Monday, October 7, 2013

Shutdown Madness and Fake Articles

   I just had an unsettling episode. I somehow navigated on the internet to the Onion, a satire magazine on the web that prints nothing true. Everything is satire. Everything is fake. Everything is aimed at the gullible.

    I read a few articles, probably spent ten minutes total reading Onion articles. Then I went back to my usual news reading from Google News. I read an article from Bloomberg Business News, another from Reuters News Service, and a third from CBS News. Suddenly my mind is questioning every news source. I knew MSNBC often exaggerated things but now everything I read from every news source is questionable.

    "Is anyone telling the truth?" I ask myself, especially in articles about the Federal shutdown.

     In the past, I have checked on perpetual emails I receive about politics and other gripes people have and found that many of them are just not true, but now......  now... every article is questionable. Once I received a letter from a bank I use. I didn't believe it, so I checked with the bank. Sure enough it was fake. I only had those questioning, doubting episodes occasionally.

     But after reading the Onion I question everything on the internet. Only ten minutes of reading has convinced me that every article, every post, every email must be checked.

     Double check the source of everything you believe. If you've been believing all those chain emails you get, here's the antidote: Take ten minutes and read the Onion.

Friday, August 23, 2013

New Evidence for a Warming Earth Paradise

     The recent conclusion of a study by the Save the Redwoods League has the global warming disaster community wondering how to make warming and increasing carbon dioxide evil when the data says it is good.


      Redwood trees along the California coast have never done so well as in the last two decades when the earth was supposed to have been deteriorating because of too much carbon dioxide released by the burning of carbon fuels.

      As it turns out, the warmth and the carbon dioxide have actually caused the trees to grow more wood than they ever have before.

      As I said in an earlier post (Global Warming and the Mormons), an increase in carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere will increase the vegetation on the earth and will cause the hot and cold spots  to even out over time, creating more of a paradise than we have today.

      Instead of fighting the changes coming to the Earth we should embrace those changes and learn
how to adapt.

      The very people who claim to be protecting our environment are those who also try to promote universal and unintelligent evolution, yet when evolution appears to be going a different direction than they have postulated, they try to force rules, laws and regulations that will destroy our carbon based economies.

       Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase the lush green growth that they say they want, but they refuse to see the benefits even though all of us were taught in seventh grade science about the oxygen-carbon dioxide cycle. The more carbon dioxide, the more plants and the more fresh, clean oxygen for us to breath.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Death, Dying and What's Over There

   In February my wife's mother, Elizabeth, who had lived with us for the last year and a half, died at almost 96, so I have been thinking about death and dying for more than a month now.

Grandma Elizabeth
   The first time I ever thought about death was when I was less than four. I didn't really think about it, I just started crying. My parents and I were at my Aunt Florence's home in Eureka, California, probably about 1944. My mother came up to me and said, "Daddy might go into the army."

   I started screaming and crying and yelling, probably what we call  "having a fit." I remember it clearly today. I didn't think about dying. I just started crying.

   "Don't you want to see Daddy in a uniform?" she said. I started screaming and crying again. I don't know what I was thinking, I just remember the crying.

   My father didn't go into the army, but he joined the California State Guard. The War ended the next year. He didn't have to fight.

   I cannot remember anyone who I knew when  I was that little that died in The War. Other than listening to the radio and going to movies with my parents. There was no T.V.  I don't know what could have triggered that crying fit.


    The next episode in my dealing with dying was when my Great Grandmother Eunice Hanson died. We had gone to see her a few times. She sat in a rocking chair and seemed very old to me.  Now I would have written that I was seven or eight when she died, but I just looked it up and I was 14. I cannot explain why my .......memories ......felt ......young.................. Now guess what..........?

My Great Grandmother Eunice Hanson Price
   That wasn't my Great Grandmother Eunice Hanson's death. I cannot remember when she died, but the time I'm thinking of just couldn't be her because when I was 14, I didn't live in the house where the memory is.

  The memory is of my mother getting dressed up, and crying. She was in the kitchen. I was in at least the third grade, but not in the sixth, because it was not just before we moved from that house, and we moved in the summer after my sixth grade year.

   I was between eight and ten. She told me she was going to a funeral, and I suppose she told me whose, and all these years until just now, when I tried to write about it, I thought it was my Great Grandmother, but it could not have been. So I guess that death didn't really affect me, but it affected my mother, and that caused me to be concerned about death, but I cannot even figure out who the person was. I don't have one person in my family history who was close to me who died in those years, so it was my mother's actions that caused me to think it must have been my Great Grandmother.


   We get a lot of our emotions and attitudes about occurrences in life from our parents without any verbal communication at all. If we are a little child and our mother sees a spider in front of her and screams, we will probably be afraid of spiders. I'm glad my mother never screamed in front of me with a spider near.
   My father's brother  died when he was 16,  about two years before I was born, and my mother's brother died about eight years before I was born when he was only 14, and my mother's father died  only four months after  I was born, when he was 56. They were all young,  so my parents had to deal with death right before my first memories. I suppose I got my early attitudes about death from them.
   Darrell Britt (we called him Tony) was a few months younger than me. We were in junior high and high school together for three or four years, in PE classes together, and he also worked with me delivering papers.

   Every morning we got up at 5 a.m. and rode our bikes down to the Greyhound bus depot and loaded the San Francisco Examiner bundles into Fred Whitmire's old grey Dodge car. He drove them to the "paper office," a little empty warehouse, where we folded them, loaded them onto our bikes and took off on our routes.

   Tony was late often. Sometimes he didn't show up. I called him. I even went to his house early, knocked on the door and tried to wake him, so he would get his route done. We often had to wait for the papers, so we'd talk, or we threw old papers at each other, or we'd wrestle. One time when we were wrestling we fell out the window, and I broke my collar bone.

   He liked to fish, and hunt ducks. He had a boat and rowed it in Humboldt Bay, hunting or fishing. When he did that, his Brother Russell took his route. Sometimes Russel would come instead of Tony for two or three days. I got to be friends with Russell who was a couple of years younger than Tony.

   Usually one or the other would finally arrive. When they were late, we rolled their papers for them and stacked them, so all they would have to do was load them on their bike.

Robby and Theresa 1963
   One morning neither Russell nor Tony showed up. I called the house, but there was no answer. I guess Fred Whitmire finally delivered the papers. That day there was talk at school that Tony had died, drowned in the bay while fishing or hunting ducks. The next morning it was in the newspaper.

   Tony drowned December 19, 1956.

  I didn't know how to deal with that, so I did what  I thought my mother and father did. I didn't think about it.

    I didn't know what to say to Russell when he came to work, ....... so I stayed away from him.

Betty & Cindy March 1963

   A little over a year later, Dorothy and I were married. We had three children, and then Cindy was born in August of 1962. She only lived a year and died in September of 1963. That was when I began to learn better ways about  dealing with death.......


 I will tell you about it in the next edition.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Don't Forget the Old People

   When taking pictures, don't forget the old people! I've been looking at collections of photographs and finally realized that most of us forget to take pictures of the older generations when they are with us, with their children.

 Larry Shoemaker with his three daughters, Dorothy, Edna, Betty and Frances at  Elk River on an ancient redwood stump.
   I have a collection of my grandmother's, Alta Bockhouse, and her pictures are mostly of scenery, mountains, and places they visited. I only have one picture of her mother. Grandma Bockhouse was taking pictures in the 1940's, but there are no pictures of her mother or step father. Her mother died in 1945.

   The picture above is a good example of what we should do, a parent with the children. Taken about 1947.

   In the box of my Grandma Moody's pictures, also in the 1940's,   I only found a few pictures of her mother or father, or her husband,  or his mother though she did not die until 1955.

   In my mother's pictures there was only one picture of her father, though I have found many since then from her sisters' collections, but usually only one or two from each collection.

   It's as if we only think of taking pictures of children. We have hundreds of pictures of our children.

   We lived in Arcata, California for only two years and have many, many pictures of our children there. My parents lived only a few miles away, but I don't remember any pictures of them in Arcata. We did make it a point one day when they were visiting to have my father talk into a tape recorder and tell his childhood stories. But I can't find any pictures.

Angelina Hamilton 1829-1915
   I have looked through our Arcata pictures many times and never saw any of Dorothy's parents, or her father's sisters, or her father's mother, yet her father's sisters were there, near by. We did visit them. Finally, in looking through Dorothy's mother's pictures we found some that her father Larry Shoemaker took in Arcata, so now we know that they came to visit us there, but we have none of them in our pictures at that time. Grandpa Shoemaker took pictures of our children and our house, but none of them or us (at least that I have found yet).

   We forgot the old people.

   Sometimes we remember to take pictures when our elders get really old and hardly look like they did before. So when you are taking pictures of your children, take pictures of the older people too.
Rufus Moody 1851-?

   This picture, above,  is of my great great grandmother who died in 1915.  In those days the pictures were quite expensive, so people treasured them more.

   Since I wrote those few lines above, I have had some second thoughts, so I have to "walk back" as the politicians say, some of what I said. Dorothy and I have certainly not taken enough pictures of the "Old People," but there may have been other factors involved in why I haven't been able to find pictures of the "Old People."

   My Grandmother Moody knew I was interested in family history, so she made a special effort to make sure I had copies of some of the "Old People." She had the picture of Angelina Hamilton above made and also made sure I got a copy, She also had copied  pictures of my Great Grandfather Rufus Moody and made sure I got one, and some other pictures, too.  But....

   Most of the boxes of pictures I have received have been "picked over." I received them through a cousin, or other relative after they probably took everything they wanted, so I  didn't get a copy. The pictures I received were those that were left. The "Old People" that were known had their pictures removed from the box.

   Other reasons pictures were not recorded of the "Old People" were family feuds, divorce, and distance. We have only two pictures of Rufus Moody. He lived on the east coast, and he was divorced from my Great Grandmother Eunice Hanson.

   We have  a picture of her (on the left), which seems to have been taken at the same time and in the same place as her mother's (Angelina Hamilton), but the other pictures of her are when she was much older. Grandma Moody made sure I got this one, but others I got  from my aunts' and uncles' collections were when she was so old I don't think my relatives who had the boxes of pictures knew who she was.

   She came to California after she married her second husband, so the divorce and the distance kept the family from having other pictures of Rufus who was on the east coast. The family didn't even know when he died.

   Then there are the family feuds!

   Dorothy and I are now going through boxes and boxes of things from her mother's home. Dorothy's mother just died less than a month ago, and I had to revise my reasons why we couldn't find many pictures of the "Old People." Dorothy and I just forgot. We forgot to take pictures of the "Old People," but others may have neglected the "Old People" because of family feuds.

Gene Blake, Edith and Larry Gene Blake at Elk River
   We are discovering that Dorothy's father, Lawrence Shoemaker, has a wonderful set of pictures of everyone during most of the time he was taking pictures. He remembered to take pictures of the "Old People" most of those years. We have not yet gone through all the pictures, but we have seen that he has taken pictures of everyone.

   Most of the time....

   I am counting the "Old People" as  any that are significantly older than us.

   I noticed that the pictures of Gene and Edith Blake, Dorothy's aunt and uncle, seemed to disappear from Larry Shoemaker's pictures. Edith was his sister, but at a certain point in time, which I have not yet determined exactly, pictures of her stop appearing.  It may have been the distance because Larry moved away, but I remember hearing rumors of some kind of feud at about the same time. Sometimes people deliberately do not go and see relatives when they are in the area.

   The Shoemakers came to visit us and we found pictures of our family in Arcata, California those two years we were there, but I didn't see any pictures of Larry's sister, Edith, or mother who lived not far from us with those pictures of our children.

   It may have been the feud. 

   I also remember rumors of a feud between my Grandmother Bockhouse and her mother who we only have one picture of.

   Pride and anger are terribly destructive  to families.

   When the "Old People" are gone and we are sitting looking at some of the wonderful old pictures, and the memories of the good times come back, we will probably regret those useless family feuds.

   As my Uncle Harry said at one family reunion years ago, "The old people are us now."




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Global Warming and the Mormons

It seems that there are only two positions on Global Warming: those who believe in it as intensely as a new religion, and those who don't believe in it at all.

The first group are those who will do almost anything to promote the idea that the Earth is warming up as a result of human activity, specifically that the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from organic material long buried in the earth, such as coal, oil, and natural gas will cause cataclysms of Biblical proportions and destroy the Earth.

The more carbon dioxide, the faster and better trees grow.
Many of these people have based businesses, politics and, their  entire lives on trying to stop the release of carbon dioxide at any cost, no matter whether it destroys our economies or costs us our freedoms. According to them the world is on the verge of disaster and any methods or activities are justified in stopping the production of carbon dioxide. Many articles have even called the gas poisonous.

On the other side are those who think Global Warming is all a ruse to gain political control by one conspiracy group or the other, or to destroy our culture, or to take over the country or manipulate the masses, or some other conspiracy idea.

Both of these views remind me of the religious wars of the middle ages.  One religion would swoop down and try to force people into their camp, only to be driven away by another. Both sides committed lies, fraud and atrocities. Both were blind to the truth.

Today both sides of the Global Warming controversy have their media specialists and political advocates quoting one fact after the other. For every warming fact there seems to be an anti-warming fact. At the present the Global Warming promoters have lost some ground, and the anti-warming forces push every detail they can get.

So where do the Mormons stand in all this?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes no sides in any political discussion, including this one.

But where do individual members of the Church stand? From my point of view most of them are with the rest of the population. Those who think the Earth is warming are with the liberal group, its an evil that must be stopped.

The others are with the conservatives who think  all Global Warming talk fake. Most Mormons I know are in this second camp.

Personally, I don't know either way what is happening, but I do know something about the teachings, history and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and this knowledge has led me to arrive at some conclusions that I have never heard anywhere else. And  these are different from both the Global Warming community and also different from the anti-warming groups, whether Mormon or non-Mormon.

In 1846, when the first Mormon Pioneers were on their way west, Brigham Young told Jim Bridger, a mountain trapper, they were thinking of settling in the Great Salt Lake Basin. Bridger said they couldn't grow crops there and even wagered that no corn would ever grow because it was too cold.

Brigham Young countered that the Lord would temper the elements for the sake of the Church members. Or in other words that God would warm it up.

Here, it would seem, that Mormons should be in favor of Global Warming.

It's a good thing.

Then we have the liberal, tree hugging, Green, anti-carbon dioxide  bunch, probably very few Mormons, in this group. They love trees, sitting in them so they can't be cut, and even driving spikes into trees in logging areas so a lumberjack with a chainsaw could be killed by a flying shard of steel.

They protest that the  rain forests are being leveled and oppose clear cutting regardless of the regrowth nature of the trees and replanting activities of the lumber companies. I have bought over a thousand redwood seedlings, and the only places that grow them in any large quantity are the timber companies' nurseries. (You'd think that people from the Green Movement would grow tree seedlings.)

But the Green movement's anti-carbon dioxide position is the most wondrous stretch of the truth I have ever heard. They call carbon dioxide a nursery gas, which it is, but then they speak of it in terms of poisons.

Above, an Advertisement to induce nurserymen to buy carbon dioxide generators.
Actually, nurserymen pump carbon dioxide into their nurseries to accelerate the green growth of plants. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen which all animals need. The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of plants, the more and faster they grow, and the more oxygen they produce.

Here it would seem that the Green Movement should be in favor of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more green growing things.

It's a good thing.

And then there's the Tenth Article of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which says "We believe.... that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory," which means to me that the earth will warm up and  the growth of vegetation will increase which will keep the Earth from getting too warm, and after a few years of change, the Earth will balance out the hotter places with the colder places, and it will become a paradise.

So if you really love trees, and you really enjoy green vegetation, and if you really believe that the Earth will again become a paradise, then  enjoy the warm weather and the blind controversy of the uninformed or under-informed, and the Earth will warm whether it's because we are using the fossil fuels and re-releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,  or whether the sun is releasing more energy and warming the Earth, or whether God is doing it in some magical way.
It's a good thing.