Remember last year?

I distinctly remember this first day of February last year. It was in the middle of my “winter of discontent”. The temperature on the High Plains went below zero just before Christmas and when we got tired of that, it got colder.

January seemed to never end. It continued, day after miserable cold day, while our weathermen and women kept talking about the Polar Vortex. This was was the first time the furnace could not keep up. On many days I had roaring fire in the wood stove and the furnace on just to stay “room temperature”. I remember distinctly posting on Facebook, “Aren’t you glad there is no such thing as January thirty second?”

January last year set records for cold all over North America, Europe and the northern tier of Russia. There were natural gas shortages in Europe as well as propane shortages in the US Midwest. There were stories of Orange crop failure from ice as far south as central Florida.

Yes, we were all glad to see January of 2014 come to an end. There was an end to the misery on the horizon. Little did we know this Polar pattern would last four more long months into mid May.

Oh, wait a minute… Our President said in his speech that last year was the warmest on record. I must be wrong. I must have dreamed it. I must have imagined writing that check to my plumber for the repair of frozen pipes. How can this be? How can I be so wrong? My President wouldn’t lie to me. He, after all, is smarter than I am. I have to be mistaken. He must be right, He’s our President. He is the smartest president in decades.

I can only conclude that the proper scientific method is to ignore the highly accurate satellite temperature measuring data, then cherry pick ground sites with dubious reliability and jink those numbers to get a rise of .02 degrees (inside the margin of error of .1 degrees) and therefore conclude that the year that held “the winter of my discontent” and the summer that was too cool for swimming was, in fact, the warmest year on record.

If I did those kind of calculations with my bank account I’d be in jail.

The riots, Ebola, Squeaky Fromme, the click and the Hand of God

I know it is a strange title but I think they all connect. I’ll start by telling a short story about tipping points. The year was 1975. The first appointed (spelled unelected) President of the United States (Gerald Ford) had chosen the second (appointed and unelected) Vice President (Nelson Rockefeller) the previous year.
For some, it was somewhat disconcerting to have the brother of David Rockefeller, arguably the man holding the world’s purse strings, sitting in the co-pilot seat of the most powerful man in the free world.

Along comes Squeaky Fromme and her Colt M1911 handgun. She pointed it at Ford and – click. Nothing happened. It turned out later that though she had rounds in the magazine, the chamber was empty. Click – Nelson Rockefeller never became President and thereby could not bring forth what ever diabolical plot the conspiracy theorists thought was afoot. Click – Ford continued as President tripping down air stairs and beaning people with golf balls.
Was it simply a mistake on the part of Fromme? Was it, as she said, an intentional act to aim and not fire? Was it the Hand of God preventing this nation from going past the tipping point?

Fast forward to this year.

We have had an economic collapse (called a correction) in the stock market. Click – The economy didn’t follow the lead and business went on as usual.

We have had an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, yet we don’t secure ourselves from the danger. In fact, we even bring the virus into the country and let it roam around unheeded and unchecked for days. Click – Despite the ease it is transmitted, the disease didn’t spread.

When the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri came back with a decision in favor of Mr. Wilson. People gathered in that town and started a violent demonstration. It was an outburst of anger that destroyed several buildings but, thankfully didn’t kill anyone. At the same time there were people organizing demonstrations in several major cities around the county. The goal, some say, was to have them spin out of control and cause national unrest. This kind of unrest would result in Marshal Law and bring our nation fully into a police state. Well, the other demonstrations were few and never really amounted to much. Those that were held, were peaceful. Click – No nationwide rioting.

We again are very close to a tipping point. The United Sates of America is teetering on the edge of extinction (at least as we know it). There are powers on both sides of this debate that want to see the tip and want to see it fall in their direction.

Click – Something is stopping it. Believe what you will and say what you will. For me, I will continue to pray for my country.

ON MARRIAGE AND GOVERNMENT

We have been having this national conversation about just what the definition of marriage should be. Sometimes that conversation gets quite heated. This conversation has been going on for years in homes, in classrooms around the water cooler and in the taverns. It has also been discussed judges’ chambers, in State Legislatures, in the National Legislature and even in the White House.

There are many opinions. I have mine. Those who know me can guess where I am on thus issue. BUT that is not the topic I want to talk about this morning, so I’ll leave that alone for now.

I want to ask a different question:

Simply put, Why do I need the permission of government to marry? Who decided that? If I want to join in matrimony with my significant other, why do I have to ask my government for permission?

If two consenting adults want to make a binding contract merging their lives and assets together, why do they need the State’s sanction. A contract is a contract. Let’s let it be that.

I say the answer to same sex marriage, opposite sex marriage should be an individual answer and an individual decision.

If I were in the state legislature I would propose a bill that simply states, “As of Jan 1 (pick a year), the state of (your state here) will no longer record or require the recording of marital records. Counties and municipalities will from that date no longer record such events.”

That takes the argument out of the courts and the halls of government and puts it back in the homes, churches and bars where it belongs.