Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Two Dead in Kansas Flooding

Tragedy has struck again; this time in my home state of Kansas last night. Yet again, a car has been swept off the road in flash flooding and two died.

By far, the #1 cause of deaths in flash floods is automobiles.

"Apparently what happened, they hit the high water, the vehicle probably stalled. It was found in park with the engine shut off and, we believe, high water came and just swept the vehicle off in a high ditch," Dierks said.

It happens over and over, people who are safe one minute make the fatal decision to drive into a flooded area and are swept away to their deaths. Or, emergency response personnel risk their lives to make a swift water rescue.

When driving, you do not know if the roadway has been washed away when flash flooding is in progress as this photo from Twitter reveals.

And, from KOCO-TV's helicopter:
Can you imagine what would have happened to any driver who drove into that rapidly flowing stream without knowing the road beneath was gone?
Don't Risk It:
Please, please, please: "Turn around, don't drown."

To My Readers From a Catholic

The news pertaining to the Catholic Church the last few weeks is beyond sickening. I don’t believe my vocabulary is adequate to express my revulsion. 

The Catholic Church is a divine institution run by humans. We “cradle Catholics” were educated to believe the leaders of the Church were chosen because of their holiness and devotion to helping their flock attain Salvation by striving to live lives worthy of Christ. 

The faithful now know we have been betrayed in the most evil possible way. And, we have learned it wasn’t a few rogue priests or that the press has been libeling the Church (as the Church’s leadership wanted us to believe) but that the rot exists throughout. Even Pope Francis doesn’t seem to fully grasp or want to grasp the seriousness of the problem both in the United States and internationally.

There are far too many -- to this day -- in positions of leadership in the Church who seem to think if they ignore the problem it will go away. My diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Advance, has a "latest news" column. Not a word.

I am also disappointed by priests on social media writing truisms this morning such as, “holiness is the answer.” While that is ultimately true, it is not nearly sufficient. To any priest or bishop or cardinal who might be reading this: If you are aware of any member of the clergy who has or is engaged in these activities and you have not called in law enforcement, you are acquiescing in evil!

I call on every priest and every bishop this Sunday to condemn these gravest of sins, beg our Lord to forgive the Church, and pray to give the good members of the clergy the strength and courage to do what is right in the eyes of Christ. I also ask them to consider that their vow of obedience must be obedient to Christ above all else. If they know of “hush orders” or any such obstruction of justice they must go to law enforcement. This must not and can not continue. 

While Catholics do not believe one has to be Catholic in order to attain heaven, we do believe that Christ founded the Church to make the often challenging path to Heaven easier to follow. I still believe that to be true with all of my mind, heart and soul. But, I also know it must be extraordinarily difficult for those outside the Church to see at this time. As a member of the Church, I'm so sorry that is the case. 

To those who may happen to be considering conversation to Catholicism, please continue your study and prayers. 

I will have more to say on this subject
 as events unfold. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Monday, August 13, 2018

Climate Silliness -- As Only the New York Times Can Do It

The New York Times has published a piece of climate fluff regarding the recent tornadoes in New York City and New England. The article is here.

The two scientists the author consulted did not provide support for the author's hypothesis but that didn't stop her from writing the article or the Times from publishing it.

Let's look at the facts. Here are world temperatures since the 1880's.
Current temperatures are circled. I've placed an arrow at 1953's temperatures, which I will come back to. Please note that temperatures are significantly warmer now than they were in the 1950's.

Yet, as temperatures have risen, the number of significant tornadoes is strongly down.
So, if anything, warmer temperatures means fewer strong tornadoes across the country. 

The worst tornado outbreak in New England history occurred in June of 1953.
The Worcester tornado, which was on the ground for 48 miles, killed 94. Six more died that day elsewhere in New England from other tornadoes. Is there any doubt that if this occurred today it would be blamed on global warming?? Note that this tornado outbreak occurred with global temperatures much cooler than they are today.

This is inaccurate climate advocacy published as news. It is highly unfortunate.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Good News: The World Has NEVER Been Better Than It Is Now

While there are unquestionably problems in our world, it is vitally important to keep things in perspective. Here are some graphics that help make the point that right now -- 2018 -- is the best time in the history of the world and that things will almost certainly get even better.
click to enlarge
Diseases Are Receding. Polio has been nearly wiped out thanks to Rotary International and the Gates Foundation.
HIV deaths are also decreasing.
Child mortality is improving.

Sanitation is often overlooked but it is a vital part of the public health. India, in particular, is making rapid progress.

Starvation is disappearing.
click to enlarge
And, not only are fewer people malnourished, the quality of our diets is improving.
You can go here for the entire story of our rapidly improving world.

Finally: Did you know that is you make more than $35,000/year (US) you are in the world's top 1%? 

So, let's keep our issues in perspective.

Sunday Inspiration: A Little Kansas Boy Inspires People Around the World

Sunday Fun: The Humanity of the California Firefighters

There is very little good news to come out of the grim stories of the California wildfires. But, here is some, via Twitter.
An enlargement of the letter:
Let me add my thanks to the brave California firefighters.

Sunday Photo: Lightning Hitting Tucson Radar

From Twitter:
The radar was knocked out Friday afternoon.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Putting Your Life at Risk -- For Golf

While I was posting this in Kansas yesterday, two young people in Arizona were hit by lightning; and it was caught on video yesterday. You can see it here. They were in a less open area than the golfers I wrote about below.  One of the teens is in critical condition and the other has second degree burns. Hopefully, it won't be the case here, but many who survive lightning strikes are permanently impaired. 

It is just not work the risk. Please continue reading below. 


-- Original Posting -- 

Today is a big (for me, I don't play) golf day at The Smith House. My brother, Mark, scored a hole-in-one for the first time (he plays a lot). I spent a good part of the day watching the PGA Tournament because I enjoy watching the majors and I'm hoping Tiger Woods can continue his comeback.

After the PGA correctly suspended play when lightning moved through St. Louis County this afternoon, some Wichita golfers pulled a really stupid move about an hour and a half later.
Radar 5:59pm CDT
With nearly continuous thunder sounding and with the corresponding lightning less than four miles away, the people in the golf carts (circled, below) continued to play their game.
The thunderstorm and its rain shaft were clearly visible as they are in the photo above. Heck, we could hear it well from inside our house with the air conditioning going. While an automobile is good shelter from lightning, golf carts are dangerous.

I doesn't matter if you've scored a hole-in-one or have spent all of your time in the sand traps. This was too dangerous. Remember: If thunder roars, go indoors!

Dilbert Without Comment

click to enlarge