This past year has been really tough (COVID-19, inflation, supply chain problems, etc.). However, when things get tough, it is exactly when we need to give thanks. Our Founding Fathers and great leaders understood that giving thanks and expressing gratitude matters in the face of adversity. It gives us hope, emotionally. Giving thanks for what we have, celebrating the people and things God has given us, they believed, was essential to human flourishing. They believed that “we handle hardship best, as individuals, families and as a society, when we do not lose our sense of appreciation and gratitude.”
Going forward, there is no point trying to minimize the adversity and hard times of this year, acknowledging that things could get even worse, before they improve. Nevertheless, by staying positive, giving thanks for what we have, we can keep bad things from controlling us. It is also important that America remain a beacon of hope for the world. Happy Thanksgiving.
Really, You’re Surprised?
At a time when the GOP’s Michael Flynn is calling for all Americans to be one religion, is it a surprise? The Protestantism Flynn calls for was a government- sanctioned religion at its inception.
A recent edition of Architectural Record (11/1/21) details the problems with billionaire Charlie Munger’s prior windowless dorm experiment in Michigan; a forerunner of the Munger plan for UCSB. One might suggest that UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang read the above article before voting to allow the one at UCSB. He apparently did not. The 4,500 students who will pay $1,000 per semester to “live” in 7×10-foot windowless rooms. Munger has no architectural training, has a lot of money, is 90-something and seems (set) about having windowless dorm rooms. Yang seems to have a pile of honorary degrees, an engineering degree and no apparent aesthetic architectural training. He does not seem to have sought the views of the UCSB Design Review Committee, one of whom has resigned over this.
No Climate Crisis Here
Robert’s Big Questions article recently had the title “Climate Crisis as Market Failure?” Seems MIT educated Robert Bernstein takes for granted we are in a “crisis,” but many would argue not only are we not in a “climate crisis” but contrary to what the kids are being taught “the planet is not in peril.” The public should be hearing and listening to both sides of this story. Yes, we now are in a general warming period, but history shows we have always been in warming and cooling periods. Not long ago the Sahara desert was a fertile grassland and New Jersey was under ice. It will happen again. For thousands of years when mankind was a vast collection of tribes, those peoples constantly moved to better climates for their food sources. Now with nearly 8 billion people, we have to learn, mitigate and adapt. Are our kids being taught that the earth does not go around the sun in a circle but in an elliptical path, that the 23-degree annual shift in its axis which produces our changes in seasons varies over a long period of years, that the earth actually has a wobble in its rotation which can create climate variation? That man in our hot South through his invention of air conditioning allows that adaption to see Georgia and Florida become boom states? That Russia, by far the largest country in the world, has infrastructure cracking going on as the vast Siberian land mass has warmed the last few years but the door opens to its vast mineral resources? That even certain MIT climatologists would agree with the detailed studies not exposed in the recent UN climate report that increased amounts of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere have a very rapid diminishing impact as a greenhouse gas? Surely, I don’t have the answers either in this most complex field of science, but what I do submit is that science is never done, never settled, and that the public and our children should be exposed to all sides of this never-ending story.
Fact Check Needed
Mike Hornbuckle’s long letter in the November 18 issue is a prime example of misinformation and disinformation. To cite a few examples:
Smear and innuendo: “the controversial Barack Obama and Joe Biden” — isn’t every politician controversial?
Criticism without context: Jane Fonda’s claim that COVID-19 is “God’s gift to the left” was a tongue-in-cheek quip; she has never expressed pleasure in the pandemic.
Guilt by association: “Democrats were calling to defund the police, they wanted to abolish immigration and customs enforcement [sic; ICE];” no, those have never been policies of the Democratic Party, just of a few isolated groups.
Calling a bird, a fish: “Activists flood voter rolls making it difficult to verify names.” Verification isn’t difficult, and many activists are indeed encouraging and facilitating voting; are you opposed to that?
Lie: There has never been any evidence that Democrats planted people at rallies in 2016 to create violence.
Although the Internet is often replete with errors, there are enough reputable sites with verifiable information to refute virtually every “fact” asserted by Mr. Hornbuckle.