxic treason (or, possibly, treasonous toxicity).

To which I say, "you go, girl!".

According to Amy, deniers are "agents of deception" using American passion and patriotism to draw the weak-minded into conspiracy theories, corporate-funded propaganda, and mob behavior. "The consequence of this fraud is toxic."

Toxic? I should say so -- the mob must be tracked down (with dogs if necessary) and STOPPED!

"Rational thought and factual evidence have been swept aside with these specious arguments".


"Peer-reviewed scientists overwhelmingly understand humans are changing the climate."

Exactly. Only scientists who have not been reviewed by their peers would disagree.

"Passionate but hoodwinked citizens are being provoked into us-versus-them scenarios that squelch real solutions."

Exactly. That's why we AGW believers refuse to get into an us-versus-them battle with irrational, deceiving, toxic, mob-ruled AGW deniers.

"All of this smoke and mirrors ---- "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" ---- disrupts democratic discourse."

I could not agree more -- so, come on, stop all the hand-waving Al Gore, and let the rest of us get on with the program!

"The end result is that those with a vested interest in preserving the status quo ---- big corporations ---- succeed in blocking critical reform."

Absolutely. Big corporations like Enron, which was salivating over carbon credits. And companies that stand to profit from big-government proscriptions and prescriptions -- from new-tech light bulbs, wind energy, carbon credit schemes, etc. Not to mention Big Science -- and the countless thousands who now depend on alarmism to fuel the beast of government-funded AGW science.

"What counts more; emotional spin or overwhelming evidence and rational debate?"

Exactly, to put it another way, when the planet is on fire, the earth has a fever, and there's a monster lurking in the dark, it's time to put aside emotional rhetoric and ACT. First George Bush cooked the planet, now Barack Obama is cooking the books, and this means... our goose is cooked -- we're toast!!!

"we need the political will to avert a climate catastrophe for future generations. Drought, fires and sea level rise are here"

Exactly. Unlike never-ever before in the history of the planet. Not to mention shrunken sheep you can fit inside a man's pocket!!!

article snip - Plan A -- cap-and-trade vs. Plan B -carbon credits.

... "This is the discussion we should be having, but the deceivers ---- those who commit "treason against the great republic of human nature" ---- are drowning out the conversation."

The sea levels are rising and the deniers are drowning out the conversation. Don't you people get it? THEY MUST BE STOPPED BEFORE WE ALL DROWN!!!

"For the good of our nation and our world, they must be ignored."

I'M IGNORING THEM (fingers in ears)!

"AMY HOYT BENNETT lives in Encinitas and is a volunteer with the Citizens Climate Lobby."

And they would restore the "'" in Citizens, but they like the ambiguity of not revealing whether there's one or more of them.

It's Too Late!!

It's Too Late -- so says the alarmingly alarming Newsweek headline.


"The other [factor, i.e., permafrost] is "a monster in the dark," says Stephen Pacala, an environmental scientist at Princeton. As temperatures rise, permafrost, which holds an enormous amount of carbon from long-dead plants, tends to dry out, allowing decay and a release of carbon into the atmosphere. If this phenomenon, called "outgassing," were to kick in, it could inundate the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, perhaps doubling or tripling the effect of the past century of human industry."

Monsters! Outgassing?!! Doubling!!! Tripling!!!! EEYikes!!!!!

Jumpin' jack flash, it's an out-gas gas!

"Nobody knows for sure what might trigger it" (hence the scientific designation of "monster in the dark").

The final sentence: "As politicians negotiate and the rest are rising quickly at the poles, the north polar ice cap is in retreat, permafrost is showing of us feel good about driving hybrids and using fluorescent bulbs, our fate may be riding on an obscure contest between plants and permafrost."

Can you see what is happening here? Global warming is affecting the brains of global warming alarmists, affecting what they write!!!! Now will you deniers get your heads out of the over-heated sand, and up into the clouds with the rest of us where they belong?!

But, never mind --

It's Too Late (with apologies to Carole King)

Stayed in bed all morning to reduce my 'print
There's something wrong here
There can be no denying
Permafrost is melting
Or maybe the plants are dying

And it's too late baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to brake it
Earth's plants have died and we can't hide
the CO2 -- we can't fake it

It used to be so easy living here with you
You were light and breezy
So low on CO2
Now you look so unhappy
And I feel like a fool

And it's too late baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to brake it
Earth's plants have died and we can't hide
the CO2 -- we can't fake it

There'll be good times again for me and you
But they won't involve any killer CO2
Don't you feel it too
Still I'm glad for what we had
Making our share of CO2

And it's too late baby, now it's too late
Though we really did try to brake it
Earth's plants have died and we can't hide
the CO2 -- we can't fake it

Don't you know that I...
I just can't brake it
Oh it's too late my baby
Too late my baby
You know
It's too late my baby

And, that's the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a CO2-laden whimper.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's Getting Scary! scratch that Scarier!!

I just finished putting the last scary post to bed and wham! another scary global warming article. It's getting so scary out there, it's... scary.

Now I'm not going to sleep tonight. Worrying about global warming was bad enough -- (virtual) tossing and turning all night ('cause I was too scared about CO2 emissions to actually toss and turn -- what I do instead is just move my index finger back and forth so as to minimize my CO2, er, fingerprint) -- and now this:

"Tell me Roger, which should I be worried about?

A) The current cooling trend?

B) The
2,000 year warming trend?

C) The (still on going)
10,000 year cooling trend?

D) The
20,000 year warming trend?

E) The
30 million year cooling trend?

To which I say, "Eeyikes!" Worrying about global warming was bad enough -- but, now I have to worry about global warming and global cooling?!!!

I'll be tossing and turning all night...

PS I don't know who Roger is, but I hope he has the answers!

Earth to Roger -- help us, please!!!

(To which Roger hopefully says, "Roger!".)

Our Goose Is Cooked!

Readers of The Ball Bounces are getting pretty tired of hearing the same old re-hashed AGW cliches -- "the earth has a fever", "the planet is on fire" -- and rightly so.

Here's a new one
thanks to this. (see comments)

"We're cooking our planet".

Pretty good, huh -- puts the blame where it belongs, on "us", while still providing a nice buzz -- we're not just warming the planet; we're cooking it!!!!!

Expect articles exposing frizzled vegetation and frazzled populations to follow...

Here's another comment from the same post:

"I see a fairly obvious correlation between individuals who do not (wish to) believe that global warming/climate change is happening at all..and those that cannot seem to understand that cool/wet local weather does not somhow disprove that global warming/climate change does not exist."

So, deniers are trying to disprove that global warming/climate change does not exist -- wouldn't that make them global warming believers, or, at least, "seekers"?

It's all so hard to understand. Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands in the air and yelling, "hockey sticks!".

(But then I remember the catastrophic effect such an action would have on this overheated planet, and instead I try to relax and type s l o w l y so as to minimize my CO2 producing behaviors.)

We're cooking the planet and soon we'll be toast!

And that's the way the hot-under-the--collar Ball bounces.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The AGW Amplification Effect

I'm happy and proud to report that US legislators spare no expense and leave no overheated rock unturned when it comes to getting to the bottom of global warming.

Hi-lites of a recent US Congressional, er, "investigation":

* Diving and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef

* Cable car ride through the Australian rain forest

* Visit to a penguin rookery

* And, for balance, a quick hop to the South Pole

The lawmakers said the trip offered them a valuable chance to learn about global warming and to monitor how federal funds are spent (not to mention to actually spend some of those federal funds).

I know some AGW Deniers are going to complain about this and even attempt to make a cheap mockery of this trip. But I for one defend these legislators, and to the American taxpayers, I simply say, "pay up" -- it's the Canadian way. When the earth's on fire in your own country, it's critical to put on your asbestos-lined shoes and visit other countries to monitor the fire-level in those places, too.

And, the US Congress's commitment to global warming doesn't stop at one-off trips -- the House of Representatives has allocated $550 million to upgrade a fleet of luxury Air Force jets so that no expense will be spared in investigating the AGW monster. After all, when the survival of civilization is at stake, no expense is too big, no sacrifice too great. In the case of these recent trips, the sacrifice included lawmakers' spouses, who, in a brave gesture of American patriotism, volunteered for the taxpayer-funded mission. When asked about this, one lawmaker responded that his wife, Peachy, added "insight and perspective" that "only amplified the educational benefit he gained as a lawmaker." There you have it. We have an AGW amplification effect happening here. If that's not science, I don't know what is. And, whatever the cost, it was worth it.

And the sacrifice doesn't end here. For one lawmaker, this trip was just one of two he's made recently. He also visited the Galapagos Islands to gain expertise in climate change (and, possibly, to search for Darwin's bones -- no word on that).

Here's a final scientific angle to this: overseas trips by US legislators have taken a nearly 10-fold jump since 1995 -- and those years just happen to coincide with the hottest ever recorded in the history of the world, ever.


Meanwhile, legislators urge ordinary citizens to leave the car in the garage and either walk or take the bus.

As for me, if diving and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, cable car-ing the Australian rain forest, visiting penguin rookeries, and chilling out at the South Pole at tax-payers' expense is what it takes to tame the AGW monster, I'm up for it.

And that's the way the globe-bopping Ball bounces.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Scottish Sheep Shrinking: "It's Baaaad!" Global Warming Alarmists Cry

[updated with links and a clarification]

Scottish sheep are shrinking like a wool sweater in a hot dryer -- because of Global Warming!! And the globe is warming because of YOU!!!

All these puny Scottish sheep running around and IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!

A few posts ago, I posted the alarming news that species are shrinking -- first, sheep, then fish, and soon -- humans!!! You may remember -- "this is big!" the study's author reported.

Well, a bit more on the sheep. Turns out the sheep are shrinking not because they've been thrown into the dryer and it's hot, hot, hot, but because a warmer climate is more benign, allowing smaller sheep to survive. So, one way to spin the news would be to talk about the ameliorating effects of a warming earth. You, know,

"All we are saying, is give fleece a chance!"

But That Will Never Do!

Instead, we spin it to show how disastrous "pocket-sized sheep" are going to be to the Scottish sheep industry -- all these runty, sub-par Mickey Rooney sheep baaaing their way across the Scottish highlands, or lowlands, or whatever it is. [Clarification: this is satirical Ball Bounces extrapolation -- not part of the original articles cited.]

But, wait a minute. The story line is supposed to be that humans are bad, and what we are doing is bad for the environment, bad for species. But, this isn't bad for species, this is good for sheep; this is bad, if it's bad at all, for farmers. But farmers, along with the rest of us, are destroyers-of-the-earth. So, I'm confused.

I'm trying hard to be a good card-carrying global warming alarmist, but, it's getting complicated.

Is there a summer camp I can go to?

You know, one where it isn't freeeezing cold?

And that's the way the Scottish Ball-of-wool bounces.

CNN: "Unfortunately it is too early to tell whether a warming world will lead to pocket-sized sheep," said Coulson."

Darwinism and Post-Modernism

I'm studying the relationship between 20th cc. Darwinism and 21st cc. post-modernism.

One of the points I have been making on this blog is that darwinism is not just science, it is a philosophy tantamount to a world-view. And world-views affect how we view reality. (Perhaps world-views should be called reality-views.)

A good overview of the argument that darwinism has lead to the incoherence of post-modernism may be found here.

Money quote: "Darwinism undercuts the very possibility of rational truth".

Now that should get the ball rolling!

But please at least skim the article before venting!

And that's the way the I-believe-in-rationality Ball bounces.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Very Thin Ice

Find more videos like this on Liberal Madness

Katie Couric is the greatest thing since the Beatles; I can't get this song out of my head.

Now that I'm a global warming believer, this is my new anthem.

I hope someday you'll join me, and the world will live as one.

And that's the way the warming global Ball bounces.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Obamanomics 101

"Geithner said the White House was not ready to rule out a tax hike to lower the federal deficit; Summers said Obama's proposed health care overhaul needs funding from somewhere."


"Funding from somewhere"?

You mean, all this money we've been spending to wrestle the deficit to the ground and purge America of GWB has to be paid back?

Like, somebody has to pay for this??!!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

By Bread Alone?

Jesus said, "Man does not live by bread alone".

In this one sublime statement Jesus surpasses all philosophizing, all books on meaning and reality ever written, all debates that take place in the blogosophere as we, with our tiny minds and sinful hearts, grope after reality and grasp after meaning, hurtling together through space and time -- headed towards -- well, that's the question, isn't it?

Bread represents all this material world is, and offers. The philosophy of materialism bumps its head against the wall of materialistic limits and cannot punch through it; indeed it maintains there is nothing "there" to punch through to. "By bread alone" might well be the materialist's creed.

In this one simple statement Jesus dismissed the philosophy of materialism. He brings it up, and finds it wanting. He explicitly rejects it -- and does so in such a sublime, yet accessible manner.

But this leads to two questions. If man indeed does not live by bread alone, what does he live by? And, if living as Jesus understands and defines it does not consist of bread (a metaphor for all this life offers, including possessions, wealth, etc), what does it consist of?

Jesus went on to say, "but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God". This brings us into the realm of revelation, of revealed truth, revealed wisdom. Jesus says that man, i.e., men, women and children, need this word to truly live, to be truly alive. And here is the materialist's/atheist's dilemma. We can see bread. We can analyze bread. We can put it under a microscope. We can assess its chemical elements. We can bring it under our control.

But we cannot do this with the life Jesus is talking about. We cannot microscope it, telescope it, DNA it. None of our materialistic investigative tools can bring us to the life that Jesus is talking about -- and those who try to bring the tools of science to this task are bringing the wrong toolset to the party. In effect, Jesus says that the greatest questions in life are not answered by science. And since science might be considered man's greatest invention, that is a humbling statement.

Fortunately for us, Jesus who says that we live by revelation is himself the revelator, he himself is the word of God that he said was necessary to be truly alive and living.

What then does he mean then by living and live? There are clues.

* Jesus said, "the words that I speak to you are spirit and are life". The life that Jesus is speaking of is life in a spiritual (as opposed to material) dimension, or with a spiritual, as opposed to material, quality. Moreover, he claims that his words are the sufficient cause of the spiritual effect. This means that persons can experientially enter into the life Jesus is talking about. It is not imaginary, and it is not a life that is believed in through sheer dogged persistence without the evidentiary value of personal appropriation and experience.

* Jesus said, "I am the life". This is even more startling. Not only is Jesus the word of God by which man lives, Jesus himself is the life he is talking about! This implies that those who have Jesus have life, and that those who do not have Jesus do not. Instead, they must, no matter how clever or successful or powerful, settle for the consolation prize of bread crumbs, i.e., the riches and successes of this life.

* Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, he that believes in me shall never die". Another startling claim. This cannot mean physical death, since we all die, and so, by corollary, the life he is talking about cannot be mere physical life. So, it must be a different kind of life.

* Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life". This implies that the life that Jesus talks about is not entered into by birth into the world of bread, but by a second, resurrection birth into a new quality of life (typified by the Greek word "zoe"). And central to this life is the Bread of Life. Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life".

So, the central and deepest hunger of man is not met in bread, as the materialist maintains, but in the Bread.

"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God".

In this one sentence Jesus demolishes the philosophy of materialism, asserts the reality of the existence of God, asserts that God has in fact spoken to mankind, and establishes the gate through which man must enter to find the life and meaning and purpose and destiny he is made to seek -- believing the message about Jesus.

* * *

I worshipped this morning, along with others seeking the Bread from heaven, at St. Matthew's -- the Glass Church -- Jersey, Channel Islands, pictured above. Now I'm off to Oxford for a week of study and reflection and who knows what kind of internet access. I hope everybody has a great week doing whatever your pursuits lead you to.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sealed With A... Eeyow!

Stephen Marche over at the National Post has himself worked up into a lather over the European Union's hypocrisy over the Canadian seal hunt.

I agree with the hypocrisy. But...

"... given that Western civilization's brutality to the earth is currently causing the destruction of the Far North habitat, it is more than vulgar and stupid to accuse the Inuit of crimes against the planet."


"Brutality to the earth"?

"Destruction of the Far North"?

Seeing David Suzuki illuminating a light bulb with his bare hand didn't do it; seeing him unclothed holding up the world like Atlas didn't do it, but I am, like, so changing my light bulbs NOW!

Next, Stephen will be claiming the planet is on fire.

And that's the way the wouldn't-want-to-bump-into-Stephen-Marche-on-the-street Ball bounces.


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