Closing Thought–02Feb22

Oh goody….six more weeks of winter…..

If you were hoping for an early spring, better climb back into bed. Early Wednesday, Punxsutawney Phil made his annual Groundhog Day prediction on what the weather is looking like for the near future, and it appears we have six more weeks of winter ahead of us, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Locals gathered at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., to hear Phil’s prognostication, an event organized by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle. In Phil’s 136th forecast, the groundhog saw his shadow, just like in 2021, which means spring is not afoot.

That doesn’t mean Phil’s look into the future is set in stone. USA Today notes that he’s only been correct about 40% of the time over the past decade. Last year, he was half right: He saw his shadow, guaranteeing 42 more days of wintry misery, but while February’s temps were indeed below average across the US mainland, March’s were above average. “There is no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of the analysis,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sniffed in a report last year.

There is also a ground hog predictor in New Jersey…..well this new Milltown Mel will not be making a prediction this year….he’s dead.

It’s Groundhog Day, but Milltown, NJ, isn’t celebrating this year. “Milltown Mel,” the town’s weather-prognosticating groundhog, died within days of the holiday. “We Wranglers are sad to report that Milltown Mel recently crossed over the rainbow bridge,” the groundhog’s official Facebook page announced Tuesday. “Considering the average lifespan of a Groundhog is about 3 years, that is not such a shock, but Mel left us at a tough time of year, when most of his fellow groundhogs are hibernating…so no babies will be available to replace him until this Spring. We tried everywhere to get a stand-in, but to no avail!” Hence Wednesday’s decade-old event is canceled, NBC News reports.

The New Jersey ceremony was inspired by the famous Gobbler’s Knob celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa., which started in 1887 and is the oldest Groundhog Day tradition in the US. That one, starring the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, is still happening today (see how to watch it here); according to tradition, if he emerges from his hole and sees his shadow, we’re getting six more weeks of winter weather; if he doesn’t see his shadow, an early spring is predicted. Other nearby weather-predicting groundhogs include Dunkirk Dave and Staten Island Chuck in New York, and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio, NPR reports.

There you go…..your crappy news for a wintery Tuesday.

Now aren’t you glad you stopped by?

“lego ergo scribo”


MLK And War

February is officially Black History month….and MLK.Jr is black history….we all know this giant for his work in civil rights and voting but few Americans know him for the anti-war activist that he was.

As an anti-war activist myself I was most impressed with his speech against the Vietnam War….

This is the speech that I refer to….read and learn…..

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, and some of the distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it is always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.

I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I’m in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” And that time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

And some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movements and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Sadly his words fell on deaf ears….as anti-war seem to always accomplish.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”