Monday, December 30, 2019

Eddie Murphy and the cowardly rebels from of old

One of many greedy little cowards in Hollywood
It used to be said that old people became set in their ways as they got older.  The Baby Boomers, once more, prove that adage wrong.  More and more post-Boomer Americans are shuffling off the coils of old values, standards, principles, ethics, and almost everything they once cherished.  Things that were once the hill upon which to take our stand are tossed out the windows like nickles and dimes at a stunning rate.

And the bold rebels of my youth, who made millions proudly sticking a finger in the eye of American values and kicked down barriers of vulgarity, debauchery and hedonism are becoming groveling thralls of the political Left.  So Eddie Murphy, who took the mantle of George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx and ran it down the field toward new levels of base vulgarity, insults and mockery of everyone has been cowed by the Left's favorite tool to eradicate rights: The LGBTQ movement.

I remember his groundbreaking routine Delirious.  Non-believing, liberal hedonist that I was, I admit his routine was a bit much even for me.  Nonetheless, I watched it, chuckled a few times, and moved on, keeping in mind Groucho Marx's old saying that anyone can be funny by being vulgar, but it takes talent to be funny and clean.

I therefore was stunned to see, around that same time, criticism of him for making fun of homosexuals.  I thought heck, he made fun of everyone.  What's so big about that?  So what if he adds homosexuals to the long list of targets for his swear-fest insults?  I mean, his whole obscenity laced screed was one giant piss over an endless list of individuals and groups.  Everyone laughed, it's the 1980s when nothing is real and nothing to get hung about, being offended is for old fundie types, and who cares?  So what's so special about homosexuals?

Of course going on forty years later, we now see that the LGBTQ movement is the weapon with which the Left has systematically disarmed the building blocks of liberty, freedom, free speech, religious tolerance and the essentials of the Christian Western tradition.  Increasingly young people seem proud to declare they would gladly see an end to the Bill of Rights and all freedoms rather than  allow someone to dare disagree with the LGBTQ movement.  And increasingly we are seeing pushes to do just that.

Part of the effectiveness of this ploy is that so many - from the Russ Moores of Evangelicalism to Catholic leaders to those bold rebels of old in the Entertainment Industry like Eddie Murphy - simply are incapable or unwilling to take a stand.  Saruman spoke well and nailed this generation that will gladly put an end to the 2500 year march toward a free and democratic society if it only means outlawing the right to think any other way than the LGBTQ movement dictates, lest they be deemed enemies of the same.   In the old days, that was called cowardly.  In my book, it still deserves to be called just that.

UPDATE: Apparently comedian Kevin Hart has joined the grovelers.  I won't update this every time it happens, but I wonder.  What is it about the altar of Gay that has lead us to throw all rights and liberties and freedom out the window?  Why is it so singularly powerful?  I realize there are many other thoughts and words nowadays that can cost you your living and livelihood, your reputation and your freedom.  But there is some fluidity in most of those, and some degree of disagreement.  But with Gay, there is nothing, no give, no mercy, no anything.  You buck Gay, and you will come back groveling or else.  Why?  How has that happened, how does it continue to happen, and how is it that so many - including growing numbers of everyone - are fine with saying it would be better to burn all rights and liberties than allow someone not to agree with Gay? 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Game time again

So it was another great year for the boardgamers in the home.  I've read that board games are all the rage again.  Of course we've been playing board games on a regular basis for years.  My wife and I spent our second date on New Year's Eve, 1991, playing Scrabble with her family.  Since then we've always had a soft spot for the quieter side of life even in our younger, crazier salad days of marriage.

We raised our boys in the same manner, and they're quite good at navigating board games every bit as much as video games.  In fact, two of them seem to prefer the non-digital approach to family entertainment.  But then, they also have their own peculiar interests, such as asking for a film version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and then schooling their youngest brother on the finer points of the play as they watch it together on Christmas Day.

Alas, the eldest boys are getting older and moving on.  With jobs and college and their own lives to lead, they're not around like they used to be.  They do try to set aside at least one day a week or so to hang out with the family, or do things like have their 'Bro Night' with their youngest brother to keep him in the loop.  But even he has said he prefers time with his own friends now, realizing that the time for his older brothers' inevitable step into the next stages of their lives is at hand.

Still, for those times when we are together, it's eating together and then enjoying movies, the big game, or a "quiet' board game or two during the down time that still marks the primary way in which we spend time together.  This Christmas saw quite an addition to our collection of games, and hopefully over the next couple weeks, when their schedules are loosened and they're not hanging with their own kind, we'll get to plow through a few of them.

Here are the ones we received this year.  We'll see how they are, though some are already known to us and I think they'll be just fine:

I have no clue on this one.  This was for me from the boys.  It certainly looks fun, and taps into my preference for history oriented games, especially in the Medieval realm.  If quality of product is any indicator, it should be fun. 

We have the game Mansions of Madness, which is quite fun, but time consuming, long to set up, and requires the better half of a ping pong table of area to play.  I heard this is similar, but more condensed.  My one son said it is well reviewed, if not a bit graphic for our youngest.  We'll see.  But the set up and play time seems more restrained than MoM, so it might be a good goto for those dark, scary nights when an appropriate themed game is in order.  

We had this game when my oldest boys were younger, and played it extensively.  I'm not sure how our marriage and family survived.  We lost a couple pieces from the one we had and hadn't played it in years, but I found a copy intact this year.  I would call this perhaps one of the most stressful and exasperating games I've ever played.  It's a race against the clock to find four keys, dodge guard dogs and guards and booby traps, and get the keys back to shut down the alarm before time runs out.  Especially at harder levels (those with less time allowed), not a beat can be missed or you'll likely loose.  It's a team effort.  My wife and I played the guard and guard dog respectfully, letting the boys team up - such as it is.  We played it once and that's all our nerves could handle.  But the fun factor means we'll likely play it again soon. 

My third son, our resident game connoisseur, found this. I don't know what it is.  It seems to be like a German game we found years ago called Labyrinth.  Basically you put tiles down that have all manner of labyrinthine paths.  The goal is not to collide with another player and not end up being sent off the side of the board.  It's a fast game, with the two we played lasting no more than about ten minutes.  With no time to set up, and fast play, this will be a nice goto when the boys are around for a quick evening and not much time. 

My best friend bought this in 1986 at the same time I purchased the company's other game, Axis and Allies.  Not interested in history or such, my friend - at the time all into the college ROTC program - jumped on this with its obvious military/Red Dawn vibes.  We played it once before he became enraged and threw the game - board, pieces and all - out the door.  I had told my boys about that for years and, along with the fabled Dark Tower board game, it loomed large in the myth of my youthful days.  My third son, again, warranted this one, and so far he seems quite pleased with it.  The theme is America fending off a joint attack during a fictional late Cold War meltdown (set in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries).  For me, it was interesting insofar as it assumed America as the good guys, and framed things against the USSR which was still the baddie.  
What a difference a couple decades make. 

Not sure about this one.  It seems an unpacked and expanded variation on Simon Says.  It seems to be a beat the clock game, everyone do what they are told to do in the order they're told to do it, and hit the button within an allotted amount of time.  

Got the game a few years ago, but the electronic component didn't work.  This was from my best friend again.  He had the game when we were kids, I didn't.  We played it quite a few times.  To be honest, by now it's younger than my boys, and even our ten year old is likely beyond it.  Still, they enjoy these games from back in the day and typically see them in the most positive sense, with admiration for the creativity, quality and imagination.  The gist of the game is pretty simple, the electronic part of the game gives clues as to the thief's whereabouts.  I bought a new electronic component that needed replaced, so we'll see. 

This was seen by my oldest and I when we were shopping for one of the brothers.  We have played the old game 221B Baker Street and, such as it is, it's always been a fun, atmospheric romp through the London of Holmes and Watson.  This seems to take it and, as my sons said, inject the concept with steroids.  I've seen good reviews of it, and we're looking forward to it, though it doesn't appear to be something you can polish off in an hour.  Which is fine.  It also seems to be something you can return to over a course of time. 

Honorable Mention:

We got this years ago per recommendation, but we couldn't figure it out.  More than once we sat down and attempted to work it through.  Perhaps it's because Asian history/culture, while mildly interesting to us, is not our main focus, but we couldn't get a handle on it.  Then this year it was the Big 10 Championship game.  Ohio State was losing badly to Wisconsin.  My wife and third son concluded the football game was too stressful, and decided to let the blood pressure go with me and the other boys.  To fill time, they pulled this off the shelf and decided to have another go.  And guess what?  They broke the code!  Turns out this is a fine game, quality product and a lot of fun.  Takes a bit of time and space to set up.  A bit like Mansions of Madness.  But the effort was worth it. So I add this to the list because 2019 will go down as the year we broke Yedo!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas

Wise men, they say, still seek Him.  I fear the number of wise men in the West is diminishing, and yet there is always hope.  Christmas is a magical time, in that it speaks to a world beyond the petty universe we too often obsess over.  May God bless those who earnestly seek Him at this time, and grant peace and the yearning to seek Him to those who do not realize what they truly need. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

On this merry Christmas Eve

A Christmas wish from a world long, long past.  The past, they say, is another world.  I don't know why, but the picture* on this post strikes me as indicative of that sentiment.  In case you don't get it, it's a Christmas card sent out by the company that produced Dungeons and Dragons.  The various caricatures are the individuals involved in the game's creation and publication.  There were other games and items produced as well.  No doubt some of them were involved in the other products.  The post itself walks you through who each is supposed to represent.

But it hit me how ubiquitous the Christmas/Christian culture was, even with something as 'controversially counter-culture' as the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game.  I've mused on that before, such as where MTV was as late as my college years in the mid and late 1980s, how Christian culture still cast a long shadow already awash in Woodstock, MTV and secular materialism.  In 2011 when I posted the MTV link, I wondered what radical changes would happen in the future.   In 2011, I had no idea that there would be serious debates about abolishing free thought, free speech and religious liberty in order to eliminate the right to think there is such a thing as boys and girls.

Something happened in our country.  I think it had been happening for a long time, subtly, slowly, under the radar.  But between the late 80s to early 90s, that slow, purposeful movement burst out of the shadows and gave us what we are seeing today.

Of course I'm not saying there are no Christmas images from products today.  I'm not suggesting there is not even a swift nod to the holiday.  I merely notice that if it is there, it seems nowhere near as plentiful as it was in the day.  After all, as late as the year of Star Wars (1977) the trappings of the holiday as traditionally understood in American society found itself in the greeting card of a game dedicated to fantasy role-playing and all the trappings that came along with it.

In any event, enjoy this blessed Christmas season.  In the end, we'll always have the true spirit of Christmas, and nobody can take that from us.  Merry Christmas.

*I chose not to post the picture due to ownership and copyright issues.  If you check the comments, you'll see why.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Mine was Twister

A fun little list highlighting significant events around the Christmastime of each year going back to about 1947.  The big highlight of 1966?  Twister!   Woohoo!  Personally I'd like to think anything else in 1966 was more significant than that.

Oh well.  Such is the world of Internet Lists.  Nonetheless, it's fun and a times a bit nostalgic.  Though I could do without hearing or seeing yet another gush-fest over Mariah Carey's saccharine holiday song. 

Lies and Religious Freedom

I know, I know, I said I would no longer post on issues.  Unless certain conditions warranted it.  Well, those conditions have been brought to my attention.  I blocked and banned Patheos from my browser some time ago.  As a result, I haven't read anything from Mark Shea for a long pleasant time.

But it came to my attention from someone I still follow on FB that he has posted a blogpost about an Ohio law attempting to loosen restrictions on religious expression and access in public schools.  As most know, it's a convoluted topic with no clear guidance: some schools all but banning the phrase God bless you when someone sneezes, others allowing anything short of Bible lessons and altar calls.

This bill seeks to clarify, while making sure students of religious upbringing can openly express their religious views in a host of classroom and academic settings.  It also makes it easier for religious groups to use school facilities in the same manner as non-religious, activist groups can use them.

Naturally the Left - requiring the usual toxic mixture of lies, BS and idiocy for tyranny and censorship - jumps in and says that the law will allow students who believe in the divine goose egg to insist the universe came from said goose egg while denying the existence of science.  And in a sadly predictable manner, Mark vomits the leftist, anti-Christian talking points.  Which isn't surprising.  In fairness, I didn't have the stomach to read his full article.  All I saw was a copy shot of the first paragraph, and that was enough to catch the gist.

But it is the usual lies as can be expected from the  movement of the Father of Lies.  The bill does no such thing and explicitly says that students will be obliged to learn and demonstrate knowledge of the subjects as taught in class, including science classes.   Here is one of many local stories doing the actual work of reporting the news.  Remember the local press is no more unbiased or hard right leaning than most, so Mark's take and those he references run afoul of what an otherwise sympathetic outlet is reporting.  The headline doesn't match the story, one of the clues that the story is likely correct (headlines often written by those other than the reporters in question, and often the journalistic equivalence of click-bait when trying to buttress a story that doesn't square with the hopes of the copy editor).

Again, the bill simply makes it clear that students can more openly express their religious views in public schools, on assignments, and have access to school facilities.  That's all.  They still have to learn and answer the subjects as taught.  The scare hysteria and lies of the Left are per usual wrong.  That Mark would so predictably side with the forces dedicated to silencing the religious expression of public school students by spreading lies about those trying to guarantee their right to be religious outside of the church ghettos shows one more reason why a banned list that had no other website banned but Mark's would be a fine banned list indeed.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Some Harry Potter behind the scenes fun

When I say I like The Lord of the Rings, people will sometimes immediately assume I'm some big Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan.  I'm not.  I like LoTR despite the fact that it's fantasy, not because.  Same goes for The Hobbit and the rest of Tolkien's vast universe.  I appreciate the quality and the talent and passion behind it all.

Likewise, I dis on Harry Potter quite a lot, and people sometimes confuse that with some profound dislike for it.  I don't dislike it, though I feel the later books of the series lacked the same charm and quality that the earlier books possessed.  As one of my sons said, Rowling tried to make an epic fictional universe that ended up being too big for her talents to fill.  To me it was like the movie Titanic, not as bad as its harshest critics suggest, but nowhere near deserving the accolades and success it enjoyed.

In the same way, I enjoyed the movies, though their quality tended to diminish along with the books.  Those radfans who insisted Rowling was the holy mother of authors and Potter was the Gospel incarnate, and who blamed directors and Hollywood and evil fundamentalists and bad editors and everything else for the quality problems were just blowing fanboy hot air.  She just hit it big at the dawn of the  global internet era and Harry Potter Org. was the result.  The disparity with her abilities was more to do with market shifts and worldwide consumer base than a fool editor causing her books to be what they became.

Nonetheless, I have fond memories of that whole phenomenon, just as I do The Wiggles and Miss Pattycake and Barney the Dinosaur or everything else that defines my boys' younger days.   That, as well as The Lord of the Rings (and their subsequent delving into all sorts of fantasy RPG sci-fi interests) are, for me, a special part of my life.  I can still remember the final book release and the big midnight HP party at a nearby Barnes and Noble.  My oldest son, who looked a lot like the boy wizard, was quite the conversation piece (I think he enjoyed the attention no matter what he said at the time).  Likewise, when the credits of the last HP movie rolled, I felt a certain sadness that a period in my boys' life had come to a close.   The same feeling I had when Luke beat the crap out of Vader in Return of the Jedi.

But that's the way of things.  So this was a fun little piece to go back and look through.  I'm sure actual fans of the movies (and maybe the books) will have more fun with it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Thinking on Advent and the Long Defeat

A fine article over at the National Catholic Register.  Ours is not to fight for this world, but the next one.  Yes, that can be overplayed, and we have a responsibility for the here and now as well as the hereafter.  But to think by using the World's tactics the Kingdom will end up better is as foolish as the new trend of adopting the World's latest tactics and philosophies and imagining the Kingdom will end up better.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pearl Harbor

Today is that day that was supposed to live in infamy.  Here is a link to a post of mine with links in it to other posts of mine where I have mused on this anniversary over the years.

Clearly FDR didn't see the millennials coming.  But then, neither did the Founding Fathers.  And sometimes you wonder just who did see it coming.  A generation, as so many on my Patheos blog made clear, is proud to disdain knowledge of the past, reality, standards, values or anything really. 

We speak of Internet Trolls, but in some ways you wonder if this tendency toward trolling is as much a part of modern millennials and younger generations identity as a tactic they use.  A combo of pride, a lack of substantive accomplishments, and a general willingness to say the only thing that matters is winning the latest argument and getting what I want. 

As I've said many times, either America's education system failed beyond anything imaginable, or it succeeded beyond its wildest dreams.  The future will likely determine which.

So a date that should live in infamy?  Yes.  A date that does?   I doubt it.   

Saturday, November 30, 2019

I'm of two minds about this

So it's the day of The Game.  Nonetheless, I'm on the fence about it.  Sure I want Ohio State to win.  Naturally. The problem?  The 'rivalry' has become so lopsided that, for many, it's starting to lose it's luster.

Ryan Day has been a phenom.   He was offensive coordinator for two years under Urban Meyer, and was hired to replace him last year.  Many were willing to give him that obligatory 'rebuilding' year.  This was especially true since he was taking most of the team from last year that Meyer had.

Meyer is like LeBron James.  Or the Patriots.  He's proof that there's more to athletics than stats.  On paper, he's simply one of the best coaches of all time.  Period.  His win percentages, his national championship, his record against Michigan (7-0) - he's one of the best. 

But there was always something 'off'.  When we lost during his run, it was often in terrible, humiliating upsets or thrashings.  Some of our worst losses in a century happened under him.  Plus we often seemed to 'under-perform.'  The team he had after the National Championship was pretty much the same team.  In such cases, that should have put us right back into contention for the title. Instead it was a botched, sloppy, barely squeak by year with controversy and chaos.

Meyer showed that in the modern media era, you can amass a great statistical record and still leave people thinking something is missing.  Enter Day.  A man who doesn't look like a multi-millionaire college football coach, he is quiet, soft spoken, and unassuming. Because of that, fans were willing to let him have that rebuilding year and weren't expecting much.  Our hope was that he wouldn't lose too many games.

And then?  Wow.  One of the most dominating seasons in many a decade.  Ohio State hasn't just won, it's trounced.  From throwaway teams to top ten contenders, the Buckeyes this year have all but obliterated the opposition.  Even teams - like Wisconsin - we were supposed to struggle against were manhandled and beaten down.  In most games the opponents have been held to a few scores while our offense have wracked up dozens and dozens of points, often being able to put the game in the hands of the second and third string by the third quarter.

So now we're heading into The Game, one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.  That Michigan is not the team it used to be is one problem.  Not since the 90s has Michigan really been what it used to be.  Plus both Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer had Michigan's number.  After John Cooper when over a decade and lost to Michigan almost every year, those coaches realized that if you lose every other game, make sure you beat Michigan.  And it worked.

But the downer is that many are beginning to see other teams as our emerging rivalries: Penn State and Wisconsin, while Michigan in many ways insists it has moved on to Michigan State or Notre Dame.  In fact, that could be a problem.  As culture warriors will tell you, if you insist there is no culture war, you'll lose to those still fighting it.  And just because Michigan has chosen to insist the game is no big deal doesn't mean OSU followed their lead.  Hence the lopsided record.  But when  OSU has won all but twice (and once was our broken season under penalty from the NCAA with a temp coach and a crippled program) in two decades, it is hard to maintain the excitement. 

So it's tough.  Michigan has got to win to keep the rivalry meaning something.  But this season Ryan Day and the Buckeyes have so exceeded expectations, being called by many in sports media the most solid and formidable team in the country, do we want it to be today?  Perhaps the greedy thing is that we win today, and lose next year.  But then, that's what we've been saying for over a decade.  We'll see.

In the end, we all want a good game, a safe game, and a fair game.  I think with that, if nothing else, we'll be happy.  Go Bucks!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

To honor the pilgrims and thank God

For all with which we've been blessed, the ultimate Thanksgiving hymn:

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
  1. He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
    The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
    Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.
  2. Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
    Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
    So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
    Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!
  3. We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
    And pray that Thou still our Defender will be;
    Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
    Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

It's that time of year again

In which I post, or link to, my favorite Thanksgiving TV memory.  That wonderful episode of The West Wing in which fictional president Bartlett discovers the wonder of the Butterball Turkey Hotline.

You can see an old post of it here.

Yes, The West Wing was an hour long liberal version of Rush Limbaugh in dramatic form.  The liberals and Democrats were generally the good guys, the Republicans and conservatives a bunch of warmongers, bigots, sexists, homophobes, racists and what have you.  Liberal policies saved the day, the polices of the right threatening the existence of humanity.

But it was a fun show.  Cutting edge in its day, it wouldn't make it today.  In one episode, it defies modern thinking and Pope Francis by suggesting there is a radical difference between fundamentalists and terrorists. As bad as fundamentalism is, so the show reasoned, it was merely a bunch of people who were likely good hearted but terribly wrong.  Ah, such were the days.

In later seasons, after it lost Rob Lowe, it became less subtle and more partisan.  Lowe's character Sam Seaborn was essential in that he was the token 'not always right liberal.'  It was often Lowe who spoke hastily, missed the point, or dared to insult this or that group not often considered in modern debates.  In short, he was the character who could actually be wrong when it came to policy and political thinking, not just the usual quirky flaws or obsessions about silly dramatic story lines. 

There are plenty of other things I could write about than this episode of course.  I could certainly focus on what I'm thankful for.  Or I could take the cynical route and zero in on the generations of young Americans taught to hate Christians, Europeans and Americans - including the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and Christopher Columbus - the way Nazis were taught to hate Jews.

But I won't.  I'll let the link and the whimsical have its own, when humor could be beyond hating those we should hate with a smile, while also at least acknowledging there are some great things about our country. 

If you wish for a treasure trove of American history, Thanksgiving trivia, and an understanding of the holiday through the ages, you could do worse than visiting the always interesting The American Catholic. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Can you Google me?

Just curious.  I'm unable to reach my site by Google.  If I Google "Daffey Thoughts", it takes me to my old defunct page at Patheo.  I noticed that pageviews and visits have dropped like a rock in a day.  Just curious.  Even with me backing off blogging, I still - by virtue of existing on the Internet - will get a fairly consistent daily traffic.  But in the last day it's down to nothing.

So just curious if anyone else can Google and find me.  Various posts and pieces I've written will come up, but I've not seen the main page. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Dragons on the march!

So even the New York Times has gotten in on the act, reporting on the latest upsurge in popularity for the grand dame of RPGs, Dungeons and Dragons.  This is about the fifth time I've seen an article like this over the last couple decades.  Perhaps I'm more keen to it since my boys dove into the whole Fantasy/Sci-fi world, having grown up in the Fantasy Renaissance Part II, centered around Harry Potter and the Jackson The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Now, I'd lie if I said this is something I know much about.  I know fantasy and wizards and magic was everywhere back in my sons' day, as publishers and companies sought to jump on the Pottermania bandwagon.  But today things are eclectic enough to see almost any genre at any given time rise up in popularity, then fade away just as fast.  It's like wack-a-mole with pop culture.

An example the new online RPG players
I would say that, from what my sons indicate, it isn't that the game is popular again as much as there is some new, bizarre online 'RPG reality TV' version of it.  This is not where kids are rushing down to the old hobby shops and game stores to roll up a character, but instead they're sitting for hours, watching various individuals - including a sizable helping of easy-on-the-eyes girls - playing this game for the cameras.  Something that would have been foreign back in the era of its first big fad when I was a youth.

Speaking of which, I often wonder why anyone who played D&D (or similar games) back then would ever trust the press or the mainstream media culture or upper elite narratives today.  Apparently within the whole modern RPG world, there's this strange myth about how the evil religious fundamentalists sideswiped the game back in the 80s and ended up pushing it into the sewers of underground culture.

That seems to be a narrative that many - especially more liberal and secular - players of the game seem content with.  But that's not how I remember it.  They insist that religious fundamentalists ran around screaming 'It's of the Devil!" and eventually took a toll on the game's popularity.  But here's the thing.  Those religious fundamentalists did the same thing about rock music and heavy metal, about drugs and smoking and drinking, and about sex outside of marriage.

Guess what?  Most kids I knew happily ignored those religious fundamentalists.  In fact, in some cases - like rock music or heavy metal - the targets of religious zeal actually became quite popular, perhaps even because of the furor and outrage.  So it always struck me as odd to think that suddenly those same religious fundamentalists exercised such influence when it came to a game about hunting down dragons and wizards.

June 1982: When Elliott's jock brother plays D&D (from E.T.)
In fact, I don't think it happened that way at all.  I've often said the first time I actually saw anyone doing anything with D&D was my freshman year of high school, in the fall of 1981.  It happened this way.  A few guys were in study hall, not studying, but drawing strange shapes on graph paper.  In those days, if you had graph paper it was because you were in shop class or math.  What they were doing appeared to be neither.  I asked what they were doing, and they explained the basics of the game to me.

What's important is that the guys doing it were a hodgepodge.  A couple might have been geeks and outcasts, but one was a quarterback, one other a soon to be varsity letter man.  In fact, as I discovered how many guys were playing it (and yes, it was mostly guys), it included the unpopular, the popular, the football team captain, the varsity basketball player, class president, valedictorian, druggy, computer nerd, you name it.  There  was no rhyme or reason.  The game seemed to have as much stigma about it as the other big fad game at that time called Trivial Pursuit.  That is, no stigma at all.

Yet, by 1985, the year I graduated, I'd say the bulk of those guys wouldn't get caught dead playing that game.  Even if they were already upperclassmen in 1981, they were nowhere near it by my own senior year.  So what happened?  Those religious fundamentalists get the better of them?

No.  What happened was that American upper class media society came down on the game like a ton of bricks.  The press, doctors and medical experts, child behavior specialists and mental health professionals, politicians, and even pop culture began taking shots at it.  Soon, the narrative had been assembled and was being presented rather consistently: this game was for losers.  Not just geeks and nerds, but freaks, outcasts, morons, nobodies who couldn't get a date if they had a cage and a trap, as well as the psychotically inclined.

Starring a young Tom Hanks
Even by the time the laughable made for TV movie Mazes and Monsters was released in late 1982, the winds were beginning to change.  Back then, special made for TV movies were actually well known and often talked about the next day.  I remember kids talking about this movie, where a  bunch of outcasts and losers play an obvious D&D knockoff, and one ends up going bat crazy and nearly dying.  It was loosely based on a later debunked news story that was one of many the press was running with back then.  The important thing about the movie, however, was not that it portrayed the game as something that would turn you into a social loser freak.  It portrayed the game as something only social loser freaks would play in the first place.

The peer consensus was that, whatever this game, it was definitely for those loser types over there.  By the following school year (my junior year), I'd say half of the kids I knew who had played it had put in on the shelves and wouldn't get near it again.  Some even denied having ever played it.  While it was interesting seeing the alliance between the 700 Club and Tipper Gore, I always thought that the real torpedo in the side of its popularity came from this coordinated assault from every angle of our social and media outlets.  The same coordination we see more and more about a host of social and moral issues today.

There were no doubt other reasons for its demise.  Fads do wane after all.  Poor business decisions were apparently a part of the problem.  Also, some have argued that while kids usually ran out of the house when the parents were home to take drugs, smoke, drink or have sex, they stayed home and played D&D.  Thus the game was there in the presence of the parents.  I remember a Cross Country coach once saying he didn't let his kids play D&D, since he heard them playing it once and using language he had never heard his sons use before.  We had news for him, they used that language all the time, just not when he was around.

Nonetheless, perhaps it was an easy battle for the parents, who probably weren't playing their own D&D games, but might have been a bit fast and loose where drinking or pot or even the odd Playboy magazine (or at least Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue) was concerned.  A convenient symbolic scapegoat. Society says it's dangerous, look at me:  I'm being a good parent.

And since the press/educators/Hollywood/experts had all agreed that only the worst moron, loser, freak and mental outsider would ever play the game to begin with, it was a hill that most teens just weren't willing to die on.  Sure, let mom and dad have their victory here, we'll be at the KISS concert, smoking up in the parking lot and hoping to get lucky with the girls afterwards.

That's just a thought that came to mind as I pondered the press's sudden interest in yet another resurgence of this game that will never go away.  If I were a D&D player, the last thing I would do is assume that if the majority consensus of our elite betters is that something is true then it must be so.  After all, it wasn't just those religious types who did in the game they love back in the day and made its loathsomeness something of a dog bites man narrative.  It was the very press and other social betters who banded together to make it happen.

Monday, November 11, 2019

On Veterans Day

Food for thought*:

We may be the first generation that doesn't think wrongly about war as much as we just don't think about it.  Like AIDS, economic floundering, terrorist attacks and other maladies of the modern world, as long as it's someone way over there who is doing the suffering, it's a sacrifice we're willing to ignore.  Whatever you may say about times a'changing, I can't bring myself to think that this is a positive development. Especially when placed in juxtaposition to those who actually live what true sacrifice and humility is all about.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
*I was unable to verify the authenticity of the pictures, but even so, what they represent is real and speaks volumes. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

An autumn of ups and downs

So it came about that, just as my Mom was recovering from an injury to her leg (she has troubles moving about now), my third oldest son fell during a sports injury and hyper-extended his leg.  I had no idea that such an injury could incapacitate him the way it did.  Nor did I realize just how much money goes out the window over something like this.  Thankfully many came through and helped, not just through the GoFundMe that my oldest set up, but also by way of other charitable gifts from churches and family.

Through it all, we made it or, hopefully and prayerfully, will make it.  Nonetheless, times have already changed.  Our injured son has been a fixture here at home as we've helped him, along with months of physical therapy, to get back to where he should be.  The older two, between jobs and college and various social and church events, are seldom around.  Even though we leave them stay at home to cut down on expenses, and thus avoid debt if at all possible, they're here mostly on a motor lodge basis.

Despite this, they will still set aside time to do things with the family, especially with their youngest brother so that he doesn't feel left out.  To that end, we tried to salvage what is usually our favorite season of the year, though it wasn't easy.  Mostly, it was just getting through things.  Between a dry and blistering September of 90 degree weather (which doesn't bring much in the way of that Fall feel), and our son's injury, much of what we usually have done over the years just didn't happen.

Of course we explained that some of what we have done over the years we kept doing for our youngest.  We would have stopped years ago if the older boys had gotten older and moved on. We continue for his sake, but as he gets older, we expect some of those old kiddie times will pass on into memories, just as they should.

When all was said and done, however, we nonetheless managed to salvage at least some of the season for our youngest, since we realize it won't be long before he'll be growing on from these things.  His brothers also seemed to realize this, and did what they could to be with us on our trip to Southern Indiana and of course Tricks or Treats.

It all started out well enough, with everyone home to see the Harvest Moon

Because his 21st Birthday was hit between the two accidents involving my Mom and other son, his
oldest brother passed his OSU tickets over to him this year - not the best pic, but it was almost 11 PM

Still stumbling along, we couldn't do our normal 'cemetery run', so the boys decided
to postpone until the healing was over

Foliage-wise, it was not the best year, where spring floods, summer drought,
and 90 degree September all diminished the usual bright colors of an Ohio Fall

We went through S. Indiana, to old haunts my wife and I discovered years ago -
it was nice to be back. 

This is St. Meinrad, where I began my long and tumultuous walk away from Protestantism
and toward the Catholic Church - the crutches prevented a long tour (we had to leave as his leg
swelled up and needed iced down)

Another staple was a restaurant called The Overlook, for obvious reasons.  Unfortunately,
it was booked for a wedding on what turned out to be the most weddings on a single day this year - so it
was pictures, but nothing else

Not to be deterred, we went on All Souls Day (Western) to do our cemetery run
with the youngest.  Here they are, peering in a grand old mausoleum

Here they are, once again looking at a sealed up mausoleum here in our own hometown,
wondering what could be behind it all

The boys, there for their youngest - and each other

Taking a picture of a missing vault you say?

All things must pass - our youngest decided to go through a straw maze where we usually
get our pumpkins.  There was only one pumpkin worth buying, and he conceded he was a bit old to do it again

Halloween, dressing like a cop just like his older brother

Speaking of which, we don't know if the injury will be permanent, and what that
will mean for a career in law enforcement - he's making contingency plans

The oldest brother - smallest of the older three, and yet he often still calls the shots

Still planning on law school, our inscrutable second oldest went all out
along with the others in order to keep their youngest in the spirit of things

The boys together again - when all is said and done, that's enough

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Today is the day

So today is it.  No, not Guy Fawkes day.  It's my last day blogging - or at least blogging the way I have been.

When I started this blog, it was from advice given by my then priest who had taken me and promoted me as an educator and lecturer over subjects like church history or the Bible.  He was impressed by my presentations, and the response was usually positive.  It was nothing for us to have to move to the sanctuary to accommodate the crowds (I was always a better speaker and teacher than writer).

He encouraged me to write a book, focusing mostly on history.  He also said my background of Americana Christian/agnostic/Protestant/Catholic would bring interesting insights.  Unfortunately, the bishop at that time had something about Protestant clergy converts.  Nobody quite knew why, but he seriously seemed as if he'd rather the Church slip into the 8th Circle of Hell than see a former clergy convert sweep the floors, much less hold any other position.

As a result, and as a result of shifting priorities and pathways in the 21st Century Church, I ended up going nowhere with my efforts.  As that happened, I nonetheless, by his advice, began a blog in 2010 to shore up my writing skills, such as they were.

I decided to do what most blogs do and just comment on this or that, with possibly writing articles on ethics or church history or spiritual reflections and the like.  By the time the blog was up and running, however, things had already taken a turn.  I was informed by more than one priest that a blank resume with no experience would be preferable to one with feeding multitudes and walking on water, but also including former clergy convert.  I had been let go from the Coming Home Network.  I was pretty much in a big nowhere at that point, and the pinch of the economic collapse was beginning to wear on us.

As a result, I did little in the 'deep reflection' or even 'whimsical reflection', and more and more 'look at the latest news story that shows where we're going!'   Yes, in those days some who read my blog told me they thought I was becoming jaded, if not a bit paranoid.  All my writing about a coming storm, and assaults on religious liberty and that someday we'd see Christians or Americans accused sans evidence, seemed the ravings of someone needing to get out more.  In fact, some early readers took their leave because they felt I was getting a skewed vision of what was happening in the Church, if not in the world as a whole.

In some ways, I do feel vindicated.  Most of what I predicted has become worse faster than I ever imagined.  In 2010 I certainly didn't think people would propose regulations that could punish a person for calling a boy a boy.  Not in my most off the wall paranoia.  And yet, here we are.

Nonetheless, somewhere along the line society was changing, and the developments in society seemed linked to the evolution of social media.  If things seemed crazy fifteen years ago, today they were becoming dangerous, if not deadly.  And Social Media was becoming a vehicle for the witch hunts, lynch mobs and digital book burnings that are becoming more and more common (and increasingly endorsed by the institutions that should protect us from the same).

When we witnessed some of the ugliest sides of the internet following the Dayton shooting (in stories not covered in our national propaganda outlets), I decided it was time to bring back my initial decision to set blogging aside.

I will still blog.  When the spirit moves me.  It will be this or that, a family photo or outing, or just something that piques my interest.  Right now I'm looking at Christmas carols and what it might say about where we are as a society.  I'll likely take my time, since one of the things that won't be happening is daily blog posts.  If it takes me a week or more to get around to it, that will have to do.  But I'll post on things that interest me.  If there is some grand crisis that defies all expectations (which would take a lot at this point), I may mention it.  But I'll try to keep it from a Christian point of view and avoid the politicizing of it.

That's the goal.  I'll be around.  How often?  No clue.  But hopefully it will help my boys, who are struggling with a world where everyone is doing things that everyone can see is a net negative, by me stepping back myself.  Lead by example they say.

An anticlimactic cautionary tale

So I secretly hoped my last visit to CAEI before pulling the plug on Patheos would yield one of Mark's more legendary 'all white Conservatives with white skin who dare defy the leftist state are ipso facto Nazis incapable of goodness' posts.

But it wasn't.  It was one of many posts twisting and turning as Catholics committed to the infallibility of Mother Church torture logic and reality to insist what happened at the Amazon Synod didn't, or it did and didn't matter, or it did and it's a wonderful thing, or nobody knows, everyone knows, Pope Francis rocks, Nazis!, and on and on.

Again, anyone who rubbed shoulders with mainline Protestant denominations in the 70s through the 90s can see where the Catholic Church is going.  Whether it's because the leaders no longer believe it, or are just so immersed in the bells and whistles of the latest, or it's the St. Saruman syndrome, I don't know.

But clearly most are abandoning the traditions and heritage and civilization that the Church built, and are willing to embrace almost anything that would have been called sin a decade or two ago, and take the most precious and sacred ideals of the Faith and reduce them to minor opinions located somewhere in importance between pizza toppings and which RPG is the best.

Because most on Mark's blog don't care because they don't caer about the Faith, reject Christ, mock Christ, mock God, mock the Gospel, mock the Church and are happy to jettison the Christian West for a world of mass slaughter, debauchery, tyranny and blasphemy, there wouldn't be many standing up against Mark.  Those who do will be set upon by Mark's non-believing readers, as shown, or by Mark himself.  Mark has, after all, cheered someone who said she was abandoning her Christian roots to end up anywhere or in any religion, or none at all, merely because she was also abandoning her conservative upbringing. After all, why would a Catholic apologist care if someone abandoned the Gospel of Christ, no matter how flawed in its presentation, for a decidedly different religion or none at all?

And that's the cautionary tale.  It's been said that the biggest clash you could imagine would be the clash between Mark Shea c. 2001 and Mark Shea c. 2019.  Apart from Mark stating he still believes core doctrines - like the Trinity or the existence of angels and the Resurrection and all  - there are almost no similarities between the two.

What happened?  Beyond spending most of his time calling what he once called good evil and what he once called evil good, or at least no big deal, you have the fact that he is near mental in how he responds to criticism.  Name calling, insults, false accusations, calumny, judgmentalism, partisanship, politically driven condemnation, elevating his politics to the level of the Gospel - it's a hot mess.

And it's a cautionary tale about what can happen if you get swallowed up in the unreal world of Social Media.  It reminds me of an old MASH episode.  It's one of the better ones from the later seasons.

In it, two of the primary surgeons - Col. Potter and Maj. Winchester - come down with the mumps. Short handed, they receive help in the form of a surgeon after Hawkeye and BJ's own heart, Capt. Steve Newsom.  He's irreverent, sarcastic, flips the bird to the army and the war, drinks, laughs, chases girls - everything they love.  He's also been at the front line, behind the front line, and seen levels of battle and combat that the good folk at MASH can't imagine.

All is well, until during a bad stretch of casualties, suddenly he runs out of the operating room.  Left holding the bag, the two remaining surgeons struggle to make it through the end of the  session.  When finished, they rush out to find him, enraged that he left them high and dry.  Then Col. Potter steps out of his quarantine tent and calms them down.  He motions into the tent.  When Hawkeye and BJ go in, they see him sitting curled up in a corner, rubbing his hands Lady Macbeth style, rambling incoherently about blood that won't go away, and tearfully wondering when it will end.

They step back aghast at what they're seeing.  Col. Potter says it's time to call in the mental health experts on this one.  Hawkeye and BJ then leave the tent in silence.  One of them then says that Newman was as strong as any of them.  At that, the other responds, 'Yeah, that's what scares me.'

I realize there are many explanations for the collapse and fall of Mark Shea.  The worst part is he is more in line with where the Church of Pope Francis appears to want to go than against it.  It could be he's just a canary in the coal mine, and more leaders across the board will have to get alone if they're going to keep suffering for Jesus while living the dying American dream.

I don't know.  I just realize that there is something off about the world of the Internet, social media, and all that comes with it.  Things that would have been laughed at a decade ago are now being legislated.  Rather than take a chance, I decided a year ago to stop the blog and where it was going.  It took me a year, as I said, hit as I was by the steep and sudden unraveling of the Church, the country and so much of society in the wake of Trump.

But I gathered myself, and decided it was time.  I have no clue what the future holds, but I'm not going to hang around and take the chance of succumbing to whatever demons that took hold of a blog once known for enjoying the Catholic Faith.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Just because everyone needs this at least one time a year

There have certainly been greater pianists than Chico.  But nobody played with such flair and aplomb.  The same goes for his brother Harpo's harp skills.  But that's for another post.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Some times are better than others

Yep.  There are some times in life that you look back on with fondness, some you wish you could forget, and then many that you eventually forget whether you want to or not.

In my life, there have been ups and downs to be sure.  Since I've had kids, the memories seem to run in a different way, being a hodgepodge of good, bad, scary, thankfulness and just never eager for the kids to grow up since I realize some day I will miss most of what they brought to the table while living at home.

Before I had kids, however, in hindsight at least, I had certain periods of life that were very good, and some not so good, and many forgettable.  Also, it's odd how certain things trigger and tend to bring you back to those better memories more often than not. Take this picture for instance:

I can't say I've ever only sat on a bench in the fall once in my life, but when I saw this on a page dedicate to all things Autumn, there was one memory that came right to my mind.

It wasn't a particularly proud memory, but yet it is one that marked a very good time in my youth.  It was late October of 1987, and it was my Junior year of college, the first semester that I had moved away from home to live at the main campus of The Ohio State University.  It was most of what one would hope for in their first foray at a major university, and it wasn't hurt by the fact that in that semester at least, the seasons were almost perfect.  From a warm late summer, to a crisp, cloudy autumn, to snow in the last weeks of the quarter, it seemed to give me almost everything I imagined college would be in the Midwest, at least atmosphere-wise.

Anyway, on this particular fall day, I was sitting alone and recuperating.  What was I recuperating from?  A friend of mine had invited me to a big post-midterm party with him and several of his friends from the theater and dance departments.  I was not in either department, but he and I had grown up together.  So I agreed to go. I even plucked up the courage to ask a fine young lass named Heidi if she would join me.  She said yes, against all odds.  So on that Saturday, I couldn't wait to be there and to see what might come of partying with a very well presented young woman I had come to like.

Now, it was the age before cell phones, before the internet, and before any way of contacting someone if you didn't know the phone number.  So I had no way of knowing she had been called upon to work late and couldn't come to the party.  Not knowing this, I became rather crestfallen.  My friend, being a stupid college kid, decided to help me 'drown my sorrows.'  And drown I did.  I drank, and drank, and drank some more.  I mixed drinks with wine, whiskey, beer, cocktails, and something blue.  I became so hammered I couldn't remember leaving.

I walked home alone near that witching time of night, not wishing to get sick in front of everyone, which my inebriated brain was nonetheless able to communicate was going to happen.  And it happened.  Boy did it happen.  Back at my apartment, I continued to get sick over and over and over again.  One of my roommates woke up amidst the noise and took to fixing me tea and toast, just to give me something to get sick with.  It was so bad that I burst the vessels in one of my eyes, turning the whole orb a bright, blood red.  In addition, my face was swollen as if I had been in a fight, and the pain was from my head down to my side.

I was panic stricken.  My face, and worse my blood filled eye, could have been permanent for all I knew, and I had no way of knowing what happened.  My best friend was nowhere to be found, and I knew nobody else from the party. The next Monday I had to go to class.  I wore sunglasses through the classes to avoid showing off my visual impediment.  I then kept to myself while I waited for my late afternoon class.

As time for the class got nearer, I walked over in the chill of the day to the area near the class building, just beside the old Student Union.  I sat down on a bench, wrapped in my black overcoat and donning my sunglasses.  While sitting there, still smarting for reasons I didn't know, another student walked by.  Suddenly he stopped and came up to me.  He was African American and, being from a very white village growing up, I had a dearth of African American acquaintances.  I had no idea who he was.

He paused, and bent down as if to get a better look at me.  Then he asked if I was the fellow at the party Saturday night. I clarified the one he meant, and he meant the very party I had attended.  I said yes.  He then erupted with a smile and laugh and asked what happened to me and where I went.  I told him I left due to whatever reason I came up with.  I asked him how long everyone else stayed around.  He said almost no  time at all.  Apparently once I left the party broke up because, according to him, I was the life of the party.   He said most were only staying around to see what I would do next.

Fortunately it was nothing too embarrassing.  Though apparently I did guzzle half a bottle of Jim Beam as several of the young men bowed and genuflected before me.  Hence the sickness.  Also, one of the students who lived there, being in theater, had one of those large director's chairs that sit about five feet off the floor.  Apparently I had crawled up there at one point and then promptly fell, a dead fall straight onto the concrete floor.  Hence the pain and swelling in my face (as well as explaining a sudden scream I vaguely recalled but couldn't explain).

He talked a little bit more then continued on to wherever he was walking.  I never saw him again.  I chuckled to myself about what must have happened, and later found my best friend who assured me that I did nothing too humiliating, while also informing me why Heidi never showed up.  And yes, the swelling and the eye eventually worked themselves out and all ended up fine.  After that, I never binge drank again.

It's odd how that picture brought all of that back to my mind.  Again, it was a fine time, a good time.  There were many enjoyable memories from that time, especially that first Autumn semester.  I don't mean to be too gushy, but I might even call it one of the more magical times of my life.  Perhaps it's a bit of that ol'magic that allows a simple image on the Internet to transfer me back in the blink of an eye and remember something that still feels as if it happened yesterday.

Ohio State in the fall, as I remember it

Friday, November 1, 2019

Yes NASA fudged Climate data

So says Snopes. Snopes is, like most media today, a partisan outlet promoting its agendas and ideologies.  In Snopes' case, it does so under the guise of 'fact checker.'  That is, it takes a story and then rates it as True, False or something in between.  The assumption is that it is the neutral judge, the referee looking at the instant replay to determine the real truth behind various stories or political pronouncements.

So we had a blog cycle of people jumping on a story that suggests NASA was faking climate data.  The stories claimed that NASA had been caught 'red handed' in the scam.   Now, I'm no scientist, so all the delving into the facts doesn't really help me.  You might as well have people arguing over Sanskrit as to argue the numbers about Global Warming.

But since Snopes took up the cause to assess the claim's validity, I thought I would see if there is something there there.  Turns out, Snopes smacks the claim down with a resounding False!.  NASA did not fake the data, according to Snopes.  Or, I should say, according to an initial reading of Snopes.

Once I read through the article, however, I saw how Snopes did it.  Basically, per Snopes, the claims are true.  And they are what both advocates and critics have admitted for some time.  Climate data is not based on a thermometer on every square foot of the planet recorded and analyzed every day for the last five billion years.  It's based on data collected at particular places around the world, based on records that date only to about 150 years ago, and laden with assumptions and guesses to fill the gaps.

Think of that scene in the movie Jurassic Park, when the cartoon is trying to explain DNA cloning to an uneducated audience.  It says the DNA for the dinosaurs was extracted from fossils, particularly mosquitoes trapped in tree sap.  The DNA, however, was incomplete.  Therefore the DNA of other animals had to be fit into the DNA gaps to make a complete DNA strand (and therein lies at least some of the mischief in the Jurassic Park mythos).

Same thing here.  We don't have some magical science box that takes the temperature of every square foot of Planet Earth, analyzes it, and says 'Thus will the world be in a hundred years.'  We have very sparse data in some cases, sometimes inconclusive data, and data that could potentially be impacted by certain conditions - such as data collected deep in major metropolitan areas that tend to be warmer on average than more rural areas.  Everyone knows it.  Everyone admits it.  Scientists then step in to improvise where gaps or certain inconsistencies might arise.

And that's where Snopes focuses.  It's not saying the data wasn't tweaked or embellished or even flat out added to.  It was, and Snopes admits it.  It's saying the story is false because nobody was caught 'Red Handed'.  All of this was already out there.  There was nothing being caught.  And since Snopes accepts the obvious truth of Global Warming and, like Pope Francis, apparently assumes the purity of heart and intellectual efficacy of Global Warming advocates, that's all we need to know.

Here's the thing.  Perhaps the story is false in the usual 'Ten reasons Climate Change is a lie, #7 will shock you!' sort of way.  But the essence of the story is what critics have been charging for years; for decades.  It comes down to those pushing for a more hysterical approach to Climate Change insisting that all of these variables and subjective interpolations into the data are no big deal, versus those saying that such an approach to the data is a very big deal and could actually skew the resulting portrait of what is really happening, much less what will happen.

In short, Climate Change activists insist the practice, the variables, and the poetic licence used at times doesn't matter.  The findings are close enough, and we know Climate Change is real, so whatever trivial details are in the mix is small potatoes.  The critics, however, point out that this is the problem.  Since those adding the extra info already believe in the Climate Change Apocalypse to begin with, it's very possible that when they adjust something here or interpret a model there, they are doing so in a biased way; one that pushes the data where they want it to go, not where it should go.

Given the long history of failed predictions and adjusted paradigms for understanding just what is happening with the climate (is it Climate Change, Global Warming, Climate Disruption?), never mind the vast chasm between the hysterics and the actual personal sacrifice seen in so many Climate Change activists, I'm inclined to think there could be more to this story than Snopes wants to admit.

There sure is more to a sane conclusion than accepting the explanation of 'sure we're biased and what we adjust is likely based on our biases, but trust us, despite all the times we've been wrong so far, at least in terms of future predictions, this time we'll be spot on'.  I'm inclined to say what I've said, that Global Warming is a scientific molehill upon which a mountain of agendas and biases has been piled.