The Salem News
---- — Happy New Year! For those who enjoy irony, 2014 begins cheerfully with a global warming event.
A Russian ship, carrying a New Zealand “scientific expedition” and what seem to be eco-tourists led by Australian “climate scientist” Chris Turney, is stuck in thousands of square kilometers of “unexpected” summertime ice in Antarctica.
Much of the mainstream media doesn’t seem to know what the ship is doing there, but according to Internet sources, the purpose of the expedition is “to discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.”
Chris Turney’s carbon refining company is involved in developing technology to make green products to help reduce greenhouse gases.
So, the ship filled with scientists looking for evidence of global warming, which left New Zealand Nov. 28, has been stuck since Christmas Eve, when a blizzard “pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place,” according to AP, which also says it “isn’t in danger of sinking”.
While it probably won’t sink when encased in ice, the hull is likely to be crushed if the ice thickens. Fossil-fuel ice-breakers have been trying to reach the ship, hoping to free it, then turn it around so it can sail to open water. However, the latest plan involves fossil-fuel helicopters evacuating the passengers.
They are said to be in good spirits, with enough supplies to last awhile, so we shouldn’t feel bad if we are laughing. If only Al Gore were a passenger, the irony would be rated 100 percent.
More irony as the year turns: the Obama supporters who spent their Christmas season trying to get health insurance before the constantly moving deadlines, after they lost the plans they liked that Obama promised they could keep. I uncharitably hope that those remaining apologists who insist we shouldn’t criticize ObamaCare until it’s had a chance to work also spent New Year’s Eve sitting in front of their computers trying to sign up before 2014 began. Should the auld policy be canceled, just lift a cup of kindness and toast auld lying politicians.
Of course, there’s nothing funny about their insurance dependents losing coverage, or the Romney voters who are also going through this ObamaCare exercise. Might as well take comfort, though, in whatever justice has been visited upon the perpetrators of health insurance hell.
Here’s an irony I would like to see: halfway homes for released juvenile killers located next door to the homes of the Supreme Judicial Court judges who think that life without parole is too harsh a punishment for people whose young brains weren’t fully formed when they killed.
But, if inadequately formed juvenile brains is the problem, why don’t more juveniles savagely murder innocent people? One wonders when the brains of the judges stopped maturing into entities capable of common sense. Once one murders, one defines oneself as outside the human race, hence the banishment of Cain, and onward to the mandatory life sentences today.
I wonder, too, about the brains of other judges who keep releasing repeat drunken drivers, giving them a chance to become killers, too.
Well, now that I’ve got all that mean-spiritedness out of my system, let’s look forward to the New Year. Last year around this time, we were talking about a Mayan prophecy about the end of the world. I told you that my Llewellyn’s 2013 planetary guide, from the Pyramid bookstore in Salem, said that we may instead be facing a “very dark moment in history.” Llewellyn’s 2014 planetary guide reiterates a “conflict between the new order and the new guard, (with) uneasy earth shifts, global conflicts, economic hardships, and social modifications.”
If you’re not into astrology, you can read about those concerns in this week’s newspapers to find out what’s going on in our corner of the universe. Earthquakes all around the Earth. Saudis give Lebanon $3 billion to buy weapons. Israel hit by rockets fired from Lebanon. Ethnic crisis in South Sudan; radical Islamists disrupting Russia, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and Afghanistan. Nuclear weapons in the hands of dictators still a threat to humanity. U.S. unemployment still high, leading to arguments that it’s necessary to keep able-bodied people on unemployment for years because the economy can’t create jobs for them. Children killed by parents, abused in foster homes, homeless at age 18. The uncontrolled national debt preventing meaningful action into the future.
If you are looking for a light in the darkness, you can look forward to President Obama’s State of the Union address later this month. He’s expected to promise ... oh, never mind. You might instead want to read the opening chapter of my favorite new book, Charles Krauthammer’s “Things that Matter.”
Dr. Krauthammer explains: “Politics is the moat, the walls, beyond which lie the barbarians. Fail to keep them at bay, and everything burns. The entire 20th century with its mass political enthusiasms is a lesson in the supreme power of politics to produce ever-expanding circles of ruin”.
As the 21st century began, on 9/11/01, we saw a “very dark moment in history,” the beginning of a larger hour. Only a strong America, holding to the principles of our Bill of Rights and our Constitution, can defend the light. This must be our citizen resolution, this New Year and every New Year of our lives.
Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is president of Citizens for Limited Taxation and a Salem News columnist.