Monday, January 9, 2023

Random Thoughts and Observations

First the Flood

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan 5 (Reuters) - A massive Pacific storm unleashed high winds, torrential rains and heavy snow across California for a second day on Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and disrupting road travel with flash floods, rock slides and toppled trees.

From the National Integrated Drought Information System

(I bet you didn’t know that your federal tax dollars went to something like this, did you?)

Regarding California:

·         37.1 million people in California are affected by drought

·         58 counties with USDA disaster designations

·         59th driest November was in 2022, over the past 128 years

·         2nd driest year to date was in 2022, over the past 128 years

We also have 100% electric vehicles in 12 years:

SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board today approved the trailblazing Advanced Clean Cars II rule that sets California on a path to rapidly growing the zero-emission car, pickup truck and SUV market and deliver cleaner air and massive reductions in climate-warming pollution.

The rule establishes a year-by-year roadmap so that by 2035 100% of new cars and light trucks sold in California will be zero-emission vehicles, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

But don’t charge your electric vehicle.  Just one week after the above announcement to go all-electric:

The heatwave continues. For eight successive days, California’s independent grid operator (Cal ISO), the body that manages the transmission grid, has issued “Flex Alerts” asking households to voluntarily reduce power use, including not charging EVs between 4:00-9:00 pm.

Top 20 Largest California Wildfires: out of the top twenty, all but two have come in the 21st century.  Turning the Whig Theory of history on its head.

So, let’s summarize this: a state with no water cannot handle the rain when it does come; a state with no electricity mandates all cars are to run on electricity; a drought-stricken state that is abysmal when it comes to managing and containing wildfires.  Yet, it has plenty of money for this:

California’s high speed rail project:

On the cost side of the project, if the $100 billion estimate for cost of the Los Angeles to San Francisco phase of the project is taken seriously, that means the remaining portions – Merced to Sacramento and LA to San Diego – will cost an additional $60 billion and require an upping of the power needs discussed above by about 60%.

That $60 billion figure does not take into account the fact that the portion of the line slated to run down the I-15 corridor from Temecula to San Diego will be one of the most expensive.

Which, as everyone already knows, will never be completed and will cost at least double of any number currently advertised.

Yes, I know.  We all laugh at states like California, Illinois, and New York.  But we are all swimming in the same mud.  We are all getting dirty.  It just shows a little sooner in some places than in others.


CINCINNATI -- Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin had his heartbeat restored on the field after suffering cardiac arrest during the team's game Monday night against the Bengals, and he is currently in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital, the Bills said in a statement Tuesday.

Two thoughts come to mind.  First, anyone who says it has something to do with the jab is told, “you aren’t a doctor, you haven’t even seen the patient, shut up.”  After which, the person who just said “you haven’t seen the patient” (who himself or herself also hasn’t seen the patient) immediately tells you that what happened was…whatever.  A hard hit to the chest at just the right moment in the heartbeat cycle, etc.

A hard hit to the chest in an NFL game.  Something that happens perhaps 300 times per game.  Saying a hard hit to the chest in an NFL game can cause a heart attack should end professional football, in the same way that saying burning furniture can bring down a high-rise building should cause all buildings over three stories to be condemned.

Second, there have been many commentaries that have started with “this time seems different.”  “This time…” meaning what?  There have been numerous catastrophic injuries in NFL games – compound fractures, spine injuries, paralysis, etc.  It’s that kind of sport.

Why is it different this time?  I am not going to speculate on if he did or didn’t take the jab, a booster, whatever.  But his teammates know.  Other players know.  Many in the media know.  When Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t take the jab last year, it was a year-long topic on sports talk radio.  When Kyrie Irving didn’t take the jab last season, it was a year-long topic on sports talk radio.  We heard no such talk about Hamlin.

Why is it different this time?  They all know – from the NFL commissioner, from every owner, every executive, every player and ever water boy.  They all know why it’s different this time.  They know that in their chest is a ticking time bomb. And they know what has placed that ticking time bomb in their chest.

And poor Damar Hamlin just reminded them all of what they already knew.  Now it’s real.


On Friday, January 6, the United States announced an additional $3.075 billion in military aid to include 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles with 500 TOW anti-tank missiles and 250,000 rounds of 25mm ammunition; 100 M113 Armored Personnel Carriers; 18 155mm self-propelled Howitzers; and other equipment. In its press release, the Defense Department (DoD) noted "recent commitment of combat vehicles to Ukraine by Germany and France. DoD also welcomes Germany's commitment to ... supplying one Patriot air defense battery to Ukraine." 

Further escalation in Ukraine.  Is there anything more certain than this?  (Well, pick any ongoing evil by any state actor; I guess that would be true.)  But, returning to Ukraine.  Does anyone see a peaceful offramp?  If not, this war can only go in one direction.

I think it’s only going in one direction.  And it will get as real as a heart attack on the football field.


The drama is over:

After four grueling days and 15 votes, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is finally Speaker of the House…

Did any of this make any difference?  To ask the question is to answer it.  None of it has mattered since a November day in Dallas in 1963.  And if you want to make the case for 1861 or 1789…feel free.


Now, for a change of pace.  An exchange between Jordan Cooper and John Vervaeke on how to understand Martin Luther.  They don’t really see the history the same way, and have exchanged a couple of videos on the topic.  It seems the two will have a conversation, to be hosted by Paul VanderKlay.

Basically, Cooper argues that none of the longer-term bad stuff that many, including Vervaeke, attribute to Luther was ever Luther’s intent, nor did he advocate for such things.  Vervaeke replies that connections can be made, regardless of the intent of Luther.  I offered the following thought, on the last of the solo videos before the aforementioned upcoming conversation:

When considering the history of ideas, I imagine the lines and connections are almost infinitely varied.  I suspect in this [upcoming] conversation between Cooper and Vervaeke, each will make points that are valid.  It doesn't matter what Luther intended.  It doesn't matter what those who immediately came after Luther intended.  Once certain doors are open, one cannot control what passes through the doors.

And, no doubt, Luther opened some doors.  It is difficult to disagree with the reality that some of those doors needed to be opened.  Unfortunately, not all of them.  But…history is messy.

Are there any meaningful thinkers in history whose ideas have thereafter influenced only one strand in the future?  I highly doubt it.  If so, I doubt we would consider them influential.  One thing both Cooper and Vervaeke will agree on: Luther was influential.

For whatever that’s worth.


  1. Luther himself didn't like some of the doors he opened. In one of his sermons he wrote, "We experience it daily that the people are seven times worse today than ever before under the Papacy; they are more avaricious, more unchaste, more envious, more intemperate, more dishonest. . . ."

    Within a year of his death in 1545, he wrote to his wife: "Let us get out of this Sodom [Wittenberg]. I prefer to wander about homeless and to beg my bread from door to door than to poison my poor last days by the spectacle of all these disorders."

    At any rate, that's how Fr. John Laux reports it in the 1945 edition of his tome *Church History*. For what it's worth.

    1. I would recommend checking out the following resource:

      To summarize: Luther did not regret his teaching, because he believed his teaching to be faithful to God's Word. He blamed the ill effects which followed on man's rebellion against God's Word, because the natural (apart from grace/conversion/regeneration) state of man is hatred of God and His Word; therefore, the more God's Word is preached, the more unrepentant people rage against it.

      I would also note that this claim (that, because things got worse after Luther taught, Luther is to be blamed for those ill effects) condemns the prophets just as it condemns Luther, because things got worse after the prophets taught too.

      The only proper question to ask regarding any teaching is, "Is it true?"

    2. True enough, but that knife cuts both ways. To wit:

      To summarize, Pope Leo X and the magisterium did not regret the Church's teaching, because they believed her (constant) teaching to be faithful to God's Word, because the natural (apart from grace/conversion/regeneration through the Church's seven sacraments as instituted by Christ) state of man is hatred of God and His Word; therefore, the more God's Word is taught, the more unrepentant people rage against it.

      I would also note that this claim (that because there were abuses in the Church, Luther can't be blamed for revolution that followed him) condemns the ecumenical councils just as it condemns the 16th century Church, because things got worse after each of the councils issued their teachings, too.

      "Is it true?" is indeed the only proper question to be asked. If Luther's teachings are true, why aren't Arius'? Two-thirds of the bishops of the One True Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in the 4th century thought Arius was right. Even after Nicaea and Constantinople, a good number of them just dug their heels in.

    3. To answer the questioned posed in your last paragraph:

      Luther's teachings were/are true because he taught what God's Word teaches, as it had been understood from the beginning. Arius's teachings were/are false because he taught contrary to God's Word. And no member of the Church (bishop or otherwise) ever thought Arius was right, because to deny that the Son is eternally begotten of the Father (with Whom He is one substance) is to deny the clear teaching of God's Word, which puts one outside the Church.

  2. California is a disaster that is trying to wash across the whole Continent. Better to remove ourselves politically in every way possible including not allowing any of them to move to your state. I am starting to want closed borders between states in order to keep out Leftists.

  3. Your random thoughts seem not so random....and neither coincidental.....all these at the same time seem to confirm not only 'wicked spirits in high places' as you've written in the past, but now we're into 'For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie'.

    1. Crush, truly we are hit with evermore calamities at an ever increasing pace.