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Open Thread - Comments on Morris Berman’s Dark Ages America

Posted on January 15, 2007
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Read the Introduction here:

Dark Ages America - Introduction

Comments welcome below.


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236 Comments so far
  1. kastor January 15, 2007 10:19 am

    Judging from this short sampling of Berman’s work, this is just another inuendo filled opportunistic effort to try and cash in before we elect another president. I don’t recall any other time in my life where there were more such books written to try and profit from the perceptions and false perceptions of a sitting presidents apparent intentions. Berman mixes in so many of the glass half empty, doomsday, western world is destructing cliches that it would take up too much space to try and establish facts in the face of these book selling kind of fatalisms. Two things I will say are these: 1. If Bush and company were resigned to the fatalistic religious belief of armageddon as painted in the book of revelations, why would he be so optimistic about staying the course in Iraq? Optimism to try and change the world for the better has no place in those kind of beliefs. 2. Maybe he and his justice department were considering what to do in the case that a terrorist attack interuppted the election to the point where it could not be completed, so what? It’s not an inconceivable thing and they are obliged to consider these kinds of things or they would stand accused of something akin to the same kind of accusation that the conspiracy theorists have been hurling at them over 9-11. This is supposed to be a bull not bull sight but all I see here anymore from this sight’s owner are things that are most often biased against America. If those who absolutely despise Bush are so frustrated at the world then perhaps they should get out and start campaigning for the next candidate of their choice for the 08 election, at least they have the right to do so. The decadent and crumbling western world just can’t seem to hold onto a consistent leader, we tend to throw them out every four or eight years, gee what a broken down system.

  2. line January 15, 2007 11:17 am

    the dark ages started after the COLLAPSE of Rome. therefore, since bush is still the reigning king the government still exists - even though vastly weakened. the dark ages will probably start soon - but only after the us splits into many factions - each with its own leader - the empire will have ceased to exist.

  3. sharon vile January 15, 2007 11:32 am

    Albert Jay Nock once wrote that he had long intended to write a book, or article, or some such thing, titled, “How to Recognize the Dark Ages when You Are in Them.” One of his criteria for recognizing the Dark Ages was, if I remember correctly, when you are spending much more time and energy fending off the violent and unjust depredations against you, than you are spending on productive and constructive activities.

    A good definition, if you think about it. Where there is little productive work and many theives and violent men trying to part you from the fruits of your labor, you have a fairly good definition of barbarism. You also have a pretty good recipe for the gradual cessation of all productivity.

    By the above definition, it would appear that, when it comes to the Dark Ages, we are in them. Or, if it’s all part of a cycle that advances and recedes, it appears that the down-cycle is in descending mode. This is probably a feature of advancing darkness–ever-more-deeply-descending down-cycles that make the overall process of descent harder to discern.

    Another feature of a declining civilization that Nock noted was a decline in education. Nock felt that education should be a process of broadening and deepening the knowledge and understanding by providing a long view of human history, so as to have “a maturing affect on the mind.” Being steeped in history, philosophy, and analytical thought would provide the student with a context for understanding the present. At the time Nock wrote, mostly in the 30s, he bemoaned that education was becoming merely vocational training.

    From the standpoint of education, there can be no doubt that we’re already in the Dark Ages. Education today offers only a flimsy pretext of giving an overview of human history and human endeavor, and much of what it does offer consists of misrepresentations and obfuscations. At this point, education scarcely even provides practical and vocational knowledge–which is predictable. Why bother, when productive and constructive activity has nearly ceased? A private education (hands-on, and usually under the tutelage of rich relatives) in the machinations of theivery and violence is the only kind of practical education there is: The kind where you get your pennyworth for your penny.

    So now I’m curious if Berman can give us some defining stages. My guess is that the stages are along the lines of decay (now), followed by chaos, followed the descent of the institutionalized darkness of the true Dark Ages.

  4. Notadittohead January 15, 2007 12:44 pm

    I personally find it difficult to argue with any of the points suggested. I also find it difficult to extrapolate trends, such as the trade deficit, and find a silver lining at the end.

    One of the most useful methods pounded into our heads in Engineering school was to use critical thinking. Documentation of specifications is not the spoken word of God–if they seem to be certainly wrong it is OK, even required, to assure that is correct information. They may have changed or been wrong in the first place. I still have trouble with a sermon that expressed: “Don’t pay attention to the facts, the truth is what is important!” As Dave Barry would say, I’m not making this up.

  5. Wardoctor January 15, 2007 1:13 pm

    One of the problems in identifying chaos is that the “wusses” among us never seem to perceive the danger around them/us. They act like those of us who are cognizant of the approaching danger are nuts. But, Things are moving fast now, and the “mongrel Hoardes” are just over the horizon. If you aren’t prepared now, then just plan on giving them your daughters and maybe your wife (unless she’s really fat and ugly).

    When I was suturing heroes and wusses during Desert Storm I, even then, some of the wusses still thought there was minimal danger from chaotic forces; they thought that those of us who were concerned about the enemy’s presence, were paranoid. I’ll never forget a young wuss bragging about his invincibility (telling us we were pussey’s for wearing body armor) when he was hit by a sniper bullet in the left temple, spraying his cerebral cortex and cerebellum against the concrete wall behind him.

    Get ready, quickly.

  6. bp January 15, 2007 4:19 pm

    Interesting post Michael, thanks - It coincides with a book I’m reading now - The Fourth Turning which breaks things into four quarters of about 25 years - according to it we are entering the fourth quarter of major war and chaos. It and your post seem reasonable - all things need to break down to allow for new growth, such is life. A Dark Age will be like the Spring preparing for the new to come. I guess kastor truly doesn’t believe in history, or if he does he isn’t interested in learning from it.

    What has me wondering is whether this coming Chaos is just the collapse of the US, or is a general collapse of Western Civilization, or whether it is global. My guess is that it will be global and will usher in a merger of Eastern and Western points of view/philosophy. There is much Western culture can learn from the East and vis versa. Not having read the book it is hard to criticize it, but it does seem to have a narrow point of view if all it focused on was a comparison of the fall of the Roman Empire and ours. History goes back a long ways before that.

  7. Rich January 15, 2007 5:26 pm

    I find it interesting that most critiques of the current state of the US Empire always compare it’s demise to that of Rome, I wonder why that is the case. There is so much more known about the collapse of the British Empire, it is such recent history. The US Empire grew out of the British Empire, they are almost one and the same on some levels, so why always compare the US to Rome?

    If the US were to collapse like Rome then what would happen to the greatest military force on earth? How does the last super power decompose around its nuclear arsenal? How can this country fall in to chaos or anarchy with WMD all over the place? What are the implications for regional conflict all over the world where the US has bases that sustain the status quo? There are so many issues here, the world simply cannot afford the US to fall apart, it would be too dangerous. The elite ponder martial law and a fascist state, but this country is armed to the teeth - will the people roll over for a dictator? How far will the US population allow themselves to be pushed?

    Rome caved in when the Barbarian Hordes could no longer be kept outside the gates. Ironically when it did start to collapse the Roman Legions were recalled to defend Rome, which meant they left the British Isles - which signaled the beginning of the Dark Ages in Britain. It took 3-400 years for the British to recover from the collapsed Rome occupation - but arguably it was the old ideals and influence of Rome that ultimately helped Britain become a major empire? On some levels the British Empire was modeled on the best of Rome.

    Anyway, what is different for the US is that the Barbarian’s are here inside the gate already - and it’s not Muslim cells - they are patriotic American’s who are prepared to fight to the death over any attempted coup or forced police state.

    Has anyone seen the new movie that is out “Children of Men” - its about a future world where all women are infertile. It’s a good movie, on a par with V for Vendetta in many ways. Anyway, the opening sentence in the movie, set in 2027, is a newscaster saying “Day 1,000 in the siege of Seattle.” This is a British movie, so it was quite a surprising beginning! In V for Vendetta (a movie set in England) throughout the movie there are shots of the US in chaos based on a civil meltdown. Clearly many fiction writers of modern times see the US devolving in to chaos in the next 10 years or so, not a happy prospect.

    But in reality Humanity is maturing/evolving, going through phases of growth. The US is not isolated from the massive trend in human development, it is part of that development.

    Humanity started with the Family Unit, which evolved in to the Tribal Unit, that in turn became a Village. The Village became a City State, the City State eventually became a Country and that in turn matured in to a Commonwealth of Nations. We are now on the verge of the next stage of the evolution of humanity, which is the inevitable Global State. Love it or hate it I believe it is inevitable. To deny the Global State is to deny the rest of humanities development towards this outcome, the trend is in, and the trend is your friend!

    We may not like it, we may believe it will be a massive mistake, but history dictates that humanity attempt it.

    Personally, I like the idea of the village or town sized economic unit. Being in a small town with enough culture, self sufficiency (for the most part) and enough diversity, what more could you want out of life?

    Cheers Rich

  8. larry January 15, 2007 6:02 pm

    rich…great writing….also, mel gibson’s ‘apocalypto’ shows the decay of a mayan civilization…mel attempts to illustrate that the ruling elite are more busy baffling the masses with pointless rituals than addressing the actual threats to their culture…he shows the dialectic to an extreme…finding others to sacrifice on a blood alter as a metaphor for our resource wars…the ruling elite are working with spiritual leaders to basically immerse the populace in pointless ritualistic behavior and warfare…all the time continuing to build massive worthless temples to false gods…a classic misappropriation of funds inside a culture in decline and under stress…hum, very interesting, almost sounds vaguely familiar?

  9. Thomas Paine January 15, 2007 7:33 pm

    Hogwash! Georgie-boy lost the Congress, didn’t he? All it will take is about 3-5 years of depression, with all the jicky financial structure imploding and a good whack on the sides of our over-indulged American heads…and it will be OK.

  10. Makia January 16, 2007 5:04 am

    You may be right Paine, but i have a greater feeling that the world has no allegiance to us. Trade negotiations and these things are always about each side benefiting, each side losing (with notable exceptions i won’t go into here). My point is that there is still public perception and human intention involved, to assume that international negotiations are entirely black-and-white, the numbers tell us what to do, is not the way it works entirely. So going down the road, the U.S. main resource after an economic collapse is its military (which runs on oil btw).

    Our infrastructure is crap on a national scale, our healthcare system is crap, our education system is crap, or at least our population is very much dumbed down - and work ethic in the masses is basically non-existent, and the work ethic that we do have costs us our health, its not working hard for the right reasons, on the right things, in so many instances. Yes. Americans are ingenious and resourceful. We do a lot with a 2nd class infrastructure and education system. But c’mon, how much of that is just mommentum? We’re using duct tape to get by on the infrastructure we have that used to be 1st class. Pride has caused us to fall into the same traps that other empires have fallen into.

    So the Chinese will be the next superpower. And we might liken the future U.S. to the former U.S.S.R. Was there ever a doubt who would “win”? U.S. made all kinds of stuff, plus a 1st class military. Moscow could only do the military part, not stable in the long run. Now i think the U.S. PTB think that as long as we have the strongest military in the world we’ll be. . . okay? Of course these are just stop-gap measures. Just like the market manipulations that can’t go on forever. At least, that’s what history suggests. This time around is different?

    From my original point about the human factor of international trade and political negotiating, the countries of the world won’t help the Americans except at the barrel of the cannon. If the global system “hiccups” or depresses, the other countries won’t say, “How can we help the Americans help us and get this thing back on track?” I don’t think so. No one would hurt themselves, but if everyone’s at square one, the U.S. is not going to be at the top of other nation’s buddy lists. Now China, they’ve got some bargaining power; and a good argument can be made for “the team of destiny.” Where does U.S. fall in this picture? If current trends of selfishness and decadence continue, no planning for the future (like the Chinese who have learned a lot from world history), the U.S. will have it’s military. It will make things more difficult on everyone than they need to be, and that might just be the way it turns out.

    One thing is for sure in my mind: industrial society will never treat Americans as well as it is right now. Its uphill from here. But the Chinese and Indians will likely benefit from the demand destruction of the “collapse” of the U.S. They’ve got a lot of reason for liking it that way, and most of the other global players i don’t think will shed a tear for us and our SUVs, maxed out credit-cards, and brick piggy-banks. Of course some of these problems are in Aus. and EU, too, but the U.S., we have to admit, is the favorite that everyone wants to see lose.

    rambling again, peace all

  11. Robert Sczech January 16, 2007 5:21 am

    The collapse of the Roman empire did not happen during the life of one human generation. It lasted at least 300 years (more than 10 generations) before the full impact became visible. For the same reason none of us on this board will live long enough to experience the collapse of the US. In fact, since the collapse takes such a long time, it is very difficult for one single generation to notice any significant change.

    In my opinion, the onset of the present crisis is at least 70 years old. Just take a walk through the town you are living in and look at the ugliness of all the electrical power, telephone and TV cable lines hanging over the streets. These wires completely destroy any idea of city planning, architectural beauty etc. The crisis of modern urban civilization started with the spreading of utility poles. That was the first step towards a new dark age.

  12. Makia January 16, 2007 5:34 am

    Rich, just got a chance to read #7. Thanks man. No, i don’t like the idea of a global state, for so many reasons. However i am a student of reality, which is much the study of probability. I agree with your logic and think that you are correct in you probable conclusion. I think that that system is still not the end, b/c it can’t be maintained in the post-industrial age, but that won’t be in my lifetime - probably.
    In my heart i beleive we should all reject the global state, and i think the reason is that the problems we see with exploitation of the populous will only intesify. In this wee see the seeds of the Empire (think Darth Sidius).

    But in life there is an extremely powerful story that is overlooked by non-spiritual cultures. It is the story of Alladin and the lamp. This story appears in cultures all over the world. Of course, it’s meaning is: be careful what you ask for. . . you might get it.

    It is a powerful story that i have taken to heart in my relationships with others. I would rather give someone what they ask for than what i think they want. Often what they ask for is what they need on some level, thought they haven’t thought out all the consequences. I am the fulcrum, when i can be. I am the agent of karma. I am the whirlwind. This is a deep decision, not something i over-analyze in given situations, simply a direction i’ve chosen to go in life. It allows me to not worry about my ego, but to simply be, to simply do, so simply give people what they ask for. And if they want a global society, then i must give it to them.

    To the Native Ameicans, the Sun rises in the East and is representative of Spirit, of Thankfullness, of Uniqueness, and of a brand new day- every day. Powerful energy in the East. Of course it is balanced by the Nurturing and Intropsection of the West, the Sunset.

  13. Makia January 16, 2007 5:38 am

    Robert Sczech, good perspective. Be patient, enjoy the ride, be entertained, don’t take anything too seriously ’cause its all a blink of an eye, do your best.

    Give thanks for each new day.

    Ya gotta

  14. bp January 16, 2007 6:06 am

    hm, not directly related, but an interesting article that applies to much of what we have discussed before - http://www.hazelhenderson.com/editorials/politics_of_money.html

  15. bp January 16, 2007 6:25 am

    #11 Robert Sczech, the only point I would argue with you is the 300 hundred year reference - if you look at a study of change you will see that change happens faster and faster as time progresses - how long did Egypt stay on top, how long Rome, now how long the US - how long did each take to fall apart - of course we may not live to see the final act, but I’m sure we will live well into the second act and live to see significant change.

  16. Dr Jane Karlsson January 16, 2007 6:28 am

    Makia, are you really saying ‘be patient, enjoy the ride, be entertained, don’t take anything too seriously’ to torture victims?

  17. skeptical January 16, 2007 6:33 am

    Rich - “The US Empire grew out of the British Empire, they are almost one and the same on some levels, so why always compare the US to Rome?”

    Because the US is SOOOOOoooo much like Rome was. Empiralism (over extensions and all), our statutory laws (admiralty/maritime) are EXACTLY Roman Civil Law (which England also used/uses), distracting the masess with their circuses - sports -(gladiators), military might, …. I could go on and on but to any student of history can see the US is Rome incarnate.

    Rich - “The elite ponder martial law and a fascist state, but this country is armed to the teeth - will the people roll over for a dictator?”

    Ponder it? They have already instituted it - the military commissions act, the John Warner defense authorization act of 2007, … I could go on and on here but suffice it to say martial law is here already and the people have ALREADY acquised to a dictator - BUSH! He makes rulings every day by executive order, he goes to war with whom he wants to when he wants to, he is a dictator, congress is IRRELEVANT.

    Rich - “Clearly many fiction writers of modern times see the US devolving in to chaos in the next 10 years or so, not a happy prospect.”

    Why do you think R&R have been building all those detention centers? The published reasons were for massive influx of immigrants and “other purposes”. They always, ALWAYS throw those words into new acts and executive orders and those “other purposes” are ALWAYS the real reasons for the acts or executive orders.

    Rich - “We may not like it, we may believe it will be a massive mistake, but history dictates that humanity attempt it.”

    I dont see that history dictates any such thing. They are doing it - NAU. It is a done deal and oh by the way dictator Bush did this with NO Congress input and NO populus input. Humm that seems like a dictatorship to me.

    Makia - “So going down the road, the U.S. main resource after an economic collapse is its military (which runs on oil btw).”

    After an econmic collapse where is the money going to come from to keep/increase the US military adventures abroad?

    Robert - “For the same reason none of us on this board will live long enough to experience the collapse of the US. In fact, since the collapse takes such a long time, it is very difficult for one single generation to notice any significant change.”

    That is absolutely correct. The US has been collapsing since the 20s and that collapse sped up in the 60s and 70s. Today we are well over the brink - no looking back. However, I agree with Robert, it will not become apparent to the masses for many years (if ever). Only with hindsight will it become “apparent”.

  18. Makia January 16, 2007 7:07 am

    Jane, i am only one man. I do what i can, but i made a decision to be a good father. I made that decision a LONG time ago. Too young to realize the ramifications of the decision, but most big desicions have that aspect. Could i do more to engender world peace?

    How do we express limitlessness through the limited physical universe that our bodies occupy? That is the question that should be in every man and women’s heart. But it’s not. I take a page from the great sages who notice that the majority of humanity lives in the dark of self-created suffereing. The dark of a false dis-connection.

    But many, if not all of the great sages are the boddhisatva (sp?). I will return again and again until all beings are enlightened. Is this pretentious? When all is considered, it surely is not, though not everyone is in a place where they can understand. I beleive most people who visit theBull have the potential of this understanding, if not the potential of being able to embody the path.

    The Universe is real, it is also a continuous reflection. The physical universe is not isolated from the “more” energetic realms, the whole system is “millions of tiny mirrors.”

    There is yin and yang. What does that mean? Almost nothing, it is too abstract. It also signifies a great deal. Yang is the active, the kinetic; yin is pure potential from which the active is possible.

    The Earth is a huge (read:tiny) spot of yang, the active aspect of the emptiness that surrounds it like a guppie is surrounded by the ocean. The emptiness is “pure” yin, pure potential.

    That is how much potential there is! The space that is the rest of the solar system, the rest of the galaxy, the rest of Universe (where there isn’t physical mass) is the absolute reflection of a deeper reality. That is how Great infinite potential is. And yet, we enjoy the yang. Through yang, we have a teeny-weeny-tiny-teeny (only the entire range of the physical material, electricity, history, geological time, civilization, society, your own little story of your life, and everything you “do” everyday) glimmer of what can become active within the infinite potential.

    Should i be a father or a Mahatma Ghandi figure, or a George Washington figure? Both? Sounds great. What about the scientific discovery that i could have came across had i not become a civil lighting rod? What if i am murdered in my pursuit of world peace, should i have been a better father? A different father? This is why an understanding of consiousness, in other words, the power of choice, is so important. Otherwise you may live your life regretting instead of living it living.

    Jane, you don’t know what i do for the victims. Or what i would do in any number of situations. Maybe even my definition of a victim is different than yours.

    The potential i have available to me is what i am concerned with. The yang is quite impressive, but without a grasp of the potential in the universe then one becomes more and more limited. I can only be one thing at a time; and i can learn to change this very very very fast. But it is still all an expression, to me, of expressing the limitless through limitation.

    Otherwise, i would be a being of light, and not a bohdisatva. I wouldn’t contribute to theBull becasue i would have other tasks to accomplish. In fact, even as a being of light i would still have limitation. Of course, that is my human way of perceiving it - and - expressing it in English. I am, after all, human. And i am not a monk - even if i have some “monk-like” characteristics, whatever that might mean to a given person.

    I’m not sure what you meant by your question, Jane, but this has been my answer. If you might be implying that i cannot take suffereing seriously b/c i say to not take anything seriously, then we are just running into the limits of language. From my point of view i am one of the saddest and most depressed people i’ve ever met. The suffering that i perceive in my heart, my eyes, my dreams is inconceivable to most people. But when you talk to me or see me on the street i may appear exuberant - becasue i am that also. I have enjoyed the enormous amount of potential that i can perceive, and it makes my kinetic that much more deep and impactful. I am not Ghandi, or Sidharta, or Jesus of Nazareth, but i can learn from what they taught. And if i get a chance, pass it on.

    That is part of the potential that i choose to embody. Limited? Yes. Less than helpful to the “victims” of the world, i would disagree. As “helpful” as i could be? Well, that’s a day-to-day thing and if you’ve got some suggestions for me i would appreciate it. Larry would have me consider running for U.S. Senate. . . Maybe i could win the race with my charm, wit, good looks, and down-to-earth approach. . . Probably not. And would i be too limited?

    How about an advisor? So much potential, “so little time.” Do you see the nature of my seriousness and my lightheartedness now friend?

  19. Makia January 16, 2007 7:17 am


    Makia - “So going down the road, the U.S. main resource after an economic collapse is its military (which runs on oil btw).”

    After an econmic collapse where is the money going to come from to keep/increase the US military adventures abroad?

    Good question ;-). I mean, its humans making decisions, and i think that American leaders will probably cling to the straws that they have rather than planting the new field that is fertile. Silly humans. The military/industrial complex is powerful, and it employs a lot of people, a lot of voters. Its not a pretty picture that i see. Americans look high on the hog right now, but in the future many, including the government, might stink of desperation. People do silly thinks when they are desperate.

    Everyone should go out and rent the new Jet Li flick, “Fearless.” Lots of great talk about weak society, and the true nature of wushu, i.e. the art of combat. I am a peaceful person, but it is a major oversight for an intelligent person to overlook the role and arts of combat. A major oversight for a person on the path of peace to not have a significant interest in war and combat. but many great and peaceful men have trod this path, and there is still war. There are still weak societies.

  20. Makia January 16, 2007 7:21 am

    Makia - “So going down the road, the U.S. main resource after an economic collapse is its military (which runs on oil btw).”

    After an econmic collapse where is the money going to come from to keep/increase the US military adventures abroad?


  21. FCT January 16, 2007 7:50 am

    I think it’s funny that Berman talks about Popper’s criteria that falsifiability “is the touchstone not only of perceptual accuracy but also of freedom, and even of meaningful discourse itself.” LOL! Two of the primary theories of modern science, string theory and evolution, are not falsifiable.

    The real touchstone of freedom is the concept of unalienable human rights. Unless these are preserved, the State will become a tyrannical ruler over Men, as 95% of human history proves. Most in academia and a growing part of the general public in America see unalienable rights as a quaint, almost childish concept. Who needs them when we have intelligent, compassionate, precise government leaders to show us the way?

    But allowing unalienable rights introduces the logical need for a higher power, and these intellectuals and secularists recoil at the idea that a power beyond the realm of Man could or should have any bearing on their lives and actions. Berman sees religion and spirituality as negative elements in society. Sorry Mr. Berman, but without spirituality and unalienable rights we are truly doomed to a Dark Age where human dignity is an afterthought, and the State crushes all notions of “enlightenment”.

  22. Makia January 16, 2007 7:56 am

    Yes indeed FCT

  23. bp January 16, 2007 8:18 am

    makia #18 - Re: DR Jane’s comment - “Makia, are you really saying ‘be patient, enjoy the ride, be entertained, don’t take anything too seriously’ to torture victims?”

    me thinks you doth protest too much - I think what she is getting at is that telling people what to do, how to face life carries a karmic burden - you influence their decision making with what you say - what you do with your life is your own business - trying to tell others how to live is problematic - let’s say people can be either saints or heros - some chose to be a saint - others may chose to act and be heros - the victims of torture may turn out to be great saints…who’s to say how anyone should face fate - I only want to see things as clearly as possible and have the opportunity to chose how to respond - I’m sure you’ve come across this point of view before, so if I misunderstand, I do apologize - it’s just not wise to go around telling others how to live.

  24. Dr Jane Karlsson January 16, 2007 8:20 am

    I see what you mean Makia, you are saying these things TO YOURSELF. You are trying to bring yourself out of depression and sadness by saying these things. Sorry I misunderstood. I wish you every success.

  25. Makia January 16, 2007 8:50 am

    Yes! Thank you guys.

    You know, we are really _always_ talking to ourselves. Thus:

    “treat others as you would be treated.”

    It is actually a law, not a suggestion.

  26. FeelingWeird January 16, 2007 8:51 am


    Can anyone confirm this and if so how do we go about supporting this man!!

    If you are unaware of who he is, I would implore you to do your research. This is the most exciting news I have recieved in ages. I have waited 8 years for him to finally consider a run..

    Please can anyone give anymore info on this subject.

    Robert NW Ohio

  27. Makia January 16, 2007 8:56 am

    and bp, far be it from me to tell others how to live! I don’t want to be told how to live :-). I simply make suggestions, for what else can i, or anyone else for that matter, do? I could “twist your arm.” or hold a gun to your head, but we all can only make our own choices. That’s why the concept of the “victim” is such a tough one to see through the lens of choice. A worthy task to undertake though IMO!

    My response is to indicate that i am a hero, and a saint, and a sinner, a common man, when the opportunities present themselves to make the choice. I’m just “Pat.” the sun rises, the sun sets. We are all in the same boat.

    I share an old story:

  28. Makia January 16, 2007 8:58 am

    A man is travelling on a river in a boat in the fog. Through the fog, he sees a boat coming right towards his. He yells, “I am here! You are coming at me!” The boats get closer and closer and the man yells again, “Yo!” The boats then bump and slide past each other. As they past the man looks. There is no one in the other boat.

  29. Makia January 16, 2007 9:00 am

    You see how this world makes me so sad and yet so excited at the opportunities!

    But alas, i am a bug.

  30. Makia January 16, 2007 9:05 am

    and bp, far be it from me to tell others how to live!

    . . .but i greatly appreciate good suggestions. It’s why i visit theBull in the first place.

  31. Kia January 16, 2007 10:20 am

    Rich (#7),

    I suspect that Berman prefers to stick to comparisons with Rome because comparisons to the British is too close to home, because we are facing the eclipse of the Anglo/American Axis.

    Our current Energyo-fascism is indicative of the twilight of an arrogant, ignorant leadership deaf to the voice of the citizens, the congress and the bi-partisan ISG.


    A very perceptive and chilling comment on the psychology of the current Presidency, if you have not already seen it.

    “The reason Bush violated the law when eavesdropping is the same reason Lithwick cites to explain his other lawless and extremist measures — because he wanted purposely not to comply with the law in order to establish the general “principle” that he was not bound by the law, to show that he has the power to break the law, that he is more powerful than the law. This is a President and an administration that are obsessed first and foremost with their own power and with constant demonstrations of their own strength. Conversely, what they fear and hate the most is their own weakness and submission to limitations.

    For that reason, the weaker and more besieged the administration feels, the more compelled they will feel to make a showing of their power. Lashing out in response to feelings of weakness is a temptation most human beings have, but it is more than a mere temptation for George Bush. It is one of the predominant dynamics that drives his behavior.” This is what wrought the likes of Gitmo and Abu Gharib.

    Certainly there is good reason to compare the Anglo/American axis to Rome, as Skeptical (#17) points out. However the Romans were not even aware of the existence of the Chinese. This is where our situation is different.

    One of the reasons Rome fell is related to climate as a 1 in 500 year cold snap froze the Rhine solid allowing the Anglo Saxons to make a winter crossing and subsequent march to Rome. Despite the fall of Rome, 500 years later the Roman Catholic Church remains one of the world’s richest global corporations.

    Undeniably the Anglo/American Axis has exposed itself to unprecedented risk through it’s energy dependence and unsustainable borrowing from the rest of the world to prop up unsustainable consumption at home.

    The New Dark Ages will be dominated by competition for scarce resources, oil, water, power, food. This competition will certainly feature the baser aspects of human nature.

    Our challenge remains is how we are to work things out together in the face of Peak Oil, Peak Food, and Peak Humanity.

    I don’t suspect that the transition from the unsustainable to the sustainable will be pretty, but I am fairly sure that it is unavoidable and will be the defining issue of our time. As the world’s largest consumers we can have the greatest impact by changing our own behavior, without which there will be no future for peace, justice or civilization. It is time to teach ourselves how to live!


  32. bp January 16, 2007 10:21 am

    Makia, hehe - ok, I thought my interpretation was odd considering your previous posts, keep on truckin’ - I’m with ya

  33. bp January 16, 2007 10:28 am

    #31, darn kia did you have to go and bring all that up, heheh - my guess is that there will be pockets of people cooperating together to try to create a sustainable existence - may we all land in such a pocket when the Dark Age arrives

  34. bp January 16, 2007 10:29 am

    er, speaking of sustainability, I should have added this - http://www.hazelhenderson.com/recentPapers/21st_century_strategies_.htm

  35. skeptical January 16, 2007 10:44 am

    Kia - ““The reason Bush violated the law when eavesdropping is the same reason Lithwick cites to explain his other lawless and extremist measures — because he wanted purposely not to comply with the law in order to establish the general “principle” that he was not bound by the law, to show that he has the power to break the law, that he is more powerful than the law.”

    One thing that most people here and everywhere don’t understand is that Bush is absolutely within his “rights” to do whatever he wants to. There is no “rule of law” as there is no law left in the US. We lost our law when we lost our money (gold is tied to the land and so is the law. Land ownership was a requirment to be an “elector” before the passage of the 14th amendment). Anyhow, we are all now the enemy of our government, we have no law and are under the Roman Civil Law (statutory Admiralty/Maritime law) and are a conquered nation being ruled by a military dictator (commander and chief) under the “law of necessity”. Bush will continue to do whatever he feels “necessary” and will get a way with it as long as good men sit and do nothing about it. Get used to it!

  36. Makia January 16, 2007 10:47 am


    “The New Dark Ages will be dominated by competition for scarce resources, oil, water, power, food. This competition will certainly feature the baser aspects of human nature.”

    I think that you will be proven more accurate than not here kia. However, perhaps there is will still be a good amount of light in the cave. If the light does not overcome the dark in a stark and noticeable way in the more recent future, i do think that the coming time will be likened to a dark age. However, there are still points on this spectrum, and there are still oasis in the desert. For instance, will Americans experience ethnic cleansing? I think that would be a stretch. I think of the Sleeping Dragon of China over the last few hundred years. Very dark, but always the seeds of prosperity. Now, i think, the Chinese have been cultivating this and being rewarded by their perception and diligence (and, over the last 90 years, patience. Even the patience to wait for the death of Mao which was no small accomplishment). Indeed, i also beleive they, as a society, have much to learn about prosperity.


    “Our challenge remains is how we are to work things out together in the face of Peak Oil, Peak Food, and Peak Humanity.”

    i wonder how important, or relevant this is. Fuel and materials we now have availible will never be able to produce this kind of civilization as we know it again. To consider it a challenge to deal with peak oil/and peak food is to think that these obstacles can be overcome. Humans can survive and prosper, but civilization will change. Industrial society will increasingly be meshed with agrarian lifestyles - lifestyles which consume very little. I guess you could argue that that is the way to “deal” with peak oil, but i look at is as just accepting what is; and that is an absense of enormous amounts of practically free energy and materials. The more people who cling to the fancy gadgets that dominate our landscape today, the harder it will be for all of them. In my mind, we just need to establish a low-consuming lifestyle and people who don’t want to suffer so badly will gradually change their lives, and gradually (or hopefully not so gradual) the entire face of society and the planet. In the short run (60-70 years) my biggest concern is that the Chinese turn into the Old United States in form and function (consumers, resource eaters, proud). That will just prolong the suffering for more people. But people will get what they ask for, and what they create for themselves to a great degree.

    Something i wonder about is the solar activity over the next couple of years. This may throw some major kinks in accurate prognosticating. I mean, has anyone noticed the weather lately?

  37. Kia January 16, 2007 12:00 pm

    bp (#34),

    Great article. As always is it easier to point our the problem than it is to point to a way forward. Hazel accurately points out the falsity of our current economic approaches

    The recent award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammed Yunus for his microlending in Bangledesh is an example of one way forward:


    Makia (#36), I think that Yunus is an example of your light in the cave.

    Skeptical (#35),

    “If a President does it, Then it is legal” - Richard Nixon 1977

    You are certainly correct, but I doubt that I will get used to it, as it is like trying to use Kissinger and peace in the same sentence.

    Makia (#36), China holds over 1 trillion USD, and they are patient. They, together with other central banks are busy transferring ownership of the US over to their respective countries with the help of our “leadership.” This is the true meaning of Bush’s “ownership” society.

    China is using this time to industrialize and recognizes that when the bill comes due the US will become a second rate power that will serve as a source of food and resources to them. The Americans have adopted a “Rent to Own” lifestyle and will not be able to avoid dancing to the tune of whatever the piper chooses to play.

    I was in China during the winter and spring of 1984, the first year they chose to issue solo visas. My notes from that time predict China as the candidate for the sucessor to Anglo/American Axis. It is spooky to see my observations come so vividly to life.

    Before my visit to China, I was in one of those camps that the US was paying Osama to run near Torquam, in the company of two Afghani medical students. I witnessed the massive hardware transfer from the largest CIA covert action in history in support of the Mujahideen described in George Crile’s book “Charley Wilson’s War.”

    In reviewing history there is little or no history of Islamic terrorism before the US, UK and Israelis undertook the task of arming and training the likes of the Mujahideen and Hamas.
    So if we don’t like terrorists, maybe it it time for us to discontinue our support for them ;-)

    The cosmic joke here is that we sell our future to Chinese/foreign bankers, ignoring the long term threat to our sovereignty by our actions while we are obsessed/blinded by our self-inflicted injury of terrorism.

    “The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those that think” – Horace Walpole

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been so credulous” -Carl Sagan


  38. Makia January 16, 2007 12:12 pm

    skeptikal, kia, bp: wonderful posts. I agree with so much of what y’all are saying. Without picking it apart, i just wanted to tell y’all Rock On!

  39. Kia January 16, 2007 12:19 pm

    Skeptical (#35) looks like Nothing is New Under the Sun:

    A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents similar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear. - Marcus Tullius Cicero

  40. skeptical January 16, 2007 12:25 pm

    Kia “Skeptical (#35) .You are certainly correct, but I doubt that I will get used to it, as it is like trying to use Kissinger and peace in the same sentence.”

    KIA you misunderstand. I was being facetious(sp). I personnally think we ought to be DEMANDING our money back so that we can regain our republic and our property rights again (and with it our law). If that fails (as I expect it would) then I think it is time for a revolution.

    As has been stated repeatedly throughout history, the tree of freedom needs to be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants alike (paraphrasing) from time to time. I think the time grows near.

  41. Makia January 16, 2007 12:44 pm

    Ohhhh, skeptical. A man after my own heart.

  42. skeptical January 16, 2007 12:46 pm

    Makia “Makia Says:
    January 16th, 2007 at 12:44 pm
    Ohhhh, skeptical. A man after my own heart.”

    Make that woman but of the same heart :)

  43. Kia January 16, 2007 12:50 pm

    Skep, don’t worry, I understand that you don’t embrace our current scheme of wealth confiscation, and I share your alarm. We are in good company:

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. - Thomas Jefferson

    The mystery for me is what will it take to get the ‘mericans to turn off the electric sewer pipe and wake up from the trance of debt-financed hyperconsumerism. Given the ongoing de-evolution of their awareness, accompanied by their expanding waistlines I fear your revolution will be replaced by the frog in the pot on the stove, on low, preferring to boil to death themselves rather than make the effort to jump out of the pot.


  44. Makia January 16, 2007 1:01 pm


    Make that woman. . .

    now you’re just teasing me.


    “. . .your revolution will be replaced by the frog in the pot on the stove, on low, preferring to boil to death themselves rather than make the effort to jump out of the pot.”

    in this regard i am like a big cat. Patient, ready to pounce. Waiting for the right time. Perhaps the time will not come to pounce, the kill cannot be made. But timing is everything and my state is thus. This is why i tell all of us to be patient. To not waste energy before the time is right. If the time doesn’t come for the big pounce, then doubtless the cultivation of inner-stregth shall not go to waste. Be patient and entertained in the mean time. As a wise man once said about a wise man once saying: “The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those that think.”

  45. Kia January 16, 2007 1:09 pm

    Kastor (#1)

    Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

    Since we are speaking of Rome:

    Beware of the leader, who strikes the war drum in order to transfer the citizens into patriotic glow, patriotism is indeed a double-sided sword. It makes the blood so boldly, like it constricts the intellect. And if the striking of the war drum reached a fiebrige height and the blood is cooking and hating, and the intellect is dismissed, the leader doesn’t need to reject the citizens rights. The citizens, caught by anxiety and blinded through patriotism, will subordinate all their rights to the leader and this even with happy courage. Why do I know that? I know it, because this is, what I did. And I am Gaius Julius Cäsar. Gaius Julius Caesar

  46. Kia January 16, 2007 1:16 pm


    I believe that wise man was Horace Walpole.

    My question to you is what is your practical plan of action that will comprise this “pounce?”

  47. Makia January 16, 2007 1:22 pm

    And you are the other wise man friend.

    Let me think about the pouncing for a minute, a delicate subject it is. Plus, the time is not right. . . today. Tomorrow perhaps. Lemme consider my response.

  48. Kia January 16, 2007 1:58 pm


    Take your time my friend, patience is the master sport, and one that I am working on. I appreciate you compliment, but prefer to view growth in wisdom as a trip toward a destination that I may or may not reach. The attempt at mastery be it of patience or wisdom is what consumes me.

    Just for fun:


    “Thus it happens in matters of state; for knowing afar off (which it is only given a prudent man to do) the evils that are brewing, they are easily cured. But when, for want of such knowledge, they are allowed to grow so that everyone can recognize them, there is no longer any remedy to be found.” - Niccolo Machiavelli

    I look forward to your pounce.


  49. skeptical January 16, 2007 2:04 pm

    Makia “Makia Says:
    January 16th, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Make that woman. . .

    now you’re just teasing me.”

    I can assure you I tread where few have the courage to tread - man or woman!

  50. Kia January 16, 2007 2:07 pm

    skep, so enlighten me which one are you?

  51. Makia January 16, 2007 2:09 pm

    Here is the thing. First, big cats are hunted by humans. Projectile weapons are not to be taken lightly either using them or the threat of them being used against you. It is possible to hide in the brush and remain unseen virtually forever, but very difficult to eat someone with a gun. Now, if there are two cats, the chances are much greater that two can defeat one person with a gun, but at a possibly great peril. My point is, The “system” like every system that i know of has a survival instinct; and The System has projectile weapons, and it does not want to be threatened. The System has many weapons besides projectile weapons, too. Thus it extremely wise not to be brash when dealing with this issue. It is also why timing is of utmost importance.

    One second, pounce to the right is the proper vector; the next second, pounce to the left. A miscalculation in timing can be quite lethal in this matter.

    Another important aspect is talking about this here, in public. A quote from a great movie posits, “If they are not with us, then they are against us.” And so as not to be mistaken, the movie is Matrix. It is very easy for a person who seems innoccuos to become an agent, with all of his speed and weapons. Speaking of the topic of revolution in public is highly dangerous. Read Wardoctor #5. I’d like to think i’m not a wuss, or stupid. On the other side of the coin there is no great gain without great risk. One must give in order to receive. One must invest in loss.

    I will leave it at this for now. Of course i appreciate any input/feedback.

    . . . pay attention

  52. skeptical January 16, 2007 2:14 pm

    Kia Says:
    January 16th, 2007 at 2:07 pm
    skep, so enlighten me which one are you?

    I am a woman I thought I made that clear :)

  53. Makia January 16, 2007 2:16 pm

    kia, a freind of mine once said to me, “Why would you want to become enlightened when you can be enlightening?”

    I notice much wisdom in your thoughts and words, and it is also good to see humility. . .

    Humility is the potential from which many powerful things come. A tiger doesn’t pounce to show off, she pounces for a much better reason. Therein lies a great deal of power.

  54. Makia January 16, 2007 2:18 pm

    . . . some would consider “better reason” a subjective statement. But sometimes you just know what your talking about. LOL


  55. Makia January 16, 2007 2:19 pm

    [head bowed and hands folded]

  56. Kia January 16, 2007 2:30 pm

    Makia, pounce on brother

    I like your friend. Humility is the gift that encourages my own development. Mastery is the fruit of my development. This is a source of joy that encourages me down my individual path.

    Once we declare our expertise, we put ourselves in a spiritual cul-de-sac and tend to spend the majority of our time trying to recruit others to the neighborhood.

    Transformation is the activity not the destination.

    “A problem cannot be solved at the level of awareness that created it” (with apologies to Albert Einstein).


  57. Kia January 16, 2007 2:33 pm

    skep, i love courageous people, but courageous women especially ;-)

  58. Makia January 16, 2007 2:51 pm

    “Once we declare our expertise, we put ourselves in a spiritual cul-de-sac and tend to spend the majority of our time trying to recruit others to the neighborhood.”

    don’t declare humility as your experise then, right? You might become arrogant. That is part of my intent in coming across the way i do at times. It can be mistaken, but alas, i am just a bug.

  59. Makia January 16, 2007 2:53 pm

    “A problem cannot be solved at the level of awareness that created it” - very useful insight

  60. bp January 16, 2007 3:13 pm

    Makia, where is zephyr, working? - tell me it ain’t so

    kia, you are obviously well read - I always appreciate wisdom garnered from the past, keep up the good work

    skep, damn what can i say, and here I thought Dr jane was the only female here boldly going where no man has gone before, hehe - maybe you can convert kastor to a more humane, peaceful point of view, heh - I give up

  61. skeptical January 16, 2007 3:48 pm

    bp “skep, damn what can i say, and here I thought Dr jane was the only female here boldly going where no man has gone before, hehe - maybe you can convert kastor to a more humane, peaceful point of view, heh - I give up”

    First, with this annomity it is difficult to discern gender.

    Second, Kastor is beyond reason. No reason can reach his beliefs. Too bad. I did a great post to him on the last “long” blog and somehow it didn’t “take”. I didn’t try to recreate the posting but I should as it showed his beleifs to be pure nonsence.

  62. Kia January 16, 2007 4:27 pm

    bp (#60), the beauty of books is that it gives you access to the finest human minds. I always appreciate the “loan.”

  63. ostrich January 16, 2007 5:05 pm

    I have read most of the writings on this site in the past few months and I would like to comment on what an incredible brain trust you are forming. So much for the dumbing down ideas just keep typing and you will reverse what your school system does not deliver.
    I’m finally pulling my head out of the sand after 30 years but not out of the bottle. On the various blogs that all of you have written I would like to thank you for rekindling my interest and former research(undergrad crap) on many of the topics that you discuss. If memory serves me correctly when you discuss these topics in public or one to one you seem to lose friends and relatives.

    I’m not a yankee but I completely gave up on the system when you went and elected an actor for president. Then to piss me off you elect W (may as well have been Kastor haha)

    I have noted that majority of you are interested in economics, commerce, finance etc and are trying to grappel with all the socio-geo-political nuances to making a buck or at least not lose green backs or their value.

    Well I believe the system is completely rigged against you education and spreading the word may be your best defense.
    (sorry if my writing is disjointed its been a while since I’ve tried to write anything intelligient)

    Is it the Gettysburg address the one Lincoln does in Disneyland anyway pay attention and if your not familiar with de Tocqueville I would be - America is going to get to that point in the next few years when there is not enough food (but plenty of ethanol) and dollars are worthless. bp - i think it will get bad enough that even the new crowd control weapons and dention centres will be able to squash the anger of a hungry electorate that can no longer watch MTV.

    The dark ages - absolutely if people like yourselves don’t start doing something about it. You must use your voices, dollars and votes. Arm your fellow citizens with knowledge.

    I was just reading an article on goldseek.com
    and i am not trying to plug any sites or writers or newsletters. But take a quick read it is only a five minute read and he goes through some talented people that i am sure you are all aware of I know Michael is. At the end of the article he commments on Ron Paul for president.

    I think he would be a splendid choice (next is Ralph Nader). The IQ quotient on this website should be able to figure out how to get the guy elected.Try using the people in the above mentioned link they already reach 10’s of thousands of readers.
    Sorry to bore you. Hopefully I will be able to add some other tidbits in the future. Now back to my bottle or sand.

  64. ostrich January 16, 2007 5:09 pm

    bp - that should have read will NOT be able to squash the pissed off masses

  65. bp January 16, 2007 6:11 pm

    ostrich - good to have you on board, i think sometimes we here feel like the few sane inmates of an asylum - always good to hear from another sane person - I don’t think any here have much hope for presidents in this country anymore - by the time they get to that level they have sold their soul to the corporations

    #61 skep - hm, I feel better - I thought I was being too brusque with kastor - i already felt bad about any part I had in sapiens leaving - personally I’m just seeking clarification and understanding - maybe i need to be more tactful, oh well - i’m sure others here will call me up short if i get too far out of line, heh

  66. muleskinner January 16, 2007 8:31 pm

    Kastor completely forgets that the war was sold as an easy win, in and out in six weeks, six months at the most, at a cost of sixty billion dollars.

    It’s been over four years ago now.

    The roses are all wilted, the cakewalk crumbled, and yet, he keeps spouting the same bunkum and bosh.

    Four hundred billion dollars later, Baghdad is in shambles, and the progress is at slug speed.

    ‘Mission Accomplished’

    It is better to curse the darkness than it is to light a candle. The world plunges further into darkness and Kastor calls it ‘light.’

    George Bush et al are tragic figures of history now. George Bush had a tremendous opportunity to make his presidency one to be envied; he could have done a good job. That all came to a screeching halt when he ordered the US military to invade Iraq.

    The Bush Cabal represents failure more than anything else. How can it be anything else?

    What did I hear recently? Oh yeah. “The US entered Iraq uninvited, why should they leave uninvited?”

    The US government will learn another lesson the hard way, Vietnam wasn’t enough.

    Kastor will probably be around to witness the event. If he pulls his head out of the sand, that is. When it’s dark all of the time, it looks like light.

  67. Rich January 16, 2007 10:29 pm

    sapiens is out there lurking along with many others, its OK.


  68. bp January 17, 2007 5:28 am

    #66 muleskinner - did you read this post - http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/ Back To The Future - talk about a recurring nightmare - makes me sick

  69. Makia January 17, 2007 5:32 am

    zeph’s in Rome.

  70. bp January 17, 2007 5:51 am

    69 Makia - thanks - this ones for you, hehe - http://freewayblogger.com/

  71. Dr Jane Karlsson January 17, 2007 6:28 am

    Rich, is sapiens still there? How do you know? I’m glad, I felt like bp does that I had a hand in his going.

    Does anybody know where zephyr is? I am getting worried. Kastor, if you frightened him away, you will not be forgiven.

  72. Dr Jane Karlsson January 17, 2007 6:49 am

    bp #68, oh God, not death squads - that’s exactly what I’ve been dreading. I knew it, I suppose.

    Kia #37, excellent point about there being no Islamic terrorism until we came along. With our death squads. Thanks for the Bush article in #31 too.

  73. Kia January 17, 2007 7:18 am

    Time for a little history:

    On Jan. 17, 1893, Hawaii’s monarchy was overthrown as a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.

    Time to celebrate 114 years of American Regime change! Get out of your chairs and dance, our Torturer in Charge has a Plan.

    How appropriate that his first visit to push the plan was to Ft. Benning Georgia, home of the School of the Americas, our Torture University, or Torture U. to those enemy combatants.

    Who would Jesus torture next?


  74. Makia January 17, 2007 7:49 am

    Interesting bp.

    I have a feeling sapiens is around. I don’t beleive that he has had anything to say, and he knows enough to not waste words.

    Speaking of wasting words, i’ll talk more about a societal revolution, as i see it; and perhaps, how i see myself.

    First, post 51.

    With all that said, here is some of my observations, from my POV.

    I have been waiting for a collapse of society as we know it for a few years. In the past, the more i was convinced of this, the harder my day-to-day life was.


    “If memory serves me correctly when you discuss these topics in public or one to one you seem to lose friends and relatives.”

    . . . or it is hard to have friends to begin with. I looked around at the hollowness of so many of the people arounds me, and the systems that we are surrounded with, and i had the feeling that there was/is nothing supporting the superstructer. I liked to think that my view of history pointed to previous instances of hollow societies, filled with many hollow people, and the logical collapse that occurs. It was hard - no impossible - for me to have small talk. When i talked i wanted to warn people of impending dangers, their causes, and solutions that i saw.

    At that point i had no idea that there might be people and intentions creating the hollowness. I attributed the health problems, the mental problems, the economic problems, the family problems, to basic forgetfullness. A forgetfullness that has been growing for longer than anyone can remember and thus is very difficult to perceive. The only way i perceived it was to first sense the problems, and then to ask, “Are these problems? Is this just the way it is? Is the a God? Where do the problems come from?”

    I still don’t know the answers to these questions. I will admit that to anyone and everyone. But i will act like i know for one reason, and one reason alone. Because i beleive that it is useful. Highly useful.

    That is my core understanding. That the Universe, and everything about it, is constructed to have a purpose, to have a use. In my mind, for there to be order to anything is to indicate that patterns form in the energy; and my observations indicate that every single pattern has a use. In my mind, to discount this is nihilism. When i was younger i tried out athiesm, or maybe it was nihilism. I stole things, i lied, i cheated, i did lots of drugs. But something wasn’t right in my not placing priorities, i just felt it. Now what could that “feeling” be? What was it’s use? It was there, i could ignore it but i couldn’t make it not be there.

    Today i see a lot of injustice, a lot of suffering. And it’s as much in the haves as the have-nots. I would do anything to take away the suffering. Anything. If by my death everyone could see their true nature and chose to discontinue their illusion of separation then i would lay down and take one in the head immediately.

    But this, i find through much introspection and study in words of men of long ago, is the nature of all suffering: choice. Some have gone so far to say that choice is the cause of suffering, but that is. . . sad and ridiculous. Its how we use choice, and so many people choose to perceive the disconnection rather than the connection. This causes a chain of experience for the consiousness that makes it harder and harder to “get back to the source.” Indeed, eventually men and women fail to even see the connection between themselves and their ability to make choices. For instance, the Clockwork Universe. To some cultures this kind of reality is inconceivable, literaly. But to Western culture it is imbeded into (as far as i can tell) all of us. We wonder how much choice we have, and by and large we wonder if we are just helpless cogs in a great clockwork of fate.

    I used to hate The Man. Hate. I was angry, and scared, and vengeful. I was filled with a lot of hate. How could the man exploit the people?

    And so i talked about it with people. Here is a quintessential example:

    People at “work” wouldn’t feel good. “I have a headache.” “My back hurts.” “I’m tired.”

    My suggestion? “Maybe drinking a glass of water or two would help.”

    “No, i’m just gonna take some aspirin.”

    Over and over. And to talk about a corrupt government? To talk about misconceptions that people have, that i had? No interest. Anywhere. “What are you gonna do about it?”

    Well, you guys have some idea of my decision. I didn’t decide i could do nothing, that’s for sure. But i didn’t ignore the complacency among the masses either. I started to not hate The Man so much and became resentful of the People. There are far more People than there are of the Man. But they all feel caught in this clockwork from which they can not move, cannot change their function, cannot change their orientation. And yet i see them making so many choices that shape their lives. Their perceptions that their choices don’t matter - can’t make a difference - appear to be rooted in ignorance. Ignoring the obvious. And to bottom-line it, these people are _ignoring_ their greatest responsibilty. Almost no one takes responsibility for their own actions, their own lives. This is a Great Sin, it amputates usefulness from the construction of all-that-is. Of course, this can’t be literally accomplished, the core of the universe is many exponents stronger than any human consiousness, but the lack of perception of the power of choice creates a life of disconnection in a reinforcing cycle.

    It is tempting to want to be a hero for society, to stir political or economic revolution. But for me, it is of much greater importance for people to see the divine nature of the Universe, the divine nature of Earth, the divine nature of Humans, and the divine nature of choice. Without this, in fact, all is lost anyway. Those who usurp power from the evil will become evil; humanity and society locked in darkness.

    Americans are guilty of their own impotence, and so are all the other citizens of the world. I’ve seen pockets of light, for sure. I beleive that these pockets, and their influence to the societies around them, however obscure they appear to the masses, are the only thing that has prevented our self-destruction.

    I don’t blame the problems on The Man. I don’t blame the problems on America. In fact, if there is blame then i blame them all on myself. And i feel a great responsibility to simply be a light. Light overcomes darkness, but darkness cannot overcome light. I beleive that this is simply part of the useful way that the Universe is constructed.

    As such, i admit my ignorance. I admit my uncertainty. I honestly say that we all get what we ask for on some level and “you” will get much farther by finding out what “you” are doing that is causing your suffering than by trying to find where the darkness is coming from. The darkness doesn’t come from anywhere, in fact. It is just _there_, with the potential to be illuminated. As consiousness, that is all you can really do. Everything that happnes from there _is_ out of your control. Your body breaths, but you don’t choose it. You speak, but don’t choose each word. Your hands move, but so much of it is simply reflex - a reaction to a choice that you made either now or long ago. You mind thinks, but the mind is simply a container that holds things it has already found. Consiousness makes the connections. Consiousness “causes” the thinking, but you don’t think, its a byproduct of a choice - or choices. The universe is a kaliedescope, but so much grander than a kaliedescope your mind can imagine. The mind is very big, but very small compared to existence.

    Revolution? Yes. A great idea. The opportunities and timing that i am looking for revolve around these issues.

    That doesn’t mean that physical force is not a part the revolution that we are all _really_ looking for. But it does mean that there are some far greater issues than simply replacement of the current PTB. You will never acheive as much as you can i you beleive, or express to others, that the Powers that Be that drive life are inside of each of us. It is not a simple way begin to see things, it is not popular, there is little support structure for this paradigm. People want to see things in terms of victims and oppressors. The haves and the havenots. But we all have and we all must see what we have. And what we need we can get, and if we can’t get it, we don’t need it. I didn’t make the universe this way, it is just the way it is.

    One way i could see a revolution happening is the proverbial “velvet” revolution. Even if not. Even if it is big and bloddy for some, if it comes from the garden of this kind of light, compassion for all (we are all in the same boat), and the seat of consiousness, then success is predetermined. Darkness cannot overcome light.

    I fear the number of ways all of this can be brushed off and misinterpreted. But i can’t let that fear hold me back. I do live these things, and it makes a positive difference for myself and others. I have seen it. I don’t understand it, but my experience signals that these connections are real, and they are useful, and that an ounce can overcome a thousand pounds.


  75. skeptical January 17, 2007 8:15 am

    Makia “I started to not hate The Man so much and became resentful of the People.”

    Hear hear!!!! I too was on that same path, hating the PTB, the man, the gvmnt, etc. Then one day I realized that they are us, we are them and taht WE MUST take individual responsibility for all our OWN actions and decisions.

    Unfortunately “the people” have too much momentum to overcome. Hundreds of years of intentional programing, conditioning, mind control. Too much TV, sports, forced schooling, forced labor. No time to think, contemplate, reevaluate, THINK. They are forever lost. What to do? What to do?

  76. bp January 17, 2007 8:23 am

    #74 Makia, hm as William Blake would put it: The cut worm forgives the plow — there are much larger purposes going on here than an individual can comprehend - so one needs to look at the transitory in the light of eternity…and still we must act, chose, follow our Will the best we can - be true to yourself is the best one can do in times like this when all logic breaks down — to me I figure I have lived and died a thousand lives before, I am here to experience the effects of my choices and learn - pain is a great teacher, just don’t hang on to it

  77. muleskinner January 17, 2007 8:29 am

    Instead of all of the senseless bickering, it’s time to look at a photo of Lake Baikal.

    I don’t care if it is in Russia, it is one beautiful place on earth.

    Even Ahnold Schwarzenegger is a ‘Republican.’


  78. Kia January 17, 2007 8:40 am

    Amen Makia

  79. Makia January 17, 2007 8:40 am

    Yes. You guys know what i’m saying. Its comforting.

    And yes, it is the pain i have let go of. The sadness and the depression, these are not bad. I consider them useful. And pain is too. But not useful to hang on to.

    skep, bp, thank you very much. I really didn’t think all that was going to get a good reception. But it is everything i have to say about everything. All else is just fun and problem solving within that paradigm.

    If i ever drop off BullnotBull, its because i said everything i had to say here. To that end, i have said all these things to myself - as earlier posts in this thread state clearly as i can put it. I have a great deal of gratitude to Michael for the forum.


  80. Makia January 17, 2007 8:42 am

    mind into sadness into depression into pain into light onto the darkness

  81. Theodosseus January 17, 2007 9:01 am

    The dark ages commenced when GW came back from China empty handed. The dollar is in tailspin and several wars are in the making. The biggest threat to our survival is the population stopgap. There is a smaller generation to replace the current generation. This group has a smaller ‘brain trust’ and therefore, we reached our epoch for this era. It may be several hundred years before mankind recovers, or maybe not at all. Setting aside climate change and MAD, we look to understand the direction our cultures have been heading. I think we all have ourselves culturally backwards. If I was a Vegas bookie, there is only one group of people I’d be putting my money on! The Amish.

  82. Kia January 17, 2007 9:07 am


    There was a NYT story yesterday on Greenland indicating that it is losing 80 cubic miles/yr of ice, which is three times the volume of all the glaciers in the Alps.


    I suspect the politicians and the cockroaches will have some final clash over the leftovers. My money is on the cockroaches, but then again it is hard to differentiate between the two.


  83. Makia January 17, 2007 9:21 am

    Good one Theodosseus.

  84. Makia January 17, 2007 9:22 am

    Good one Kia.

  85. skeptical January 17, 2007 10:26 am

    Theodosseus - “If I was a Vegas bookie, there is only one group of people I’d be putting my money on! The Amish”

    Thats where I would put my money too (if I had any). I wonder if the Amish allow outsiders into their community?

  86. bp January 17, 2007 10:44 am

    er, I wouldn’t bet on the Amish I use to live in an area with them - they’ve interbred too much - have a few retarded strains in the genetics, also since they have wood burning stoves, and live in wood houses they have burnt down a few homes along the way - just teasing, I think they are rock solid, live by their word - I like that

  87. ostrich January 17, 2007 10:54 am

    Kia thank-you for the laugh i really needed one
    Skeptical only when they are adjusting the gene pool.

  88. muleskinner January 17, 2007 11:33 am

    “You wouldn’t catch me dead in Iraq”

    “I see two soldiers kicking the heads around like soccer balls. I just shut my mouth, walked back, got inside the tank, shut the door, and thought, ‘I can’t be no part of this. This is crazy. I came here to fight and be prepared for war, but this is outrageous.’” - US soldier Joshua Key

    Must be the beginning of the neo Dark Ages for everybody.

  89. Kia January 17, 2007 11:37 am


    Happy to be of service. Humor being the highest intelligence,try on this one, see if you can laugh before you cry:


  90. beau January 17, 2007 11:47 am

    Soon my brave zombies the s%^t will hit the fan.Don’t know if it will be something expected or something out of the blue.

    If the ugly reality of our current corp/gov/media facade does not convince you then read “the fourth turning”or “hope of the wicked”.

    I personally do not believe there is anything we can do to “reverse the descent”.Remember the quote “we had to destroy the village to save it”.

    The founders of America are spinning in their graves but we have no one to blame but ourselves.We allowed the unholy alliance to steal America.

    I do think that after “the big crisis” we Americans will pick up the pieces and resume our unique destiny as humanities “last,best hope”.

    So there is my two cents.If anyone is looking for a good read…try “the freedom outlaws handbook” by claire wolfe.

    While I wait I will continue to search for history and wish I had been born 150 years ago.www.edwardsexplorations.com


  91. skeptical January 17, 2007 12:29 pm

    Kia that video is soooooo sad and scary. How can we attempt to wake people up in this country when they are soooo dumb, stupid, ignorant, gullible, nieve, and lost?

    How many of those people can even read?

    How many of them that can read, DO READ?

    They were sticking flags on Australia thinking it was North Korea, is that NOT INSANE? And of course that last part of the video they all accepted whatever Bush decides to do - must be done. I mean Bush is the decider after all, and we all know Bush has access to information that we don’t have access to, and Bush ONLY EVER does what is right and just and good for the country, because as one man said “he’s from Texas he must be right”.

    Uhhhgggg, I think I need to leave this country now. But where could I go to find thinking, intelligent people. I am reading a book right now titled “The Underground History of American Education”, very intenteresting read. It shows how the schools have been set up to intentionally create mindless androids. IT IS A GREAT SUCCESS! as that is exactly what we have now - great job - a country full of unthinking mindless androids.

  92. Makia January 17, 2007 1:07 pm

    “. . . It shows how the schools have been set up to intentionally create mindless androids.”

    Yeah, exactly the depth of the problems we are dealing with. How can this be overcome? I don’t think it can in any way we think we will be happy with. My desire is that there is a social meltdown, has been my wish for a while, but I am still waiting. There seems to be no limit to the shallowness these people around us thrive on.

    I think that they do this because they must.

    To see the depth of the dysfunction cause such great pain, and each one sees the distance they’ve travelled down a bad, bad, path. A meaningless and trite path filled with prime-time tv and NFL football and crappy jobs that they hate but “have to” go to. The pain is too great for the average person to deal with. To realize that, to such a great extent - our parents did this to us. Its too much.

    But i see rising violence, drug use, especially ADD meds and anti-depressants - and i think that the meltdown will occur. But there are other things that can happen that are much scarier. Much much scarier - like more drugs. Yuk.

    I hope that our time will come when people will be receptive to more healthy ideals in a real way. I don’t know how we get there without a meltdown. This is why i just wait. I will be there for my children, and anyone who asks for thoughtful advice, and nothing gives me more peace. In that vein i thought it was pretty funny the folks looking forward to a Democrat controlled legislature, thinking that would give them the peace of mind they sought. Peace comes from within.

  93. Makia January 17, 2007 2:20 pm
  94. mikeck44 January 17, 2007 2:59 pm

    FeelingWeird #26 Yes it appears to be happening. “According to an Associated Press report released late last week, Dr. Ron Paul (R-Tx) is contemplating a run for the presidency in 2008. He has filed papers in Texas allowing him to form an exploratory committee that can raise money.”


  95. Rich January 17, 2007 4:29 pm

    An American Dark Age??!!

    How about the whole enchilada?


    Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight
    By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer

    2 hours ago

    LONDON - The world is nudging closer to nuclear or environmental apocalypse, a group of prominent scientists warned Wednesday as it pushed the hand of its symbolic Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.

    The clock, which was set two minutes forward to 11:55, represents the likelihood of a global cataclysm. Its ticks have given the clock’s keepers a chance to speak out on the dangers they see threatening Earth.

    It was the fourth time since the Soviet collapse in 1991 that the clock ticked forward amid fears over what the scientists describe as “a second nuclear age” prompted largely by standoffs with Iran and North Korea. But urgent warnings of climate change also played a role.

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which sets the clock, was founded in 1945 as a newsletter distributed among nuclear physicists concerned about nuclear war, and midnight originally symbolized a widespread nuclear conflict. The bulletin has grown into an organization focused more generally on manmade threats to human civilization.

    “The dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons,” said Kennette Benedict, director of the bulletin.

    Stephen W. Hawking, the renowned cosmologist and mathematician, told The Associated Press that global warming has eclipsed other threats to the planet, such as terrorism.

    “Terror only kills hundreds or thousands of people,” Hawking said. “Global warming could kill millions. We should have a war on global warming rather than the war on terror.”

    This is the first time the bulletin has explicitly addressed the threat from climate change.

    “We are transforming, even ravaging the entire biosphere. These environmentally driven threats _ threats without enemies _ should loom as large as did the East-West divide during the Cold War era,” said Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society, Britain’s academy of science.

    “Unless they rise higher on international agendas, remedial action may come too late,” he added.

    There is no actual Doomsday Clock in keeping with the bulletin’s symbolic exercise. But the group has used several makeshift clocks or replicas over the years in logos, images and publications.

    Since it was set to seven minutes to midnight in 1947, the Doomsday Clock has been moved 18 times, including Wednesday’s adjustment. It came closest to midnight _ just two minutes away _ in 1953 after the successful test of a hydrogen bomb by the United States. It has been as far away as 17 minutes, set there in 1991 following the demise of the Soviet Union.

    The decision to move the clock is made by the bulletin’s board, composed of scientists and policy experts, in coordination with the group’s sponsors, who include Hawking and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke.

    Despite the organization’s new focus on global warming, the prospect of nuclear war remained its primary concern, the bulletin’s editor, Mark Strauss, told The AP.

    “It’s important to emphasize 50 of today’s nuclear weapons could kill 200 million people,” he said.

    The organization floated a variety of proposals to help control the threat of nuclear proliferation and repeated a call to nuclear nations to whittle down their arsenals and reduce the launch readiness of their weapons.

    Panelist Lawrence Krauss, a physics professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, criticized the use of military means to deal with nuclear proliferation and emphasized the use of diplomacy.

    “If we want to address proliferation we want to do it in a unified way, and not with the sole country acting pre-emptively,” he said.

  96. ostrich January 17, 2007 5:50 pm

    Kia - its almost like Leno out on the street. The school system in Canada was 2nd to none at one time now its no better than its U.S. counterparts.
    Makia the one thing I did do right was not trust the school system with my children. They did attend an excellent school where the children and parents were both motivated. Make sure you read with them when they are young and help develop their interest in reading. In real estate its location….. in learning its READING. I don’t think they teach history or geography any more I use to assign my girls projects every summer vacation on those themes. Take them to the Library - take them to the central library - take them to the university library help them to develop their own interests and teach them to think about what they read. When you do this see how fast their common sense grows. My daughter gets in trouble for not being able to quote sources because the teacher doesn’t believe her when she says “its common knowledge” this in grade 11.
    I know the kids can use calculators but make sure they know their arithmetic better than you.
    The school system on both sides of the border has turned into a joke. So, as I said earlier teach, pass on the knowledge even in the face of ridicule - we at least have to try.

  97. Darren January 17, 2007 8:17 pm

    religion has but ethical restraints on human reasoning instead relying on faith which is the blind acceptance of ideas without any sensory evidance. School does not teach children to be good scientists just to memorize & repeat with no understanding.

    We are living in a black hole, dont let modern technology fool you, only few are responsible for it. I think because few understand it & most have not learned how to learn to distinguih truth from false hood they look to the ivory tower intellects who them selfs have no understanding but many think they do because of modern technology. Many specialize today so the number of concepts understood & thier exact meaning is not with in thier mind to give thier mind power.

    An example of one of the invalid theories held by almost all can be sean in exercise. A large number of individuals workout but few with scientific presion. I have kept charts & by understanding the principals of anaerobic exercise I do one set to failure of a given exercise for a muscle only once every 29-30 days (lunar cycle) & others I have known to try it make the most productive gains possible i.e., 25 -30lbs increase in wieght used from workout to workout in exercises such as squats & dead lifts
    Yet I would not be surprised if 1 in 500,000 are doing this. future becomes present becomes past gravity from the moon can not be screaned by the body. The biorythem of the body in terms of protecting its self the stress from high intensity anaerobic exercise seams to be timed to the moon which is the same timing as that for the menstral cycle.

    The darkages result when individuals turn away from reason & logic

  98. Dr Jane Karlsson January 18, 2007 5:14 am

    Makia. I need to talk to you. There is something I need to say to you which is going to be very difficult.

    First of all let me say that if you left BNB as you suggested you might, it would break my heart. I don’t know how to say it any more strongly than that.

    There is a misunderstanding between us that I need to clear up. It is not, repeat not, anything you have done or said. It is to do with my own past experience, which you and others here have helped me to face, to the point that I can now contemplate writing about it.

    Have you heard of ‘trauma-based mind control’? I can’t tell you anything about it, if I try I start to shake and sweat, but I can tell you that I was a victim of it.

    The work that I do, which you may remember me saying I do ‘evenings, weekends and Christmas’, I was programmed to do. I was programmed to get ‘cold turkey’, and much worse, if I stop. They don’t call it TRAUMA-based mind control for nothing.

    I was supposed to find something certain secret societies call The Law Of One. It forms the basis in physics and chemistry for ‘zero-point energy’ which some people think will provide a ‘free’ energy source for us when the oil runs out.

    Enough for now. If you have questions, please ask them.

  99. bp January 18, 2007 5:19 am

    #90 beau - I’m reading The Fourth Turning now - will try to get to The Freedom Outlaws Handbook, though, I have a hunch I won’t be able to find that at my local library, hehe

    I guess we all see the coming descent, but my interest is in trying to think past that and figure out what can be salvaged, what new needs developed, how to survive the coming crisis - getting upset with our fellow travelers is useless to me - these are our brothers no matter how dense their thinking is right now - they hold onto “old school” thinking - I have friends that still believe Bush is bringing democracy to the Middle East, and they are college educated engineers, such as it is - basically I guess what I’m saying is to not resist the present, go out and live the future - let go and move on (easier said than done, I know)

  100. bp January 18, 2007 5:23 am

    #98 Dr jane, damn that sucks, I hope you are able to get help from a support group - I’ve read up on that stuff - that’s very hard to break, but there are some going around this country now talking about it who have been able to get through it — good luck and hang in there

  101. m1953 January 18, 2007 6:14 am

    #99 Dr. Jane, Please take a look at the articles and discussions at http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/ Several of the regular contributors have suffered a similar situation. Te web site is purely an open-minded and well regulated blog, it in now way is asscociated with any other organizations, as a matter of fact it does not even have any adds or pop ups just a very warm hearted open-minded group for which Min Control / Ritual Abuse is discussed in a serious and respectful manor, Please Check it out, BTW I am NOT a regular contributor nor any way affiliated with the owner of the blog or site.

  102. kia January 18, 2007 6:48 am

    Skep (#91),

    “We have met the enemy and he is us” -Pogo.

    Glad you liked the video. My understanding of our school system is that it was modeled on the training regime of the Prussian Army from 1914. I guess the US confused soldiers with students;-)


  103. m1953 January 18, 2007 8:11 am

    CORRECTION Sorry for the Sloppy Typing Post # 101 Should Read as Follows: #98 Dr. Jane, Please take a look at the articles and discussions at http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/ Several of the regular contributors have suffered a similar situation. Te web site is purely an open-minded and well regulated blog, it is in now way asscociated with any other organizations or groups. As a matter of fact it does not even have any adds or pop ups. It is a very warm hearted open-minded group for which Mind Control / Ritual Abuse is discussed in a serious and respectful manor Please Check it out, I have benn reading it daily for some of it’s political and economic discussions. BTW I am NOT a regular contributor nor any way affiliated with the owner the site.

  104. tz January 18, 2007 11:37 am

    Britain seems to be doing well without it’s empire. At least it is not in any visible “dark age”. Even the former Soviet republics are having pains, but conditions now are not causing a mass call for a return to life under Soviet domination.

    I would note “falsifiability” is something the darwinists (often closet eugenicists) don’t have either. Worse, torture is not something of religious belief out of principles - it is pragmatism. Bush is an extension of Clinton.

    Part of the problem of trying to have any discussion of religion is that the USA, and even its factions are many and varied. Religious (”red state”) people tend to be more charitable and responsible. It is the “culture of death” followers who are also the prodigal spendthrifts and societal micromanagers. I too believe John’s apocalypse will be fulfilled, but not tomorrow, nor necessarily in the way Hal Lindsey (who predicted the Soviet Union was permanent) says (I liken it to road rally instructions, not a precise map).

    For that matter, and to return to the main reason for this site, most didn’t predict both the drop and the new high on the Dow (even Prechter missed most things, in time if not in value). Why did the Real Estate bubble happen, and how are stocks levitating? I don’t know. I would have predicted failure and hyperinflation or credit collapse. The world is far more complicated and its wildness lies in wait. The book and author seems more interested in a diatribe than with either looking deeply into the causes (instead of fingerpointing - he doesn’t mention Bill Clinton who was little different) or to propose solutions. It isn’t much different from the religious “the antichrist is here now” panic pieces except that it is secular.

    There were various predictions as to what Iraq would be like without Saddam, and though some came close, no one quite hit it, nor was it believed by the right people. I would be even more circumspect of predictions of what would happen to a decapitated US. I doubt people outside of the US would have predicted our reaction (both psychologically and in action) to 9/11 - both the wise and foolish reactions.

    And I would note after Rome in the west “fell”, the Roman Catholic Church still goes on to this day, and the Eastern (Byzantine) empire lasted for a 1000 years maintaining a strong echo of the glory.

    Nations are made of people, and they can go through their tantrums and bad phases as well as good. After WW1, everyone was hailing the USA and the victors, and even after WW2. We forget we are only human and that means change.

  105. the stranger January 18, 2007 6:28 pm

    Bang! Pow! Punch! Bravo, excellent job! Berman’s short introduction was not only loaded with several good points, they were well expressed.

    “…pursuing a short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. …the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture…”

    "closing down dissent and centralizing power in a few hands."

    “Detention without trial, denial of access to attorneys, years of interrogation in isolation? these are an now standard American practice, and most Americans don’t care.”

    “…optimism can be a very good thing if the situation truly warrants it. But there are no levers of social change today. The Democratic party is politically and intellectually bankrupt…”

    There’s more, but the point is you avoided all of this, and skillfully I might add. This part was great - your accusation of innuendo by innuendo; “opportunistic effort to try and cash in before we elect another president” yeah, better sell the books in a hurry before Bush is gone, before they become irrelevant.

    And of course the ad hominem finale “all I see here anymore from this sight’s owner are things that are most often biased against America” yep, finally someone to point out how anti-American Michael Nystrom is; operator of a free, free speech site.

    All this and the opening salvo to boot! You’ve earned the rest of the week off; say hello to Cornhusker for me…

  106. NoName January 18, 2007 8:46 pm

    I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”–Abraham Lincoln, November 12, 1864

    O Israel We Bless Thee…You need Many Prayers…
    & Pray for the US We are Blessed by Israel.

    Words of Ariel Sharon
    “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that .
    .. I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” - Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, quoted from the Independent Palestinian Information Network and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. http://www.rense.com/general45/sharonsinfamouscomment.htm

    Israel controls the United States Senate.” — Sen. William Fulbright

    Pelosi says Get the Lobbyist issue in DC under control & Get the government
    back to the people.

    More Details on Abramoff



    More Details Spies in US

    Spies in US

    Another Issue

    Mossad Victor Ostrky

    AIPAC Fixed Lieberman’s Election?

    Netanyahu’s war on Iran speech to the
    2006 United Jewish Communities General Assembly in LA.


    Netanyahu’s Web Site FYI

    Israel’s Netanyahu dictates US should attack Iraq

    Israel’s Likud Party of Netanyahu , Sharon

    Netanyahu ViewPoint on Pollard

    Here is what is waiting for US troops one Sunburn/Onyx sent our way may
    Take a US Carrier away. Lose a few our supply line to Middle East fails.
    Iran and Syria have up to 500 deployed in their front line air defenses

    What motivated 9/11 hijackers?

    Larry Silverstein Owner of WTC close friend of Netanyahu.

    Current Leader ADL Edgar Bronfman Jr.

    Pres Clinton’s Best Friend in while Pres of the US was his Father

    They are one of the major top media ownership entities

    More details.on Clinton ties..Notice the relations between the
    US High Tech Outsourcing And Immigration issues.

    Protocols of Zion – Anti-Semitism

    Bronfman’s Jerry Springer Moral ViewPoint


    ADL Face of Hate

    Former ADL Leader

    Viewpoint of Philadelphia PA DA who is a National Executive Board Director
    of the ADL So much for free speech.

    Truth Teller’s ViewPoint of the ADL

    Annenbergs ties with Capone ..

    More Details on Annenberg note ties to Nixon



    Their Business is now ClearChannel pushing FCC for “Media Consolidation”
    They own TV Guide, Most US Billboards via Clear Channel, Ticketmaster, Univ of Penn Wharton School, USC School of Communications

    Annenberg Institution at Brown University in Providence RI
    working on the “No Child Left Behind agenda” to privatize public schools.




    This located in Providence RI home town to the Prince of Providence Buddy Cianci





    More Details



    Operation Mocking Bird Role of Annenbergs in GOP Politics Picked Nixon As Pres.

    Nixon’s Ties to the Jewish Mafia



    Here We See the Annenbergs acting as Benefactors for the US Constitution Center

    Here we See Annenberg Puppet Joan Specter wife of US Sen Specter as a Benefactor
    Specter is the head of the US Senate Judicial Committee

    After Annenberg head of PA GOP then came Herb Barness major PA GOP Ldr

    Here Benefactors at the End of the Bush dialogue last paragraph
    Walter Annenberg with the M.L. Annenberg fund and Herb Barness…
    Helping fund US Sen Specter’s 92 election

    PA’s Gov Club Tom Ridge Power broker Bob Asher we see
    the power transition from Barness to Asher as head of PA GOP
    These clowns (Ridge,Asher) were in charge of the Dept of Homeland
    Defense awarded Accenture the Deals…Look at the Katrina Mess!!

    Current PA GOP Ldr Bob Asher is a convicted felon. PA State Sen Conti said “Asher is a Man of Honor” Here is the Asher Story. Asher was Tom Ridge’s Power Broker. Ridge was the first DHS Ldr Tom Ridge’s other Power Broker was the former Herb Barness





    Bronfman’s Labor Relations at DuPont Sub-Vendor is Accenture
    to outsource jobs to India

    See ADL and Sen Specter’s viewpoints on Border Patrol

    Specter’s views on immigration policy
    Aligned to GOP Power Brokers: Annenbergs, Barness & Asher

    In Memory of Specter’s Deeds

    Immigration Video

    Anti-Semitism Issues? Leadership of Bronfman’s and Dalitz
    ADL - Task to fight Anti-Semitism

    Look at this article ADL Face of Hate

    Bronfman’s Jerry Springer Moral ViewPoint

    Former ADL Leader

    Moe Is An Example of this Heritage

    More Details on this Legacy

    Accenture DHS Contract

    See What DeLauro says about Accenture
    Thank Anneberg Family via Ridge and Asher .. http://www.house.gov/delauro/press/2004/accenture_06_01_04.html

    Steve Ballmer Exec of Microsoft is a Board Director of Accenture!


    See San Diego DA Report…
    Accenture was involved with them big time.

    Accenture wins Military Vote Contract

    Taking of America 1-2-3 Richard Sprague’s Book (Supporter of GOP Ldr Asher)
    Appointed to Warren Commission with Specter via Annenberg Family

    KGB Analysis of Warren Commission

    LBJ’s ties to KBR/Haliburton by Mistress Madeline Brown

    10 Min Video It was LBJ

    Summary of LBJ’s Treason…with USS Liberty.
    I wanted the Ship Sunk! - LBJ

    USS Liberty Account

    LBJ Covered up Attack of USS Liberty
    “I wanted that Ship Sunk!” - LBJ

    Israel pilots said it was intentional

    USS Liberty - The war of Israel against the NSA!

    See Interview with James Ennes of the USS Liberty See the Aug 2, 2006 Interview
    Listen to his comments about US Sen McCain’s Father.

    Bronfman’s ADL Position Paper on USS Liberty

    This is the Puzzle…What do you think it means?

    Another Viewpoint of Iran Issue Our own Intelligence Analysts
    Speak on the issues.

    Ray McGovern Top CIA Analyst to US Presidents viewpoint

    Ray McGovern, Scott Ritter

    CIA Told Bush & Cheney Iraq has no WMDs

    Just like LBJ with the Gulf of Token issue…

    Carter’s Viewpoints

    The Media Issue like Operation Mocking Bird with Annenbergs
    Peace and Propaganda

    Proper Training on Reporting Provided by Annenberg USC

    More on Palestine

    Gaza Issues…They have forgot the lesson of the Holocaust

    Consider the One State Solution for Israel & Palestine

    This is What Iraq think of the US

    Iraq Status

    Iraq Opposition Viewpoint

    GI Viewpoint of Iraq

    Viewpoints of former Sec Defense William Perry

    Iraq For Sale

    Iraq Fraud Inspector Fired

    Sadam was on our Side Installed by the CIA

    LBJ’s ties to KBR/Haliburton by Mistress Madeline Brown

    Haliburton Fraud on Govt Contracts

    Pres. Ford Legacy: one of the members of the Warren Commission fully
    supports the Single Bullet Theory bunk. Here is his photo
    op with Edgar Bronfman Sr. the head of the Jewish Mafia
    Bronfman Family.

    Pres Clinton’s Best Friend in while Pres of the US was his Father

    Current Leader ADL Edgar Bronfman Jr.

    Pres. Ford Pardoned Nixon.
    Nixon’s Ties to the Jewish Mafia

    If a Major Segment of US Organized Crime was Jewish Mafia?
    Let’s see who are the Bronfman and Annenberg families?

    Would Major Media be owned by them? MGM, Universal, Vivendi, TV Guide etc.

    Would Major US Firms be influenced by them?
    DuPont, Accenture, Haliburton, GE, Microsoft, Raytheon, Waste Mgt,
    AT&T, Lucent, Bank of America, HP, Oracle etc.

    Would Congress be their puppets? US Sens. Specter, McCain, Liberman, Hatch, Biden etc.

    Would the Lobby Industry be Overrun? AIPAC….

    Would US Foreign Policy be Influenced? Gulf of Token, Vietnam No Wmd, Iraq

    Would US Pres be Influenced by them?
    Clinton best friend while US Pres. Edgar Bronfman Cheny’s tied to PA GOP Ldr “& Convicted Felon Asher Many visits to Council on Foreign Relations - Philadelphia

    Would our Judicial System be Influenced?
    US Sen Specter head of the Senate Judicial Committee rotates with Leahy and Hatch

    Would our Immigration Policies/Politics be influenced?
    US Sen McCain - Dept of Commerce (Bronfman)
    US Sen Specter …many others. (Annenbergs)

    Would US see a recent rise in US Gaming Industry?
    Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay mess.

    Would US Federal Procurement be corrupted?
    Enron Vendor Accenture wins DHS $10Bil Deal.
    hence funds porked out leaving nothing for Katrina.
    Haliburton no bid deals.
    US Govt Iraq Fraud Auditor fired

    The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again. Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities. Isaiah 14:21-22
    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” “We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.” JFK Inaugural address on January 20th 1961.




    The consequence of indifference in political affairs by good citizens is to be ruled by
    evil …Plato.




    ViewPoint on Rachael Corrie

    Time is Running out for US to Act.

    Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You Ask What You Can Do For Your Country
    Photo Op Of Edgar Bronfman Sr. with Pres Ford and Clinton

  107. sharon January 18, 2007 11:29 pm

    FCT 21: I’m getting into this discussion late, but I love your remark that the concept of inalienable rights introduces the need for a concept of a higher power. I have perhaps visited too many website frequented by athiests, and I find that many of these people have trouble with the idea that reverence for human life, reverence for human rights, can’t come out of nowhere.

    Without a spiritual context–without introducing the idea that people are “endowed by their creator” with certain inalienable rights–it is pretty hard to introduce the idea of inalienable rights at all. Where do they proceed from, otherwise?

    Where else but from religion and spirituality could we find a reason to believe that human beings are anything other than complex machines within a society that is, itself, a complex machine–devoted entirely to survival–and competitively devoted to survival, at that. And from this model of competitive survival, the only values that can arise are the social Darwinist values in which, ultimately, only might makes right–and only the powerful, the aggressive, the “winners,” who have won by trampling on others, are worthy and entitled to human dignity and human rights.

    And where does that leave us but with a model in which human society is only a battle of snakes and sharks, a continual warfare whose only standards of behavior are to strive to be the most violent and the most unscrupulous?

    The religious and spiritual, is, as far as I can see, the only conceivable basis for reverence for anything at all, for reverence for human life and dignity, and reverence for the earth.

  108. Dr Jane Karlsson January 19, 2007 4:28 am

    bp, thanks for your kind words. Actually, my support group is right here on BNB. Knowing you have read about this stuff is exactly what I need.

    m1953, many thanks. That website is excellent.

  109. Dr Jane Karlsson January 19, 2007 4:43 am

    m1953, I’m finding some incredible things on that website. Thanks again.

  110. M. LEE January 19, 2007 5:27 am


    How does the author explain the Democratic victories of the ‘06 midterm elections in which alot of red states turned blue if not purple?

    It appears that the REASONABLE and DISCERNING Internet crowd is beating the non-thingking talk radio crowd.


    To the independent and Democratic voters who voted for Clinton/Gore twice, yet voted for Bush in ‘00, what were you thinking? Many of us are curious as to why you chose stupidity/simplicity as opposed to intelligence/discernment.

    It is believed that the majority of purchasers of ARMS(adjustable rate mortgages} in the last six year are Bush supporters and FOX NEWS watchers. Did I say stupid???

  111. JOSHUA January 19, 2007 5:51 am

    The American people woke up to the fact that they were being lied to, that is what happened in the 2006 election.

    Once again, Texas and the South will be relegated to has-been/do not trust status by the rest of the nation. My late uncle in Oregon despised Texans and Southerners so much, he use to say,”Never trust a Texan.” He considered them to be very underhanded, sleazy, and dishonorable,and rightfully so.

    Ever wonder why ‘authoritative/patriachal’ institutions such as the military, religion, dysfunctional family values, non-union businesses(WALMART)as well as incest, alcoholism,and crystal meth addiction flourish in the South? Because Southerners have never really left the plantation. They still believe that authority is never to be questioned and everything will be fine if you ‘just do your job.’ Also outsiders are never to be trusted, and ‘friends of the family’ are to be patronized.

  112. JOSHUA January 19, 2007 6:04 am

    Reply to Sharon’s “Without a spiritual context..”

    Unfortunately, it appears that our spiritual institutions are spiritually bankrupt also.

  113. kia January 19, 2007 8:13 am

    No Name (#106)

    Mussilini predicted the rise of the Fourth Reich when business and the state became indistinguishable. Your links indicate that we are in the takeoff stage.

    Sharon (#107) Spirituality is a fine source for morality/rights once freed of religion.

    Jane (#108) you have all my love and support in working through your past.

    Joshua (#112) Do you know what is long and hard on a Texan? Third Grade.


  114. bp January 19, 2007 9:46 am

    #111 Joshua - speaking of leaving the plantation, hehe - http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0118-20.htm

  115. dof January 19, 2007 11:40 am

    #114 bp

    My first post folks, but I’ve been an avid reader for almost a year (thanks Michael). And, pb … Moyers sure knows his shit, doesn’t he!? At 55, I find it fascinating that NA is teetering on the edged of fascism and so few are actually aware of that reality.

  116. Gordo January 19, 2007 1:45 pm

    Eh, this kind of politically charged drivel is a dime a dozen. There have always been doom and gloomers out there, but optimists have triumphed. Technological advancement will continue, and with it productivity, and longevity, quality of life, etc. just as it has for decades. This process is exponential, and its always been driven by the small minority of innovators that exist in the population at any given time. True, financial bubbles and irresponsible behavior by the masses could cause serious bumps in the road, but even an event like the great depression was really only a “blip” in the grand scheme of things. As general global productivity continues its relentless progress, so will prosperity, freedom, and human rights. If things get too out of hand, there is a “reset button” built into our constitution - its called the right to bear arms.

    We are not heading back to the dark ages, global warming is not going to wipe us off the planet, and innovation will proceed in virtually ANY environment.

  117. ben January 19, 2007 3:01 pm

    Religion is an excuse for the obtuse and will always be an impediment to evolution. Once the human race will get over this obstacle we will finally achieve a cerebral society. This is of the outmost importance right now, since the world is now facing turbulent times ahead, caused by an explosion in world population and diminshing resources.
    It will be the power of the human brain and not the excuse of religion that will dictate the future of the human race.

  118. dof January 19, 2007 3:24 pm

    # 117

    Religion is an excuse for the obtuse and will always be an impediment to evolution.


  119. permabear January 19, 2007 3:51 pm

    I don’t know how much I have to add as just about everything has been covered. I will just reiterate some thoughts related to the article:

    1. I cannot understand how religion remains a dominant force in our society with everything that science has discovered in the past couple of centuries. Basically Genesis has been totally disproven. Modern man has only been on this earth tens of thousands of years, and we may just be a blip in the larger historical radar screen. I mean that dinosaurs lasted over 100 million years. The way we are going, we’ll be lucky to make it 100,000.

    2. I agree totally with Berman that George W. Bush represents all that is backward thinking in the U.S. today. Bush’s blind religious faith gives him a naive confidence shared by other religious fanatics throughout history and seen in our world today (think Ahmadinejad). The right wing fanatic ideology shared by Bush, Cheney and other neocons has set back international cooperation on essential issues and guided the U.S. on a path towards more conflict and self destruction.

    3. Nuclear proliferation represents a growing threat to the survival of the human race. I believe the National Geographic had a recent study which indicated that a localized nuclear war in the Middle East for example, could send send soot and other materials to encirle the atmosphere of the entire planet, which in turn could destroy the ozone layer and threaten life as we know it. We should be doing everything possible to contain nuclear proliferation. Preemption will never stop nuclear proliferation (think N. Korea, Pakistan, Iran). The U.S. has to work cooperatively with the UN and the major world powers to put a stop to further nuclear proliferation…period!

    4. Global warming is the real deal. Bush and the right wing again are backwards thinkers when it comes to global warming. Like nuclear proliferation, we should be doing everything possible to change our CO2 ways. That goes beyond Kyoto. Any real chance of saving the planet would contain the development of the developing nations, especially China and India, if we are going to have any chance of saving the planet for future generations.

    5. On a positive note, if there is a positive note to be found. After the backward thinkers of the Coolidge and Hoover days, and through and beyond the calamity that was WWII, the U.S. did pull itself together with the wise leadership of people like Franklin Roosevelt. Perhaps, if we can survive the disaster that is the right wing backward leadership of the worst president in United States history, George W. Bush, there may again arise a wise leader of reason again, who can again put us on a path towards a more hopeful future.

  120. Black Maribuzo January 19, 2007 4:37 pm

    When the elitists and One-Worlders plotted everything from the Bay of Pigs to 9/11 for the benefit of their few brethren of banking and Wall Street, America began to slide down the slimy slope into darkness.
    They have pulled the wool over our eyes so many times that when we finally wake up and see what has happened to us, we realise that we are absolutely powerless to do anything about it.
    The vision of America by the Founders came at the height of enlightened renaissance but has been perverted by money-grubbers, war-mongers and power-hungry drug profiteers. It is a sad commentary that we feel so powerless.
    My sullen hope is that Dr. Ron Paul will usurp this evil and self-absorbed clique of “leaders” that have been elected (or not elected…think Johnson and Ford)for the past forty years, expose their sinister plots and put America on the path to righteousness again.
    May the true meaning of the Founders find another true renaissance for the future of our beloved country.

  121. ostrich January 19, 2007 7:34 pm

    #106 I can remember in the late 70’s early 80’s when the Canadian Bus Mags would list the top 500 companies the Bronfam families’ interest would control at least 50% of them through the wierdest,widest web that no one could understand,these conglomerates were shells for the sole purpose of baffling even the best accountants. Our idiot prime minister Mulroney couldn’t understand them and when young Edgar headed south he left us with a $5 billion unpaid tax bill.
    #116 I can’t think of any inventions in the last 10 years that have helped me, or have increased productivity very much in North America (besides outsourcing or offshoring)

  122. Dr Jane Karlsson January 20, 2007 5:49 am

    Kia, many thanks for your kind thoughts. I have greatly appreciated your input on all kinds of topics, and I’ve just re-read that article you gave us in #31, which is the most insightful analysis of what drives George Bush I’ve ever seen.

  123. Dr Jane Karlsson January 20, 2007 6:32 am

    Makia, where are you? I need you to be here, I need you to help me with something.

    Part of my reason for telling you what has happened to me is that I have something else I need to write about. Remember what I said about this Law Of One thing? Well, what the PTB don’t know is that I actually did find it. And I need to tell you about a small part of it.

    It’s to do with the quantum physics I spent many years studying. What I’m going to tell you doesn’t actually involve any quantum physics at all, no mathematics either (I don’t understand mathematics), and really, no specialised knowledge of any kind, just common sense and an ability to make mental images. Are you up for it?

    You will know enough physics and chemistry to be aware that the structure of the atom, which is what all this is about, is thought to be ‘indeterminate’. Nobody is supposed to know what atoms look like, because ‘you can’t measure the position and momentum of an electron at the same time.’ Therefore, electrons don’t really HAVE a position or momentum, right?

    Well, I thought this was crap. There’s a nucleus in the middle, isn’t there, and the electrons go round it, don’t they. If they went round it any old way, they’d bump into each other. They’re negatively charged, so they repel each other, and therefore they have to travel in highly ordered pathways. Doesn’t that make sense?

    In fact, early people such as Bohr did think the atom was like the solar system, with the electrons going round the nucleus like planets round the sun. But then Heisenberg came along with his Uncertainty Principle, and since then all you get in chemistry textbooks is that electrons are ‘probability clouds’ with no fixed orbits.

    HOWEVER. The textbooks also tell us that the electrons are arranged very precisely into ’shells’ and ’subshells’, and tell us exactly how many electrons are in each. So 20 years ago, I decided to try to work out how the electrons might be arranged round the nucleus from these numbers.

    And it worked! I simply couldn’t believe it. I won’t say it was easy, it took me many years, but that was because I had to simultaneously work out a lot of other things. When I tell you how the electrons are arranged, you will be staggered at how simple and obvious it is. How on earth can all those physicists and chemists not have seen this incredibly elegant and beautiful thing?

    So I won’t tell you yet, I need you to say yes, you want to hear this. Please will everybody else who wants to hear it say so too.

  124. Kia January 20, 2007 9:11 am


    Tis a pleasure to be of assistance. If we aren’t here to lend support to each other, then you are going to have to let me know why we are here.

    I found the Bush psychological profile very insightful. Interviews with individuals who have known him since childhood indicate that he is incapable of admitting error and will change the rules of any game until he gains the upper hand.

    I suspect that this characteristic is behind the current switch of the enemy from Iraq to Iran. Fresh off his switch from Osama to Saddam, he is confident that the ‘mericans will buy whatever he and Karl Rove are selling.

    Here’s a little update on his directive to the CIA to try to destabilize support for Chavez:


    Last October I was wishing for indictments for my birthday. That week saw Scooter Libby leave the White House in a black limo. It is my sincere hope that Patrick Fitzgerald has put an airtight case against Cheney/Bush and is ready to pull the string on the entire raft of lies that have characterized this Administration since Bush’s father’s Supreme Court nominees installed him as Liar in Chief.

    Interestingly enough a student newspaper has started a 5 part 911 truth series:


    One can only hope that the US is able to shake off the pattern of lies they’ve been fed that stretch from the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK through the military adventurism in Vietnam, Nicuargua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Haiti, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, all the way to 911, the kickoff for PNAC’s dream of the New World Order.

    I find it fascinating that the criminal spawn of J. Edgar Hoover, McCarthy and Nixon continue to live on in the Cheney/Bush regime in the personages of Negroponte, Elliot Abrams, Admiral Poindexter, etc. It appears that being a convicted felon is a requirement to aid in the ongoing experiment of destroying the US and all it stood for while depriving it’s citizens of their rights.

    Remember when we used to lecture the Chinese about Human Rights?


  125. Kia January 20, 2007 9:31 am

    Here’s a nice history on George Herbert Walker Bush, employer of Osama since the CIA recruited him in 1977 to train up the Mujihideen in order to control the opium poppy crop in the golden triangle:


    Makes one proud to see him carry on the morals set down by his father Prescott who traded with the Nazis through UBC in WWII.

    Back to the Future:

    Word in Afghanistan is that parts of the Unocal’s pipeline are being flown in on C-130s which land on new concrete in Kandahar in Kabul laid down by concrete plants jointly owned by the Bushes and the Bin Laden Group. Since poppy production is up 7000% YOY, the CIA is enjoying a bumper crop of profits filling the empty C130s with tons of heroin and shipping it worldwide.

    It should provide them with the necessary funds to try to overturn democratically elected governments in Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Palestine and anywhere else that we feel that the leadership isn’t sympathetic to the needs of the shareholders of our multinational corporations or our terrorist client state Israel.

    This support for the extremists has led to the confluence of the interests of the NeoCons, Zionists, and Mullahs which trump the interests of the other 6 billion people on the planet.


  126. Kia January 20, 2007 10:02 am

    For those who missed it the BBC’s Power of Nightemares is VERY instructive


  127. Kia January 20, 2007 10:21 am

    What the heck, here’s a little reference to Prescott “Trading with with the Enemy” Bush.

    From an “op ed” piece by then Vice President of the United States, Henry Wallace, published in the New York Times on April 9, 1944 :

    “The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
    If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.”

    The Bush Crime Family has a rich history


  128. ostrich January 20, 2007 12:12 pm

    Jane its been about 33 years since I was in a chemistry class, Are you saying that the old P orbitals etc really do exist but the patterns are different than the old texts tell us? Excuse my ignorance but I thought in the early 80’s the improvements to electron microscopes actually allowed you to see the orbital patterns? If you don’t mind taking the time pls give me a refresher.

  129. Dr Jane Karlsson January 21, 2007 5:22 am

    Kia, wow! You really are incredibly well-informed about all this stuff. Yes, I saw The Power of Nightmares, and I have just read the Introduction to the unauthorised biography of papa Bush you gave us. Very interesting comparison to the Roman emperors.

    Have you come across reports that papa Bush is a paedophile? My understanding is that all the top people have to go to places like Bohemian Grove and be secretly photographed doing blackmailable things, to keep them in line.

  130. Dr Jane Karlsson January 21, 2007 5:58 am

    ostrich, hi, welcome to the BNB club, I’ve enjoyed your posts.

    It’s about 33 years since I was in a chemistry class too, which means we were taught the same things. We even used an American textbook, Sienko & Plane, does that ring a bell?

    Remember those fuzzy blobs they called orbitals? There were main shells, called K, L, M and N, and subshells called s, p, d and f. I guess the p is the P orbitals you mention.

    Yes, I’m saying the orbitals exist, but they don’t look like fuzzy blobs. They look like the orbits of planets.

    Part of the problem is the terminology, first they say shells, so you think of concentric spheres, and then they have pictures of blobs, which you can’t relate to the shells.

    Can you tell me more about the improvements to the electron microscope that ‘allowed you to see the orbital patterns’? Might you have misremembered this?

  131. Dr Jane Karlsson January 21, 2007 6:36 am

    ostrich, may as well give you the solution, since you’re anyway thinking about this.

    Imagine that the atom is like the earth, spherical and spinning on its axis. Then imagine that the electrons go round along lines of latitude. Got that?

    Now imagine there are only certain lines of latitude that electrons can use. Latitudes 10, 30 and 70, both north and south. That makes six ‘belts’ of electrons, all going round in the same direction.

    Now imagine that in each belt, there are fixed numbers of electrons. At latitude 10, closest to the equator, there are five; at latitude 30, there are three; and at latitude 70, close to the pole, there is one. They don’t travel together, they are spaced as far from each other as they can get.

    If you can make a mental image of all this, you will have a picture of the outer shell of an atom of copper. At least, my idea of it. The next shell inwards has four belts instead of six, and the innermost one has two belts, with only one electron in each.

    Like it?

  132. ostrich January 21, 2007 8:36 am

    Jane thanks. I asked I thought they had improved it - still way to much weed back then - I must have had my facts confused.
    I think I have it a large planet with 29 moons orbiting at three different distances.
    Only latitude? no longitudinal? Always spherical? 10/30/70 degrees just copper or other elements?
    Damn I have to run, thanks again

  133. ostrich January 21, 2007 5:22 pm

    Jane - Love it

  134. jason January 22, 2007 1:54 am




  135. Dr Jane Karlsson January 22, 2007 3:33 am

    ostrich, YES!! You have clearly looked it up, or you wouldn’t have known it was 29 and not 28. Yes, always latitude, no longitude, and I made a mistake, it’s actually latitudes 10, 40 and 70, which makes them evenly spaced, not 10, 30 and 70.

    And yes, all the atoms are like this, and always spherical, or roughly so. Copper is particularly easy because it has a full outer shell. With atoms of higher atomic number, ie more electrons, the outer shell is not complete before a new shell is added. Actually strictly speaking, copper doesn’t have a full outer shell either, if you count the single outer electron, which makes the total 29 and not 28, as a shell.

    Talking of weed, you will be interested to hear that weed was how I learned to make the mental images I needed to find out these things.

    jason, very complimented you should think our discussion belongs on the Mensa website.

  136. Makia January 22, 2007 6:11 am

    Jane, i haven’t got to read all of your posts, but i am here. Have Michael give you my e-mail, or vice-versa.


  137. zephyr January 22, 2007 8:17 am

    Oh my, so much to catch up on. Seeing Kastor lead off this section was a bad start but at least it’s good to see he’s as ignorant as ever.

    45 Kia, sorry, that quote by Caesar is bogus. I thought it was real too and was referencing it until I researched and found it made up. Such a shame, makes a good point.

    60 Bp you made me laugh…yes, I work sometimes but this wasn’t one of them unless you want to say I was researching this US/Rome comparison. Maybe I can write off my trip to the eternal city ;-) Anyway, I do believe the Rome analogy is very appropriate.

    Muleskinner, Kastor has his head somewhere but it’s not in the sand. Also, your link 88 on the troops justifies my believe you CAN be against the war AND the troops (at least some of them, the phychotic nutbags who enjoy torture and killing) and still be patriotic based on that story you sent.

    Kia 89 Funny, funny, funny….but also sadly true.

    Gordo 116, sure you weren’t in that video in 89?

    117 & 118 Ben & Dof, as I have said many times, there are many jackasses who destroy religion and turn it into a horrible hypocrasy. That does not mean that there aren’t good religious people in the world who do great things. And science doesn’t disprove God….I actually think it supports His existence. Only people who wish to see themselves as Gods think otherwise. In all the vast universe, we are not at the top rung of all evolution. Sorry to break the news to you.

    Dr. Jane, as always, I wish the best for you and am curious what this atom/electron discussion holds in relevance for a person not versed like myself.

    Makia, enjoyed seeing your text upon reaching US soil…..Congrats!!!! You are a deep person, wise but tortured at the same time, which is not neccessarily a bad thing. It means you have a conscience which so many people lack. I think that’s why we connect so well.

    Upon returning from Europe, I was saddened to be thrust back into the world of the ugly, ignorant American. Let’s face it folks, we on this thread are in the vast minority. (Is that an oxymoron like “jumbo shrimp”?) But I did miss you all.

    And the pope sends his blessings!! :-)

  138. Makia January 22, 2007 8:47 am

    Good to [ahem] hear your voice zephyr. Glad to see your plane didn’t blow up or anything ;-).

  139. wardoctor January 22, 2007 10:36 am

    re; #40 et al., concerning the potential for revolution or even “revolutionary actions” in the USA;
    I agree with the underlying theoretical concepts, but from the folks I talk to, mostly other doctors, nurses, lawyers involved in work injuries, and various office people, most seem to be mired in such fear of the “system” that we will need gallons of growth hormone to cultivate all the “pairs” that will need to be grown if anything is to ever really change in this country. The average person I talk to, and these are mostly “well schooled” (some even educated), and financially well off people who are “well read” (at least in terms of MSM) almost unanimously believe what they hear on CNN and the major news outlets, and think that although “things” aren/t great for most people, we still are well off compared to “others” (e.g. outside the US). There are two groups: a) knee jerk republicons and b)mush brain knee jerk liberals; 40 years of public schools and MSM have really done their job, huh?
    “ya need to grown a pair.” gunny Sgt, in Full Metal Jacket

  140. kia January 22, 2007 10:40 am

    Dear all here is your Monday reading:

    Revenue Streams That
    Feed The Barracudas
    Jim Kirwan

    From the early days of Ronald Reagan to the upside down world of Swartzy, the current governor of California, the issue that perhaps has most divided the people of the United States are the protected and spoon fed ‘income streams’ of the corporations. These ‘for profit’ income streams were created from public services that were privatized to yield unbelievably vast income streams that benefit only the privileged few. The vehicle that does the stealing and the profiting for these few are the capitalistic multi-national corporations and their 37,000 lobbyists in Washington D.C.

    What has been taken in these criminal seizures of public facilities are things like public transportation, public libraries, public utilities, almost the entire prison system, along with the practice of medicine that has been turned into a roulette wheel run by bean-counters who measure office visits against the companies’ bottom lines.

    These offensively oriented corporations each have their own brand-names: and Americans apparently love to wear these brands. Our clothing is replete with corporate brands, our sporting events reek of corporate patronage-which the public buys in vast quantities. So what has happened since the days of the company store? The company store of today is every major corporation, many of which are larger that most countries. They own the credit system, the banks, and the politicians, the education community and largely they ‘own’ most of us indirectly, by the controls they have taken over this society. As corporations they OWN the legislative process, they receive Corporate Welfare on a scale that dwarfs anything handed out as welfare or Social Security. They quietly have come to own the legislature and the White House, while they continue to receive huge tax breaks, denying the people that needed help to survive, when people’s incomes are slashed, while their taxes are increased accordingly through fee increases on a myriad of services compounded by an endless paper chase that makes a living hell out of so many lives.

    The folk-ballad says:

    “You load sixteen tons and what do you get-another day older and deeper in debt! St. Peter don’t you call me cause I can’t go-I owe my sold to the company store!”

    In today’s world the coal mines and the Railroad Barons, along with the Robber Barons have been replaced by faceless corporations that rule with iron fists from their towers of gleaming glass and steel in the hearts of major population centers around the world.

    Ronnie, as governor of California, closed California’s mental facilities and threw the patients into the streets, as a cost cutting measure. Then he pioneered the idea that public transportation needed to make money ­ and could no longer just be a tax-supported way for ordinary people to get where they needed to go. When he became president he applied this “idea’ to the nation: Hence the decline of public transportation, which exacerbated the homeless problems that deepened because of the newly dumped addicts and mental patients along with societies’ misfits. Many of these people lost the help they needed to be productive members of society and instead became a public drain upon the shrinking assets of an otherwise healthy society. The creation of these twisted purposes behind the upending of public services is directly attributable to what the government casually refers to as the creation of “income streams.” That is a misnomer ­ what this involves is the siphoning off of tax-supported public services that were converted to corporate profits at the expense of the general public that had created them with tax dollars in the first place, to offset the costs to the poor and working classes, to be able to survive. In effect the ‘company store” of old has become that monster that owns everything from your cell phone to what is played on your i-pod, to the films you watch and the media that you try and get information from. This can be summed up as food for the Barracuda’s of Business, who have quietly taken over virtually every area of your life from the companies you work for, to the food you eat, to the thoughts you think you need to think about: not-to-mention the thoughts that you must not think, because if you visit those forbidden thoughts then you shall become an enemy of the state! This has to change!

    Corporations have far too much power. The only thing that currently determines the outcome of all our elections is about how much money can be raised. That was the topic on all the Sunday talk shows this morning. Corporations have unlimited funds for this purpose-and they are not shy about utilizing every avenue both legal and illegal to win the battle of the political war chests, needed to re-confirm, their ownership of all that matters to the population of this country that used to be a nation.

    Citizens no longer get tax-dollar help from the government-because all that money goes to the ever-larger and anti-human corporate interests who increasingly divert our money into the purchase of war-making and all those industries that contribute so heavily to that form of death and destruction that creates new opportunities for re-construction of all that their wars destroy. However, the portion of tax-dollars that will aid these corporations in their growth and dominance increases hourly, along with those corporate protections that have insulated the corporations from all but the most heinous of crimes. This while working people watch their lives be torn apart by dead-end work without a future!

    So go ahead and live your “very busy lives” and continue to ignore what is staring you in the face. Listen to the Schwarzenegger’s of present day California when they tell you that all people, including the unemployed MUST have “ACCESS to Health care.” Notice that he does not say that everyone must have HEALTH-CARE ­ NO, he wants to sell the poor health-insurance which is a promise without a benefit! And that’s only one of the ploys to create an ever larger income stream for the Insurance industry that in the case of medicine is practicing an on-going fraud, because of policies that terminate the insurance the minute something serious happens to the policy holder.

    Corporations are not people, they have become Tyranny incorporated and as currently chartered they can live forever with all the rights of a person, yet they have none of the responsibilities. Every time you buy something from one of these sharks-please understand that they do not have your best interests at heart-quite the opposite! You are expected to support these institutions upon pain of being fired or charged with some form of being anti-American.

    To the world at large these corporate giants are often seen as sharks, but the sharks see their customers worldwide as possible Barracuda that collectively might decide to attack them and put them out of business-hence their need for legalistic protections for their various extortions and frauds, seen through their threadbare velvet gloves that try to hide the naked steel of their grip upon the millions of lives, which their greed and arrogance creates. All the efforts of The New World Order and the “FREE-Trade” association legislation is aimed directly at freeing the corporations from any and all restrictions-as surely as it is focused on enslaving those who must work to survive!

    These wars that almost all of us are terrified of, have also provided very useful smokescreens to allow for the expansion of those powers, that have tightened the corporate death grip which threatens everyone not enslaved already! People the world over must come together to stop the wars, remove and punish the insiders and get back to ‘questioning everything!’ In 2008 there must not be any FREE-SPEECH ZONES encased in razor wire and miles from the platform where supposed candidates come to campaign or debate. This nation was supposed to offer a public forum in the marketplace of ideas, especially during elections - and not simply to become a fixed travesty that supports only the moneyed view. Either we find a way to reclaim our rights to free and public speech or we can forget about all that high-blown BS about having anything like a real democracy! This is especially true during the current false-flag wars for corporate dominion over the resources of the world. This can only ‘be’ your world if you are involved in what happens in it!


  141. kia January 22, 2007 10:45 am

    zephyr (#137)

    welcome back from Roma, thanks for the correction.

  142. Gordo January 22, 2007 12:01 pm

    As for videos of “stupid Americans” (89)
    I enjoy watching people give stupid answers to simple questions just as much as the next guy but don’t kid yourself, you could make the same silly video in any country in the world. When you are doing the editing, its pretty easy to come up with a collection of people giving stupid answers to almost any question. Average IQ in the US is above average for the world actually, so you should be able to make an even better video in most other countries.

    There are many levels of “stupid”, and one such level are the people duped into believing things created by a biased source without scientific merit.

    As for the guy who could not think of ONE invention of the last 10 years that boosted his productivity or quality of life - all I can say is “WOW” and “open your eyes man!”

    The pessimists WILL be wrong (again).

  143. zephyr January 22, 2007 12:21 pm

    Looks like Kastor died and came back as Gordo. Ummm, the depression was just a “blip”? Glad you’re an optimist, Gordo….I’m sure you look pretty in rose-colored glasses. Have ya noticed how Mother Nature is starting to do some really wacky things? Steven Hawking says mankind’s greatest threat right now is what’s happening to our environment. I don’t think you would find him on one of those videos as an example of stupidity.

    You are right about one thing, the US doesn’t corner the market on ignorance and stupidity, but it is very well represented. Have you noticed that science courses and the like at universities are disproportunately attended by foreign students? That might hurt us technologically in the not to distant future. I also recommend reading the Fourth Turning. You should probably take the rose colored glasses off and put on reading glasses for that one though.

  144. zephyr January 22, 2007 1:05 pm

    Kia, 140, very heavy but very appropriate and insightful, as are most of the topics and opinions shared on this site. What to do though? At what point do enough people get pissed? You can see the general displeasure in most people you encounter. It seems as if most people are miserable. Yet they trudge on through their daily lives thinking that nothing can be done, fearful of their govt, the businesses they work for, their insurance companies, etc. As Thomas Jefferson said, what we have now is tyranny. But the public is meek, afraid, complacent, medicated, fat and lazy. What to do, what to do?

  145. Gordo January 22, 2007 1:15 pm

    Regarding Global warming (119 and others):

    Will Al Gore Melt? By FLEMMING ROSE and BJORN LOMBORG January 18, 2007

    Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Today he is in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore’s tune.

    The interview had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore’s agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he’s been very critical of Mr. Gore’s message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore’s evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands- Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?

    One can only speculate. But if we are to follow Mr. Gore’s suggestions of radically changing our way of life, the costs are not trivial. If we slowly change our greenhouse gas emissions over the coming century, the U.N. actually estimates that we will live in a warmer but immensely richer world. However, the U.N. Climate Panel suggests that if we follow Al Gore’s path down toward an environmentally obsessed society, it will have big consequences for the world, not least its poor. In the year 2100, Mr. Gore will have left the average person 30% poorer, and thus less able to handle many of the problems we will face, climate change or no climate change.

    Clearly we need to ask hard questions. Is Mr. Gore’s world a worthwhile sacrifice? But it seems that critical questions are out of the question. It would have been great to ask him why he only talks about a sea-level rise of 20 feet. In his movie he shows scary sequences of 20-feet flooding Florida, San Francisco, New York, Holland, Calcutta, Beijing and Shanghai. But were realistic levels not dramatic enough? The U.N. climate panel expects only a foot of sea-level rise over this century. Moreover, sea levels actually climbed that much over the past 150 years. Does Mr. Gore find it balanced to exaggerate the best scientific knowledge available by a factor of 20?

    Mr. Gore says that global warming will increase malaria and highlights Nairobi as his key case. According to him, Nairobi was founded right where it was too cold for malaria to occur. However, with global warming advancing, he tells us that malaria is now appearing in the city. Yet this is quite contrary to the World Health Organization’s finding. Today Nairobi is considered free of malaria, but in the 1920s and ’30s, when temperatures were lower than today, malaria epidemics occurred regularly. Mr. Gore’s is a convenient story, but isn’t it against the facts?

    He considers Antarctica the canary in the mine, but again doesn’t tell the full story. He presents pictures from the 2% of Antarctica that is dramatically warming and ignores the 98% that has largely cooled over the past 35 years. The U.N. panel estimates that Antarctica will actually increase its snow mass this century. Similarly, Mr. Gore points to shrinking sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere, but don’t mention that sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere is increasing. Shouldn’t we hear those facts? Mr. Gore talks about how the higher temperatures of global warming kill people. He specifically mentions how the European heat wave of 2003 killed 35,000. But he entirely leaves out how global warming also means less cold and saves lives. Moreover, the avoided cold deaths far outweigh the number of heat deaths. For the U.K. it is estimated that 2,000 more will die from global warming. But at the same time 20,000 fewer will die of cold. Why does Mr. Gore tell only one side of the story?

    Al Gore is on a mission. If he has his way, we could end up choosing a future, based on dubious claims, that could cost us, according to a U.N. estimate, $553 trillion over this century. Getting answers to hard questions is not an unreasonable expectation before we take his project seriously. It is crucial that we make the right decisions posed by the challenge of global warming. These are best achieved through open debate, and we invite him to take the time to answer our questions: We are ready to interview you any time, Mr. Gore — and anywhere.

    Mr. Rose is culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, in Copenhagen. Mr. Lomborg is a professor at the Copenhagen Business School.

  146. kia January 22, 2007 1:32 pm

    Zephyr (144),

    I’m a direct action guy, so if the banking/insurance industry is the leach that it sucking the life blood out of this economy in the form of flood insurance policies (that they don’t want to honor), or 24% credit card rates it is time to cut them off:

    Move your account to a Credit Union. Tear up the bank’s credit cards.

    Self-insure, forget the insurance industry’s endless policies.

    Barter with your doctor for services or pay cash.

    Sell the SUV, pump up your bicycle tires.

    Dump out your anti-depressants, anti-obeisity dugs and stop drugging your children. Go outside and play ball with your kids or just soak up the silence of your surroundings.

    Stop eating processed foods with little or no nutritional value, support your local farmer. Plant a garden. Buy from a food coop.

    Turn off the electronic pusher man in ALL his forms, TV, Video Games, Cell Phones, PDA, and yes this silly PC. Go outside and play ball with your kids or just soak up the silence of your surroundings.

    Turn off your cell phone, go visit your friends. Play music with them and dance until you drop.

    Confront politicians on the private ownership of printing money, something that the Constitution never intended to be out-sourced.

    Imagine if every American refused to pay their credit card bill?

    Starve the monster by cutting your financial support of it. Since our votes aren’t counted anymore then the only thing we have left is to exercise our financial muscles.

    In short, change our behavior abandon unsustainable hyperconsumerism. Don’t Buy anymore of their sh*t in it’s myriad of forms.

    It is the best idea I have. What do you think?

    Did you say hello to Ratz for me at the Vatican?;-)

  147. Gordo January 22, 2007 1:37 pm

    143 - yes, the great depression was just a blip in the grand scheme of things. I’m not saying it wasn’t an extremely difficult time, or that there wasn’t a lot of suffering. 25% unemployment was horrible, but that’s still 75% employed! The stock market bottomed after just 3 years, and the economy was growing again soon thereafter.

    Roosevelt’s devalued the dollar against gold by 40% in 1933-34 via gold purchases and domestic money creation. The devaluation and the rapid increase in money supply it permitted ended the U.S. deflation remarkably quickly with consumer price inflation in the United States, year on year, going from -10.3 percent in 1932 to -5.1 percent in 1933 to 3.4 percent in 1934. The economy grew strongly, and by the way, 1934 was one of the best years of the century for the stock market.

    Oh, and Mother Nature isn’t doing anything more wacky than she has in past centuries. Global warming may not have caused Hurricane Katrina, and last summer’s heat waves were equaled and, in many cases, surpassed by heat in the 1930s. And WOW - love how they blame an increase of hurricanes on global warming, but then we have fewer than normal hurricanes and that seemingly goes unnoticed. And WHY is it that almost NO ONE is talking about the BENEFITS of global warming??? YES that’s right, global warming has benefits! In fact, they may even outweigh the potential problems.

    “Have you noticed that science courses and the like at universities are disproportunately attended by foreign students?”

    Maybe relatively few foreigners want to send their kids to the US for an education in “women’s studies” or “art history”? Ever consider that? Why do they even bother going to all the trouble of coming to the United States to study math/science/engineering if our education system is so bad? Hmmmmm.

  148. kia January 22, 2007 1:50 pm


    One more thing, Get out the support for Patrick Fitzgerald, who has the best chance of exposing all the lies of the last six years in the Scooter Libby trial. If God exists, I hope he is on Fitzgeral’s side rather than Cheney/Bush’s

    Gotta get out those pom-poms. Once again welcome back.

  149. muleskinner January 22, 2007 2:03 pm
  150. ostrich January 22, 2007 2:04 pm

    Gordo you haven’t mentioned any of the new inventions yet…..yeh I’ve been racking my brain too.

  151. zephyr January 22, 2007 2:04 pm

    Lovely, we have someone new on the scale of Kastor. Sure, Gore exaggerates. Have you watched the movie? Just curious…..hard to critique something you haven’t seen. Or maybe I’m wrong, maybe your smart enough noy yo have to see the pictures. Pictures generally don’t lie. In this rare case I guess they do. Scientific statistics are the science you were clamoring for earlier. I guess these don’t fit your mold though?

    You know what, I don’t have the energy to argue with another close-minded “optimist”. I’m coming off a wonderful trip where I met nice people and didn’t have war and fear-mongering jammed down my throat every few minutes. Yeah, you’re right, everything is dandy. The weather is lovely (actually Rome was 10 degrees above normal, it was lovely), our educational system is a beacon to the rest of the world, deficits don’t matter- it’s true, our health care is beyond fantastic.

    Matter of fact, there isn’t one thing I can find wrong in your reasoning. That being the case, you’ve proven us all wrong and misguided. You have brought calm where there was chaos. Thank you. Your job is done here, you have brought fire to the natives…..please hit the lights on your way out.

  152. ostrich January 22, 2007 2:08 pm

    Gordo - I live on the Niagara Escarpment and I haven’t had to shovel snow this season - I do see that as a real benefit, absolutely, now if i could only see my belt.

  153. ostrich January 22, 2007 2:12 pm

    Gordo - I almost forgot our schools are full of foreign students in the math,sciences, engineering genre because their’s are full and our’s are empty. But I do hear that basketweaving can have a future after a collapse.

  154. zephyr January 22, 2007 2:28 pm

    Kia, have to run to visit my mother at her nursing home, so I must be brief. I was so busy building an idol to Gordo I neglected to answer your question. Yes, I did see Benedetto twice. The first time he was too far away as it was the Sunday general address from his window. However, the second time as he was walking down the aisle for the papal audience I slipped a note in his hand with the name of this website. So I assume it’ll only be a matter of time before he joins us for dialogue.

    Oh, I’m sorry Gordo, God doesn’t exist….sorry if I offended you with my talk of a biased source with no scientific merit.

  155. kia January 22, 2007 2:28 pm


    Did you notice that 99% of the scientists in those universities agree on Global Warming?

    You should apply with the Exxon PR machine, I think they would welcome your opinion. Luckily for the rest of us there is only one set of facts.

    The UN report on Global Warming will be out in February. I recommend you reading it before posting again. Informed opinions make for much for interesting reading.

  156. kia January 22, 2007 2:31 pm


    Best to your mom, look forward to hearing from the Pontiff.

  157. KelvinKloud January 22, 2007 7:57 pm

    an american poem to ponder in such times spoken thereof… perhaps, as American is in the mist of its own pg. turning into the apocolypto… is the snake spoken of below, the dark path lit by dark forces our culture has now turned itself to? … indeed what type of desperate land are we headed to? … never thought morrison (son of a high ranking military admiral) raised in the belly of the cold war nexus got his due for his bands most powerful work… his far reaching insights below into the eye of his own times some 35 years ago, seem to becoming to pass as we speak… who among us can bring the summer rain before its too late?

    Lost in a roman…wilderness of pain
    And all the children are insane
    All the children are insane
    Waiting for the summer rain,

    There’s danger on the edge of town
    Ride the king’s highway, baby
    Weird scenes inside the gold mine
    Ride the highway west

    Ride the snake, ride the snake
    To the lake, the ancient lake, baby
    The snake is long, seven miles
    Ride the snake…he’s old, and his skin is cold

    This is the end
    Beautiful friend
    This is the end
    My only friend, the end

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I’ll never look into your eyes…again

    Can you picture what will be
    So limitless and free
    Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand
    In a…desperate land

  158. Jon January 22, 2007 8:15 pm

    We’ve dedicated nearly all of our energy since WWII to an easier, cheaper, better, more convenient, soft-bellied, suburbian commuting existence… so much so that the real hardship of initially building this nation or merely living a simple agrarian life are long forgotten. In this quest for both armchair and entertainment, we’re progressively denying ourselves a larger and larger portion of our very humanity, including sacrificing some importaint kinetic values and altering the idea of patriotism. In this way, America could become a dictatorship or an authoritarian regime. Few would even raise an eyebrow so long as the big ticket items can still be purchased at local box marts, the entertainment keeps churning rehashed pop culture, and the tabloids deliver their smut. Habeus corpus is gone. Who cared? People are yawning.

    That is one of the enormous differences between what was Rome and today’s America. The Roman Empire from beginning to end did not utilize the massive energy input of millions of barrels of oil per day and other biofuels, and life remained hard through it all. Their only practical use for a tar pit, I’m sure, was for the business ends of their torches and maybe grease for chariot wheels.

    As the world reportedly begins to pass peak oil production, even as demand keeps increasing, we’ll discover how different an animal this coming dark age really is.

  159. muleskinner January 23, 2007 6:11 am

    “Always do business with them”

    Words of advice from my father-in-law.

    He had a customer that didn’t pay for a couple of thousand dollars worth of household appliances back in 1956 or so. He was still his friend, he forgave the debt. My father-in-law knew that the friendship was worth more than money.

    The Romans gave Attila the Hun six hundred pounds of gold each and every year just to keep him from attacking the Roman lands. They did business with him to ensure the domestic tranquility.

    They, in effect, forgave him of his sins and transgressions. They had to do it, otherwise, Attila would take action.

    ‘Open discourse’ is better than going off in a huff and paying a higher price later. Attila did attack the empire, even though he was better paid. The Pope convinced him not to sack Rome, though. Pope Leo I had ‘open dialog’ with Attila the Hun. Something you won’t see between Osama and King George.

    Attila died of a nose bleed a couple of years later on his wedding night.

    All of that gold, power, and conquering was for naught.

    It is better to see ‘eye to eye’ than quarrel over a few trillion dollars. An eye for eye twice over will leave you in the dark ages until the day you die.

    “A stranger is a friend I haven’t met yet” - Will Rogers

    That will an eye opener.

    ‘Let the sunshine in, face it with a grin

    Open up your heart and let the sunshine in’

  160. muleskinner January 23, 2007 6:20 am

    ‘That will ‘be’ an eye opener’

  161. zephyr January 23, 2007 7:39 am

    Nice Muleskinner. That, to me, was Reagan’s greatest achievement…actually sitting down with Gorbachov and talking with him. So much more was accomplished that way than by all the jawboning, threatening, namecalling and the like. Perhaps Repupli-neocons could learn something from the man they hold up on a pedastal.

    Likewise, to belabor a point I had been trying to make earlier, the Catholic church has not ALWAYS been corrupt. There have been many good popes over the centuries, and there was a reason Pope Leo I has come to be referred to as Leo the Great, a title bestowed upon only 3 popes throughout history. John Paul II is expected to have that moniker attached to his name as well. History will decide that.

    It is always better to extend an olive branch and dialogue first. Resorting to violence initially displays a weak mind and a lack of respect and courage. In short, a bully!


  162. Dr Jane Karlsson January 23, 2007 7:45 am

    Gordo, I can’t think of any wonderful new inventions either. Problem is, you see, that the process of industrialisation is finite. It has a beginning and an end. First of all you make cars to replace their legs, then you make washing machines to replace their arms, then you make computers to replace their heads … then what do you do?

    zephyr, welcome back. The relevance of the atom discussion is to show that the physicists and chemists have made fundamental mistakes. If these are not corrected, there will be no new energy source to replace the oil when it runs out. But they won’t be corrected.

    Makia, my email address is janekrlssn@yahoo.co.uk

  163. kia January 23, 2007 9:23 am

    Jane (#129),

    Here is a place to start:


    There is also a copy of the Discovery Channel
    program that was suppressed out on the web at google:


    White House records show Jeff Gagnon a male prostitute stayed over 300 nights at the White House with W. So…like Father like son.

    Anyway you cut it they certainly seem to have several degrees of separation between their proclaimed morals and their behavior. But I
    guess that is standard operating procedure for politicians.


  164. bp January 23, 2007 10:24 am

    for Gordo’s reading pleasure - http://www.realclimate.org/

  165. ostrich January 23, 2007 11:15 am

    Jane - 162 - is it because of the way bonding takes place with other atoms?

  166. bp January 23, 2007 2:17 pm

    oh yeah, and Gordo…for your listening pleasure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XthWJnOHpVE

  167. godraz January 23, 2007 3:14 pm

    Without having read the book, I think Berman’s introductory outline is quite good. The US empire (despite our brute military might) is already well into decline, and since 9/11 our country’s get what you deserve chump-in-chief’s messianic response has only hastened this trend. Berman justly outlines some of our worst cultural features that do not bode well for our future prospects, particularly as they relate to religious belief and critical thinking.

    As to the latter, I waded through 95 posts before anyone finally mentioned something about earth based reality — i.e. the mounting threat of ecological instability.

    This earth owns us — PERIOD. We do ourselves a great disservice to pretend, as we are wont to do, that we own and control this glistening planetary sphere. Chalk that up to the arrogance of humanism And religion. They both operate under an unquestionable assumption that man is in control of his destiny here on earth; one by blind faith in technology and the other by blind faith in God.

    Tragically, both of these lopsided myths are dead wrong.

    One would think by now (if critical thinking wasn’t such a rare commodity) that with all the evidence at hand (ecologic as well as human) that our present circumstances are loaded with massive IEDs! Dark daze indeed lay just ahead of us.

    Berman seems to me to have readily identified some of the key elements to our present US cultural/political failings that bedevil us, and as far as human shortcomings go, they are large and frightening ones, yet there are just as many equally powerful if not more so earth based limitations to reality that we continually abuse at our peril.

    I expect they will all come to a head sooner than later, with emphasis on the sooner.

    Dig in and get ready for the ride of your lives

  168. muleskinner January 23, 2007 5:35 pm

    godraz, you’re thinking too much. Turn on your tv, for gosh sakes, and quitcher denkende.

    The noosphere keeps expanding.

  169. godraz January 23, 2007 7:53 pm


    Ah ha! Just like the alchemists of old the noonies are going to “create resources through the transmutation of elements.”

    It’s bad enough that folks have either a supreme belief in technology or God to save us from our stupidity, but to combine the two is utter lunacy. Yeah, right.

    Show me the gold, baby! Show me the gold!

  170. kia January 23, 2007 10:09 pm

    Mini Transcript, Live Highlights,
    9:00 PM Tuesday January 23 2006

    we must defeat all evil

    we will balance the budget
    without raising taxes, …, by 2012

    we will fix medicare, medicade and save social security

    talks about education, minority students,
    no child left behind act being passed

    affordable and reliable health care for all
    federal tax deductions for private health insurance purchase
    help states to cover uninsured with federal funds

    medical liability reform needs to pass to protect against junk lawsuits

    doubling the size of border patrol
    temporary worker program required
    calls for debate and “no amnesty”

    diversify Americas energy supply, lists them
    reduce dependence on foreign oil
    exploration of environmentally protected areas
    strategic petroleum reserves to double
    [cheney and pelosi are not looking at each other, they look mad, I think they should kiss]
    global climate change will be confronted, [wow, standing ovation]

    no higher responsibility than to protect the people of this nation [camera pans to chertoff]
    we must win the war on terror, take the fight to the enemy [all the clowns stand]
    list successful terror investigations [pelosi cant stop blinking]

    keeps mentioning 9/11
    explains what terrorists are thinking and plotting [gates and paulson sitting together]
    Hisbollah is mentioned funded by Shias/Iran
    “I wish I could report to you the dangers have ended”
    “we will find these enemies and protect the american people”

    ideological struggle
    “terrorists fear human freedom”
    we must help moderates and brave men

    2005 the Lebanese threw out the Syrian occupiers
    mentions all sort of conflicts in region between groups
    “not the fight we entered but it is the fight we are in”
    “our friends abandoned and our own security at risk”
    “it is still within our power to shape the outcome of this battle”
    new strategy, demands more from Iraq government
    marines have orders to find the terrorists and clear them out

    [cheney looks like he is dead, and pelosi is chewing gum or her tongue/lip]

    extremists on all sides in Iraq [biden looks like he is gonna cry]
    9/11 again
    America must succeed, spare America danger
    new strategy in Iraq
    “I ask you to support our troops overseas and those on the way” [all stand]

    increase Army/Marine by 92,000

    UN will not allow regime in Tehran to acquire Nukes

  171. Dr Jane Karlsson January 24, 2007 5:50 am

    Thanks, Kia, yeah I read about the Franklin coverup. Senator John DeCamp, right? Have you read Cathy O’Brien’s book Trance Formation of America? Her daughter was papa Bush’s sex slave, aged three. No-one has ever debunked her account, as far as I am aware. Or sued her, for that matter.

  172. Dr Jane Karlsson January 24, 2007 5:59 am

    ostrich #165, could you please elaborate on your question? Please don’t stop asking questions about this, you’re giving me one helluva buzz. You are only the fourth person in the world who has seen the true (as I see it anyway) structure of the atom.

  173. Dr Jane Karlsson January 24, 2007 6:23 am

    ostrich, you asked about bonding with other atoms. Try this: imagine a molecule of oxygen, two atoms side by side so their equators are touching. Then imagine that the electrons at the equator go round both atoms, and hold them together.

  174. bp January 24, 2007 6:40 am

    hm, Dr Jane - heard of this guy? - Dr. Steven Greer is the Founder and Director of the Disclosure Project. A lifetime member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the nation’s most prestigious medical honor society, Dr. Greer is an emergency physician. In addition to heading the Disclosure Project, he has also been supervising a world-wide search for alternative energy sources, specifically those known as zero-point or over-unity devices with the plan to identify and develop systems which will eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

  175. muleskinner January 24, 2007 6:52 am

    Godraz, your comment was outstanding.

    Also, there are 67 elements known to exist on the face of the sun. Hydrogen (over 90 percent of the Universe) to helium and so on.

    The noosphere is defined as the ecology of the mind.

  176. zephyr January 24, 2007 7:20 am

    Kia, 163, I know you can’t believe everything you see or hear. Everyone should do their own research to verify. For example, this e-mail going around about verse 9:11 in the Koran referring to an eagle that will save the Middle East is total bullshit, totally fabricated. How do I know? I have a friend who is very intelligent and researched the Koran. That simple. So much of the stuff circulating the net is propaganda pure and simple. And it’s hateful stuff designed to promote an agenda of evil. There’s no other word for it.

    That said, if 1/2 of the links on this forum are true, well, it’s a sad world we live in. So much of what I have read and watched, I have also researched. And I believe them to be true. It wrenches my stomach to know how evil our govt has become…and how seemingly untouchable they are. It tortures me to know I live under a regime as bad as any in history, but perhaps the slickest in history as well. It makes me sick that they carry out their crimes under broad daylight while most of the lumpin/sheeple consider them to be full of honorable intentions.

    I can only hope that the internet can be used as a tool to inform the mass public of what is going on. Hopefully, this regime will be taken down as all other tyrannical regimes have eventually fallen and be made to answer for their crimes. Sometimes I wonder why I continue to inform myself of what is going on. I feel so helpless in the face of such evil. I know I should break out a thesaurus but evil is the only word that seems to apply. I look around me and see people with haunted looks on their faces. I can only imagine the noose that closes in on some people. Other people I talk with are fully aware America is on a road to ruination. Few people truly see a future that they have any control over, as the govt intrudes and fucks us longer and harder each day.

    Wow, I know that sounds gloomy. But how can anyone watch last night’s state of the union with a straight face. The lie meter must have been off the charts. And these people aren’t really fighting each other….it’s an act to keep the lumpin occupied while they continue making themselves richer and richer. To what end? Maybe some of them are satanists. I mean, how else do you explain a motivation to do what these people do?

    I had better leave a little early for my daily hike. Otherwise, someone’s gonna find me in the bathtub with my wrists slit and a heroin needle in one arm. Hopefully, I’ll be a little more cheerful upon my return. But really, folks, does anybody else in here feel the way I do? (just realized that’s a line from Pink Floyd’s The Wall).

  177. Kia January 24, 2007 8:01 am


    I suggest the hike instead of the slit wrists and dueling heroin needles simply out of selfishness, because I would miss you.

    Funny that you should mention speechs and lying:

    Off the Rails:

    Big Oil, Big Brother Win Big in the State of the Union

    by Greg Palast
    23 January, 2006

    There was that tongue again. When the President lies he’s got this weird nervous tick: He sticks the tip of his tongue out between his lips. Like a little boy who knows he’s fibbing. Like a snake licking a rat.

    In his State of the Union tonight the President did his tongue thing 124 times — my kids kept count.

    But it wasn’t all rat-licking lies.

    Most pundits concentrated on Iraq and wacky health insurance stuff. But that’s just bubbles and blather. The real agenda is in the small stuff. The little razors in the policy apple, the nasty little pieces of policy shrapnel that whiz by between the appearances of the Presidential tongue.

    First, there was the announcement the regime will, “give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers.” In case you missed that one, the President is talking about creating a federal citizen profile database.

    There’s a problem with that idea. It’s against the law. The law in question is the United States Constitution. The Founding Fathers thought the government had no right to keep track on a citizen unless there is evidence they have committed, or planned to commit, a crime.

    But the Founding Fathers didn’t imagine there were millions and billions of dollars to be made by private contractors ready to perform this KGB operation for the Department of Homeland Security, tracking each and every one of us to keep tabs on our “status.”

    These work databases will tie into “voter verification” databases required by the Help America Vote Act. And these will tie to the databases on citizenship and so on.

    Will Big Brother abuse these snoop lists? The biggest purveyor of such hit lists is Choice Point, Inc. – those characters who, before the 2000 election, helped Jeb Bush purge innocent voters as “felons” from Florida voter rolls. Will they abuse the new super-lists? Does Dick Cheney shoot in the woods?

    There were several other little IEDs (improvised execrable policy devices) planted in the State of the Union. Did you catch the one about doubling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve? If you’re unfamiliar with the SPR, it is supposed to be the stash of oil we keep in case the price of crude gets too high.

    Well, the price of oil has been horribly high but Dick Cheney, the official who sits on the Reserve’s spigots, has refused to release the oil into the market.

    More…Instead of unleashing the Reserve and busting Big Oil’s price gouging Bush will double the Reserve, which will require buying three-quarters of a billion barrels of oil. This is a nice $40 billion pay-out to Big Oil from the US Treasury. Compare this to the President’s health insurance plan which will be “revenue neutral” — that is, have a net investment of zero.

    But the $40 billion in loot the oilmen will get from us taxpayers for doubling the Reserve is nothing compared to the boost in the worldwide price of crude caused by this massive, mad purchase. While the Congressional audience didn’t even bother polite applause for the reserve purchase plan, there’s no doubt they were whooping it up in Saudi Arabia. Clearly, the state of the Saudi-Bush union is still pretty good.

    But why end on a cynical note? I must admit I was moved by the President’s praise of Wesley Autrey, a New Yorker who, last month, threw himself on top of a man who had fallen on subway tracks — and held him between the track rails as the train passed over them.

    While the President properly acknowledged Autrey’s courage in saving the man who fell on the subway tracks, Mr. Bush still did not explain why Dick Cheney pushed the man in the first place.

  178. ostrich January 24, 2007 8:11 am

    Jane - remember its been a long time since I thought about this. On bonding glad you used O because organic chem I remember better. I am not going to try to remember my text books. I don’t envision the bond in the sense i was taught but rather as the atoms come into proximity with each other they bond in the way gravity would keep planets and moons bonded. Therefore if earth and venus moved closer to each other they with their moons would form a new formation based on gravity not some physical disposition. Am I making any sense?

  179. Kia January 24, 2007 8:13 am

    Muleskinner, here’s one man’s take on the SOTU

    A Few Words in Defense of Our Country

    By Randy Newman

    I’d like to say a few words
    In defense of our country
    Whose people aren’t bad nor are they mean
    Now the leaders we have
    While they’re the worst that we’ve had
    Are hardly the worst this poor world has seen

    Let’s turn history’s pages, shall we?

    Take the Caesars for example
    Why within the first few of them
    They had split Gaul into three parts
    Fed the Christians to the lions
    And burned down the City
    And one of ’em
    Appointed his own horse Consul of the Empire
    That’s like vice president or something
    That’s not a very good example, is it?
    But wait, here’s one, the Spanish Inquisition
    They put people in a terrible position

    I don’t even like to think about it
    Well, sometimes I like to think about it

    Just a few words in defense of our country
    Whose time at the top
    Could be coming to an end
    Now we don’t want their love
    And respect at this point is pretty much out of the question
    But in times like these
    We sure could use a friend

    Hitler. Stalin.
    Men who need no introduction
    King Leopold of Belgium. That’s right.
    Everyone thinks he’s so great
    Well he owned The Congo
    He tore it up too
    He took the diamonds, he took the gold
    He took the silver
    Know what he left them with?

    A president once said,
    “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
    Now it seems like we’re supposed to be afraid
    It’s patriotic in fact and color coded
    And what are we supposed to be afraid of?
    Why, of being afraid
    That’s what terror means, doesn’t it?
    That’s what it used to mean

    The end of an empire is messy at best
    And this empire is ending
    Like all the rest
    Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
    We’re adrift in the land of the brave
    And the home of the free
    Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.

  180. muleskinner January 24, 2007 8:36 am

    Zephyr, how about a good breakfast before the heroin? Ham and eggs, maybe a couple of slices of bacon. Hashbrowns, a couple of slices of toast, and some coffee just to keep you on your toes. Just a light breakfast.

    The best things in life are free.

  181. muleskinner January 24, 2007 8:43 am


    Randy Newman is a great talent.

    Send those twenty thousand troops to New Orleans and put them to work cleaning up the mess.

    Oh yeah, Mississippi mud doesn’t burn.

  182. Dr Jane Karlsson January 24, 2007 8:55 am

    bp #174, yes, I know about Steven Greer. We talked about him briefly on an earlier thread, do you remember? His zero-point energy project is said to be backed by the Rockefellers and at least 1 billion USD, but it was supposed to have been up and running in 2003.

    There have been many such projects over the years, and people get very excited and then nothing happens. Those pesky aliens again, I suspect.

  183. Dr Jane Karlsson January 24, 2007 9:12 am

    Kia #177, is it possible that Bush is doubling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve because he knows something we don’t about the state of Saudi oil reservoirs? Matthew Simmons says they’re being damaged by the water injection, and that means production could plummet any time. I did read an article some months ago that suggested it was happening to (I think) Ghawar.

  184. kia January 24, 2007 9:17 am

    Jane 171,

    When events are true the PTB tend to be silent.
    Conversely when the PTB speak, they usually lie.I find these rules of thumb helpful when hunting through information.

    Zephyr 176,

    I’m fairly sure that the Discovery Channel film is historically accurate. If it wasn’t it probably wouldn’t have been suppressed. Abuse of power and go hand in hand. Exhibit A of course being the behavior of the cardinals and the bishops in the Catholic Church dioceses from Boston to L.A.

    Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis once said “Sunshine is the best disinfectant”

    I think Louie was right.


  185. Dr Jane Karlsson January 24, 2007 9:19 am

    ostrich #178, yes that does indeed make sense. In fact, gravity and the force that holds atoms together are in my opinion the same thing, both based on the density of the ‘ether’. High gravity means dense ether. You may remember that Einstein said the ether doesn’t exist, but the experiment that apparently showed that was misinterpreted. Dirac and others said so at the time. The ether HAS to exist, otherwise you can’t explain magnetism, among other things.

  186. kia January 24, 2007 9:35 am

    Jane 183,

    Matthew Simmon’s comments are right on. His review of over 200 academic papers on Saudi oil reservoirs, as well as his background as an investment banker in the industry lend considerable weight to his analysis.

    Briefly, normal oil production begins with a free flow during discovery, once this flow diminishes produced liquids from the knockout are pumped back down hole to manage reservoir pressure. As the field matures secondary, and tertiary oil production techniques are employed. During tertiary operations steam is pumped downhole to “steam clean” the last of the reservoir. The basic principle is that it is must easier to remove the first 50% of the oil than it is to remove the second 50%. This is the challenge of “Peak Oil” which we currently face. Hibbert described this quite accurately in the 1960’s.

    In the case of Saudi Arabia, the stratigraphy of the oil deposits contains a “Super K” zone, K being the conductivity/permeability of the reservoir.

    Historically the Saudis have reinjected produced fluids from the beginning of their development. The problem they are facing at Ghawar and other fields is that the produced fluids are preferentially flowing through the super K zone, and significantly increasing the water cut at the well head, while leaving relicit oil in the formation.

    Compounding the rising water cut is the lack of additional discoveries since the development of Ghawar.

    Does that help?


  187. bp January 24, 2007 10:04 am

    kia, my hunch is that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be built up and saved for the use of “our” military - they use a large percentage of available petroleum - they will need it for the coming expansion of the GWOT.

  188. bp January 24, 2007 10:22 am

    Dr Jane #182, thanks - I thought his name sounded familiar - been thinking of reading his book - Hidden Truth: Forbidden Knowledge - hm, now I’m not so sure

  189. kia January 24, 2007 10:30 am


    Your mother didn’t raise a dummy. The GWOT will go on until there is no more oil. I can see the Superbowl ads now for the Sunni-Shiite Civil War Oil Company. Bringing freedom to Exxon/Chevron/Arco/BP to pursue profits wherever there is oil.

    What a bright future!

  190. muleskinner January 24, 2007 10:40 am

    Pyramid Power

    J. Patrick Flanagan, inventor and scientist (worked for the US Navy), wrote a book about pyramid power in the early seventies.

    Whether it is crackpot or not, I don’t know, but it is an interesting read.

    He’s quite the character.

    (There is) another book worth reading written by Marsten Bates entitled ‘Gluttons and Libertines.’

    Either one, they won’t keep you in the dark.

  191. kia January 24, 2007 12:07 pm

    What Didn’t Bush Say/ Lie/Think About?

    I am unable to watch President without wondering about the subjects that he didn’t speak about in the SOTU which was delivered in a tone so flat that one wonders whether the sound technicians in the hall had to pump in an “applause” track for the Congress to “palm sync” to.

    After making so much out of the ISG recommendations, he didn’t mention any regional talks amongst the various players in the Middle East, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Lebanon to work toward a region-wide peace. Not to mention forcing a peace on the the Israel/Palestine conflict. without which no success will ever come to Iraq, other than more profitability for the likes of Halliburton, Parsons and Becthel who have already “cut and run” after their contracts ran out. “Mission Accomplished” indeed.

    Likewise the Torture in Chief neglected to address the worldwide condemnation of the extraordinary renditions, system of secret prisons, and detention of prisoners at Gitmo without rights of habeas corpus. The Spy in Chief also didn’t address the domestic uproar about executive claims to monitor American’s phone conversations, emails, and physical mail.

    Also not mentioned is the ongoing travesty in New Orleans. Katrina victims would love to have a one billion dollar jobs program that he is proposing for Iraq. As it it they have been abandoned to duke it out in court with major insurers in an attempt to make them honor the policies they were sold, and paid for. So much for relief for American refugees.

    But small minds have small ideas. So it is not surprising to see such a small bore mind come up with proposals that don’t recognize the physical limitations posed by the real world. Specifically, the difficulty of boosting the entire US’s production of corn by 25 percent to meet his alternative fuels goal for 2017 didn’t occur to him. Mathematically it probably fits with his fantasy proposal to balance the budget by 2012 without raising taxes.

    It also didn’t occur to him that those Americans who are lowest on the ladder without health coverage probably don’t pay enough income tax to be able to benefit from a tax cut designed to “help” them obtain health coverage. But after seven SOTUs the American’s can’t expect their Commander in Chief to be able to think his way out of a brown paper bag.

    On Fatherland Security he made oblique references to “give employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers.” What he didn’t say is that he is paving the way for a National Identification Card. This should fit nicely with all those databases being put together by Admiral John Poindexter in the DARPA basement at the Pentagon under his latest version of the Total Information Awareness program, which transmogrified into the Terrorism Information Awareness program, and has subsequently gone underground as codename “Topsail” due to public outcry about government collected dossiers on law abiding American citizens.

    It is nice to see that he still is a compassionate conservative when it comes to multinational oil companies. His proposed doubling of the Strategic Oil Reserve will require the purchase of three-quarters of a billion barrels of oil. At current spot prices that will pump a cool 40 billion dollars into the coffers of Exxon/Chevron/ARCO/BP to make up for 14 billion that Congress just pulled out of their voracious gullet.

    My hunch is that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will be built up and saved for the use of the US military, as they use a large percentage of available petroleum and they will need it for the coming expansion of the Global War on Terror. The GWOT that will go on until there is no more oil. Can’t you can see the Superbowl ads for the Sunni-Shiite Civil War Oil Company? Bringing freedom to Exxon/Chevron/Arco/BP to pursue profits wherever there is oil that we need to take from someone else.

    It took the Commander in Chief 32 minutes to the push the escalation of the Iraq war, which only merited 21 words. His plan to add 21,500 troops to the 130,000 in the arena (previously as high as 150,000). This number translates to roughly 12,000 soldiers with guns on the street. The remainder of the troops functioning to support the gunmen. Dividing the troops into three shifts, we are down to 4,000 additional troops in the streets of Baghdad, a city of 5 million people. This drop in the civil war bucket is the “plan” that he and the Congress are currently debating. Fiddling while Rome burns.

    Apparently one of the President’s speech writers thought it necessary to disturb the President’s seven year slumber by inserting references to Darfur, Climate Change, and CAFE standards which haven’t been adjusted in 20 years. Poor Bush, with his 29% approval rate, probably doesn’t know where Darfur is, and was hoping that he could continue using the “acid rain” page out of Reagan’s play book to ignore the enormity of the problem of Climate Change. Am I the last person to recall in a previous SOTU that Bush called for a national energy policy that encourages energy consumption?

    Rip Van Winkle would envy Bush’s ability to slumber through the real problems facing Medicare, Social Security, and the huge fiscal deficits that endanger the Americans and their financial health and security worldwide.

  192. Gordo January 24, 2007 12:28 pm

    Gotta love the folks who think anyone that disagrees with them must be “close minded”. Although “closed minded optimist” is a new one for me! :)

    Anyway, I think some of you would benefit by just thinking about where we’ve come from in the last 100 years or so. My living standard is much higher than my parents living standard at my age, and my grandparents grew up on farms. My ancestors came to this country with nothing, they worked like dogs just to build their own houses and grow their own food, there was almost nothing saved (and you think savings is low now!). They got up before dawn, worked until after dusk, and worked 6 days a week, not the five that most do today. They built wagons on the side for extra cash. They had to pool their money together in order to take care of the elderly and the widows because back then there were no welfare checks from the government (or social security or medicare). Yes, this communist living kept them alive.

    With technological advancement, things are getting easier and easier for humans every year - if you can’t see this, you need to take a big step back to look at the big picture, where we were in the not so distant past, and where we are heading. Are you better off than your grand parents?

    This chain of technological advancement will only stop if there is some mega catastrophe that destroys the Earth, and it isn’t likely to be “global warming” or “peak oil” (more on that later). Anyway, we will eventually reach the point where virtually everything is mechanized and energy is free, no one will have to “work” in any traditional sense, and perhaps even the concept of money will not exist. This is where we are headed. I am not saying it will happen soon, I’m only saying this is where we are headed. If you are interested in “futurism” I highly recommend you check out “Robotic Nation” by Marshall Brain:


    As for the tools that can’t think of any inventions from the last 10 years that have made life better or more productive - again, wake up and open your eyes, you are looking at one right now! While the internet wasn’t invented in the last 10 years, it has certainly led to massive benefits to millions of businesses and individuals. I can say that I have personally benefited tremendously. Costs of investing, research, communication, marketing, etc have plunged. I get my phone service over the internet now, I pay my bills over the internet, I do my research over the internet for everything from the news to entertainment, personal projects, home improvement, shopping, etc. The internet allows me to work remotely, to send pictures and videos instantly to anyone in the world for free, etc. Other recent inventions that either improve quality of life or productivity - automated self checkout, high definition televisions, high definition content, robotic massage chairs, terabyte hard drives, cheap reliable database software, high speed computers, tarter control toothpaste, early detection and elimination of cancer, delicious abundance and variety of prepared foods and restaurants, state of the art entertainment (compare movie special effects for example from today to that of 10,20,30,40 years ago).

    I could go on but if you couldn’t think of a single thing then you probably have your head buried so deep in pessimism that you can’t see anything else.

  193. muleskinner January 24, 2007 1:03 pm

    The computer chip?

    The neurophone by Patrick Flanagan, that’s one more invention. Here’s another: Satellite television right into your home. Too bad there isn’t anything to watch on television besides the weather channel. I had satellite tv for awhile, but it’s just too much bread and circus.

    Nobody wants to return to 1972, it would feel like the Dark Ages.

    Can somebody come up with an invention to prevent war?
    Plenty of inventions out there to make war.

    Alfred Nobel would give you the peace prize.

    Which modern convenience would you choose if you could only choose one? I’ll take running water.

  194. Gordo January 24, 2007 1:15 pm

    I have to laugh when I see quotes like “99% of scientists agree on global warming”. Could any statement about global warming be more vague or misleading? Perhaps 99% of scientists agree that we’ve observed atmospheric warming in the past. Ooooh, ahhh, amazing.

    Some scientists today believe the current warming trend has actually peaked, others recognize global warming and man’s contribution to it but insist that the empirical data indicates that it is not and will not be a serious problem (for example see the book “Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media” written by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a professional climatologist with a Ph.D. in Ecological Climatology, who is a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia).

    But perhaps one of the stranger aspects of the debate is that most of the same global warming doom and gloomers are also peak oil gloom and doomers. You really can’t have it both ways!! The global warming gloom and doomers generally talk about a 2 or 3 degree temperature change over the next 100 years and the peak oil doom and gloomers talk about running out of oil over the next 100 years (or sooner). If we are going to run out of oil then we aren’t going to be dumping massive quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere anymore, now are we???

    And all of this STILL ignores the fact that its possible that more people would benefit from warming than would be harmed.

    And lets not forget the fact that climatologists in the 70’s were warning us of an impending ice age! Let us also not forget that atmospheric temperatures on Earth are cyclical.

    And before you accuse me of not caring about the environment - wrong again. I drive a car that gets 40 miles per gallon, I heat my home all winter with a renewable energy source that puts no net CO2 into the atmosphere, and I planted 15 trees last year and will probably plant even more this year. I grow a portion of my own food, and raise bees for pollination. I’m all for conservation and weaning this country off its dependence on fossil fuels. I just think making rash decisions with serious negative economic consequences will end up doing more harm than good. I believe in the free market, and the free market will work.

  195. zephyr January 24, 2007 1:33 pm

    Oh Gordo, don’t you recognize sarcasm when you here it? Plenty of people I have disagreements with I don’t call closeminded. Check prior posts with some other people I’ve spoken with. However, we debate, we express respect for each other’s opinions and we move on. Actually, some of us have bonded after such discussion.

    However, you come right out and say “we have our heads buried so deep in pessimism that we can’t see anything else”, “this politically charged drivel is a dime a dozen”, “the PESSIMISTS will be wrong (again)”, and posts 145 and 147 are just condescending. You obviously know how to charm people, win friends and influence people. I don’t often see so many people jump on one person unless that person has been both uninformed, snotty and pretentious. See Kastor. And now go look in the mirror.

    You don’t strike me as being very accepting of other’s views…that makes you closeminded. And you constantly refer to yourself as an optimist…hence we have a “closeminded optimist”. For someone so smart you don’t connect dots very well.

    But by all means, please stay, it’s both entertaining and informative to to see the thoughts of someone stuck in some imaginary sci-fi world.

  196. zephyr January 24, 2007 1:43 pm

    Post 194, again, you’re ignorant. You haven’t answered…have you seen An Inconvenient Truth? Have you also heard of drought. See Australia and the Amazon for that topic. Little hint….the Amazon is kinda important. See Methane gas being released from the ocean floor at unprecedented rates. Methane heats the atmospere by the way. See grain levels at their lowest in many years. More people, less food….do the math. And on and on and on. But it’s hard to argue with a jellybean. A jellybean just tends to lay there being a jellybean. Can’t teach calculus to a squid. By the way, what are your credentials to make you such an informed expert saying stuff that flies in the face of so many scientists.

    I mean, you know Gordo, I wouldn’t be coming at you so hard if you weren’t such an easy target. But people such as yourself are too impressed with their own opinions to ever consider someone else might know more.

  197. zephyr January 24, 2007 2:08 pm

    I would stop if I weren’t having so much fun. I swear Gordo, if I knew better I would guess you were some hack kid just out of college who got some govt job where they assigned you to this site to try to put doubt into the minds of people like me. Except you’re dealing with some very informed, very intelligent, very caring people on this forum. It has been my honor to share with the good people on this link. If you had more people in the world like the folks on this thread, the world would be a far, far better place. So, stop and really read what others here have to say. You just might learn something!

    By the way, why Gordo? Where’s that name come from? Seriously, I’m just trying to dialogue with you now. What part of the country are you from? How old are you? Talk with us, man….don’t just blast onto the link blowing your horn full blast telling us how pathetic we are. Save that for later :-)

  198. kia January 24, 2007 2:13 pm


    Do you read? If so here is a link:

    and an excerpt:

    The sudden appearance of the islands is a symptom of an ice sheet going into retreat, scientists say. Greenland is covered by 630,000 cubic miles of ice, enough water to raise global sea levels by 23 feet.

    Carl Egede Boggild, a professor of snow-and-ice physics at the University Center of Svalbard, said Greenland could be losing more than 80 cubic miles of ice per year.

    “That corresponds to three times the volume of all the glaciers in the Alps,” Dr. Boggild said. “If you lose that much volume you’d definitely see new islands appear.”

    bp previously provided you with these links: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XthWJnOHpVE

    I’l add:

    Are you sure you aren’t a Tobacco lobbyist?

    It is sad to see that you have been deprived of a science education. The Stefan-Boltzmann Law predicted accurately the warming effects from increased C02 concentrations 150 years ago. Methane is 20 times more effective that C02.

    Be sure to read the UN report coming out in February. Maybe you can inform your uninformed opinion. Until then, enjoy your ignorance,but please don’t burden this discussion with it.

  199. ostrich January 24, 2007 2:14 pm

    Gordo - I love dissenting opinions they make me think. The last TEN years 10 in case you don’t quite understand the numeric system. I was doing everything you do on the net with 4800 baud modem before 1990. So please try and impress me, at least mention something about the human genome mapping or other great inventions. I never said I was a pessimist far from it but at the rate and direction we are travelling one only needs to extropolate.

  200. kia January 24, 2007 2:22 pm
  201. Gordo January 24, 2007 2:27 pm

    Love the ad hominem attacks. No substance and you expect some kind of special credit?

    “Have you also heard of drought”
    Why do you assume a couple degree temperature increase over the next 100 years is going to cause more drought than we’ve seen in the past? The world is 75% water. I suggest you get out a globe and have a good look. Its probably more reasonable to expect greater net rainfall with increasing temperatures. Ever hear of rain forests? They can get pretty darn hot, but no drought - how could that possibly be??? Some of the climate models suggest increased rainfall particularly for Canada and much of the African continent for example - this could be a huge boon to civilization. Desserts could possibly be turned into productive land even.

    Many so called “scientists” absolutely LOVE to sensationalize. They’ve been doing this for hundreds of years and they will continue to do it. This is perhaps what compelled Dr. Michaels, a professional climatologist with a Ph.D. in Ecological Climatology to write the book Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.

    No - I have not seen Al Gore’s movie or read his book. That doesn’t mean I won’t at some point, but I think I’ve read enough to understand what is covered in it. I’ve also read a very long list of errors, distortions, and inaccuracies contained in the book - have you?

  202. ostrich January 24, 2007 2:35 pm

    Gordo trust me they don’t detect cancer quicker nor have they eliminated it or I wouldn’t spend 14 days a month at the cancer centre with my wife. Am I better off than my granparents its relevant I do have more free time than they did but certainly not my parents, my mother never worked outside them home, they raised 8 (eight) children and paid one helluva a lot of medical bills on their own, oh and one my brothers only has one university degree not 3(three) or more like the rest of us, new cars and toys always,etc. etc. I wish I could have been afforded that much luxury. Parents 0(zero) degrees.

  203. Gordo January 24, 2007 2:37 pm

    “Gordo - I love dissenting opinions they make me think. The last TEN years 10 in case you don’t quite understand the numeric system. I was doing everything you do on the net with 4800 baud modem before 1990. So please try and impress me, at least mention something about the human genome mapping or other great inventions. I never said I was a pessimist far from it but at the rate and direction we are travelling one only needs to extropolate. ”

    Ostrich - I can probably beat you. I started with 2400 baud, and my friends started before me with even slower modems. I ran a BBS that was quite popular starting in the 80’s! While we like to reminisce and tell ourselves this was the internet before the internet - it was NOTHING compared to what we have today, and things will only get better in the future. You were NOT doing everything I do on the net before 1990.

    My list of inventions of the last 10 years was hardly exhaustive, there are too many to list. This is one reason you should be so excited about the future. Its just TOO EASY to fall into the pessimistic quagmire way of thinking. That’s why I’m so passionate in my belief that the pessimists will be proven wrong.

  204. Gordo January 24, 2007 2:52 pm

    Regarding cancer - sorry to hear about your wife Ostrich. Perhaps it is becoming more clear now as to why you are so pessimistic in general.

    Both of my parents have had cancer, in fact multiple times actually. So far both have beaten it. My Dad in fact had a cancerous tumor removed YESTERDAY. They detected breast cancer in my Mom while it was MINISCULE using brand new state of the art scanning technology that most people have not even heard of yet.

    Not that long ago, both of my parents would have died but thanks to technology, excellent medical care, and early detection, they are alive.

    I just read something very recently attributing longer lifespans to earlier cancer detection and more effective treatment in fact.

  205. muleskinner January 24, 2007 2:53 pm

    Everybody makes mistakes. Tommy Jefferson scoffed at the possiblity of meterorites. Didn’t believe in them. He called them thunderstones, thinking the meteorite fell to the earth during thunderstorms from the thunderstorm clouds.

    Didn’t make him an uneducated idiot, just woefully misinformed.

    Again, the Norwegians were farming Greenland circa 800 CE, but had to quit some 400 years later, it got too cold there. The farms are still there along the coastline of Greenland.

    By the tenth century, Norwegian settlers had migrated from island to island across the North Atlantic, settling first in Iceland, then in Greenland, and lastly in Canada. Archaeological evidence shows that about 1000 A.D., mariners from Greenland built a village at L’Anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland. The first documentary evidence of Norse contact with lands west of Greenland is a brief mention written around 1130 A.D. in the Islendiga-bok (AJ-059). Adam of Bremen (see AJ-058) wrote the first datable description of any significant length in the 1070s. Two lengthy texts, known as the Vinland sagas, were written down between 1200 and 1300 A.D. but are thought to reflect earlier oral traditions. The Groenlandinga saga (AJ-057) and Eiríks saga rauda (The Saga of Eric the Red, see AJ-056), give somewhat conflicting accounts of the events of 980-1030 A.D. Scholars suspect that climatic change may have doomed the Vikings’ Western settlements; steadily falling temperatures throughout the region after 1200 A.D. would have shortened both the navigation and growing seasons in Arctic Canada. By the 1500s, Greenland also was empty of Norse settlers and mariners.

    It waxes and wanes, the global warming business.

    It’s warmer in Alaska these days.

    Minus forty degrees centigrade is minus forty degrees fahrenheit.

  206. zephyr January 24, 2007 3:01 pm

    Post 200 Ok, you’re officially a condescending jackass. Australia is in the midst of a once in a century type drought. Rain forests can have droughts as part of the Amazon is down to a trickle in some areas. Just because the world is 75% water doesn’t mean there will be less drought because weather patterns can and will be disrupted drastically. It’s happened before, there is historical precedent. Disrupted jet streams and ocean currents can have devastating effects.

    I have seen nothing in your posts that displays a willingness to engage anyone in dialogue, only a desire to belittle anyone who doesn’t share your opinion. What’s your purpose except to be a dick? I find people that act the way you have been doing have severe inferiority complexes and need to level the playing field by insulting everyone. What you really need is a shrink.

    I tried to engage you in some sort of dialogue but apparently your only desire is to be contrary. If you haven’t noticed, you haven’t received one positive response to your diatribes. Continue to do that if you wish but I for one will pass by anything you post and I’m sure at some point others will do the same. So post away to your hearts content. Just know that nobody really has any use for your attitude or anything you have to say.

    You are now officially irrelevent. Something tells me you’ve experienced this in your personal life, too. Sad, you obviously have no social skills.

  207. ostrich January 24, 2007 3:20 pm

    Gordo very sorry to hear about your father and wife (truly sorry), my wife’s oncologist is Dr. Marc Levine and he has started a chemotherapy regimen called CEF and the results are very impressive, as a matter of fact he just gave a disertation of some sort at a symposium in San Antonio. His treatment has the fewest reocurrences in North America -if your mom has to go the chemo route I would have your oncologist investigate it and buy her some good weed my wife says it is a God send.
    Inventions - we have mostly talked about existing inventions that are now increasing in speed but not new, nor do they necessarily increase in productivity ie my spreadsheets now calculate in half a second instead of a full second. I still use a computer like a slide rule only its faster - however when i watch my children use it its as if it is part of them - I believe the up and coming generation will make the next great advances(inventions).
    The globe and mail newspaper had an article on Levine a couple of Saturday’s ago I will try and find you a link.
    Gotta run keep shootin.

  208. bp January 24, 2007 4:45 pm

    thanks muleskinner for the book titles - I’ll look them up

    kia, damn those are some awesome photos - thanks

    Gordo, thanks for being there - always like to here from people like you - keeps me in touch with the main segment of the Bell Curve - I suppose up didn’t like that RealClimate site - you ought to email them about Dr Michaels - I’m sure that comment about scientists being alarmists cuts both ways - ask Galileo

    What I don’t understand is you unwillingness to give ground - seems you’ve taken your stand and damn the torpedos - denial is not always a river in Egypt ya know. The changing weather patterns will, in all probability cause more harm than good - in all likelihood established farming operations will be disrupted - it’s not so easy to create farms as it is to maintain existing ones - your arguments jump all over the place - one minute your saying it won’t happen, the next saying that even if it does, it won’t be so bad - which to me suggests your shooting in the dark - what’s up with that - hope you don’t handle your finances that way, sheesh. I don’t claim to have the answers - all I can say is that the odds are increasing daily for serious problems - just look around - the only way this country meets problems is thru Crisis - we won’t do anything until we have to - you know it, we all know it - so you come across as whistling past the graveyard - and it’s not even a new tune.

  209. bp January 24, 2007 6:17 pm

    ah yes - and then there is Dr Michaels — Research Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
    Senior Fellow, Cato Institute. Visiting Scientist, Marshall Institute. State Climatologist, Virginia.

    Dr. Patrick Michaels is possibly the most prolific and widely-quoted climate change skeptic scientist. He has admitted receiving funding from various fossil fuel industry sources. His latest book, published in September 2004 by the Cato Institute, is titled: Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media.

    Michaels is the Chief Editor for the “World Climate Review,” a newsletter on global warming funded by the Western Fuels Association. Dr. Michaels has acknowledged that 20% of his funding comes from fossil fuel sources: (http://www.mtn.org/~nescncl/complaints/determinations/det_118.html) Known funding includes $49,000 from German Coal Mining Association, $15,000 from Edison Electric Institute and $40,000 from Cyprus Minerals Company, an early supporter of People for the West, a “wise use” group. He recieved $63,000 for research on global climate change from Western Fuels Association, above and beyond the undisclosed amount he is paid for the World Climate Report/Review. According to Harper’s magazine, Michaels has recieved over $115,000 over the past four years from coal and oil interests. Michaels wrote “Sound and Fury” and “The Satanic Gases” which were published by Cato Institute. Dr. Michaels signed the 1995 Leipzig Declaration. In July of 2006, it was revealed that the Intermountain Rural Electric Association “contributed $100,000 to Dr. Michaels.”

  210. zephyr January 25, 2007 12:20 am

    Like I said BP, this is probably some hack from a govt/oil agency/etc who’s attempting to get on line with people like us. Why? Who knows exactly. There are so many govt jobs and they’re obviously a paranoid lot. We must be a threat to the eerging kingdom. Although he did try the personal touch with Ostrich, which means he’s trying to evolve. I say ignore him, he’s just trying to get us aggitated.

    And if he is just some average joe who hopped on board, then he’s just confused at best, or a sociopath at worst. Either way, ignore him….he’ll fade into the mist like Kastor.

    Thanks for digging up info on people he referenced….nice job….helps to point out his inconsistancies.

  211. bp January 25, 2007 4:50 am
  212. Dr Jane Karlsson January 25, 2007 5:00 am

    bp #188, please do read the Steven Greer book! I want to read it but haven’t the time. I’ve seen extracts which sound extremely interesting.

    muleskinner #190, I’ve come across Flanagan’s work, pretty extraordinary, isn’t it. Pyramid power clearly exists, and so does the neurophone, although one has to suspect Flanagan himself might be a bit, um, strange.

    Kia 186, yes, thanks, that was very helpful indeed.

  213. Dr Jane Karlsson January 25, 2007 5:35 am

    Gordo, our so-called easier lives are actually not easier at all. If you have perfect health, hard physical work produces natural opiates called endorphins, and you can’t get enough of it.

    The ‘delicious abundance and variety of prepared foods and restaurants’, which you claim is an advance, is actually destroying our health so we dislike hard work.

    You are quite right that many so-called scientists love to sensationalise. They tell us that disease is caused by genes, or bugs, or hard work, when in fact it’s caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, far more mundane and incapable of providing funding for their research.

    You have been conned by these scientists. Most early cancers go away by themselves, but since everybody has to have treatment, oncologists can claim the treatment cured them. It was found some years ago that patients with early prostate cancer had exactly the same 10-year survival (about 90%) whether they had treatment or not.

    Actually, it isn’t really the scientists’ fault, or the doctors’ either. The drug companies are highly skilled at manipulating the statistics to make people think their drugs work. Here is an article explaining how they do it: http://www.slate.com/id/2150354/

  214. Gordo January 25, 2007 6:25 am

    Falsehoods in Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth

    Executive summary: Al Gore’s new book and movie, both titled An Inconvenient Truth, have been hailed by environmentalists–despite being filled with false or misleading claims about the science of global warming and related issues. This page details errors in the book (2006, Rodale Books), which in summary include:

    Misleading links between weather events and climate change: Climate is the average of weather conditions over long time periods; because the climate system is inherently variable, individual weather events are not indicative of trends. Nonetheless, Gore overwhelms the reader with many individual events, claiming this is global warming in action: a European heatwave, record daily highs in U.S. cities one summer, hurricane Katrina, floods in Europe and China, and more. To address the issue of climate change, all such events must be considered over time. As it turns out, in several cases such analysis refutes any claims of recent trends (for example, with regard to floods).
    In other cases, the scientific community is engaged in much research and debate. Gore claims that there is “an emerging consensus” that hurricane activity is on the upswing due to global warming. The reality is that this is the subject of much debate in the scientific community: different researchers have produced contradictory conclusions, but the factors involved are far more complex than Gore admits, and research is continuing.

    Misrepresentation of data: Of the various graphs and other data Gore presents, some of it is misrepresented. Gore presents one graph, said to be temperature data derived from ice cores, to support the controversial claim of one research group–Mann et al.–that current temperatures are higher than anytime in the last 1,000 years. The graph is not the ice core data, however, but the Mann et al. data derived from tree rings and other proxies. The broader claim is questioned by many scientists as well–much research suggests that temperatures around 1100-1300 AD were about as warm as today–as well as the methodology used to support such claims. Gore uses another set of ice core data to claim that carbon dioxide concentrations have driven global temperatures for the last 600,000 years. He admits the actual relationship is “complicated”, which is as close as he comes to admitting the fact that the temperature changes came first, and probably helped drive the carbon dioxide changes.
    These aren’t the only cases of sloppiness with data: Gore claims the hottest year on record was 2005, but in reality existing observations don’t have the accuracy to discriminate between, say, 2005 and 1998, a hot year due to an extreme El Nino event. He claims that the increasing closures of the barrier’s on Britain’s Thames River show sea level is rising, but doesn’t mention that the British government recently changed the rules for such closures, including closing the barriers to deal with low sea level; and he claims that a particular bird species is “in trouble” in the Netherlands due to climate change, but researchers report no change in this bird population. He cites a peak in tornadoes in 2004 as further evidence, but this peak came from new technology permitting the counting of more weak tornadoes than ever before; comparison of consistent data shows no trends in tornadoes.

    Exaggerations about sea level rise: Gore claims that potential melting of ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctic will force the “evacuation” of millions of people to escape sea level rise of 6 meters (20 feet). This flatly contradicts even the worst-case scenarios described by the scientific community. Most research indicates that such melting, even if it could occur, would take 1,000 to 5,000 years; the minimum timescale described by any researcher for such melting is still centuries. Even the United Nations’ IPCC, source of the “consensus” analysis which still overestimates future warming, only predicts sea level rise of 0.1 to 0.8 meters (4 to 30 inches) in the next 100 years.

    Misleading claims about effects of climate change: Gore claims that the emergence of new diseases is related to global warming, but most of the diseases he lists have little or no relationship to climate. Even in the case of malaria, a disease with a stronger link to climate, health experts cite the management of human infrastructure and health systems as far more important factors. In other cases Gore neglects the strong influence of human resource management, as with linking occurrence of wildfires or pest outbreaks to global warming. He also claims global warming is causing a “significant” number of polar bear drownings, based on a report of four drowned polar bears; however, other researchers report the polar bear population is generally unchanged. Melting of glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro and in Glacier National Park are cited as consequences of global warming, but in both cases these glaciers have been melting since the 1800s, when the Earth emerged from a period of global cooling.

    Reliance on worst-case scenarios: An underlying problem is that Gore seizes upon worst-case scenarios and presents them as fact–sometimes omitting important qualifiers. Much of the claims about the consequences of future global warming rely on climate models that Gore calls “evermore accurate”, but significant questions about the reliability of these models remain, and the effects cited by Gore presume that the worse-case predictions of these models are the correct ones. More generally, climate change should be considered at the regional or local level, where impacts would variously be positive or negative–especially depending on how we choose to respond. Gore consistently discusses the most negative impacts, and even minimizes the possibility of positive change.

    False claims about scientific views on global warming: Gore asserts that the scientific community is in essentially unanimous agreement with his interpretation of global warming, and dismisses skepticism of global warming as an energy industry conspiracy. Not only are such claims false, they severely misrepresent the very process of science. Gore cites a flawed editorial from a science journal to claim that all published research agrees with the “consensus” view on global warming; in reality, much published research contradicts Gore’s position on global warming, and a recent survey of climate scientists found the community fairly split on the claim that there is an imminent threat from human-caused global warming. Despite the abundance of scientific research contradicting his position, Gore instead concentrates on refuting a handful of skeptical claims from outside the scientific community–and can’t even get the facts right on those. To add insult to injury, Gore repeatedly impugns the motives of scientists and non-scientists who question his “consensus” on global warming. Rather than confront the scientific facts, he stereotypes the critics and dismisses them based on imagined motives.

    Misleading claims about the responsibility of the United States: Gore says the United States is particularly to blame for the claimed global warming crisis, but doesn’t give a fair view of the issues. He makes misleading comparisons of fuel economy standards in the U.S. and other countries; also, he criticizes the U.S. failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol without acknowledging the ways in which the Protocol disproportionately targeted the U.S. economy. He also understates the economic adjustments required to attain the goals he sets.

    Conceptual errors: Gore’s explanation of several topics, including the greenhouse effect, the relationship of carbon dioxide and global temperature, decline in Arctic Ocean pack ice, structure of the Greenland ice sheet, and ozone depletion, contain conceptual errors. He may indeed have a correct understanding of these issues, but what he communicates serves to perpetuate misconceptions on these subjects. Combined with the low reading level of the text, this tends to convey the lowest expectations of his readers.

    Gore’s portrayal of the subject of global warming is scientifically unsupportable; even some scientists who accept the premise of global warming have been willing to call him on some errors. His portrayal of scientific skepticism regarding global warming is shameful; science requires healthy criticism to progress. The effect of attempts by Gore and others to silence dissent is harmful to scientific understanding as well as its application by society. The effort to use such twisted science to further a political agenda is such a harm.


    Details–the science:

    “The most vulnerable part of the Earth’s ecological system is the atmosphere. It’s vulnerable because it’s so thin.” (p. 22)

    Other parts of our environment are arguably more vulnerable and are clearly thinner: the hydrosphere (oceans and rivers), for example. Whatever is meant by “vulnerable”, it probably is poorly described as being a consequence of “thinness”.

    “In particular, we have vastly increased the amount of carbon dioxide–the most important of the so-called greenhouse gases.” (p. 25)

    While “most important” is a subjective term, the implication that most of the existing greenhouse effect is due to CO2 is false: water vapor is the source of most of the existing greenhouse effect.

    “The Sun’s energy enters the atmosphere in the form of light waves and heats up the Earth. Some of that energy warms the Earth and then is re-radiated back into space in the form of infrared waves.” (p. 26)

    Solar energy reaching the Earth is about 42% visible light and 50% shortwave infrared. Some is reflected; only the absorbed portion heats the Earth. “Re-radiate” is a an incorrect and misleading term and should not be used; rather, the Earth and its atmosphere radiate longwave infrared as a function of its temperature, with the balance between this radiation and temperature mediated by the presence of greenhouse gases.

    “The greenhouse gases surrounding Mars are almost nonexistent, so the temperature is far too cold.” (p. 26)

    Mars’ atmosphere, although much thinner than Earth’s, is almost entirely CO2. The partial pressure of CO2 at the surface of Mars is 6.1 millibars, compared to 0.38 millibars at the surface of Earth. The greenhouse warming on Mars due to CO2 is greater than that due to CO2 alone on the Earth (but not that due to H2O). Mars is colder because it is further from the Sun and receives less than half the sunlight the Earth does.

    “The problem we now face is that this thin layer of atmosphere is being thickened by huge quantities of human-caused carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.” (p. 27)

    The Earth’s atmosphere is not thicker as a result of increased greenhouse gases; rather, the effects of changes in these gases are associated with the different absorptive properties of these minor constituents.

    “Professor Revelle was the first scientist to propose measuring CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.” (p. 30)

    Scientists had been measuring atmospheric CO2 since the 1800s, before Revelle was born. Guy Stewart Callendar identified the modern increase in atmospheric CO2 from such measurements about 20 years before Revelle’s project, which itself was motivated in part by Hans Suess’s identification of fossil carbon in atmospheric CO2. An article by Revelle and two coauthors in 1991 stated “The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time.” (Singer et al., 1991). Gore instigated a campaign by J. Lancaster to slander the coauthors in 1992; one coauthor sued for libel and obtained an admission by Lancaster that Revelle had indeed participated in authoring those words (Singer, 2003).

    “The pre-industrial concentration of CO2 was 280 parts per million. In 2005, that level, measured high above Mauna Loa, was 381 parts per million.” (p. 37)

    Average CO2 concentration in 2005 at Mauna Loa was 379.75 ppm (Tans, 2006).

    “It is evident in the world around us that very dramatic changes are taking place… This is Mount Kilimanjaro in 1970 with its fabled snows and glaciers… [Lonnie Thompson] predicts that within 10 years there will be no more ‘Snows of Kilimanjaro’.” (pp. 42-45)

    The retreat of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers is not attributable to contemporary temperature changes. Kaser et al., 2004, cite a drastic drop in local atmospheric moisture around the late 1800s; Mason, 2003, cites deforestation around Kilimanjaro, resulting in a drop in local precipitation. Young and Hastenrath, 1991, list several potential factors but single out climate changes than occurred in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Cullen et al., 2006, conclude that Kilimanjaro’s glaciers have been out of equilibrium with local climate since about 1900, i.e. that their retreat reflects climate change a century ago, not climate change today. Thompson’s actual prediction is for loss of the ice fields in 9-14 years, between 2015 and 2020 (Thompson et al., 2002).

    “Our own Glacier National Park will soon need to be renamed ‘the park formerly known as Glacier’.” (p. 46)

    Glacier retreat has been ongoing in Glacier National Park since 1850 (USGS, 2003a) due to natural climate variations; the USGS suggests that with no additional warming the glaciers will likely be gone by 2100, with one model assuming continued warming predicting their disappearance by 2030 (USGS, 2003b). Even without the current warming blamed by some on humans, the glaciers of Glacier National Park would be disappearing since they have been out of equilibrium with the local environment ever since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850.

    “Almost all of the mountain glaciers in the world are now melting…” (p. 48)

    All glaciers are losing mass to melting and gaining mass to precipitation. Losses outpace gains for most, but not all. Even at the regional level, some regions show net gains (Dyurgerov and Meier, 2005).

    “The Himalayas… provide more than half of the drinking water for 40% of the world’s population… Within the next half-century, that 40% of the world’s people may well face a very serious drinking water shortage, unless the world acts boldly and quickly to mitigate global warming.” (p. 58)

    Research suggests runoff reductions of only 1-8% under various climate change scenarios (Sharma et al., 2000). Dyurgerov and Meier, 2005, conclude that the mass loss of Himalayan glaciers from 1960 to 1992 was offset by mass gain of Tibetan glaciers (with little net loss or gain by Tibetan glaciers since then). Zhao and Moore, 2006, report that Himalayan snow accumulation has been steadily declining since 1840, predating any current climate change. Even if predictions were correct regarding disappearance of these glaciers, such melting would increase river flows in the period of time described by Gore.

    (map, p. 59)

    The white areas on the map represent high elevations, not glaciers; only a small fraction of this area (less than 10%) is covered by glaciers.

    “1000 years of northern hemisphere temperature (° C)” (p. 63)
    “But as Dr. Thompson’s thermometer shows, the vaunted Medieval Warm Period… was tiny compared to the enormous increases in temperature of the last half-century” (p. 64)
    “Those global warming skeptics–a group diminishing almost as rapidly as the mountain glaciers–launched a fierce attack against another measurement of the 1,000-year correlation between CO2 and temperature known as “the hockey stick,” a graphic image representing the research of climate scientist Michael Mann and his colleagues. But in fact, scientists have confirmed the same basic conclusions in multiple ways–with Thompson’s ice core record as one of the most definitive.” (p. 65)

    The depicted graph is not based on the ice core data of Thompson as claimed, but is the (mostly tree-ring based) proxy reconstruction of Mann et al., 1999, combined with the 1840-2000 surface measurement-based series of Jones et al., 1999. (Specifically, it is a defective reproduction of a figure from a secondary source.) The lack of variance before 1840 is relatively unique to Mann et al.’s methodology for combining proxies, a methodology which has been shown to have flaws (McIntrye and McKitrick, 2003) and appears to suppress temperature variations prior to the 20th century relative to other methods (Dahl-Jensen et al., 1998; von Storch et al., 2004; Moberg et al., 2005). The actual ice core-based reconstruction by Thompson et al., 2003, is based on only 6 tropical glaciers and shows a similar “hockey-stick” shape primarily due to the influence of two cores, while the other four cores show Medieval Warm Period temperatures very similar to modern temperatures.

    “Nonetheless, the so-called global-warming skeptics often say that global warming is really an illusion reflecting nature’s cyclical fluctuations. To support their view, they frequently refer to the Medieval Warm Period.” (p. 65)

    This is an inaccurate caricature of skeptical views, which really cover a wide range of views. First, a short-term warming that was part of a cyclical variation would be real warming, not illusional; second, “cyclical” does not accurately describe some of the types of natural effects described by the scientific community that could explain modern warming. More to the point, many (not all but many) “skeptics” believe that warming is now occurring, but simply disagree with Gore on the cause of this warming. Many scientists–some who agree with Gore on the magnitude of modern warming and some who don’t–also accept the historical evidence for a Medieval Warm Period either locally or globally as warm as temperatures today. By the same token, it should not be necessary for Gore to deny the Medieval Warm Period to assert that warming is occurring today.

    “In Antarctica, measurements of CO2 concentrations and temperature go back 650,000 years… It’s a complicated relationship, but the most important part of it is this: When there is more CO2 in the atmosphere, the temperature increases because more heat from the Sun is trapped inside… There is not a single part of this graph–no fact, date, or number–that is controversial in any way or in dispute by anybody.” (pp. 66-67)

    These measurements are directly of CO2 and deuterium (or oxygen-18 in other cases) in air bubbles in ice cores; the relationship of deuterium to temperature is indirect and requires assumptions regarding past isotopic abundances. The reconstructed temperature series is local, not global; similar ice core temperature reconstructions from other locations, while correlated with CO2 abundances, are not as strongly correlated as these series selected by Gore, possibly suggesting local influences. The claim that this correlation shows that more CO2 leads to higher temperatures is false: higher resolution studies of the ice cores show that the temperature increases came first, followed by CO2 increases. For the composite series shown in this graph, Siegenthaler et al., 2005, find the best match shows CO2 concentrations lagging 1,900 years behind the deuterium-derived temperature values. It is believed that the temperature changes led to changes in the balance between greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and greenhouse gases in locations such as the oceans. Apart from this, atmospheric CO2 does not trap heat (such a statement is linked to misunderstanding of the greenhouse effect); rather, CO2 and other greenhouse gases selectively absorb outgoing longwave infrared resulting in a radiative balance at a different global temperature than without the gases. The fact that the data within the graph is basically accepted in the scientific community is a separate issue from the fact that Gore is misinterpreting it.

    “The top right point… shows current global temperatures. And the bottom right point marks the depth of the last ice age. That short distance–about an inch in the graph–represents the difference, in Chicago, between a nice day and a mile of ice over your head. Imagine what three times that much on the warm side would mean.” (p. 67)

    The implied connection between these temperatures and climate is misleading. The ice core-based temperature series has a poor time resolution and does not reflect much larger temperature variations on timescales of years or decades. Further, the high correlation over this time period used to support Gore’s interpretation does not hold in the more distant geologic past (Royer et al., 2004).

    “This graph charts the actual measurements of global temperature since the Civil War… And in recent years the rate of increase has been accelerating… The hottest year recorded during this entire period was 2005.” (pp. 72-73)

    Gore does not give a source for this graph, but reportedly it is based on the GISS temperature series from NASA (Hansen et al., 2006), which only goes back to 1880. These and other similar series are composite averages based on ground-based and sea-based measurements, adjusted and averaged in various ways. Such series cannot absolutely specify the “hottest” year because the precise temperature values are highly dependent on the methodology used to average measurements and the selection of stations to be included in the averages. For example, the GISS series gives the three successively hottest years as 2005, 1998, and 2002. The UK Climate Research Unit series (Jones et al., 1999) instead gives 1998, 2005, and 2002, with 1998 0.1° C warmer than 2005 due to the 1998 El Nino event (Jones and Palutikof, 2006). The Global Historical Climate Network series gives 2005, 1998, and 2003 as the hottest years (NOAA, 2006). All of these series, however, show much greater warmings in the last three decades than more uniform sampling from satellite-based observations. This post-1970 warming bias may result from local effects such as the urban heat island effect, or from problems with the selection of stations used in the average and the adjustments applied to this data. With such relative extremes so heavily dependent on the particular methodology used, Gore is incorrect to make such an absolute claim without qualification.

    “We have already begun to see the kind of heatwaves that scientists say will become much more common if global warming is not addressed. In the summer of 2003 Europe was hit by a massive heatwave that killed 35,000 people.” (p. 75)

    This death toll is dominated by 14,082 deaths in France and 4,000 in Italy, both calculated by comparing observed deaths in August 2003 to what would “normally be expected” (UNEP, 2004); these deaths, predominantly among the elderly, have not been individually attributed to heat-related causes. The French government in particular offered these precise estimates after initially stating that there was no accurate way of measuring deaths from the heat. These death tolls partly reflect the aging population of Europe, but in the case of France have also been attributed to failed government and health care system response to the heat wave (BBC, 2003). More generally, despite the anomaly of the 2003 European heat wave, more accurate treatment of regional temperatures does not support the claim that regional heat waves are becoming more frequent (Pielke, 2006).

    “In the summer of 2005 many cities in the American West broke all-time records for high temperatures… And in the East, a number of cities set daily temperature records…” (pp. 76-77)

    Individual local highs and lows always occur, due to the chaotic variations in weather; when discussing climate, this is not an appropriate measure. (Note that Gore dismisses local measures of climate on p. 321.) Such highs are likely attributable to the urban heat island effect, not to global warming. According to the GISS-compiled temperature series for the lower 48 states, 2005 tied as the 9th hottest year on record; the hottest years, from hottest to cooler, were 1934, 1998, 1921, 1931, 1999, tie between 1953, 1990, and 2001, and tie between 1987 and 2005; 2005 was a full 0.4° C cooler than 1934 (Sato and Hansen, 2006).

    “But scientists who specialize in global warming have been using evermore accurate computer models that long ago predicted a much higher range of ocean temperatures as a result of man-made global warming… The actual ocean temperatures are completely consistent with what has been predicted as a result of man-made global warming. And they’re way above the range of natural variability.” (pp. 78-79)

    The global circulation models (GCMs) referred to still fail to replicate observed temperature changes from first principles; several phenomena are not well understood but are incorporated with empirical factors to produce the apparent agreement between models and past observations. But as more such empirical adjustments are applied, the models can be forced to reproduce a particular result without necessarily reproducing the physics correctly. Still, on several points, GCMs continue to fail the basic scientific test of making predictions which are subsequently verified (Pielke, 2006). The predictions from these models tend to be larger than empirical predictions for a given change in atmospheric CO2 (Lindzen, 1997). Indirect solar effects, which are highly correlated with climate, are ignored by these models. Any claim that observed changes are outside the range of natural variability necessarily assumes that natural influences have been constant, an assumption which has been questioned.

    “As the oceans get warmer, storms get stronger… there is now a strong, new emerging consensus that global warming is indeed linked to a significant increase in both the duration and intensity of hurricanes. Brand-new evidence is causing some scientists to assert that global warming is even leading to an increased frequency of hurricanes, overwhelming the variability in frequency long understood to be part of natural deep-current cycles.” (pp. 80-81)

    Gore acknowledges some limitations of the claimed global warming-hurricane link, but still claims a stronger consensus than what actually exists. In fact, the scientific community is divided as to whether recent peaks in hurricane activity are the result of a global warming trend or merely an indicator of natural cycles. The research which Gore apparently refers to (Emanuel, 2005; Webster et al., 2005) has been questioned (Pielke, 2005), and many researchers (including many in the NOAA) tend to attribute recent active storm seasons to natural cycles including the Atlantic oscillation (Elsner et al., 2000; Goldenberg et al., 2001; NOAA, 2005; Chan, 2006). Kloztbach, 2006, found that the recent increase in North Atlantic tropical storm activity was offset by a significant decrease in Northeast Pacific tropical storm activity, leading to minimal global change. Further, theoretical research has produced varying conclusions regarding the effect of any global warming on hurricane activity: some predict more storms, some predict the same number of storms but stronger storms on average, some models predict limited changes. Continuing research may yet identify and attribute a trend, but claims that this has already been settled are premature (Pielke et al., 2005; Michaels et al., 2006).

    “The science textbooks had to be rewritten in 2004. They used to say, ‘It’s impossible to have hurricanes in the South Atlantic’. But that year, for the first time ever, a hurricane hit Brazil.” (p. 84)

    Any textbook making such a claim would not have been credible before 2004. Two other weak tropical storms short of hurricane strength have been reported in this area during the last 40 years (Pezza and Simmonds, 2005). Rather than the “first time ever”, the “first recorded instance” would be more accurate.

    “Also in 2004, the all-time record for tornadoes in the United States was broken.” (p. 86)

    To imply a significance to this fact is misleading, since increased observations and technological methods permit the tallying of more weak tornadoes than ever before. No F5 tornado damage occurred in 2004 (McCarthy and Schaefer, 2005), and no trends regarding consistently measured tornadoes are observed (McCarthy, 2000). Gore also fails to acknowledge that tornado activity in 2005 was unusually low, with this the first year in which no tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma in the month of May.

    “… less than a month before Hurricane Katrina hit the United States, a major study from MIT supported the scientific consensus that global warming is making hurricanes more powerful and more destructive… And then came Katrina… The consequences were horrendous…” (pp. 92-95)

    Hurricane Katrina cannot be linked individually to any climate trend, human-caused or otherwise. Further, the uniquely disastrous consequences of Katrina are mostly a reflection of the fact that it struck a city below sea level protected by inadequate levees, with consequences worsened by inept government response at the city, state, and federal levels. Finally, there is no scientific consensus either on any trends regarding hurricanes or on the causes for any such trends, as previously discussed.

    “Partly as a result, the number of large flood events has increased decade by decade, on every continent.” (p. 106)

    This data cannot be used to support claimed trends in climate. Observed flood events are influenced by increasing population and distribution of people in flood-prone areas, as well as by land use changes which increase runoff during heavy rains. Studies on weather extremes show heavy rain events are more frequent in some locations and less frequent in others, not uniformly more frequent as Gore implies (Easterling et al., 2000).

    “In 2005 Europe had a year of unusual catastrophes very similar to the one in the United States… Europe was experiencing a disastrous number of floods.” (pp. 106-107)

    Mudelsee et al., 2003, examined flood records for the Elbe and Oder rivers in central Europe as far back as 1021 and 1269, respectively, and found no modern trend regarding the occurrence of floods.

    “There has also been record flooding in China, which, as one of the planet’s oldest civilizations, keeps the best flood records of any nation in the world.” (p. 112)

    Jiang et al., 2005, examined Chinese flood records for the Yangtze Delta from 1000 AD to the present and found the frequency of large floods was greatest from about 1500 to 1700; this was identified as the transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age.

    “Paradoxically, however, global warming causes not only more flooding, but also more drought.” (p. 112)

    There is some tendency to claim that global warming will produce opposite extremes, which tends to make it impossible to scientifically test such claims, given that weather extremes such as flood events and droughts are natural aspects of a chaotic climate system. Gore makes the claims here that (1) global warming will causes regional changes in weather extremes and (2) such trends in weather extremes are observed. On point one, the general circulation models have deficiencies previously noted which are even worse with regard to predictions at the regional level. For some regions, various GCMs give contradictory predictions. On point two, individual events cited by Gore do not constitute a trend. Studies on weather extremes show heavy rain events are more frequent in some locations and less frequent in others and show little trends for droughts to date (Easterling et al., 2000).

    “The map to the left shows what is projected to happen to soil moisture in the United States with the doubling of CO2, which would happen in less than 50 years if we continue business as usual… Moreover, scientists are now telling us that if we do not act quickly to contain global warming pollution, we will soon … more toward a quadrupling, in which case, scientists tell us, most of the United States would lose up to 60% of its soil moisture.” (p. 121)

    These models are based on some questionable assumptions, including dominance of positive feedbacks in a perturbed climate state. The particular model used, the GFDL model, produces a greater sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 than either the median IPCC projection (GFDL, 2004) or recent empirical studies (Annan and Hargreaves, 2006). Further, while Gore’s only reference to the time needed for these changes is the claim that CO2 doubling could happen “in less than 50 years”, the depicted model results are for a doubling in 70 years followed by a few centuries’ climate stabilization, or a quadrupling in 140 years followed by a few centuries’ climate stabilization. Results are also seasonally dependent (summer is shown). Recently, greenhouse emission growth rates have slowed, so assumptions of a CO2 doubling in less than 50 years or a quadrupling do not appear appropriate. Hansen et al., 2000, suggest that non-CO2 greenhouse gases are the principal causes of recent warming, in which case the assumptions regarding accelerated carbon dioxide emissions are also inappropriate.

    “Three years ago [the Ward Hunt shelf] cracked in half, to the astonishment of scientists. This had never happened before.” (p. 128)

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf had loss 90% of its area from 1906 to 1982, and only covered 443 sq. km at the time of the breakup, which occurred over the period 2000 to 2002 (Mueller et al., 2003). The breakup of this shelf was not particularly astonishing, given observed calving of icebergs over the preceding decades; the remarkable aspect was the emptying of low-salinity surface water from Disraeli Fiord, previously trapped by the shelf and overlying high-salinity water.

    “Since the 1970s, the extent and thickness of the Arctic ice cap has diminished precipitously. There are now studies showing that if we continue with business as usual, the Arctic ice cap will completely disappear each year during the summertime. At present, it plays a crucial role in cooling the Earth. Preventing its disappearance must be one of our highest priorities.” (p. 143)

    Studies of actual observations of Arctic sea ice show significant year-to-year variability (Laxon et al., 2003), which is not reproduced in the model studies Gore cites, indicating that they do not correctly simulate sea ice dynamics. The role of Arctic sea ice in affecting global climate by reflecting sunlight back to space is not uniquely crucial, since cloud cover over the same region has a similar effect, and clouds are not well simulated in the GCMs in question (Potter and Cess, 2004).

    “The reason this Arctic ice cap has been melting so quickly is first because it is much thinner than the Antarctic ice cap, since it floats on top of the Arctic Ocean. Second, as soon as a portion of the ice melts, there is a dramatic difference in the amount of heat absorbed from the sun.” (p. 144)

    Antarctica has a much colder climate than the Arctic because the thick icecap is built up to an altitude much higher than sea level. Many studies attribute the recent thinning of the Arctic ice cap not directly to more melting at a given location as Gore implies, but to changes in the winds and ocean currents that move the sea ice from one location to another (Hilmer and Jung, 2000; Laxon et al., 2003).

    “A new scientific study shows that, for the first time, polar bears have been drowning in significant numbers.” (p. 147)

    The “significant numbers” are four drowned polar bears observed in 2004 (Monnett et al., 2005). Of thirteen polar bear populations in Canada, only two show recent decreases while eleven show increases or no population change (Taylor, 2006); in Alaska, the two populations are relatively stable (NFS, 2002a; NFS, 2002b).

    “A study from the Netherlands, depicted below… As a result [of warming], the chicks are in trouble.” (p. 153)

    The depicted graph does not accurately represent the sensitivity of the great tit (which was the subject of the study, not the black tern depicted in the photo on p. 153) to the relative time of peak caterpillars/bird-hatching. The graph is reproduced from National Geographic, 2004, which appears to have arbitrarily chosen the widths of these curves, since their cited source (Both and Visser, 2001) does not report such data on the distributions of this data. Consequently, the graph exaggerates the sensitivity of the great tit to the change in peak caterpillar population. Some factors are not represented such as the birds adapting by finding other sources of food. The Scientific American article in question states “The gap between the schedules of the caterpillars and the birds has had no demonstrable effect so far on tit numbers” (Grossman, 2004).

    “Swiss frost days…invasive species…” (p. 154)

    The graph is reproduced from National Geographic, 2004, which in turn reproduced it from Walther et al., 2002: both of these use the more accurate label “exotic species”, while Gore uses “invasive species”. Gore does not identify these species or the nature of this measurement: this represents broad-leafed plant species imported by humans to gardens and parks in southern Switzerland, which have subsequently spread from these locations. The actual methodology used to produce this data is discussed elsewhere (Walther, 2000; Walther, 2002) and may not be a linear indicator of the spread of such plant life. While such spread is influenced by milder local climate, it is also influenced by the selection and frequency of plants imported.

    “…14 million acres of spruce trees in Alaska and British Columbia that have been killed by bark beetles, whose rapid spread was once slowed by colder and longer winters.” (p. 156)

    The bark beetle outbreaks in the late 1990s reflected a combination of several warm winters and poor forest management practices, such as fire suppression practices (ADNR, 2004).

    “In fact, we are facing what biologists are beginning to describe as a mass extinction crisis, with a rate of extinction now 1,000 times higher than the normal background rate.” (p. 163)

    Known species extinctions in the last several centuries total about 1,000, with very few attributed to climate change. The estimates Gore refers to here are unconfirmed estimates which either assume that GCM predictions of future warming are reliable or consider the effects of phenomena apart from global warming.

    “Corals–along with many other ocean life forms–are threatened by the unprecedented growth of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide…” (p. 168)

    Gore does not acknowledge significant variations in coral reef response to perturbations such as temperature or dissolved carbon dioxide. A recent review (Hughes et al., 2003) states “reefs will change rather than disappear entirely, with some species already showing far greater tolerance to climate change and coral bleaching than others.”

    “In general, the relationship between the human species and viruses is less threatening when there are colder winters, colder nights, more stability in climate patterns, and fewer disruptions… Global warming pushes all of these boundaries in the wrong direction, thereby increasing human vulnerability to new and unfamiliar diseases, as well as new strains of diseases once under control… mosquitoes are profoundly affected by global warming… Some 30 so-called new diseases have emerged over the last 25 to 30 years. And some old diseases that had been under control are now surging again. One example is the West Nile virus…” (pp. 172-175)

    Most of the “new diseases” in this sensationalist listing are irrelevant to climate change discussions, as the disease-spread mechanisms are poorly linked to climate or not linked to climate at all. Most of the new diseases listed on p. 174 are associated with human interaction/infrastructure changes, i.e. spread by global transportation, spread in closed artificial environments, spread mainly by direct contact with body fluids, etc. Claims regarding climate change-disease links must be limited to those diseases which have some relation to climate, such as mosquito-borne malaria. However, health experts point out that even for these diseases such claims exaggerate the dependence of disease spread on climate to the exclusion of other factors. Malaria, for example, is affected more by health care practices, degree of development, and degree of past control exercised. In particular, control of malaria has suffered from the opposition to the use of DDT for mosquito control (Roberts et al., 1997). Further, research indicates that estimates of climate-related malaria impact are exaggerated (Rogers and Randolph, 2001) and tend to disregard the body of knowledge about the disease (Reiter et al., 2004).

    “Once the sea-based ice shelf was gone, the land-based ice… began to shift and fall into the sea… This is one of the reasons sea levels have been rising worldwide…” (p. 184)

    Current sea level rise, estimated at 2.8 centimeters per decade, is mostly attributed to thermal expansion of the oceans (Cazenave and Nerem, 2004), with additional contributions from net mass loss from mountain glaciers (IPCC, 2001). Glacial outflow as described is a minor contributor to current sea level change, given that ice accumulation on inland ice caps mostly offsets this.

    “Many residents of low-lying Pacific Island nations have already had to evacuate their homes because of rising seas.” (p. 187)

    The evacuations referred to cannot be linked to global sea level rise. Measurements of sea level change at Pacific Islands vary from island to island, with some showing rises and some showing drops. These changes are primarily the result of local geologic subsistence or uplift. The primary issue here is the increase of population living in the lowest locations on these islands, and the increase in more permanent habitations at such locations. The situation is somewhat analogous to the increase in flood-related damage in the United States, which results not from more floods but from more construction in areas known to be vulnerable to floods.

    “The Thames River… In recent decades, higher sea levels began to cause more damage… The graph below shows how frequently London has had to use these barriers… The resulting pattern is similar to many others that measure the increasing impact of global warming worldwide.” (pp. 188-189)

    Recent increases in Thames barrier closures reflect changes in the rules for such closures along with increasing closures to keep river water in, i.e. a response to relatively low sea level, not high sea level. The British government has stated that Thames barrier closures should not be considered an indicator for climate change (DEFRA, 2004).

    “The East Antarctic ice shelf…had been thought to be still increasing in size… However, two new studies in 2006 showed first that the overall volumes of ice in East Antarctica now appear to be declining…” (p. 190)

    The one study related to East Antarctic ice volume is based on only three years’ observations from the GRACE satellite and actually show no net change over the study period (Velicogna and Wahr, 2006). These results are somewhat model dependent, and other researchers using the same dataset have concluded that East Antarctic ice volume increased (Chen et al., 2006; Ramillien et al., 2006). The broader body of scientific research on this topic, using both measurements and models, shows East Antarctic ice volume has increased in the past few decades (IPCC, 2001; van de Berg et al., 2006).

    “In recent years, the melting [in Greenland] has accelerated dangerously.” (p. 194)

    While some recent research has described mechanisms for acceleration of glacier outflow in Greenland (Zwally et al., 2002), measurements of the cumulative mass balance for Greenland show that its contribution to sea level is about 0.1-0.4 millimeters per year, such that “dangerous” is not a useful term. Further, the current conditions in Greenland are not unprecedented; measurements show that temperatures in Greenland in the 1930s were about the same as temperatures today (Chylek et al., 2006; Vinther et al., 2006). In general, observed Arctic warmings are significantly less than predicted, also refuting the GCMs.

    “If Greenland melted or broke up and slipped into the sea–or if half of Greenland and half of Antarctica melted or broke up and slipped into the sea, sea levels worldwide would increase by between 18 and 20 feet.” (p. 196)

    The Greenland ice sheet cannot slip into the sea, since it is resting in a bowl-shaped depression produced by its own weight, surrounded by mountains which permit only limited glacier outflow to the sea. Gore’s reference to “half of Antarctica” should be to “half of the West Antarctic ice sheet”, which is the portion of Antarctica’s ice comparable to Greenland in volume and the portion showing any sensitivity to climate change. Only with regard to the West Antarctic ice sheet have any scientists proposed any potential for accelerated outflow into the sea, but even under the most pessimistic scenarios described in the scientific literature this would take hundreds of years. The consensus of the scientific community is for estimates of thousands of years for both Greenland (Greve, 2000; Alley et al., 2005; Lowe et al., 2006) and West Antarctica (Oppenheimer, 1998; Vaughan and Spouge, 2002; Oppenheimer and Alley, 2004).

    “This is what would happen to Florida… San Francisco Bay… the Netherlands… Beijing… More than 20 million people would have to be evacuated… In Shanghai and the surrounding area, more than 40 million people would be forced to move… In Calcutta and Bangladesh, 60 million people would be displaced… The site of the World Trade Center would be underwater.” (pp. 198-209)

    The United Nations IPCC predictions for sea level rise over the next 100 years, even though they are based on models and assumptions which exaggerate warming over that period, are only 0.1 to 0.8 meters (median estimate 0.48 meters) (IPCC, 2001). As mentioned above, the consensus of the scientific community is that sea level rise of 6 meters/20 feet as described by Gore, even if it does happen, would take thousands of years. A minority view in the scientific community suggests scenarios in which this could occur in 250-400 years. Such timescales, which are longer than the history of the country that built the World Trade Center, would certainly not require any “evacuations”. The depicted images also use a subtle technique to exaggerate the appearance of sea level rise: the post-rise images are from a more distant perspective, causing the remaining land to be even smaller in appearance.

    “The graph below shows the steady increase in major wildfires in North and South America…” (p. 229)

    Such wildfires are less a reflection of any climate change and more a reflection of increases in population, poor historical management practices by the U.S. government of woodlands and grasslands, and increased use of fires for clearing forest in Latin America.

    “Moreover, since science thrives on uncertainty and politics is paralyzed by it, scientists have a difficult time sounding the alarm bells for politicians, because even when their findings make it clear that we’re in grave danger, their first impulse is to replicate the experiment to see if they get the same result.” (p. 260)

    This statement mischaracterizes science. Many scientists are quite willing to “sound alarm bells”, some whether or not the evidence justifies such concern. More generally, scientists are engaged in evidence-based testing of descriptions of the world we live in, and are disinclined to involve themselves in political applications of their work. Nonetheless, scientists are human beings and tend to be quite ready to call attention to hazards they discover, as is evident from a cursory inspection of the history of science in the public arena. It is unfair to suggest that scientists will tend not to call for attention to clear evidence of danger.

    “For example, the so-called global warming skeptics cite one article more than any other in arguing that global warming is just a myth: a statement of concern during the 1970s that the world might be in danger of entering a new ice age…” (pp. 260-261)

    Gore is incorrect to claim that such references to past concerns about global cooling stem from a single article, or only from non-peer reviewed sources. Kukla et al., 1972, discussed the possibility of an ice age, and similarly the review by Kukla and Matthews, 1972, of a scientific conference titled “The Present Interglacial, How and When Will it End?” stated “several investigators showed … if nature were allowed to run its course unaltered by man, events similar to those which ended the last interglacial should be expected to occur perhaps as soon as the next few centuries.” To be clear, the scientific community was only beginning to evaluate long-term climate change, whether from natural or man-made causes, but such views were more widely disseminated (out of context) by the press and by environmentalists as well. The Newsweek article cited by Gore (Gwynne, 1975) is only one such example (it was cited by Rush Limbaugh in 2002, perhaps Gore’s source of information); other such reports included an article in National Geographic (Mathews, 1976) and a vague statement by prominent environmentalist (Ehrlich, 1968). The point raised by “skeptics” here is not so much a reference to the vetted claims of the scientific community, but to the tendency of the popular media in general and some environmentalists in particular to take scientific claims out of context, to single out the worst case scenario from a range of possibilities, and to present this scenario as fact, as Gore does.

    “There is a misconception that the scientific community is in a state of disagreement about whether global warming is real, whether human beings are the principal cause, and whether its consequences are so dangerous as to warrant immediate action. In fact, there is virtually no serious disagreement remaining on any of these central points…” (p. 261)

    This statement is false. A significant number of scientists reject the first two points, or would qualify any agreement. The third claim, that “consequences are so dangerous as to warrant immediate action,” is likely rejected by a majority of the scientific community, particularly if the context is Gore’s specific claims. To declare the debate over, as Gore does, is a rejection of scientific methodology. The survey by Bray described below (Bray, 2005) demonstrates a very mixed set of opinions in the scientific community.

    “Dr. Naomi Oreskes, published in Science magazine a massive study of every peer-reviewed science journal article on global warming from the previous 10 years… Percentage of articles in doubt as to the cause of global warming: 0%” (p. 262)

    The cited “study” by Oreskes, a historian, comprised a review of only 928 abstracts identified by a search engine using the keywords “global climate change” (not “climate change” as her article originally claimed, as this yields 12,000 abstracts). Her results were presented in an opinion editorial in Science (Oreskes, 2004), days before the 10th Conference on Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The scientific method for validating research is to replicate results, and Oreskes’ work fails this test. Review of the Oreskes’ set shows at least two that explicitly reject the ‘consensus position’ within the abstract, even apart from the remainder of the paper. Peiser conducted a similar study of abstracts identified in a search for “global climate change”: of 1,117 abstracts, he found that only 1% “explicitly endorse the ‘consensus view’,” 29% “implicitly accept the ‘consensus view’,” 3% “reject or doubt the view that human activities are the main drivers of ‘the observed warming over the last 50 years’,” and most take no position or are unrelated to the global warming hypothesis (Peiser, 2005). A 2003 survey by Bray (Bray, 2005) of 530 climate scientists asking “To what extent do you agree or disagree that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes?” yielded very mixed results: on a scale of one to seven, 56% agreed strongly to slightly (including 9% strongly) and 29% disagreed strongly to slightly (including 10% strongly). Letters on both of these studies, incidentally, were rejected by Science. Such superficial studies as that by Oreskes are biased by the obligatory acknowledgement of “climate change” that researchers must make in order to get research published, particularly in view of editorial bias such as that exhibited by Science.

    “The misconception that there is serious disagreement among scientists about global warming is actually an illusion that has been deliberately fostered by a relatively small but extremely well-funded cadre of special interests, including Exxon Mobil and a few other oil, coal, and utilities companies.” (p. 263)

    This is a slanderous misrepresentation of the nature of scientific debate on the issue of climate change. Many scientists, based on conclusions drawn from their examination of the evidence, hold sincere disagreements with some or all aspects of the global warming hypothesis as described by Gore. Some are falsely accused of financial ties to the energy industry, despite the fact that they may have difficulty obtaining funding from traditional sources with a pro-global warming bias. Whatever expenditures undertaken by the energy industry on public relations related to global warming, similar large expenditures have been undertaken by the environmentalist lobby. (And only one of these two lobbies has produced a major motion picture.)

    “In 1984 a dramatic hole in the ozone layer was discovered above Antarctica, just as the scientists forecasted.” (p. 295)

    The discovery of the ozone “hole”, a seasonal partial depletion of ozone over Antarctica, was not consistent with the forecasts. The “hole” represented depletion phenomena specific to the the climate conditions and presence of cloud particles over Antarctica, a phenomena not anticipated.

    “Misconception 1 ‘Scientists disagree…’
    “In fact… scientists overwhelmingly agree…” (p. 308)

    The issue is not whether humans perturb the climate system at all, but whether they are the dominant driver for dangerous global temperature increases as Gore claims. As previously discussed, Gore is incorrect to claim of a strong scientific consensus on this point.

    “Misconception 2 ‘Lots of things can impact climate–so there’s no reason we should single out CO2 to worry about.’
    “We have become more powerful than any force of nature.” (p. 309)

    The real issue is whether the specific actions advocated by Gore–the Kyoto protocol, for one–will have a meaningful impact when considered against natural influences, known and unknown.

    “Misconception 3 ‘Climate naturally varies over time, so any change we’re seeing now is just part of a natural cycle.’
    “But these changes all took place with natural variations in carbon dioxide levels that were smaller than the ones we are now causing… we are outside the realm of natural climate variation. More CO2 in the atmosphere means warming temperatures” (p. 312)

    Derived CO2 data predating the ice core data cited by Gore show CO2 concentrations several times greater than modern concentrations.

    “Misconception 4 ‘The hole in the ozone layer causes global warming’
    (p. 313)

    The ozone layer has ozone concentrations of about 6 parts per million–ten times higher than at the Earth’s surface, but still a very minor constituent. Ozone absorbs only a narrow energy range of solar radiation; higher energy radiation is absorbed by the thin atmosphere at much higher altitudes, for example, and most radiation is visible or infrared radiation which can reach the surface. The ozone “hole” is a seasonal region where concentrations are noticeably lower, say 2-4 parts per million, limited to the polar regions. While more ultraviolet radiation reaches the surface in the polar areas when the hole is present than when it is not, the amount of radiation is still significantly lower than that reaching the surface near the equator. Despite the modeled effect of stratospheric cooling on ozone depletion, the ozone layer is currently recovering faster than some predictions.

    “Misconception 5 ‘There is nothing we can do about climate change. It’s already too late.’
    (p. 315)

    Gore urges various specific actions, including regulatory actions, but does not discuss the negative consequences of these actions or the magnitude of their impact on the supposed problem.

    “Misconception 6 ‘Antarctica’s ice sheets are growing, so it must not be true that global warming is causing glaciers and sea ice to melt.’
    (p. 316)

    The “new 2006 study” referred to by Gore (possibly Velicogna and Wahr, 2006) represents a minority opinion, with most scientific research indicating that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing (for example, Chen et al., 2006; Ramillien et al., 2006; and van de Berg et al., 2006).

    “Misconception 7 ‘Global warming is a good thing…’
    “Melting ice sheets are causing sea levels to rise, and if big ice sheets melt…millions of people will become refugees…Other predicted impacts…drought…flooding…new diseases.” (p. 317)

    Gore’s predicted consequences are exaggerated, as previously discussed, beyond even the predictions based on models which arguably overestimate future climate change. Positive effects of climate change are generally ignored. Both globally and in the U.S., mortality from extreme weather events continues to steadily decline and is a minor contributor to overall mortality (Goklany, 2006).

    “Misconception 8 ‘The warming scientists are recording is just the effect of cities trapping heat…’
    “People who want to deny global warming because it’s easier than dealing with it try to argue that what scientists are really observing is just the ‘urban heat island’ effect… This is simply wrong. Temperature measurements are generally taken in parks, which are actually cool areas within the urban heat islands… Most scientific research shows that ‘urban heat islands’ have a negligible effect…” (p. 318)

    Scientists who point out measurement bias due to the urban heat island effect are doing so because the evidence demands it, not from denial. Temperature measurements in urban “parks” are still subject to bias from the effect, since air throughout the urban area is heated by the effect. Scientific research has produced varying estimates of the amount of bias. Insufficient work has been done to examine bias in the principal surface-based temperature series cited in support of global warming.

    “Misconception 9 ‘Global warming is the result of a meteor that crashed in Siberia in the early 20th century’
    (p. 320)

    This spurious claim by Shaidurov, 2005, is not particularly relevant to the debate. Gore cites the effect of water vapor, the effect discussed by Shaidurov, but the larger body of scientific research on such asteroid/comet impacts cites the effects of dust, sulfur dioxide, and nitric oxides as more important to climate. These effects could be long-term for impacts larger than the 1908 Tunguska impact.

    “Misconception 10 ‘Temperatures in some areas aren’t increasing, so global warming is a myth’
    “Global warming refers to the rise in the average temperature…” (p. 321)

    Gore is correct that local climate trends do not equate to global trends (although they are more relevant to discussion of climate change than point temperature highs and extremes discussed extensively by Gore earlier in the book). They do serve to indicate than any changes are not uniformly bad, as implied by Gore; they also can accumulate to discredit claims regarding regional trends claimed by some supporters of the global warming hypothesis. The claim that various measurement methods yield the “same general results” ignores the fact that the disagreements are significant enough to undermine the validity of the models used as the basis for most predictions of future calamity.


    Details–history, economics, etc.:

    “In 2000 I ran for president. It was a long and hard-fought campaign that was ended by a 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court to halt the counting of votes in the key state of Florida.” (p. 8)

    More accurately, the ruling halted the selective recounting of some Florida ballots for the third or fourth time.

    “This is the last picture of our planet taken by a human being from space. It was taken in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission… What makes this image so extraordinary is that it’s the only photo we have of the Earth from space taken when the Sun was directly behind the spacecraft.” (p. 15)

    Subsequent manned space flights routinely photograph the Earth from space–just not from as great a distance. Many other images show a full Earth, including daily images from geosynchronous weather satellites.

    “In the debates that ignite around famine relief, it is sometimes implied that Africans have brought this upon themselves through corruption or mismanagement. But the more we understand about climate change, the more it looks as if we may be the real culprit. The United States emits about a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases… We helped manufacture the suffering in Africa, and we have a moral obligation to try to fix it.” (p. 117)

    Gore progresses here from saying “we may be the culprit” to asserting “we helped manufacture the suffering.” The science does not support such an assertion, or an attribution to the United States in particular. While the United States does produce 22.8% of global greenhouse emissions (and in doing so produces food and other goods exported to Africa), observations suggest that a large fraction of these emissions are also absorbed by land use practices in North America (Fan et al., 1998; Pacala et al., 2001). The policy practices blamed for African famines are mischaracterized as something Africans “brought… upon themselves”; more accurately, undemocratic African regimes unresponsive to the people they govern are widely acknowledged as engaging in practices which have increased suffering during famines.

    “Albert Gore Sr. …” (p. 210)

    Albert Gore Sr., after leaving Congress, served as vice president of Occidental Petroleum Company, as well as board member for both petroleum and coal companies. His support of civil rights was mixed; he voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    “Contributions to global warming… 30.3% United States…” (pp. 250-251)

    Gore does not specify, but he appears to be referring to cumulative emissions, from the beginning of the industrial age to the present. This gives greater shares to nations that industrialized first, as compared to comparison of current emission rates. According to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, of cumulative CO2 emissions from 1750 to 2003, the United States is responsible for 29.2% of the world total. For annual emissions in 2003 (the latest reported figures), the United States is responsible for 22.8% of the world total. For the same year, the People’s Republic of China share was 16.3% and that of Europe was 17.4% (Marland et al., 2006).

    “The carbon exchange market… A similar approach can speed up the reduction of CO2 emissions. The European Union has adopted this U.S. innovation and is making it work effectively.” (p. 252)

    The European Union Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme crashed in May 2006, when exchange prices fell from $36 per metric ton of carbon to $11 per metric ton of carbon (EIA, 2006), due to reports of surplus carbon allowances for several countries. The market scheme will require significant adjustments before it is reopened in 2008; during the 2005-2006 experiment, no credits for carbon sequestration were included.

    “Carbon emissions per person… Carbon emissions per country/region” (p. 253)

    This comparison of selected countries or regions conceals a variety of factors in per capita carbon emissions. In the nation-by-nation listing of per capita emissions by the CDIAC (Marland et al., 2006), the U.S. ranks below Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Luxembourg, and Trinidad and Tobago. The United States ranks higher than Europe as a whole not only because of greater personal consumption by Americans but also because of greater requirements associated with winter heating and summer cooling, plus greater transportation requirements associated with lower population density. This helps explain why the U.S. per capita emissions are only 11-12% greater than those for Canada and Australia. The

  215. Gordo January 25, 2007 7:17 am

    Dr. Jane, an “easier life” is very subjective so I guess it depends on how you define it. All I know is that I don’t think anyone would believe that the farm life of my ancestors was “easy”. And to what do you attribute the ever increasing human lifespans? Certainly can’t be diet or exercise. Of course the elimination of many carcinogens from our lives is probably a big factor (smoking, asbestos, lead, etc.) but none of those things were a factor for our hardworking ancenstors of a few generations past - many of them died from diseases we now have cures for.

    Improved sanitation and the increase in safety in automobiles and other devices (there’s that technological advancement again!) have also been a major factor. But certainly “medicine” (all encompassing term for medical care including drugs, surgery, etc) has played a big role.

    As much as the conspiracy nuts love to vilify the “big bad drug companies” (almost as much as “big bad oil”) they are leading the way to cures and treatments of all kinds. The pharmas have a huge presence in my area of the country, so I am friends with 3 scientists that work for pharmaceutical companies, one works on vaccines. It may be hard for you to admit, but these companies are doing and have done a lot more good than harm. And I really hope if you get cancer you do not have the attitude that if you do nothing your chances of survival will be as good as going to the doctors.

    Its just too easy to fall into the trap of pessimist or conspiracy thinking.

  216. Gordo January 25, 2007 7:27 am

    Zephyr: “you’re officially a condescending jackass”
    “be a dick”
    “severe inferiority complexes”
    “What you really need is a shrink.”
    “know that nobody really has any use for your attitude or anything you have to say.”
    “You are now officially irrelevent”

    Nice dialog buddy! Glad you don’t use personal insults like those other guys…

    “Australia is in the midst of a once in a century type drought.”

    So by your own admission, it happens every century and you want to blame what again???

    “Just because the world is 75% water doesn’t mean there will be less drought because weather patterns can and will be disrupted drastically. It’s happened before, there is historical precedent.”

    Listen to yourself - its happend before and there is historical precedent - so why are you blaming global warming all of a sudden? Ever hear of the dust bowl??

  217. zephyr January 25, 2007 7:49 am

    As my old man would say on occasion to people such as yourself, “Coo-Coo, Quack-Quack”.

    Now, really, I have no desire to dialogue with you any longer. There are enough intelligent people here to talk to. Yes, my language was a bit strong, and for that I admit I was wrong. I don’t hear you ackowledging your constant condescending attitude or the insults you regularly throw at every person you address. Have you noticed I’m not the only one who hasn’t received you well. Perhaps, I was just the most vocal. Sorry, that’s my nature. I just don’t suffer pompous fools.

    Now, again, I’m not going to waste anymore time or space on this forum debating someone who is incapable of acknowledging others without being demeaning, finding some common ground or making concessions.

    Lastly, c’mon, who the hell is going to read post 214? It’s like posting War & Peace.

    Now, go away!

  218. Gordo January 25, 2007 8:00 am

    “one minute your saying it won’t happen, the next saying that even if it does, it won’t be so bad”

    What won’t happen? Continued warming? Sure it could, most climate models are calling for a 2-3 degree increase over the next 100 years. Some scientists believe the warming trend has peaked. If we run out of oil as the peak oil doom and gloomers are expecting, then we won’t be pumping much CO2 into the atmosphere - that will be a real exciting time for climatologists.

    Would continued warming have a net positive or net negative affect on humanity? Again, scientists disagree. One thing is certain, the use of misleading, inaccurate, or erroneous statements/facts/figures doesn’t help. And trying to implement costly fixes that may not be effective will almost certainly do more harm than good.

    I’m all for conservation, increased efficiency, and new technology. I also believe the free market works wonders in these regards. I’ve personally made biodiesel in 55 gallon drums from waste vegetable oil and run it in a Ford pick up truck. I heat my house all winter with a renewable fuel that does not put any net CO2 into the atmosphere, and I drive one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market. I’ve replace every light bulb in my house with compact florescents, and use a high efficiency low water washing machine. I planted 15 trees last year.

    What are you doing?

  219. Gordo January 25, 2007 8:18 am

    By the way Jane, I just read the Slate article you mentioned. You MUST read the comments after the article!

    For example:
    “With medication like statins, it’s almost trivial to ascertain effectiveness. If it doesn’t reduce your cholesterol significantly, don’t bother.

    “In my case, my total cholesterol went from 280 to 110 with 40 mg of a popular statin. I cut back to 20 mg., and my total rose only to 130. That’s a substantial reduction in risk, probably far below the mean, especially since my father and two of his siblings underwent bypass surgery. And studies show that lowered cholesterol induced by medication does indeed reduce risk in the same proportion as low cholesterol that occurs naturally.

    “Most people won’t see those results. The point is, you don’t have to rely on generalized statistics to make an informed decision about your own medication.”
    Sometimes RR ["Relative Risk"] provides a better understanding of cost-benefit ratio than NNT. I unfortunately don’t remember the exact numbers, but the NNT for the polio vaccine is enormous, in the thousands or tens of thousands. The RR, on the other hand, is quite robust. Someone might look at an NNT of, say, 20,000 and ask themselves, why bother at all? But someone looking at the RR, at the lifetime burden of polio and at the relative low cost of universal immunization might come to a rather different conclusion.

    Because it isn’t invariant to baseline risk, NNT is useless as an effect size measure when researchers want to combine the results of multiple small studies (what’s called a ‘meta-analysis’). An article that failed to report its effect size in a way that made it possible to be included in meta-analyses would (or at least should) be sent back for revision by reviewers. Again, this is not to say that studies should not also report NNT. NNT can be very informative too.

    Finally, RR is much nicer than NNT from a mathematical point of view. It’s very easy for biostatisticians (yes, such as myself) to construct statistical models involving RR in order to estimate a treatment’s efficacy. It’s much more difficult to model NNT, and these models are clumsier and harder to estimate, potentially yielding less reliable results.

    I’m sure pharmaceutical companies are as pleased as punch to report robust-sounding RRs rather than unimpressive NNTs, but that doesn’t mean that scientists don’t need RRs too. Something as complicated as risk and cost-benefit can’t be adequately summarized by any one number, be it NNT, RR, OR, ARR, p-value, phi, or what have you.

  220. kia January 25, 2007 10:43 am


    Have you notice that the “free market” hasn’t put a price on the emission of a ton of CO2 or Methane?

    How can the free market solve a problem without price for such a commodity? If a price were set then the free market would search for ways to reduce the cost, by reducing emission. Capitalism would work to be as efficient possible with each gallon of oil.

    Clearly we do not have a free market, as it does not equate energy efficiency with profitability. Rather we rely on the US military and massive tax handouts to multinational oil companies to maintain our access to “cheap oil” greased with the bodies of American and Iraqi men women and children.

    Your personal practices are admirable and the global environment could benefit significantly from following your behavior.

    Your communication and logical reasoning skills are abomidable as you seem to have no capability of understanding other points of view other than your own. Your voluminous rants about books that you haven’t even read speak for themselves.

    Zephyr, your language is strong, and we have bumped fenders more than once and probably will again, but the difference is that you listen to others. As for Gordo, I suggest you man the flush handle. Michael is there any filter available for individual posters or do
    Zephyr and the rest us have to scroll through these screeds?

    Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable – Mark Twain


  221. kia January 25, 2007 11:09 am

    Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. Your destiny is a mystery to us - Chief Seattle

  222. zephyr January 25, 2007 11:50 am

    Thanks Kia, I know I can come across strong, I believe I’ve admitted that on more than one occasion. But that’s just me…..from my family actually……I’m passionate. But I really do love cerebral stuff and I love dialogue, and I try to understand where others are coming from even if I don’t agree with everything they say. Hell, I don’t always agree with some of the stuff that comes out of my own mouth :-) I learn alot by opening my mind to others.

    But bottom line, I despise a bully. I cannot tolerate someone mean and intolerant of other’s feelings and opinions. And no one should allow a bully to continue treating people badly….there’s absolutely no room for it. None! Especially on a site like this where we have extraordinary people. There’s enough of that in the material world without having a safe place to withdraw to being invaded by a knucklehead. We have good people here who expose a great deal of themselves in sharing. Gordo is nasty in nearly every post. He obviously has issues, I’m not even sure what his purpose is in joining in conversation, if you can call it that. I tried reaching out some ( post 197 ) but had the olive branch smacked out of my hand. Hell, he can’t even refer to us by name. And my belief is that you deal with someone in the language they use and understand.

    Anyway, enough of that. Kia, we have bumped heads. But that’s normal. It would be weird and unhealthy to see eye to eye on everything. But we got past that in a respectful manner and moved on. My wife of 15 years and partner of 21 occasionally bicker, but it’s always shortlived because we communicate, hash it out and clear the air. That’s part of why we have such a great relationship. Always clear the air, never stay mad, it serves no purpose. As a Buddhist, I’m sure you would agree with that.

    Anyway, peace y’all!

  223. kia January 25, 2007 12:19 pm


    I am in complete agreement with you, BTW if you have a moment, these pictures are the closest thing I can think of to call “God”


    I try to operate on a two step process:

    1) observe
    2) contribute

    I work to stay true to the process. Being mad is like carrying a stone, it feels so good to put it down. Besides we all end up as worm food eventually ;-)

    Peace Today, Tomorrow, and the Rest of Time and of course best to your Mom at the nursing home.

  224. zephyr January 25, 2007 12:47 pm

    Kia, I’ve seen those pix….incredible stuff….makes one feel very small yet part of something very big. Guess the Hubble was a good idea after all. I always appreciate your good wishes….likewise to you and yours. Also, keep Makia in mind everyone, his wife had their second child, a healthy girl, about 5 or so days ago. I’m sure he’s been very otherwise occupied but we miss you Makia!! He sent me a text message yesterday….all is well.

    See ya, Kia ( hey, that rhymes! )

  225. Gordo January 25, 2007 12:47 pm

    The Truth about An Inconvenient Truth
    by H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.

    Former Vice President Al Gore has long argued that human activities — primarily the burning of fossil fuels — are causing the Earth to warm significantly, with potentially catastrophic results. His most recent attempt to persuade the general public of his view is a movie and companion book entitled An Inconvenient Truth.

    Most of the material in the movie is not new. It is largely based on a slide show Gore has given more than a thousand times to audiences around the world. Gore has persistently erred in his presentation of climate science for years; unfortunately, he has not taken this opportunity to correct his errors. The movie is filled with misstatements, half-truths and verbal sleights of hand concerning what we can and can’t say with some level of certainty regarding the causes and consequences of climate change.

    Is Tennessee Warmer? Gore says that since he was a child, he has seen the effects of global warming on his family farm. Inconveniently for Gore, however, any changes on his farm could not have been caused by global warming. According to National Climatic Data Center records, Tennessee has cooled by more than a half degree since Gore was born. Indeed, monthly temperature records show the state’s warmest 30-year period since 1895 was 1925 to 1954.

    Is Global Warming Causing the Snows of Kilimanjaro to Melt? Early in the film, Al Gore shows some powerful photographs of the diminishing snow-pack on Kenya’s Mount Kilimanjaro, implying that human-induced warming is the cause. The snows of Kilimanjaro are retreating, but according to studies in the International Journal of Climatology and the Journal of Geophysical Research, the retreat began in the late 19th century — before most human greenhouse gases were emitted. It is largely due to the decline in precipitation (snowfall) on the mountain as a result of the clearing and burning of the rainforests at its base for agriculture. Precipitation is also declining in parts of the Amazon as the rainforests are cleared. Thus, while humans are to blame for the retreat of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers, global warming is not.

    Will Melting Polar Ice Sheets Cause Flooding of Coastal Cities? Gore uses stunning computer-generated images to show what would happen to the world’s coastal areas if the Greenland and West Antarctica ice sheets melted. Sea levels would rise by as much as 40 feet, radically changing coastlines and creating many refugees.

    What Gore doesn’t say about the threat to the ice sheets is as important as what he does say, however. Ice and snow is accumulating in the interior of Greenland and Antarctica, but decreasing around the edges. A 2005 study in the Journal of Glaciology by a NASA scientist concludes that there is a net loss of ice that will result in higher sea levels. But the loss is occurring slowly: 0.05 millimeters on average per year. At that rate, it will take a millennium for the oceans to rise 5 centimeters (roughly 2 inches) and 20,000 years to rise a full meter.

    More recent research indicates that the pace of melting has increased. But even under the worst case it would take at least several centuries — 1,800 years by one calculation — for the scenario painted in the movie to play out, giving humans a considerable amount of time to adapt.

    Do All Scientists Agree? Gore says “the debate is over,” “the science is settled,” and “scientists agree,” humans are causing global warming. The most telling piece of evidence for Gore is a study in the journal Science by Naomi Oreskes, professor at University of California at San Diego. Oreskes searched the Institute for Scientific Information database for 1993 to 2003 studies dealing with global climate change. She analyzed 928 abstracts, 25 percent of which did not mention human influence. According to Oreskes, 100 percent of the studies that addressed human influence on current climate trends either explicitly or implicitly endorse the view that humans are to blame for the current warming.

    Researchers who tried to replicate Oreskes findings came up with quite different results. Searching the same database using the same keywords, Benny Peiser, of John Moores University, found 1,117 peer reviewed publications with abstracts. In contrast to Oreskes, he found that:

    Nearly three times as many studies (3 percent) either rejected or doubted that humans are a cause of the current warming as those that explicitly endorsed the “consensus view” that humans are causing warming (1 percent).
    Another 29 percent implicitly accepted the consensus view, but most focused on the projected impacts of climate change rather than its causes.
    Two-thirds of all of the studies either made no mention of human influence or dealt with methodological issues, possible responses to climate change or natural factors that contribute to it.
    Scientists Hans von Storch and Dennis Bray — both of whom accept the consensus view — surveyed their fellow climate scientists worldwide in 2003. They asked, “To what extent do you agree or disagree that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic [human] causes?” Of the 530 responses, a majority (55.8 percent) indicated moderate to strong support for the consensus view, while 30 percent indicated varying degrees of skepticism. [See the figure.] The number of scientists who strongly disagreed with the consensus view (10 percent) outnumbered those who most strongly supported it (9 percent).

    Contrary to Gore’s claims, 55.8 percent is hardly as strong a consensus as science ever produces about a theory.

    No Inconvenient Solutions. Gore says global warming is the most serious threat ever to face human civilization. So what should we do about it? Surprisingly, Gore’s list of remedies is so meek and mild they are unlikely to offend a single significant voter group. He does not call for a higher gasoline tax or any other tax on fossil fuel. He does not endorse gasoline rationing, mandatory no-drive days or banning SUVs and stockcar races. He does pay lip service to the idea that the United States should limit carbon emissions as called for by the Kyoto Protocol, but nowhere does he mention that doing so might lower anyone’s (any voter’s) wages or cause any inconvenience whatsoever.

    Furthermore, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, if all of the signatories to the Kyoto Protocol met their greenhouse-gas reduction targets, the Earth would at most be 0.07 degrees Celsius to 0.19 degrees Celsius cooler than without Kyoto. Most analysts argue that it would take multiple Kyotos to substantially reduce future warming. Yet on this “consensus” Gore is amazingly silent.

    Conclusion. The Christian Science Monitor coined a new term to describe An Inconvenient Truth and films like it: the “docu-ganda.” Docu-gandas differ from documentaries in that the goal of the filmmaker is to influence rather than inform. One media expert interviewed by the Monitor argued that marketing such films as documentaries could be “dangerous if viewers take everything they are saying as the whole truth.” A second expert noted that “the danger of the advocacy documentary is that things might be being kept from you….”

  226. Gordo January 26, 2007 7:35 am

    Challenge issued to environmental journalists and advocates of catastrophic AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming)

  227. bp January 26, 2007 4:18 pm

    gordo - do you research the people you quote?????

    Wm. Robert Johnston is a PhD student in physics, not even climatology

    H. Sterling Burnett is the Senior Policy Analyst with the National Center for Policy Analysis, a non-partisan, non-profit, research and education institute in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Burnett has an M.A. in Applied Philosophy from Bowling Green State University and expects to receive his Ph.D. in Applied Philosophy in 2000

    get real dude - follow the money, just follow the money

  228. bp January 26, 2007 4:22 pm
  229. kia January 26, 2007 4:39 pm



  230. Dr Jane Karlsson January 27, 2007 4:25 am

    bp, thanks. zephyr, thanks.

    kia, thanks. And for the pix, mindblowing. BTW, I found the article I told you about suggesting that Ghawar production is going down fast:

    zephyr, might I ask you please to text Makia and give him lots of love and congratulations from me? I miss him.

  231. bp January 27, 2007 4:52 am

    love those quotes kia, you da bomb, heh

  232. Dr Jane Karlsson January 27, 2007 5:20 am

    Gordo, no it isn’t ‘hard for me to admit’ that the drug companies have done ‘good’. Millions of people think they owe their lives and/or wellbeing to them. But the drugs don’t cure people, they suppress symptoms. Symptoms are what your body does when it’s trying to repair itself. If you suppress them, you suppress repair, and the disease gets worse. People think chronic disease is natural, and medical ‘advances’ make their lives better than they would otherwise be. Chronic disease is not natural.

    About meta-analyses (#219). The problem with them is that they only consider published trials, and if any trials remain unpublished, it will mostly be negative ones. Cancer drugs often have an absolute risk reduction of 6 or 7 percentage points, which would probably astonish many cancer patients who think in terms of the relative risk reduction of around 30%, but still may be too high, because the figures come from meta-analyses.

    The problem with cancer drugs is this: you can never give enough in one go to kill all the cancer cells, because you would kill the patient. Some of the cancer is killed, and the patient thinks good, it’s working. But some of the remaining cells are induced by the drug to become resistant, and also more malignant. By the time the treatment course ends, the cells that are left are impossible to eradicate, and the cancer returns to grow faster than before. The time from diagnosis to death is not altered.

    The only thing that really will eliminate a cancer is the patient’s own immune system. The cancer drugs are specifically designed to kill dividing cells such as the immune cells that should be killing the cancer.

    These immune cells are called cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and their proliferation and activation are dependent on copper and manganese, among other things. White bread and other refined carbohydrate have had most of the copper and manganese removed. Meat and dairy products are not good sources, and nor are vegetables if the cooking water, which contains most of them, is thrown away.

    Therefore, a good case can be made for refined carbohydrate being the primary cause of cancer. Several studies have been published in recent years showing that whole grains do indeed protect against cancer. Until recently there were populations of people in remote parts of the world who had never eaten refined carbohydrate, and they did not get cancer, or any other degenerative disease.

    I do not blame the drug companies for this extraordinary state of affairs. The scientists told them in good faith that the drugs would work, and by the time it was clear they did not, it was too late and the money had been spent. The drug companies are now in a very difficult situation. They have hardly any new drugs in the pipeline, because they’ve tried just about everything, and those they do have will probably not get approval, because hardly any do. The patents on their old drugs are running out, and they are drowning in lawsuits. Some years ago they turned to biotechnology in desperation, and that is now turning out to be a white elephant.

  233. kia January 27, 2007 8:38 am


    my pleasure, thanks for your due diligence, it keeps information over opinion.


    I have NO repeat NO sympathy for big pharma. Their behavior is on par with the the Tobacco industry when it comes to health. Suppressing all approachs that provide an alternative to theirs.


  234. Breck January 28, 2007 11:22 pm

    I have been reading this book for the past 2 days and it has one of the finest summaries of American foreign policy I’ve seen in a long long time. Connects lots of dots starting in the immediate post-WW II era. This is a must read!

  235. kia January 29, 2007 8:18 am


    Forgive me, but what is the title/author? If you are interested in the history of US foreign policy I recommend “Dangerous Nation” by Thomas Kagan.


  236. Breck January 30, 2007 6:47 pm

    Kia, hmmm… I thought this discussion was in connection with the “Dark Ages America” book.

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