28 December 2015

Eulogy for Meadowlark Lemon-- Athlete; Entertainer; Evangelist

Meadowlark Lemon on Athletes

Basketball legend Meadowlark Lemon died at age 83 in Scottdale, Arizona on December 27, 2015.  Lemon was the court jester of the Harlem Globetrotters for 22 seasons before venturing off to play for the Bucketeers, then later with the Shooting Stars and in 1988 starting "Meadowlark Lemon's All Stars".  In 1994, Lemon played 50 games for the Harlem Globetrotters while still playing for his own touring team.

In Meadowlark Lemon's prime, he played 325 games a year. After missing one game in Germany after a bad meal of goulash in 1955,  Lemon played  7,500 consecutive games for the Harlem Globetrotters, which was the equivalent of 92 NBA seasons. But Lemon was known for more than his perfect attendance on the courts.
Wilt Chamberlain played with Meadowlark Lemon for the 1958-59 season on the Harlem Globetrotters.  Wilt Chamberlain lauded Lemom shortly before his Wilt's death in 1999:  “Meadowlark was the most sensational, awesome, incredible basketball player I've ever seen.  People would say it would be Dr. J or even [Michael] Jordan. For me it would be Meadowlark Lemon.”  Lemon could make unbelievable behind the back half-court baskets and was known for his long range hook shot. 

Supplementing his superior skill set at basketball fundamentals, Meadowlark Lemon was a showman.  He enthusiastically embraced being the "Clown Prince" of basketball, by doing a regular shtick of throwing a bucket-full of confetti and pulling down the pants of referees.  Meadowlark Lemon was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the International Clown Hall of Fame. 

Aside from being an athlete and an entertainer, Meadowlark Lemon had a spiritual side.  Lemon became an ordained minister in 1986 and a Doctor of Divinity in 1988 from Vision International University.  Along with his second wife Dr. Cynthia Lemon, he founded  Meadowlark Lemon Ministries with a mission "Changing lives to change the world" by   leveraging his books, media, evangelical outreach along with Camp Meadowlark basketball camp as inspiration to stay focused and finish strong message aimed at keep kids away from the path of substance abuse. 

Meadowlark Lemon Ministries has a special outreach to youths in detention facilities and prisons.  Meadowlark's message to these troubled souls is that you are not alone, you are uniquely special, God has great plans for you and you are forgiven. 

Through his excellence on the courts and comedy, Meadowlark Lemon could entertain and elevate his fans.  Parlaying his successes on the court to his ministry, Meadowlark Lemon helped elevate himself and others to a higher level. Rest In Peace Clown Prince of Basketball. 

02 December 2015

Sean Penn Projects Climate Cult Shame

Sean Penn on Climate Change Deniers

Sean Penn is a progressive activist actor who of late has been championing the cause of Climate Change.   Penn's pontifications about cult-like thinking that he associates with those who oppose the campaign to combat anthropogenic climate change calls for some consideration.

Firstly, Penn referred to Fox Network Thinking.  Oh, really? (Not O'Reilly).  This may be news to Sean but the sensibilities and dispositions vary between various channels, even those owned by News Corp.  The Fox broadcast network, which Penn cited, will be launching a series next year called "Lucifer".  That is not a show to which most viewers of the Fox News Channel (FNC) would cotton.   It would be fair to characterize the Fox Business Channel as being more libertarian leaning, whereas Fox News Channel has shifted from a right center news organization in 2012 to more of an establishment Republican (ala Karl Rove) oriented network with some patches of Populism (namely O'Reilly and to some extent Sean Hannity). Factor that (sic).

Penn seems to think that anyone who disputes Climate Change consensus does not care about quality of life in any sense.  Obviously, Penn is oblivious to the Skeptical Environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg who buys into man-made climate change, but believes that it is more effective to solve other world health issues, like clean water and malaria.

It is hard to claim that the Société de Calcul Mathématique has been brainwashed by "Fox network thinking." But Penn seems to know better. 

So many Climate Change activists rely on the myth that man-made CO2 Driven Climate Change is settled science.  When they are challenged, such eco-activists flail and invoke 97% scientific consensus, as was infamously implied by Sierra Club President Aaron Mair's embarrassing episode before the Senate Environment Committee.  At the Paris Climate Change Summit, President Barack Obama claimed that consensus was 99.5% of scientists.  These figures seem as fungible as the East Anglia hockey stick model which drove Climate Change science in 2010. 

Considering the Alinsky-like tarnishing of targets by painting them as Fox network cultists, fascistically condemning anyone who does not tow the party line and zealously refusing to engage in scientific exchanges makes inquiring minds wonder if Penn is projecting his cult charges. Wonder what really is in Penn's cocktail cup.  Hey Kool-Aid!

[C] Sean Penn as Spicoli and [R] Ray Walston as Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)