DrumBeat: October 26, 2008

David Strahan: You're wrong, PM. We need higher oil prices

Once again Gordon Brown has got energy policy all wrong. Even before Opec announced an output cut of 1.5 million barrels per day, the Prime Minister had denounced the move as "absolutely scandalous", fearing it would force the oil price higher just as the world slides into recession.

He needn't have worried, since the cost of crude continued to fall on Friday to just under $63. But what Mr Brown fails to grasp is that the recent collapse is as damaging in its way as the previous spike, and that had Opec managed to boost the oil price it would have done us all a favour.

A falling oil price has real short-term benefits. Petrol has dropped below £1 per litre for the first time in almost a year; domestic heat and power bills should eventually follow; food prices and inflation should also ease, giving the monetary authorities greater freedom to cut interest rates.

But these benefits may prove fleeting because the collapsing oil price is bad for supply in the medium term. The cost of building new oil production capacity has soared in recent years, and many planned projects that were viable just a couple of months ago are uneconomic today. Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total, recently warned that if the oil price settles at $60, "a lot of new projects would be delayed".

Peak greed

In Dante's Inferno the bankers share the same level of hell as homosexuals—for the sin of usury. Go figure. For decades, right wing Christians have tried to explain to America how homosexuals would rip off the covenant of marriage, defile it in some way that I may never understand. Bankers meanwhile were left to the government to look after.

A fine job they did. Oh but we didn't count on the dishonesty of bankers, said Alan Greenspan. Apparently in all his years of watching money come and go, Mr. Greenspan was never acquainted with the sin of greed.

Pakistan: Flour crisis, power outages lead to road blockade

MARDAN: Residents of Baghdada and adjacent areas blocked the main Mardan-Malakand Road for more than three hours in protest against the electricity loadshedding and flour shortage.

India - Coal pilferage, recoveries on rise: Govt

New Delhi: Coal pilferage, cited as one of the major reasons for the supply shortage to consumers, is increasing in the country with authorities retrieving about 28,000 tonnes of the raw material in the last fiscal, according to an official statement.

Wood-heat trend raises concerns of air quality

Winter is coming and the smell of wood smoke is in the air, and likely to grow stronger. As homeowners turn to wood heat to try to save money, some observers are watching carefully to see whether the trend will affect air quality.

State officials encourage consumers who opt for wood to buy new model wood stoves with cleaner burning technology to reduce the potential for wood-smoke pollution.

After oil: The future of energy - Is there a 'silver bullet' that will take the place of petroleum as America's primary fuel source?

Last October, the city of Houston and the UH College of Technology sponsored the third annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA. There, Matt Simmons, T. Boone Pickens and other oil experts discussed the concept of peak oil: how close the world is to producing as much oil as it can. Some, like Pickens, think the peak has already passed. Statistically, the current peak occurred in May 2005 and world oil production has declined (slightly) since then. Others disagree since recent price increases have spurred more exploration and development.

What is more, Al Gore galvanized popular opinion with his award-winning book, presentation and movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Many claim that he exaggerated the threat. While there is natural variation in the Earth's climate, almost all scientists explain the dramatic rise in greenhouse gases and in the Earth's temperature as the result of the combustion of fossil fuels.

There will be many twists and turns from here, but it is worthwhile to explore what the energy system might look like in the long run. Will it be the end of civilization as we know it? Will it be a permanent return to conditions similar to those that occurred after Hurricane Ike? Probably not, but it will be different, and we should start preparing for those differences today.

Reality Report: Michael Klare and the geopolitics of resource consumption (audio)

Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet is the latest book from Michael Klare, Director of the Peace and World Security Studies Program of the Five College Consortium in Amherst Massachusetts. Professor Klare has written widely on U.S. defense policy, the arms trade, and world security affairs. He has authored several books, and is the defense correspondent of The Nation and a Contributing Editor of Current History.

In this show, we discuss the geopolitics of resource competition. Nations are engaging in a dangerous zero sum game as they jostle over finite supplies of fossil fuels, including the positioning of opposing advanced weapons systems in unstable parts of the world. Will global warfare be the result, or is the current economic breakdown an opportunity to realize that the only workable “rescue package” is one that recognizes resource limits and the need for allocation of scarce goods and services towards productive ends, such as sustainable agriculture and renewable energy systems?

Iran exports, oil earnings hit by world crisis

Iran is being hurt by the financial crisis because of falling oil prices and a world downturn that will damage non-oil exports, an official said on Sunday, even though Iran's economy was relatively isolated.

Iranian officials are voicing more concern about the impact of the international financial turmoil after initially brushing off the impact on Iran, which has an economy that has become increasingly isolated because of US and UN sanctions.

Russian government must cut budget spending - ex-premier Gaidar

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government must cut budget spending and control foreign borrowings of state companies amid global financial woes and falling oil prices, former prime minister Yegor Gaidar said on Sunday.

Kuwaiti traders protest as Gulf shares plunge

KUWAIT CITY - Kuwaiti traders staged another walkout Sunday and staged a protest outside the stock market as shares in the oil-rich Gulf region plunged in panic over a global recession.

The traders, who deserted the stock market on the week's final day Thursday, left the trading chamber after the index dived more than 300 points a few minutes after the opening.

About 30 of the traders marched to the nearby council of ministers building where the Cabinet was reported to be in an emergency session to discuss a bill to guarantee bank deposits.

Kuwait to guarantee bank deposits

Kuwait's government will move urgently to guarantee deposits in local banks, the central bank said Sunday as the oil-rich emirate's second largest lender was hit by the global financial crisis.

Saudi gives $2.7 billion Credit to Needy as Turmoil Spreads

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia plans to extend 10 billion riyals ($2.7 billion) in credit to low-income citizens as Gulf Arab oil-producers step up efforts to contain the fallout from the global financial crisis.

Saudi King Abdullah ordered that the additional funds be deposited in the Saudi Credit Bank, which was established to extend interest-free loans to Saudi citizens with limited resources to help them overcome financial difficulties.

Will sun set again on area oil industry?

The feverish rise followed by dropping prices might bring to mind the boom and bust of the 1970s and '80s that crippled local economies. Industry insiders and economic experts, however, say East Texas should be safe from the kind of financial crisis of two decades ago.

"What happened in the '80s was due to a lot of unique factors that came together at once," said Ray Perryman, president of The Perryman Group, a Waco-based economic and financial analysis firm. "Those factors are not happening right now.

Reversing ban on Great Lakes drilling unlikely

Republicans were unified on tapping more domestic sources of oil and natural gas, leaving millions of television viewers with the message that times have changed and no place is off-limits.

So what does that mean for the Great Lakes, which the U.S. Geological Survey says still have an estimated 312 million barrels of oil, 5.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 122 million barrels of natural-gas liquids stored beneath them?

Apparently nothing, except more campaign rhetoric to sift through.

Russian Minister Says Plans Drawn For China Oil Pipeline: Report

MOSCOW (AFP)--Plans have been drawn up for a pipeline linking Siberian oil fields to China, a Russian minister was quoted as saying Sunday, in a sign of tightening ties between Russia and its energy-hungry neighbor.

Malta said to have ‘world class’ oil reserves potential on border with Libya and Tunisia

Their names have more to do with drinks – Chianti and Limoncello – than with oil, but two areas in offshore areas held by Malta bordering on the Libyan and Tunisian areas were authoritatively said to hold “world class oil reserves potential”.

Why Cheap Oil is Great for the Majors

The current price of oil is very bad news for many of the OPEC countries, whose governments, or ruling factions, often manage to exist through maintaining social programs funded by oil receipts. Russia less so, but it’s hugely dependent on oil revenues and the health of the oil industry. These countries have followed the rest of the western world and spent while the going was good, but now it's a different story. Consider that to balance the books, Russia needs oil above $70, Iran and Venezuela need $80 and a similar figure for all the rest.

So what are the likely actions of oil producing countries, state influenced companies and the impact to the majors?

Pa. considers adding natural gas to the tax rolls

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The land agents, geologists and drilling crews seeking natural gas in the Marcellus Shale are raising something other than the resource: Talk of a natural gas tax.

Gas prices fall to $2.70

Gasoline prices fell again, tumbling to the lowest price in a year, according to a daily survey of credit card swipes released Sunday.

Chevron faces suit over Nigerian violence

Larry Bowoto's left arm is still scarred and numb where a soldier's bullet struck it in 1998 while he was aboard a Chevron oil platform in Nigeria. During the course of the incident, Bowoto was shot several more times, another man was wounded and yet another was killed.

On Monday, in only the second trial of its kind, a federal jury will convene in San Francisco to decide whether Bowoto and his companions were violent hostage takers or innocent victims - and whether a U.S. corporation, whose foreign subsidiary summoned the security forces, is responsible for the bloodshed.

"I'm not a violent person," Bowoto, 44, said through an interpreter during a recent Bay Area visit. "We were peaceful protesters" who "never expected Chevron to be so brutal."

Smaller footprint

ROCK SPRINGS -- Geology and technology -- including employing less intrusive horizontal drilling -- will make any future gas play on Little Mountain unique and unlike the intense development of the nearby Jonah and Pinedale Anticline fields, according to company officials involved in developing the area around the mountain.

Finance crunch delaying wind projects

Offshore wind power projects in northern Europe, key to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, face delays because of a shortage of bank finance.

"Things are being delayed," Maartje van den Berg, a clean-technology analyst at Rabobank International, said in an interview Oct. 22. "We are involved in several projects that were close to financial close and they've just stopped. The banks are sitting and waiting for things to improve."

General Motors, Driven to the Brink

IN late May, senior executives at General Motors confronted a decision that few thought they would ever face: whether to continue developing the next generation of one of the most successful products in G.M.’s 100-year history — the full-size sport utility vehicle — or to punt the program entirely.

...The executives killed the CXX project without a single dissenting vote. And with that, the era of the big S.U.V. was as good as dead, done in by soaring gasoline prices and consumers fleeing to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

Douglas leading state down wrong track

You think the financial crisis unfolded quickly? That’s nothing compared to how fast things could happen with oil. That’s the message Matthew Simmons, chair of the oil investment banking firm Simmons & Company International, delivered last month at a conference on peak oil.

Vermont is unprepared for change of that rapidity. One thing that Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature agree on is that Montpelier has frittered away at least a decade to prepare for the end of electric contracts with Entergy’s nuclear power plant and Hydro-Quebec. Gov. James Douglas has also blocked preparations for an unwinding of the oil sector comparable in magnitude to the unwinding of the financial sector.

Bartlett doesn't flinch from his principles, but Dougherty claims to be narrowing his lead

In 16 years in Washington, Roscoe G. Bartlett has pursued an eclectic series of issues: the threat of electromagnetic pulse, the potential for pluripotent stem cell research, the challenge of peak oil.

None of which comes up much on the campaign trail.

"Of course, the economy has pushed everything else off the table," the Western Maryland Republican said. "We've gotten as many calls on the bailout as we've gotten in 16 years on all issues combined."

Financial crisis takes toll on Australia carbon scheme

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd won office promising to be a climate change warrior but his chief weapon -- a carbon trade scheme to slash emissions -- is falling victim to shifting politics and world financial tumult.

The latest data from the Bank for International Settlements shows that Western European banks hold almost all the exposure to the emerging market bubble, now busting with spectacular effect.

They account for three-quarters of the total $4.7 trillion £2.96 trillion) in cross-border bank loans to Eastern Europe, Latin America and emerging Asia extended during the global credit boom – a sum that vastly exceeds the scale of both the US sub-prime and Alt-A debacles.

- Europe on the brink of currency crisis meltdown - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Edited to remove excessive quoting, and add a link.

This story was discussed in yesterday's DrumBeat, and is featured in Gail's new post today.


This Telegraph article is based on the notion that none of the Eastern European and Asian economies are viable and will all default. Russian companies have taken out over $440 billion US in loans from western banks, this includes over $60 billion by Gazprom. Gazprom will not default on its debts and neither will the other companies that are servicing the Russian domestic market (real estate may have collapsed in the west but not in Russia, where mortgages are a novelty and the baseline demand is high due to inadequate existing stock). Unlike 1998, the Russian currency is not propped up with a pyramid scheme of government bonds and interest rates in the 150% range so there will be no repeat of the previous default scenario where the exchange rate went up by a factor of 10 in a few months as the pyramid collapsed. The easy borrowing days for Russian companies are over for now, but since the economy is not saturated in terms of development and not a debt driven bubble this is not going to translate into a collapse of domestic demand. I think the same thing applies to China in spite of its greater exposure via its highly developed export market (which Russia does not have).

Don't worry - it is just part of the building media crescendo to get
(1) the average person to sell their stocks, mutual funds, 401(k)s
(2) Above all to scare the people into not buying and placing a bid.

It's not illegal to yell "fire" in a theater....if it's on fire. Fear is a good motivating emotion when situations are dangerous.

Perhaps you can provide the solid fundamental basis for why you think the markets deserve a higher valuation?

Some other economies are giving cause for worry. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/anatole_kaletsky/art...

Friday AM, DJIA/S&P/Nasdaq futures limit down.

Friday 350PM E DJIA at -167. 4PM E at -312. Volume at almost
pre Holiday levels.

Friday Evening Futures Limit Down. Where they are today.

The only question left is how many times the US can pull this trick.

I suspect they will not be able to hold it up much longer. The nasdaq composite closed friday at a new closing low and hit a new intraday low. The IBD mutual fund index also closed at a new low. If things really get scary the bigger question may be what size mattress do we need for our money?

A smaller mattress all the time.

As I read this thread, it feels like the world is unraveling- mostly a worrisome prospect- but here's a look at the potentials...

"There will always be dancing."

And when unemployment hits 20%, a lot of people will have a lot of free time to dance.

Hi kriscan,

If that's you on the tube, remember the old saying in the music biz:

"Don't give up your day job".

Seriously, I agree with you and applaud your efforts to get the message out. The recent meltdown has diverted people's attention from the main long term problems of Peak Oil and Climate Change. Maybe after the election as the winter cold sinks in, people will turn back to the ultimate concerns of sustainable survival. One can only hope that rational thinking will take hold, instead of the Law of the Jungle and/or religious superstition...

E. Swanson

Kris...thanks for putting things in perspective. A good thing to remember amongst the panic.

As usual, thanks. The usual bright spot amongst the dismal.

Putting on my tin foil hat here

If Iran should, for whatever reason, stop exporting oil would the current market really miss the loss, ie oil would jump to a 'normal' $100, not $300+

Yes a US attack on Iran right now is basically a freebie as far as oil prices go.

Also with the current flight to safety and attack would cause a rush to US Treasuries.

This will further strengthen the dollar allow the US to literally print like mad with little side effects.

And of course a ware will stimulate the economy.

Now of course this is all by chance.

From the WSJ - Fresh tumult as recession goes global

Developing nations in Asia and Latin America have gone from bull to bear in a matter of weeks as recessions in Europe and the U.S. seem more certain. On Oct. 5, Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva confidently predicted that "if the crisis gets here, it's going to be a ripple." But the ripple has turned into a flood as Latin American stocks, bonds and currencies have swooned. In São Paulo, a newly rich generation of investment-fund managers has gone from gaming who will buy the next private jet to exchanging rumors about which financial institution might be first to fail.

A different perspective:

Over on another DB I was called a racist for making some small remark about Obama. A person who is running for President of my country.

I think since politics plays a large role in our future that commments being made by many others which could easily be labeled as almost slanderous regarding the current president and the Republican candidate are allowed to free float and not be refuted to any meaningful degree,THAT opposing views might be allowed as well.

The bashing of conservatives is widespread and almost non-stop. I have nothing against that but if someone just mentions the name Al Gore in passing he garners a -18 or higher in karma!!

So to even the playing field I am placing the url of this video which I was informed of recently. It shows a very different viewpoint of Obama from a black church. Note that when I hear black preachers messages from the pulpit I don't know whether to laugh or applaud.
They are very good at preaching.

For those abroad who agitate against the 'Vast Right Wing Christian Conspiracy' you might not understand that out here in the 'flyover' we do go to church most every Sunday and practice our faith and religion.

I hope that previous paragraph doesn't cause too many heated arguements or vituperations because that is not my desire. I simply wish to point out that this preacher is giving out some information that I was totally unaware, of such as Tony Rezko. My wife who lives in a suburb of Chicago says that everyone there knows of the tie in of Rezko and Obama. However a lot of this doesn't seem to make it to a higher level across the countryside.

Here is the URL...I do not agree with some of what is said but find myself shaking my head that a lot of it seems to be well understood by people his own color but not much of the rest of us.

The URL:

What you hear may be a bit shocking if you live in a sheltered lifestyle. I fully expect some very negative karma ,,but I expect that all sides should be heard from as on TOD the negatives of the consecrative view are bashed daily. I hasten to add that the real consecrative philosophy does not reflect what has happened over the last 8 years. For instance the size and intrusiveness of the Bush administration.


Thanks, airdale,
for your contribution. As usual, the problem lies in separating the wheat from the chaff, in this case not religion as practiced in various communities, but how those messages are used to justify and propagate destructive, divisive actions.

It's only human to find ourselves in us-vs.-them contests, but when those feelings are systematically exploited to trick ordinary people into acting against their own self-interest, then the evolutionary prerogative of tribalism has turned against us.

Our whole history has been one of ever-expanding circles of responsibility: The nation of Israel kept slaves like everybody else, and reveled in the deaths of competing tribes, but that was then and this is now. Slowly, we've taken responsibility for the welfare of those outside the family, our church, a town, even our nation, as we've become aware of the shared legacy of humanity. "Maximizing utility," an economist might call it, when I choose to forego a little comfort so that people I'll never meet can get food today. It's not a linear process, but neither is it merely a balm for the guilt of the affluent - It's in my best interest that our childrens' world be more egalitarian and less competitive.

There's a dangerous pride that accrues to fundamentalism, cloaked in humility, of all things. It's easy to see in Islam, where so much mental discipline is required to shut out and deny obvious truths that are all around us. It's an ambitious goal, to freeze human culture and understanding in the 7th century! The programming in the US Christian culture is far more insidious, to the point that so many mainstream religious Americans would ardently deny that they're anything less than fully aware, rational, voluntary participants in their collective belief system. But exposing that programming is like trying to explain what water is to a fish.

Ask yourself this, airdale: How would you think of those "slanderous" treatments of the current US president if he hadn't claimed a moral and religious backing that matches yours? Would you tolerate the cronyism, the arrogance, the disrespect for the rule of law, torture, mass murder for profit...? How willing are you - are any of us - to admit we've been duped and manipulated by an aristocracy that knows nothing and cares less about the teachings and example of Christ?

To me criticism is fine if it is reality based. And for that matter I expect to have a government that is also reality based. The real world is a complicated place, and it takes some level of intellect to fathom all of the nuance. I can't really see how electing a duo each of whom graduated at the bottom of their classes is going to help - they can use their "gut" to guide policy decisions, but if their gut is filled with neo-con fantasies the policies aren't likely to work out very well.

The current president has also allowed political dogma to shape his policies, and in the fantasy world of the neo-cons Iraq was a threat to us. In the real world it wasn't a threat however, but real people are dying and real money is being spent because these people can't tell fact from fantasy. I can go on and on.

The current Republican candidate seems to be trying to motivate people to vote for him by using fear tactics. They keep ramping up the rhetoric, the far right seems to be buying into it, but the rest of us just roll our eyes. The criticisms that McCain is making are to most independent observers entirely fabrications and distortions of the truth. But in the fantasy world of the hard core right-wing, all of this stuff is true, I guess.

I don't know why you bother to link to some preacher. Was there some point that he was making that you wanted to highlight?

in the fantasy world of the neo-cons Iraq was a threat to us

surely you dont believe the neocons believed iraq was a threat to the US, do you?

in the fantasy world of the neo-cons Iraq was a threat to us.

Surely, the neo-cons never believed that Iraq was a military threat to America. They said Iraq was a threat, not because they believed this to be true, but because it stops public debate over motives for the war.

When Germany invaded Poland, German newspapers had been reporting that Poland was a military threat to Germany. It is hard to imagine that German military strategists believed this to be true.

Do the employees of corporations believe the ad copy for their products? Of course not. Ad copy is designed by technicians to manipulate consumers. When an employee is called to discuss a product in public, however, they are careful to stay "on message."

An employee is not permitted to offer any opinion that contradicts the ad copy. She is also not permitted to discuss the manipulative nature of ad copy. Either would result in termination.

Roughly the same process occurs in governments and the media. When an official speaks, they are not telling you what they believe. They are telling you a story that has been designed to manipulate you.

No greenie from me for Airdale. Not up or down.

This just seems silly, from my "sheltered" position. Obama is hardly a Radical Socialist -- if anything, he is a tool of Wall Street Investment Bankers -- but I doubt that, as well.

On the other hand, what does this have to do with Oil?

The most violent people on earth are arguably White Christians. I'm not sure why that is, but I don't believe it has anything to do with either "Whiteness" or "Christianity" -- both of which are rather elusive categories.


You so don't know Lutherans in Minnesota if you think that White Christians are the most violent people on earth. A more liberal minded, milk-toast, do-gooder group you won't find anywhere.

Hello ViewFromHere-- from Lake Wobegon, I imagine. That used to be my favorite fantasy place on Earth until the police started bashing heads at the Republican convention. Now I see it was just a fantasy. Those "Lutherans" can be as nasty as any one else.

However, you make my point exactly. "Christianity" is a pretty malleable concept. I was thinking of things like the Spanish Inquisition, conquest of North America for Jesus, persecution of the Cathars, First World War, Second World War, Crusades, Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and ever so much more-- all White Christian activities. I don't think the Muslim world can hold a candle to the mayhem the "Christians" have caused over the last couple of thousand years.

There are lots of peaceful Christians around -- don't get me wrong, I'm not "against" Christianity. I'm mostly against arrogance and stupidity.

Jeez, uh really think White Christians caused all those events?

I thought it was Hitler who was killing religious folks.
I thought it was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbor and wanted to take over the world and I don't remember them being White Christians.

Where did you go to school?

We are all against arrogance and stupidity. Good statement. Can we then get the record straight?

And BTW Muhammad did not lead armies to conquer with? The Ottoman Empire was ..what? White Christians?

The Roman legions murdered Jew by the tens of thousands, sacked Jerusalem and drove them out of Israel and they were White Christians?

All the bloodshed..white christians? I simply do NOT agree.

Take a cross and go to many Islamic countries and see how long your head stays on your shoulders.

Was it White Christians who flew aircraft into the Twin Towers?

Come on man. Sawing off heads on TV? Oh...not Islamic jihadists then.

Yeah we are scum of the earth. Allu Akbar!


Well, it is hard to counter a different world view.

After Constantine, the Romans were nominally Christian. They killed a lot of Jews before and after.

Hitler may or may not have been Christian, but most of the Germans were.

Russia, prior to the Revolution, was officially "Christian."

World War I was almost entirely Christians against Christians -- except for the Ottomans on the Eastern Front-- and that was mostly about OIL.

World War II, still mostly Christians against Christians -- except for Japanese. I'm not saying Christians caused all the mayhem, just a lot of it.

Twin Towers? Well, Osama was trained and supported by "Christian" CIA and was the product of the marriage of "Christian" US business/hegemonic interests with Wahabbi extremists-- I leave it to you to decide whose "fault" it was. I'm sure you have an informed opinion, but it probably won't agree with mine.

find myself shaking my head that a lot of it seems to be well understood by people his own color but not much of the rest of us.

Damn. I had been hoping you were just not communicating well, but it turns out you actually are a racist.

Note to Airdale: given he's as much white as black, he's you're color.

As for what conservatives deserve? Those scumbags that have pushed this nation to the brink of destruction deserve far worse than they will ever get, that is certain.

It seems you are attempting to imply a couple things.
- That *all* self-styled conservatives are to blame. Obviously false, so why the generalized protestation? I'm surprised you would engage in base propaganda.
- That conservatives don't bear more responsibility for the current crisis than any other group. And that would just be stupid to say, so surely that is not what you intend to say?

Your defensive, ever-more-racist-and-apologist posts are just getting sad now.

Give it up, eh? Stick to subjects you have something worthwhile to add to. These ain't them.


Ahhhh so CCPO makes all I stated true. He is the name caller. He indicts with prejudice.

I simply point out that much hate and vilification is taking place here and try to present other opposing views but he takes it to the mudslinging level.

"Stick to subject...etc"..

So he now wishes me to 'dance'? Dance to his tune? STFU unless its a cute story about farming? I speak my beliefs and my views. I have called no one names except possibly those who have tried to engage me in such antics and replied in anger.

My point is well made.


Please. This really is pointless and sad.

I simply point out that much hate and vilification is taking place here and try to present other opposing views

False. You post hate and villification. Nearly the first thing that preacher does is call Obama's mother trash. I stopped watching there. No person claiming to be of the cloth can speak in such manner and not make himself a hypocrite, as well as prove beyond any doubt there is no place in his soul for the god he claims.

Yet, you posted that crap.

You have raised the issue of Obama's race more than once. Once was one too many except to possibly analyze what his race might do to the results. To actually raise it as an issue here, to be discussed and wondered at? "His people?" I feel unclean just responding.

And what opposing view do you mean? The one that Obama is just another cog in the machine? Funny, but I'd had the impression that was well-established around here. What else? Criminy...

As far as any orders you may feel I have given you, you might want to look at the top of the page and see just who the staff here is. The context of my comments clearly is not that of staff giving direction, but of a peer giving advice. That is clear, so enough with the dramatics.

And, yes, I'd like you to stick with the farming, and other, stories because enjoy them and find them useful. This tripe, however, just leaves me feeling embarrassed for you.

Can't we all just get along?


Nearly the first thing that preacher does is call Obama's mother trash.

Look carefully. That preacher is Flip Wilson. The vid is comedy.

Uh, no.

Hon. James David Manning, PhD preaches about Obama'a mama, grandmama, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezco, William Ayers, and more in the message called "God Save America" preached on Saturday, 18 October 2008.

Born Clerow Wilson Jr.
December 8, 1933(1933-12-08)
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

Died November 25, 1998 (aged 64)
Malibu, California, USA

Its easy to go to church every sunday, but it's much harder to actually practice your faith. Christianity is very tough to practice in reality - many of your co-religionists seem to fall into a common trap and become judgmental hypocrites instead.

Perhaps the reason why those on the coasts worry about flyover country christian conspiracies is because there's nothing more dangerous than someone who believes God says it's ok to do something unpleasant to someone else. It makes it hard to find common ground and live together in peace and harmony regardless of different beliefs.

But - what does this have to do with Peak Oil again? :)

As one who grew up in The South (with all that connotes), I can understand your point of view. Actually, that is a new awareness for me, as I grew up in a city and had almost no contact with folks in the country, from whence my patents departed before I was born. I was lucky enough to attend college, taking technology and science courses. Even though we attended a Baptist church, I did not find the supernatural world view compelling. However, for the past 10 years, I have lived in an area surrounded by deeply religious people and do find it impossible to comprehend their world.

I'm sure that there are various flavors of acceptance of the Bible and the stories it presents. The truly Fundamentalist world view, with the Young Earth Creationist outlook, is an extreme to me, as it is contrary to almost all of the sciences. For one to have the Fundamentalist world view, one must be able to ignore all of science, not just the Darwinian theory of Evolution. Going back to Galileo's time, the simple notion that the Earth orbits the sun would have put one's life in peril and during the Inquisition, people were regularly tortured and put to death for holding such heretical ideas. I think the moral high ground claimed by the Christians was not applied back then and I wonder how the present Fundamentalists will respond as the old myths become ever more difficult to accept. Much of the rhetoric we hear from the hate mongers on the Right as this election has progressed raise the specter of a war against those who disagree with the Fundamentalist world view, which would include the killing of politicians, especially Mr. OB. I've already heard claims that Mr. OB won't be likely to live to see 20 January...

I became an environmentalist decades ago while living in California (Northern, not Southern), where I found I could not tolerate the air pollution. It occurred to me that California was the End of Civilization, as any more of it and I could not live there. So, I moved back to Atlanta, only to find that the air pollution there had also become very bad. Worse yet, the area was one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and the local politicians actually wanted to get rid of the automobile air pollution inspections! Well, the EPA eventually had to cut off their funding for highway construction to force them to get with the program.

I'm sure that there are many people who still think that keeping the air clean is an excessive government regulation of their lives, as the "greenies" have become easy targets for the conservative propaganda machine. Apparently, those folks don't notice the effects of CO or the pain from the ozone, as I did. Or, perhaps they were simply too ignorant to understand what was happening to their bodies. Without some considerable understanding of science, the problem of Climate Change can also be viewed as another attempt at regulation from Big Government. We all live at the bottom of an ocean of air and many don't bother thinking about the scientific facts as they continually suck in lung fulls several times a minute. We are all like little crabs skittering around on the bottom of a lagoon, unaware that there's more to it than meets the eye.

If you think I'm bashing the "conservative philosophy", then I think we have a real problem. Ever since Darwin published his theory of evolution, the scientific evidence has piled up in support. Please tell us, how can (will?) those with a Fundamentalist Christian world view come to accept the science that says Darwin was right and the Earth is 4.55 Billion years old?

E. Swanson

Down South,

I think you and I could spend many fruitful hours in dialogue about such matters. I would welcome such exchanges and do quite often for I am know about the county as one who speaks openly of spirituality. Not much on organized religion mine you as I sometimes eschew it as often as you might.For they have lost the way and try to increase church rolls and the inflow of money.

Are they 'real' then in what is preached? Well IMO they are there simply to 'point the way' and then 'get out of the way' and not form social clubs. After all the 'walk' is an individual undertaking and does not depend on aught else. Each must journey as they see fit. I take the spiritual path. Be it Tai Chi or Christianity or some other.

Bashing beliefs of others with smear tactics is not something I would like to see engaged in. Clear truth and expression of ones belief abou t any subject is the proper method of discourse.

But I have found reality in this area of spirituality and it answers much for me. I am a pariah in my own church. If others approach me I offer my views. My view on TOD is that one side seems to be predominating and rationality on some subjects if extreme beyond that called for.

All that said, I think the future before us will not be solved by technology nor the hopes of this nation which has long ago gone awry.

I believe that those who deny a Creator will finally realize that there is no Creator and those who believe opposite will find their beliefs upheld.

Religion has been a scapegoat for a long time. It has done terrible deeds. I won't touch that but each persons faith should not be made a mockery of.

Are Christians bigots? Are they racists? I submit these are what is visible and not a true reflection. Something genned up by the MSM.

The televangalists are very visible or once were. No real thinking Christian would recognize them as nothing other than opportunists of the worse sort. Those who a messiah might throw out bodily.

I study the Old Testament in Hebrew. I find todays versions of the bible are sadly mistranslated and in many cases misguided.

I do get tired of the endless bashing of Christians. All are not deserving of what the term "fundamentalists" is used to imply. I suspect that neither is the Fundamentalist Islamic well understood either. The MSM hawks a lot of bad propaganda.

The truth is harder to discover. It is no longer possible to deal with truth in this country to any meaningful degree due to the MSM and the avarice and greed of most of the citizens. Yet many Christians are all over the world doing good work and asking for nothing.

I myself along with some other white guys went down the road to the next town where a black church had burned, due to electrical issues.
We worked to build them a new church. A white contractor lent his tools, I took mine. Most were all church folks. My church sent work parties to Mississippi this last summer to help folks rebuild.

The black church was finished and is in use now. We never received much publicity.

Am I a racist then? Did I not work alongside black christians and treat them like I would anyone else? Were there not a few black 'brothers' there that would not even speak to us or look at us or help me stretch a tape to lay the roof trusses? I overlooked that.

Another guy brought about 100 lbs of BBQ pork. Next day we had one bowl of white beans and one loaf of light bread but we still worked on.

My story, my beliefs, my way. I live it and no one except me is responsible for my soul.

Not all think as I do or live as I do but many once did. Around here the youth now carry the ubiquitous Ipod, the jeans with large holes, tattoos and their eyes go distant when they are asked knowledge questions. They are prone to drugs. They are pretty much wasted. This was not their fathers way. This is what is taking this nation down and
...largely practiced in the big firms and trading houses and those who practice a form of capitalism that has been much aborted.

They want a life without labor or work. They want what is impossible and we are now living what has flowed from this. Bad schooling,PC games,,,the list goes on and on....we know it but won't admit to it.

Airdale-yes I have studied Tai Chi and other religions as well
Most are non-violent. Most speak to the inner spirit.
Most preach the 'way' to go. All possibly have merit for
a better life. Our current 'theology' is basically CONSUME,CONSUME,CONSUME..Take everything,give nothing back!

I myself along with some other white guys went down the road to the next town where a black church had burned, due to electrical issues.
We worked to build them a new church. A white contractor lent his tools, I took mine. Most were all church folks. My church sent work parties to Mississippi this last summer to help folks rebuild.

The black church was finished and is in use now. We never received much publicity.

Am I a racist then? Did I not work alongside black christians and treat them like I would anyone else? Were there not a few black 'brothers' there that would not even speak to us or look at us or help me stretch a tape to lay the roof trusses? I overlooked that.

Another guy brought about 100 lbs of BBQ pork. Next day we had one bowl of white beans and one loaf of light bread but we still worked on.

A common misunderstanding about racism is the old, "I'm not racist, I have friends who are _____!" Racism has not much to do with individuals, but the view one has of the group as a whole. Your use of "his people" is a pretty strong indication you identify yourself as other than black. Racism, no? Also, your example of the criminals in DC... for there are only black criminals in D.C.?

All the while it is white conservatives that have led the denials about climate change and criminally prevented action from being taken, and that bear the greatest responsibility for the immediate financial crisis we find ourselves in, have led something like a 50k - 100k Americans to death or injury... for what? But Obama and "his people" are more worthy of attention in your posting?

Why don't you tell us all explicitly what your point was in posting that disgusting video and get off the persecution kick? That would clear things up, I'd think.

About DC. About 98% of crime there is commited by Blacks. I heard that when the Watergate burglers were discovered in 1972 the reason the police realised something odd was going on was because no blacks were involved in it.

Riiiight.... got a link? No? Surprising!


Most of the crime in DC is white collar, so you're full of crap. Your congress criminals, that is.


I replied to Black Dog but put Down South as the one I was replying to.
An error on my part.

Please tell us, how can (will?) those with a Fundamentalist Christian world view come to accept the science that says Darwin was right and the Earth is 4.55 Billion years old?"

Too bad that this seems to be the big debating point with most of the younger generation.

There are several ways to understand and put this issue to rest.

The issue arises IMO due to those who state that the 'bible is the INERRANT word of God"...To them they make it easy to argue with others for they have closed minds.

The truth is that there are errors in the bible that are acknowledged as errors. Errors made by scribes and errors in translation,etc. This is not really debatable but the 'hard core' fundamentalists and the 'Baptist legalists' defend it as such. This seems to be what the MSM seize upon to throw out as chum to their audiences.

Those who read closely and do so with a view to rightly dividing the truth will find that it is not necessary to debate such issues as it has been since the dawn of discourse that many have debated such endlessly.

A discerning mind and real search will find otherwise. Seizing upon evolution is not a worthy approach. Many scientists will state that they are sometimes puzzled over what seems to be beyond reason. Such as Quantum Mechanics, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Double Slit experiment,spooky action at a distance and many other areas such that the stucture of physics is as easily debated as is the belief of a Creator.

Those who are hardened in their "non-belief" systems are just as much to be blamed for their 'fundamental' attitudes for they will never surely find the 'inner' man and answers for themselves of the meaning of their life.

So I won't debate it for its whimsical and meaningless. The answers are 'out there' for those who do more than just keep a shut mind. You will likely NOT find it in a church pew!! It was only after I decided that I wouldn't that I really began my own life's journey.

I read a lot. Antoine De Saint Expurie(sp?) is my latest. He speaks to the soul. I have read all my life in pursuit of the 'truth' and finally gave up mostly but I have found what I think works for me . I mostly just live it and try to do some good when I can. I prefer the company of my two Jack Russels to most men. They teach me more that I can believe as to affection,concern and what is really good for the inside of man and creature. I have read Thoreau many times over and over and find it new and rewarding each time.
If I eschew the black criminals of the inner city of DC when they tried to hijack me and my wife in our car while visiting my son there? Then tough. Thats the way I saw it. We all shut our eyes to such as this. It is rampant in many inner cities and slums that were once flourishing areas. I see the 'power swagger' walk, the hand signs, the hood symbols, the filth and drugs. I see it now emulated in our youth. Its a pity that so many want to emulate the hood and the black athletes instead of finding their own life and way. There is far more to life than crime,drugs and athletics.

I take the viewpoint of Bill Cosby to be totally valid. They have wasted themselves.Does this make me a racist? Sorry.(speaking to my other detractors)

Good luck,
Airdale-sorry for the lengthy reply

airdale: I have to wonder why you go to great lenths to pick and choose the videos of black ministers you offer. Heres a sampling of 30 videos of Desmond Tutu.


If I were to give you episodes videos of the Sopranos, would you conclude that Italians were violent and prone to criminal or anti social behavior?
The worlds police organisations are unanimous when they offer that the Russian mafia is the most vicious. Oft qouted as saying, "Any crime syndicate will resort to violence and kill innocents or even other criminals, only the Russian mafia will kill an entire neighborhood, just to see if the gun works"

You mention the Ghettoes surrounding DC, just several blocks from the White House, can I ask if you are aware these Gehttoes were once the home of the Poles, Irish, Italian and every other nationality that came to and was oppressed in the land you live in. The darker skinned people you refer too have been more discriminated against, for a longer period, and with a severity I doubt you could emagine. I simply offer this as a preemptive to you, trying to extoll that the other ethnic groups, rose above and excelled, despite the oppression.

airdale, prior to this exact day and time, any single group was oppressed individually, blacks being the most recent (Muslim just beginning in earnest) Now its in earnest that all people are beginning to become oppressed en masse, poor or black or white or middle class, farmer or Asian, retailer or indiginous, artist or Christian, educated or Latino, educator or blue collar.....Of course its made easy when they divide and conquer, placing the largest two groups opposing each other. (Think Sunni vs Shite).

You seem a likable person, wouldnt you agree, the best trick (prank for humor) to play on someone, is the one they aren't aware of, or expecting ?
You mention searching,I know you werent searching for a prank, I know you see it now, thats often when we find stuff, when we werent looking for it.
Heck, most people find mortality when they werent even looking for it.

I understand your anger, you feel you are being oppressed and you are. Everyones feeling it also. PO has placed strain and that was to be expected, societal shifts such as industrial agriculture also caused societal strain, but PO encompasses everyone, everywhere, all at the same time.

If you came to a fireworks show, to see a fireworks finale, you picked the right time and place. There won't be a rain delay or cancellation for this event.
Admissions free, parking limitless. The people putting hot ember to the wicks are the ones in greatest danger, grab a blanket and have a seat and enjoy.
Say...nice dogs ya got there...Russel Terriers?....


I didn't go to 'great lengths' to pick and choose.

It was on a farmers forum that I visit. It was getting a lot of play there and I thought it had some points , such as not being visited by his relatives most especially his white relatives, was cogent to the man and his desire to be President.

Heavens, after all McCain and Palin are being run over the same type of hurdles. No? Sure they are.

Just because a lot of Obama supporters are on this site doesn't mean its not of some value. Granted the preacher does go way over some limits but hey..we are all grown up aren't we?


It's funny that American evangelicals have this belief in a recent date for the Earth's creation. In my days in the movement In England they seemed to accept the age of the Earth and believe in continuous creation rather than evolution. That genesis was allegorical rather than literal. One writer did come out with some interesting problems to the theory of evolution, such as the Bombardier Beetle.

There is no right-wing conspiracy. Instead there is an explicit attempt to make religion the driving force in politics.

With Bush's rise, the evangelicals thought they had it made. What they didn't realize is that there is an enormous amount of cynicism and unbelief among the conservative elite. And at no point were they entrusted with real power. Mostly they were snickered at and ignored.

The thought of Palin becoming president horrifies me. I was raised an evangelical and know whereof I speak. These people live on the edge of psychosis. Which is not unusual among humans. But more than usual, conservative Christians are absolute masters at keeping reality at bay. You cannot be an informed person and be a Bible-believing Christian. It takes a brain made of granite to ignore the last 2 centuries of science and other forms of scholarship.

The conservative Christian way of dealing with life is simple: get coked up on mass hallucinations.

You can see Palin doing it here:


An NYT article:

Let the scared little people have what they need to feel warm and cozy. But let's not be led by those who need such opiates.

Whoa, seems Alaska's largest newspaper has seen the light. It just came out in support of Obama.

Re Palin:

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

Anchorage Daily News:"Obama for president"

Whoa...even the home-state rags are abandoning ship. Has one major newspaper come out for McCain?

Well, ours did, but we're not "major," just stupid.

I honestly do appreciate how extreme the 'Christian Bashing' and 'Republican Bashing' can get, and I'm equally aware that this kind of insulting talk actually does nothing to further Liberal political causes anyway.

But with that said, I do leave it to 'Real' Republicans to clean their own house, and Honorable Christians to ACTIVELY challenge the very vocal and destructive extremists in their fold. There are people hiding within the sometimes feigned sanctimony of your churches who are tarring your image- and you have to let 'us' all know that their statements and actions are not sanctioned or sanctified by your community. When Pat Robertson publicly calls for the assassination of foreign leaders (Chavez) .. it's not enough to let the Unitarians show all the outrage here. He's dragging all Evangelical Protestants down with his supercilious ranting.

If this administration is so 'Un-republican', who voted them back into office? Where are the objectors and the dissidents? Too many practised 'Go along to Get Along..'.. and now you see the rage it's caused coming to a head. The Dem's have a conformity problem, too. Might make me a Nader Pariah one more time. Who knows?

Anyway, I hope I have spoken fairly to you here, and I do welcome having a forum where there is at least SOME discourse across the aisle.

Bob Fiske

slight correction, I might have said

"Your communities have to let THEM know (the Ranters who seem to be the 'voice' of evangelical christianity today) that such statements and behavior are not acceptable.."

And since I try to talk to people about the 'little solutions' in Renewable Energy, I do also recognize how difficult it is to make reasonable pleas in unreasonable times, that any moderate statement is almost impossible to get heard in the din of the Oversized Hollering, the Fatwas, the Extremists and Absolutists in today's discourse.


There are no ranters in my church. There are some who very rarely might say an Ahmen a bit about the normal volume but that is rare. No raising of hands unless it is outsiders(not part of the membership..such as at Revival).Overall a rather quiet group.
I do "rant to friends on religious issues more than anyone else and its about televangalists and those who Talk the Talk but do not Walk the Walk.Enough so that I will never,nor do I want to, hold a position in my church. But I did raise enough hell to get a bus to take the children to places. And to pick up the elderly.I even drove it a lot back then.

Those who do not attend church seem to know an awful lot that goes on there, according to them. I have been to very very large churches. Catholic, Presbyterian and many other bodies. I do not see a lot of what is stated here on TOD about 'those Right Wing Fundamentalist Christians'...I think it all devolves due to Bush making statements he should keep his mouth shut about and have a bit more reticence.

Most here hate Bush and it seems that therefore they hate Christians.
He is a bullshitter plain and simple.I was wrong to vote for him but I didn't like the other choice.Same as now.

To those who do not live in this country.You should not make judgements about Christians here based on the MSM bias. The MSM knows very little and guesses at the rest.

Out here in the country and rural areas churches serve a very important function. They lend an air of needed 'community'. I propose that most of the negatives come from BIG CITY CHURCHES ...Mega Churches they are called. The smallish protestant churches are myriad out here and it allows people to serve other people. Bake sales,money when their houses burn down,visits at the hospital.Lots of good.
I am not big on a lot of this but when I awoke from kidney cancer surgery and found my preacher standing by my bedside it gave me a very good warm feeling.Others came as well and prayed for me to recover.
I was blessed. I recovered and am once more healthy but that nite as I lay screaming on the floor and managed to get a cell phone call to my buddy (the Sunday School Superintendent)he came immediatly to my farm and took me the 40 miles to the hospital and stayed with me..as he stopped so I could puke along the road and was passing in and out..he was there.He is very religious. I love the man for his help. What more can I say. Its the way we try to live here. Some here are not good people but all know who they are.The good outweigh the bad at least so far. Those who huddle up in big cities or the suburbs , as I once did for years, do not have what we practice here in the outback. This is why I will never leave it. A crowd of a thousand cannot be the same as a membership of 1 or 2 hundred.

Most in my church are good people. Yes some sinnners. Yes some who are mixed up. And yes a lot of bullshit and nonsense comes from the pulpits but the desire is to deal with peoples souls,if you or others believe in that or not.

Those who dispute an afterlife seem to go off the deep end on this issue.

As for other countries and the crime,despair,disease? We send missionaries and support them there. I really am far more concerned about this country. I am very patriotic and I still shed tears as the Flag passes by. Others appear to actually hate us. They forget what we have done in the past. Those who gave their lives. And someone on TOD (CCPO) says"White Christians" are responsible for WWII..Wrong..White Christians among others of their brothers fought against tyranny for others countries sake. Ask a vet.Better yet tell him that hogwash about White Christians.See that he doesn't take a swing at you.

Airdale-its a rant,,I know..but when you at age 69 stare the Death Angel in the face as you walk 'thru the Valley of the Shadow. you might suddenly change a lot inside and outside..some do and I suppose some do not..not my problem.I have been a 'believer' for most of my life. Its not something a debate can change. Its there or its not.

PS. I do intend to outlive many. I do hope to survive the upcoming chaos or at least some of it. My son and wife and daughter shall surely perish even though I have warned them. They are now worried but are locked into their patterns and lifestyles. My son works for the US Treasury Dept.


You have spoken well. Some of the others above are still going for the more scurrilous side.

To add to what I think about Obama as a candidate I will post this mans letter which came via email. It expresses most of my doubts about his candidacy.

BTW the video url I posted was NOT my views. It was the views of the black preacher behind the pulpit. It was perhaps to show that some of his own race were having doubts. However you must admit that some of the issues, like his white kinfolk not being visible, the preacher raised were valid since I have so far missed seeing ANY of Obama's family members or kinfolk.

Here is the somewhat lengthy email:

Dear Mr. Obama,

It is August 30, 2008. My name is Mark Gregg. I am
a 50 something conservative white male. I have followed
your campaign closely, including the speeches you and others
made at the democratic national convention. I am
respectfully providing you with seven simple (probably
shallow) reasons why I could never vote for you. I believe
my opinion is shared by many people. While there may not be
quite enough to prevent you from becoming president of this
nation, I do think there is an awakening to the fact that
you are not a (the) messiah that the media and liberal
Hollywood entertainers are trying to portray you.

1. I hear your mantra of change, change, change.
Yet, you picked a long term, liberal, Washington insider
(Joe Biden) to be your running mate. This is NOT change.
It is a move that hypocritically refutes the very thing you
supposedly stand for. Your campaign then slammed McCain for
picking Sarah Palin, apparently, because she is NOT a
Washington insider. She is a maverick who cleaned-up
Alaska's quagmire of political scandals. Which way is
it, Barack? Is it okay for you to pick a Washington insider
under the mantra of 'change', but not okay for
John McCain to pick a smart, aggressive, reformer?

2. You have the single most liberal voting record in
the senate. This indicates to me and others like me that
you may very well be an angry black man seeking to punish
our country for sins of a different generation. I am not
racist. I have some biases just like you and every other
human alive. Unlike the democratic party who claims to be
for the minority (but their record heavily refutes this), I
will give any person who truly needs help, help. I married
a 'minority' girl 35 years ago (she is Hispanic)
and have seen the evils of prejudice first hand. However, I
have also seen my wife and my children and others in her
family throw off the veil of self imposed prejudicial
bondage and move ahead. They love our country and do not
view themselves any different than I view myself as a
citizen of this country. Your lovely wife so disappointed

people like me during this campaign when she stated it was
the first time she had ever been proud of this country. She
apparently never noticed the massive aid we give dozens of
other countries. She apparently never noticed the sacrifice
of literally millions of veterans who helped make this
country a free nation and helped liberate other nations from
brutal dictators such as Adolf Hitler. She apparently does
not remember that she attended ivy league universities with
scholarship money that ultimately (at least some of it) was
paid for by our taxes. This troubles me more than you know.
She is an angry black woman who appears to not like her
country very much. I don't want her representing me to
the rest of the world.

3. You claim Christianity but apparently do not
realize that the Bible teaches that he who does not work,
does not eat. The Bible does not say or even suggest that
he who CANNOT work, should not eat. Yet, your liberal
policies reward people who are capable of working, but
choose to not do so. This bothers me. I know that if you
are elected our taxes will spiral upwards. You should heed
the words of Winston Churchill: 'We contend that for a
nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man
standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the
handle.' If I like anything about you, it is your
campaign promise to balance the federal budget.
Unfortunately, we have heard this a huge number of times
from a number of different politicians and we realize that
when you energize the very liberal Nancy Pelosi, Robert
Byrd, Ted Kennedy, etc, etc, and the many other democrats
like them, a balanced budget will never, ever happen on your

4. During your question and answer session with Rick
Warren of Saddleback Church your answer concerning the
question of where does life begin, stunned me: 'Above
your pay grade?' Does this mean when something bad
happens as President of this nation that you are going to
look at your salary to determine if you can respond? I am
sorry, but this was the most serious gaffe I have seen you
make. Frankly, it shows me that you are pandering in the
most obvious manner. You will choose your words not from
your heart, but from an agenda that I believe is still
hidden from the American people.

5. If anything stands out about you it is probably
your appeasement mentality. In this era of rampant, radical
Islamic extremism and with the latest stunt pulled by the
re-energized Russian government, I am not sure appeasement
is healthy. I again revert to the words of Winston
Churchill: 'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,
hoping it will eat him last'

6. You and your party tacitly believe that a 13 or 14
year old girl must have the parents approval to have the
school nurse provide them with a Tylenol when they have a
headache at school. Yet, this same girl can become pregnant
and the school can skirt her off to a clinic and abort the
child in her body without the parents knowing or being
notified. This scares the hell out of me. You have two
little girls. Would you be upset if this happened to them
and you were not informed? Then why do you stand for this?
It makes no sense to me.

7. My seventh and final point (for now) is your
supporters. I have watched the Hollywood entertainers that
support you, systematically embrace Hugo Chavez of Venezuela
and others like him. I see the continuous smut and garbage
produced by Hollywood, the very people who promote you the
most vigorously. It is not a positive point to me and
others like me to see these over-paid, bizarre, poor
examples of human existence fawn over you and push you and
your liberal agenda as hard as they do. The way I see it;
When the devil is for you, we should question whether or not
we should be against you.

In closing, I just want you to know that you scare
me. I cannot vote for you. It is not because of your skin
color. It is because these items I've listed and many,
many others like them. Do not claim that my dislike for you
is race based. It is because I do not feel you have the
best interests of this nation at heart.


Mark A. Gregg

This "letter" looks to be pure election propaganda. A quick Google search returned about 190 hits. Some obvious points are that one version begins with "It is August 30, 2008" and another starts with "It is October 2, 2008". Your version has no date. And, there's no way to verify if there is a real person behind the e-mail. It's an obvious fraud.

Sorry to say, you bought the story hook, line and sinker. Welcome to politics in the Internet Age. I would rather listen to one of those robo calls, like the one from Hank Williams I got yesterday, since I know it's a paid batch of crap and I can immediately hang up...

E. Swanson

I didn't swallow anything.

And your replies do not invalidate the views expressed in the email.

Does the absence of a date imply all that much? No.

I was into politics way before most here. Way back around the late 60s I was asked to babysit an IBM mainframe that was being used to tabulate votes by some folks doing precounting and their data was being flashed to the news media as 'what was happening'...I stood over the 1403 printer and read the resulting tallies as they came in.

The tallies were being placed on punched cards..

I saw funny things happening...like vote counts going backwards. Then upstate Illinois under the Daly ''machine' started playing games and it went totally wild.

So I was knowledgable about much of what happened then as far as that region(St. Louis was the collecting area for a lot of it) went.

So someone from Chicago always sounds alarm bells. I spent a lot of time in Chicago going to many long schools over several years. I also used to take call for systems in Chicago at many companies..Like Sears etc.


I too first became interested in politics in the late 1960's, although I didn't participate in an election until 1972. Your complaint about my not addressing the issues is a red herring. If the e-mail is a bogus propaganda exercise, such an analysis would be pointless.

Here's just one example taking data from the ADA's voting record analysis. The ADA found that Obama had a 75% rating on their liberal scale. There were 21 Senators who scored higher than 75%, so Mr. Obama would not be considered as having "the single most liberal voting record in the senate".

As we learned from Dr. Joseph Goebbels, good propaganda is based on a truthful foundation, which is used to build a framework to which lies and disinformation are attached. Your posting of the complete e-mail seems odd, if you wanted to discuss an issue, why not present just that? It's very difficult to discuss a long piece such as this. In his comment downthread, ccpo goes thru point by point. Where's your reply?

E. Swanson

I do think there is an awakening to the fact that you are not a (the) messiah that the media and liberal Hollywood entertainers are trying to portray you.

Well, I have to agree he's not a messiah, but then, I haven't heard anyone anyone use that term in reference to Obama, either.

Conclusion: propaganda

1. I hear your mantra of change, change, change. Yet, you picked a long term, liberal, Washington insider (Joe Biden) to be your running mate...

...but not okay for John McCain to pick a smart, aggressive, reformer?

The implication is that Biden is like many who go to Washington and engorge themselves on the power and money. Sadly, for the (fake) writer, Biden is nothing but middle class in his means, having little net worth beyond the home he owns.

McCain, on the other hand, casts himself as the maverick outsider. Unfortunately for the (fake) writer, McCain's father was quite high up in the military, which means he's never known any degree of want. Upper brass military are very well paid, particularly when you consider virtually all normal expenses civies have to pay are taken care of... on top of their considerable salaries, etc.

He then went and married a quite wonderful, by all accounts, woman and abandoned her after she waited all those years while he was in captivity... most of them recovering from some pretty horrific injuries (she ended up 4 inches shorter). But McCain decided she "Isn't the same woman I married."

That is, no longer a hottie. Enter new hottie, an affair and a divorce.

As for the maverick? His voting record says otherwise. Given recent insights to McCain's manner of decision-making, I believe a revision is in order: McCain the Maverick has far more likely always been McCain the Erratic.

And let's mot go into the letters he wrote disparaging his own nation while a prisoner, nor the fact many of his fellow prisoners despise him... as a traitor.

2. You have the single most liberal voting record in the senate.

I'm willing to bet this is untrue, but it's not worth looking up because.... it's a good thing if it is true. I'm betting "most liberal" includes being anti-Iraq war, which is an invalid label for war protesters.

2. ...This indicates to me and others like me that you may very well be an angry black man seeking to punish our country for sins of a different generation. I am not racist.

Yes, you are. Playing the "angry black man" race card. Perfect! What is the angry black man? How is that different than the angry white man, me? Are not supposed to be angry that our rights have been taken away? Our liberties stripped? Our future bankrupted? But in what way and manner does a liberal voting record identify one as angry?

The writer, while a ghost writer, is a racist, as is anyone who accepts the "angry black man" racial epithet.

3. You claim Christianity but apparently do not realize that the Bible teaches that he who does not work, does not eat. The Bible does not say or even suggest that he who CANNOT work, should not eat. Yet, your liberal policies reward people who are capable of working, but choose to not do so. This bothers me.

Ah, yes. Welfare! Good for the rich, bad for the poor! Despite the fact the rich don't need it and the poor have no choice. I love the fallacy that Capitalism = everyone gets a share of the pie. Despite it being a system predicated on competition, not cooperation. BY DEFINITION, the system creates the poor. This is not an accident. As we all know, a capitalist, fractional banking- and and fiat currency-based economy siphons wealth to the few at the expense of the many.

But far more convenient to blame the victim.

4. During your question and answer session with Rick Warren of Saddleback Church your answer concerning the question of where does life begin, stunned me: 'Above your pay grade?' ...this was the most serious gaffe I have seen you make...

A joke is a gaffe? No, the (fake) writer is a liar.

5. If anything stands out about you it is probably your appeasement mentality.

This is just stupid propaganda.

6. You and your party tacitly believe that a 13 or 14 year old girl... can become pregnant and the school can skirt her off to a clinic and abort the child in her body without the parents knowing..

If this accurately reflects the Obama stance, I'll eat my hat. I don't know his stance, but the bit that sticks out is "...the school..."

Right. That's a stance I've never even heard of!

7. ...I have watched the Hollywood entertainers that support you, systematically embrace Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and others like him. I see the continuous smut and garbage produced by Hollywood, the very people who promote you the most vigorously...

Ah, yes, the HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION! Boo! Too bad McCain is more entrenched in Hollywood parties than Obama ever dreamed of.

Then the big send off:

YOU SCARE MEEeeeeEEeeeeEEeeeeeeeEeeeeeeee! Booga-booga! BLACK MAN!!! ANGRY BLACK MAN!!

Most of you probably know of the article by a foreign correspondent who spent a day or two in the McCain campaign ghost writing supposed letters from real McCain supporters... I'm betting this is from the same program.

Airdale: Angry White Man?


Note: I am not an Obama supporter. Kucinich was by far the best choice from either party.

I am from India. Whenever General elections take place in third world countries such as ours, the comments from the western media is that the voting is on the basis of religion, caste, language, region etc. It is true that major portion of the electorate in the developing world is uninformed.
But what surprises me that in an 'enlightened' nation such as U.S.A, color and religion dominates the election scene and each group justifies its stand in a most eloquent manner!!

It was the views of the black preacher behind the pulpit. It was perhaps to show that some of his own race were having doubts.

And what "race" would that be? The human race?

Please define for me Obama's "race". Do you believe there is a biological basis that makes the term "race" meaningful? If it's a simple "black" or "white", then how do you deal with "mixed" parentage? Do you want us to start talking about mulattos, quadroons, octoroons, quintroons, ...

The whole thing is just plain stupid. He's a fricking human being. So are you. So am I. Get over it.

.. it's not enough to let the Unitarians show all the outrage here.

Heh, I had to respond to this one! :-) The Unitarians are also quietly driving sustainability programs in their religious communities via their Green Sanctuary program. And based on the caution in the last chapter (Spirituality) of John Michael Greer's wonderful book, The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age, I also had a thoughtful talk with my minister about concerns over the evangelicals taking over and dominating the spiritual space as we face Peak Oil. She is interested in the Unitarians having a loud liberal voice as a counterbalance, and invited us to come in and talk about Sustainable Communities ALL Over Puget Sound to the congregation as a resource.

A Green Sanctuary is a congregation that lives out its commitment to the Earth by creating a sustainable life style for its members as individuals and as a faith community. Sustainable living is not about our material comfort (though these choices are an important part of the overall life style); it is about choosing to live in a way that nurtures life, builds relationships, and rejects material consumption as the sole determinant of happiness.


I live in Chicago and have followed the Obama story here. The man may not use the best judgement about who he connects with, but then neither does McCain who apparently is happy being buddies with G. Gordon Liddy who is as repentant as Bill Ayres about his past life. I am not inclined to place as much stock in the so-called Rezko connection as others.

Bashing, whether of conservatives or liberals, is an activity engaged in by people who assume a moral high road they seldom truly occupy. The outcome is usually a turning of the karmic wheel upon the basher, as Ted Haggerty learned (among others). One can disagree with the political philosophies of any individual without going the extra mile and attacking them on a personal level.

I saw your comment in the other DB and I have no idea what Obama's race has to do with this election unless folks intend to cast their vote based on that. That makes as much sense as casting your vote a specific way because Palin is a woman.

My paternal grandparents arrived in 1900 from Germany, and I have fond memories of overnights at their house and having fresh eggs from the henhouse. Grandpa was a blacksmith, I have his paper saying he passed his apprenticeship. Without a doubt, good, salt-of-the-earth people. But not saints and not necessarily folks with whom I share cultural or political philosophies. I don't doubt we would be voting for different candidates on election day if they were still alive.

Airdale, I have appreciated your contributions to this forum.

But the video you link to here is full of easily-disproved falsehoods and cowardly, unsubstantiated character attacks. If you cannot recognize this "preacher" for a nut-case I have to question your judgement. In the first minute, the preacher (who calls Obama "Tarzan" for some reason) claims that Obama does not mention his mother in his books. I have a copy of Obama's book and there are substantial sections about his mother. How "Christian" is it for a preacher to scream that anyone's dead mother is "Trash!!". The preacher claims that Obama is not supported by his family, but Obama's sister came to Colorado to campaign for him (my wife atttended and was impressed). The preacher claims that Obama's grandmother does not support him because she did not come to the Convention, but she is dying with a broken hip, so traveling is not realistic.

If this is the best critique of Obama that you can find, that is really a back-handed compliment to Obama that you cannot find a rational, sane individual to criticize him and must rely on lunatic ravings instead.

Thanks for the window into the bombastic and scary Halloween-world of the Far Right, Airdale. For the benefit of moderates in the audience, defending yourself against personal attacks by ultra Conservative media forces is considered to be exactly equivalent to an attack on them personally, their ideology and their friends and family. I have been accused on talk radio of "doing business with Idi Amin", a charge that couldn't possibly contain a grain of truth. Nevertheless, it was enough to hurt my chances of getting hired in my hometown with the old boss that heard the show.

Using this tactic employs the a favourite argument of Liberals: Any criticism of Obama is racism and Conservatives: Palin, sexism. It takes a marginal but fiery black preacher to ignite the fires of Christian righteousness using innuendo and dubious factoids on the O Man, factoids that melt away in the sunlight. Am I correct in hearing a clear invocation to violence? Religion can be dangerous. Long live the separation of church and state and may God bless America.

Unlikely. It's an old story and there's more than Nato involved. The Russians sent a ship after the Ukranian freighter full of weapons was grabbed, and the Indian navy is convoying Indian merchant ships through there.

FrankRichards -

I haven't been following this thing too carefully lately, but shouldn't that Russian warship be at the scene by now? And if so, what is it doing?

I've wondered that too. My guess is hanging out looking for something to do. Piracy, both in Somalia and the Malacca straight, actually seems to be the one thing that that the sailors not the politicians are in charge of dealing with.

The US navy rescued an Iranian ship a while ago and even the most rabid neocons have only managed to regret out loud that the Malacca straight piracy has given the Chinese not just an excuse but a requirement to build a blue water navy to protect their oil tankers.

it may be an old story recycled just in time for a halloween surprise just to show the voters how dangerous it would be to vote for a black man. it seem the gop is desparate, willing to say or do anything to get elected, selected, apointed or anointed.

trying to frame obama as a friend of terrorists is about as sleezy as i have seen since the swiftboat adds.

and if there is any doubt the cia is involved:


blackwater ? ring a bell ?

Well, the UN deal with Nato is new. Previously it had only been with the Canadians, and even with the logistic support they can claim from their allies (Britain, France and the US all have bases in the area), it was a bit much for the Canadian navy that far from home.

And I damn well hope the CIA is involved, along with MI5 and French and Italian intelligence. Their sailors are in harms way. Covering their tails is what the spooks are for.

trying to frame obama as a friend of terrorists is about as sleezy as i have seen

Hello? He does want to be President of US, right? On top of which, if history is any guide, he'll have to prove his manhood by finding some small poor country to devastate.

cfm in Gray, ME

"He does want to be President of US, right?"

your question makes no sense. are you saying that obama wants to be president so it is ok to assasinate his character, or that mccain wants to be president so it is ok for him to assasinate obama's character ?

or alternately, show some evidence that obama is friendly to terrorists, is an arab or whatever claim the gop is making.

I think he's saying anyone who wants to be president is a psychopath, and not to be trusted.

well, that makes sense.

Maybe I'm just a bit naive, but I automatically assumed the Russians were there to lend aid against the piracy problem. Sometimes an action is just what it claims to be, and not an insidious attempt to gain an advantage. Most often following Reagan's "trust but verify" is a good starting point.

That was the official response of the US navy...something along the lines of 'this is an issue for all law abiding countries.' The welcome may have been a bit lukewarm, but it was clearly a welcome.

Or maybe this:

Syria: 9 dead in U.S. helicopter border strike from Iraq


"There was no initial U.S. comment about the reported incident. If confirmed, it would be the first time that American forces had carried out an attack on Syrian soil."

maybe, but are syrians black enough to scare white people (rhetorical) ?

or maybe the october surprise will be a series of small surprises each one attempting to drive home a point.

watching the gop sleeze, one has to wonder what sort of fringe whack job are they appealing to ? but then the stratergy may be the same as advertising in general, keep pounding the same point and maybe a few on the fence will fall into their festering pit of sleezedom.

if this was a betting game, i would put some money on a attack on iran by isrial.

Haaretz has its own agenda. And not one that in my opinion would make the world a better place.

I estimate that President Obama will have a better shot at encouraging solar and wind energy technology implementation and for encouraging energy conservation measures than Senator McCain and Governor Palin would if they were to be elected.

Barack Obama thoughtfully reasons out his interpretation of current issues and his plans for dealing with them.

Senator McCain and Governor Palin concentrate on simple-minded identity association and demonizing of the 'other'.

The difference could not be more clear: McCain/Palin will drive us down a road to nowhere, and Obama/Biden have the potential to lead us down the road to solutions to some of our problems.

The debate over whom to elect as our leader could hardly be more germane to the energy issues concerning TOD members. Expend your energies writing to your new Congresspeople and the new Obama administration to seek their sponsorship of a new energy paradigm.

Well put and I agree.

"Barack Obama thoughtfully reasons out his interpretation of current issues and his plans for dealing with them."

Wow! I thought he was like all the rest of the politicians where a committee came up with the right things to say to get the most votes.

I guess in addition to the other things I am that I mention further down ... I am a cynic.

I do think that's right. Election of the president will definitely affect energy policy quite dramatically.

Does anyone here remember McCain's "gas tax holiday" proposal this summer? Or how about drill, baby, drill - a sound bite totally divorced from the fact that 80% of deep water rig time has already been contracted for the next 3 years.

Obama's proposals seem more thoughtful. The man himself appears more of a thinker, more measured, stable, and careful. I'd much prefer someone like that in charge of our country. When I travel overseas, foreigners cautiously ask me who I like to win our election. When I tell them I favor Obama they look relieved, and then the next question is always: but will America vote for a black man?

To that I have no answer.

.... but will America vote for a black man?

I'd prefere McBrain before McCain.

Obama would definitely be preferable to McCain, if only because he is educated and intelligent and has picked generally good advisors. However, I could never vote for anyone who advocates so utterly stupid a policy as trying to subdue Afghanistan militarily. Surely he must know that that was what precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I will be voting for Cynthia McKinney. And no, I have no problem voting for a black woman whose views I agree with.

McCain says he's been "tested".
And that's all very true.

He came in 5th from bottom of his class at Annapolis after having been tested.

As for not talking politics at TOD, I respectfully disagree with Leanan (downthread) on this one. Politics shows us how the human brain is organized (well, maybe dis-...) and how it is easily manipulated one way or another. TPTB have access to them who know how to manipulate (i.e. NYT article on Sharon Astyk aka jewishfarmer). Them who manipulate like to earn a living just like the rest of us. Therefore they do as they are bid to do. TPTB owe their power to easy access to cheap oil. Cut off the oil and you cut off their power. Hence, in their desperation to retain power, TPTB will naturally scream: "drill now, drill here, and drill often". This despite rational reflection indicating that a 3% tail will rarely be able to wag a 25% dog. The maths just don't add up. And yet that they insist that irrationality is patriotic. It's all connected to the circle of life and power. With great power comes great life. (And also a $150,000 wardrobe.) Cut down on the power and you cut down on The Dream. We all want to cling on to our fairy tale of CinderPalin and the power prince. Alas, oops there goes gravity. (--Emenem, who copied it from Wiley Coyote)

I found this great site for browsing on a sunday afternoon. It has pictures of abandoned cities from around the world. http://weburbanist.com/category/abandonments/

you might enjoy this site also:


That is a good one - I expect a lot of new entries in the years to come.

I saw a link for that on the above site. You expect zombies to be walking the halls. I think they should make a new version of "Back to the Future " using some of these locations.

Australia losing its nerve on carbon trading scheme. The theory was that the urge for economic growth and innovation was so relentless that cap and trade would steer the energy sector into cleaner technology. Moreover since the carbon price was variable unlike a carbon tax it would back off if the economy lost steam. In any case the carbon revenue would be handed back in the form of grants and subsidies for more carbon savings.

That was the theory but the reality has been the same captains of industry who can whistle up a quick bailout have formed a chorus to plead for special treatment. Never mind they completely failed to see it coming therefore their long term vision is questionable. Some of their excuses are lame; for example the aluminium industry really has nowhere else to go. Such industries were in line for extra compensation but that was evidently not as appealing as the old business-as-usual that has failed.

The question is that if carbon prices are so low as to be meaningless what will happen? My prediction is that we will spend another decade with bandaid solutions yearning for the glory days until resigning ourselves to powerdown. Politicians will be largely irrelevant to this process as business and consumers work it out for themselves.

As long as people have some remaining useful job functions, wealth should be created. Not everyone has been transformed into useless workbots who do nothing but collect paychecks. The harvest is being brought in, the oil is being pumped into tankers, the mechanic will be on duty, the plumber is on call, there is a doctor due to report to some hospital tomorrow morning on time. The stores are open seven days a week. The internet is funtional 24/7. There are no large scale power outages. The ships are sailing from port to port. Some people have money in the bank. Some people have equity left in their homes. It is time to help others not only one's self. Warren Buffet has estimated that the recession might be over from six months to five years from now. Good time to try to pay down debt or increase savings as one does not know when the next crisis will occur. Advisors have always recommended having an emergency savings fund. It is sometimes darkest just before dawn. Some will have to adjust to a lower standard of living, others will be able to afford higher standard of living. A time and purpose for everything under heaven.

Regarding Buffett's prediction that the recession will end 6 months to 5 years from now: I predict that it will take more like 5 years than 6 months at this point before the world economy is in a position again to follow its innate impulse to climb into growth mode. The current downward momentum is just too violent, and will take a long time to stabilize and settle.

More importantly, however, as soon as growth does get off the ground, the growth will bump up against hard energy supply limits, oil prices will skyrocket once again to unprecedented levels, and the world economy will lurch into yet a new round of wrenching demand destruction.

As for Buffett himself, I find it very hard to believe that he doesn't know this to be true himself in at least some kind of vague way. Doesn't he consort with all kinds of Council on Foreign Relations types and the like? As I have suggested before, I do not think the man is to be trusted, and it actually makes me quite angry to think that he is taking advantage of his "good guy" image to help the ruling elite soothe tens of millions about fears regarding the safety of their retirement - to their long-term detriment.

It takes oil to drive growth. Also credit to drive growth the way we are used to it.

It is going to be hard to start growing again, even in five years.

One possibility is that we take a huge step down in the next five years. From there, we may be able to grow if we start to reconnect our networked system in new ways.

Buffett himself will likely end 6 months to 5 years from now. Yeesh. Prosperity just around the next corner.

Settle. Into the muck at the bottom of the pond. Yeah. Imagine the financial messes as market try to price in how long the next bubble can go before it slams into a wall. What we're looking at now is a planetary margin call on future resources that never will exist. That knowledge isn't going to go away.

cfm in Gray, ME, settling

If we took politics, religion, pirates, and the off oil investment markets out of TOD, there wouldn't be much left.

Back to the chase ... IMHO the whole bit is going into the toilet as soon as filling stations in the US run out of fuel because of a real shortage or the price is out of sight for all but the very rich. Till then, we can argue our heads off about all of the above to absolutely no resolution or no particular consequence.

I have learned after reading TOD that I am a neo-con, racist, antichrist, macho antifeminist, anti environmentalist because I don't love Gore and a bunch of other equally derogatory names because I don't especially care for Obama who I think is an empty political hack. If Obama wins, McCain and Palin are the lucky ones.

I am going back out to my shop now and make a coffin flag box this afternoon for a family who lost a loved one in Afganistan. Of course it will be free since I too have lost friends and loved ones because Johnson et al wanted to do something in Vietnam. Different war, same kids getting killed. I'll check back in later.

Vya con dios to some and to the rest Happy Randomness.



Ahh you only got a 1 on that. If I had said the same I would have been buried in negatives.

I too am apparently a racist. I actually volunteered for the USN so I must have been a White Christian therefore and a blood thirsty dog.

Airdalel-airdale means one who is in Naval Aviation as opposed to Blackshoe Navy(shipboard with the exception of carriers)

This is not a popularity contest.

No one said White Christians were Bloodthirsty Dogs-- you made that up.

I'm sorry you feel defensive. However, this site is about verifiable facts, not deeply held convictions and prejudices.

Christophe de Margerie, chief executive of Total, recently warned that if the oil price settles at $60, "a lot of new projects would be delayed".

It seems to me that we should aim for cancellation rather than delay. It is thus important to push the price of oil down further, perhaps to $20/barrel. Conservation on the part of the US alone can accomplish this.



Thanks mdsolar. Finally we are talking about oil again.

I know the DrumBeat allows for a wider range of discussion. But I, and I hope many other readers, am disappointed with the sharp contrast between the mission statement of TOD and the reality of the discussions. Perhaps the link at the top of the home page to the TOD mission statement should should be larger. I know it is not my place to speak on behalf of the editors and contributors of TOD. However, I cringe at the though of how the many people who I have referred to TOD during the last few months came here only to have found less energy discussion than I had indicated they would find.

I guess the straw that broke my camel's back was the unfortunate discussions above of racism and fundamentalism with a bit of politics thrown in for good measure.

Please feel free to edit my post as may be appropriate.

Mission Statement

The Oil Drum's mission is to facilitate civil, evidence-based discussions about energy and its impact on our future.

We near the point where new oil production cannot keep up with increased energy demand and the depletion of older oil fields, resulting in a decline of total world oil production. Because we are increasingly dependent upon petroleum, declining production has the potential to disrupt our lives through much higher prices and fuel shortages. The extent of the impact of this supply shortfall will depend on its timing, the magnitude of production decline rates, the feasibility of petroleum alternatives, and our ability to curtail energy consumption.

The goals of The Oil Drum are as follows:

1. Raise awareness of energy issues

Most people are not aware of the problems we face or they underestimate their potential impact. Politicians and the traditional media have overlooked the problem, out of ignorance or due to a conflict of interest. We seek to fill the information gap, disseminating underreported facts and analysis.

2. Host a civil discussion

This website is a space where energy issues can be debated in a civil manner. Through the encouragement of evidence-based reasoning and logical arguments, we aim to host discussions with a depth and breadth absent from the traditional media or current political discourse.

3. Conduct original research in a transparent manner

We believe that the issues such as the timing and impacts of our supply and demand problems and the feasibility of alternatives to oil can be explored empirically, in an open and honest manner. Our site draws on the fast pace of the internet and the time-tested traditions of peer review in search of the truth, whatever it may be.

4. Create a global community working toward a common goal

Our society can only address a problem of this magnitude through cooperation. We seek to leverage the open nature of the internet to create a global forum for the discussion of energy problems and solutions. Your participation is welcome—if not necessary—for the improvement of our energy future.

The DrumBeat has more leeway than the key posts. It's basically an open thread, though I will delete totally off-topic stuff, especially if it's posted early in the day.

I understand how you feel; I have to say, lately I've been wishing we could just ban discussion of politics and religion, since they're generating all heat but no light. This goes for the McCain and Palin-bashing, as much as today's Obama silliness. I really wish I could tell everyone to take it to Free Republic/DailyKos where it belongs, and leave TOD out of it. But we really can't do that. Politics and religion will play a huge role in how we navigate peak oil.

I will say that this is a science-based site, and anyone who is looking for a place that gives equal time to abiotic oil, perpetual motion, intelligent design, etc., is in the wrong place.

Also...remember, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Do not bring the discussion Airdale started to the new DrumBeat tomorrow. It will be deleted.

It's less than two weeks before the election. Once that's over, things will settle down. Well, given a week or two for the winning side to gloat and the losing side to scream about black box voting, etc.

Thank you Leanan

you do a great job here

again thank you

I wish I was one-half as optimistic as you are Leanne. The discussion on this thread degenerated into total nonsense. History teaches us that history teaches us nothing.

For those who do not know: "United we stand, divided we fall"

Standing ovation for Leanan !!

That is just the opening I need to go completely off topic. Earmarks! Am I too sensitive or are all the examples of wasteful earmarks in the campaign from science? From the debates I hear about an overhead projector and bears. The projector is actually a replacement for a planetarium which plays a big role in public education about science. The bear study appears to be about delisting some grizzly bears from the endangered species act. Finally, Palin is worried about studies of fruit flies. Fruit flies are a pretty standard laboratory analog because they save money. They go through gernerations quickly.

Maybe science is getting bashed because if you attack a highway project that's real money and feeling might get hurt. But I wonder if it is more that there is a deep hatred of science. Genetics and Astronomy are subjects that seem threatening to people who don't know how to read the Bible very well. If you are struggling with a faith that is so weak that it can't handle the theory of evolution or the big bang, you can get kind of nasty.

Bishop Chane, the Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, DC gave the sermon at my church this morning. His main theme was that something has to be done about the oppression happening in Gaza and how hard it is for the US politicians to come out and take a stand on this. He had visited Gaza recently and seen another bishop humiliated at the hands of the security forces. This seems to be a guy who can read the Bible for what it says: the law in Leviticus about treating people with dignity.

Oil, science, religion, politics, they all get tied up in a very complex knot. But it is worth remembering that demogogues can distract from the main task of unravelling it.



It’s really a wonder, when you think about it, that there are still two guys in the race to become U.S. president, pulling out all the stops in these last eight days of campaigning to be chosen as the one to face the nightmare.

Wow - doomerism in the NYT. And yet he only speaks of financial collapse, and says nothing about problems related to a shrinking supply of fossil fuels..

Hello WT,

Excellent link! Thxs so much for finding it.

I should say that I think we should even leave some cheap-to-produce oil in the ground. As long as we don't know what it will cost to remove CO2 from the atmosphere to get the atmospheric concentration below 350 ppm, it is most prudent to work towards leaving carbon in the ground.

But, strictly from an energy perspective, it does not make any sense to try to mix in oil that costs $60/barrel to produce with the remaining high EROEI supply that costs $11/barrel to produce. We do much much better to shift off of oil to a better product like wind energy. http://www.infra.kth.se/fms/utbildning/lca/projects%202006/Group%2007%20(Wind%20turbine).pdf

From a cost perspective, shifting to wind with a low price for oil is going to cost less than shifting to wind with a high price for oil. But, the timing is becoming critical. If we wait until more expensive-to-produce oil is part of the mix, bringing the price of oil down is going to be much harder than it is right now.


Hello TODers,

With wreckage piling up, Fed eyes another rate cut

..Investors and some economists predict the central bank will drop the rate by half a percentage point to 1 percent. If that happens, it would mark the lowest rate since the summer of 2004. Others, however, think the rate will be cut by a smaller, quarter-point to 1.25 percent.

..The Fed hopes that lower rates will spur people and businesses to spend again, helping to brace the wobbly economy.

"I think it would be a good faith psychological move," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research. However, Yamarone and others doubt that another rate reduction will entice people — many buried under piles of debt — to ramp up spending. But it might help a little, they said.

Ben's running low on helicopters.

Since I crawled onto this third piece of dirt from ole Sol, Ive become accustomed to the sun rising in the east and heralding a new day. I understand many people on TOD look eastward, towards the horizon too see whats going on.

I often take a peek at the Asian markets, giving me a chance to prepare. (Red morning sailors warning) sorta view.

Looking pretty grim so far and this early on. (Red nite sailors delight) I doubt will be the call from the crows nest this evening.

Nikkei hits 26-yr intraday low, then turns positive but just barely, China's top aluminum maker Chalco net dives 92 percent. AllOrdinaries down nearly 3%, Shanghai Composite off 2%.

I love Asian food and like everyone else, I eat too much, then get hungry an hour later for some more. I doubt I will even look at the menu again tonite.

Kriscan; great work you do kid. Don't keep me waiting so long for a vid next time. Keep in mind the audience you reach needs to go thru the emotions you have. You can see where appealing too their curiosity and laying out the problem of PO is your #1 job. Allowing them to go down the path you have traveled, its their road and they can do what they want with it. Keep the memories and momentos you gathered on your trip. Pics of the worlds largest ball of twine withstanding.

Scratch the dogs chin for me, and a little behind the ear too.

Hello TODers,

Thousands flee fighting as Congo rebels seize gorilla park

Story Highlights:

**Congolese rebels seize military camp and Virunga Park's gorilla sanctuary

**Fighting breaks week-old cease-fire between rebels and government forces

**50 park rangers fled for their lives; very rare mountain gorillas in danger

**Congo's war has taken 5.4 million lives since 1998; 45,000 people die every month
According to the long history of mankind [mancruel?], I would expect these rare animals to be converted to bushmeat.


Missing endangered B.C. killer whales feared dead of starvation

..Studies conclude that the major risks for the southern residents are lack of salmon, toxins in the water and disturbance from boats.

A number of environmental groups are suing the federal government for failing to protect the critical environment of the southern resident orcas and the threatened northern residents under the Species at Risk Act.
If Earthmarines fail to arise to secure these vital habitats, and eventually the gorilla and whales go extinct forever-->Should we start counting down?

Please consider this weblink:

Would you chop off your finger to play football?

..The Mesa State college senior offensive lineman opted to have his severely-dislocated pinky finger amputated so he could return to the gridiron for the rest of his final season.

Mesa State senior quarterback Phil Vigil said it best. “That’s a pretty amazing commitment and sacrifice to go the rest of his life without a pinkie.”
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

Farmers demand probe of high fertilizer cost despite oil-price drop

Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (Philmaize) president Roger Navarro said while the price of imported petroleum has gone down by as much as 33 percent in recent days, the price of petroleum-based and nonpetroleum-based fertilizer remains high.

“While urea is the only oil-based [fertilizer grade], other nonpetroleum-based fertilizer remain expensive. They still average P1,800 per bag,” said Navarro.

Philmaize urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to take the lead in investigating the prices of fertilizer, saying the department should not be afraid of locking horns with the oil cartel and manufacturers of fertilizer.
I would suggest these farmers could help themselves by learning about FF/I-NPK latency, the JIT 'pull system' for the I-NPK global supply chain, the legal authorization of collaborative P & K cartels [Canpotex, Belaruskali, Uralkali, Phosphate Group] by the Webb-Pomerene Act & other country laws, the advance prepayment & assured delivery system, plus full scale O-NPK recycling.

Recall the earlier weblink where the Philippine Govt. announced that they would be curtailing I-NPK subsidies so that O-NPK recycling will be encouraged.

Tearing Into the Fed and Treasury Plans

Pre-eminent economist Anna Schwartz thinks the shortcomings of the U.S. bailout plan will only lead to further problems in the credit market.

ANNA SCHWARTZ, CO-AUTHOR WITH Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman of the seminal 'A Monetary History of the United States', has worked with the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1941, and remains an adjunct professor emeritus at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. About to turn 93, she has spent most of her professional life studying how the changes in money supply interact with inflation -- both within the United States and abroad.

The article about General Motors is so sad. No question, they are reaping the rewards of their own bad decisions. The telling quote was:

Mr. Wagoner has often been asked whether G.M. miscalculated its need to invest billions of dollars to develop all-new S.U.V.’s.

“We, like everybody else, didn’t anticipate fuel prices to go up like they did,” he said recently.

As the article points out this was not true. Toyota, and others had been looking towards fuel shortages for years. I recall reading that the head head of Toyota mentioned this as part of the impetus for developing the Prius. The development of the Prius took many years before becoming profitable (if it is even now).

The sadness I speak of is the lost opportunity in that for years and years GM (and the others in Detroit) had the opportunity to develop technology for high mileage cars as well as ways to manufacture using less energy and fewer resources. No one held a gun to their heads and made them focus solely on SUVs. And it is not like they didn't have the money to do research on future trends that would have told them that fuel shortages were imminent. Furthermore, it is so sad that the residents of the upper midwest and elsewhere have to suffer from their decisions as the region goes into decline.

dont cry for GM... they were in on the ground floor of this operation.

Results 1 - 10 of about 70,100 for GMAC ditech

GM may be the poster child, but none of the American car companies was prepared for high fuel prices...despite what happened in the '70s.

And I'm not sure Toyota deserves that much credit. A lot of the fuel efficiency technology they and other companies have today is from cars built for Japan, where the government has kept the screws to car companies since the '70s.

Only two or three years ago, Toyota was saying plug-in cars would never work.

the elegance of the operation is ...breathtaking.

some poor shmuck who cant afford anything but a low rent shack and a big television watches ditech commercials, and dreams the american dream...

he goes to his real estate agent, and buys a house, financed by GM, for nothing down, an escalating rate of interest and a balloon payment of three times his likely lifetime income...

his house appreciates as the bubble inflates, he calls ditech (GM), gets a big wad of cash, and buys an escalade from GM.

what's not to like?