DrumBeat: July 20, 2009

Game changers spell end for old petroleum age

Every few years, the engineers toiling to supply energy to the world achieve advances that qualify as game changers. But often, the breakthroughs go unnoticed.

That may be because energy companies hate to broadcast details of their cutting-edge technology to rival firms. Or the key improvements may be too subtle to impress outsiders.

It is only years later that their profound impact on energy supplies and patterns of use become clear.

Peter Tertzakian: Uncertainty good for oil market?

Oil markets are still in a tug-of-war. Pulling one way on the rope, with thumbs down (if that’s physically possible), are the bears arguing that oil will yet meet with $20/B. Pundits pulling with thumbs up suggest between $80/B and $100/B by year-end.

Passive observers and confused investors who haven’t decided which team to back are excused from feeling disconcerted by the divergent views. The lack of consensus these days implies that nobody knows what’s going on with oil markets. However, the discord is arguably healthy and could serve to maintain a stable market in the $60/B to $90/B range for quite a while, which is in the interests of all.

Goodnight, moon travel

Humanity has only two paths forward. We voluntarily switch to a low-carbon economy over the next two decades, or the reality of catastrophic climate change and peak oil forces us to desperately start doing so by the end of the 2020s. The only difference between the two paths is that the first one spares our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, untold misery. It creates a sustainable future where activities like manned space travel can be contemplated again.

The Apollo program was a major science and engineering effort to develop and, most important, deploy a variety of technologies to achieve a very difficult mission -- like climate action. But the comparison between the two only goes so far.

Peer to Peer Economies

There are two possible ways that this scenario could be derailed. The first is that failure by the Obama administration to structurally reform the system and break the power of the predatory financial caste so impoverishes the possibilities of the state that no means are left for implementing social policies, leading to global dislocation, and a turning by humanity towards resilient communities, using p2p-inspired models on a local scale. The second potential derailment refers to the combined effects of the structural problems of capitalism as a system, and not just to its long cycles. In this scenario, the accelerating problems involved in climate change, peak oil and resource depletion become too severe and do not allow for the generation of a new expansion phase. This element alone, which can be combined with the first one, would also lead to global dislocation, and to the resilient communities scenario, involving a ‘low road' to peer to peer, in a context of immense social pain.

The rebirth of Slow Food UK

Slow Food UK's recent rebirth is as practical as it is ideological. Practically speaking, its new headquarters, moved from hard-to-reach Ludlow into central London's Covent Garden early this year will help raise its public profile, and enable it to better reach out to the media, government and other food policy makers, ‘none of whom had heard of Slow Food,' says Catherine, a forthright American formerly with the United Nations.

Ideologically, Slow Food UK needs a strategy to make it appeal, ‘to the truck driver as much as to the landed gentry,' Catherine says, ‘I want to see the same thing that's happened in Italy happen here.'

The end is near

IT USED TO BE that apocalyptic warnings about the approaching end of time came from sign-holding religious nutcases. Now they come from hard scientists. Most discussion of the threat of global warming is conducted in measured tones, with even dire projections offered with the necessary proviso that the future is uncertain. But as governments fail to act strenuously enough against the villainous carbon emissions, and as the broad public continues in a state of environmental quietude, if not indifference, scientific voices are sharpening the alarm.

Steve LeVine: Exxon, the Chase for Reserves, and the Oil Sands

Talking to corporate analysts over the several years that I've been back in the U.S. and covering oil, a recurring question I hear is how Exxon manages year after year without exception -- unlike its Big Oil rivals -- to replenish its cache of proven oil and natural gas reserves. That's what the company has reported in its news releases and annual reports for the last nine years -- an unbroken trajectory of replacing more than 100% of the oil and natural gas that it pumps out of the ground.

The answer is that it hasn't done so, not at least according to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which governs such matters.

Commentary: Interview with Marshall Adkins

Marshall Adkins is the Houston-based Managing Director of Energy Research for Raymond James & Associates, a full-service investment firm. ASPO-USA’s Steve Andrews caught up with him last week to follow up on his pivotal May 4, 2009 “Energy Stat of the Week”--Peak Oil in the Rearview Mirror: Why We Think Global Oil Production Peaked Over a Year Ago.”

Andrews: At our conference in Houston in October 2007, you responded to our question “when will world oil peak” by saying “between now and 2012.” Clearly you saw this coming. So it appears to have happened.

Adkins: It’s still a tad early to be certain, but if you include natural gas liquids--and some people will argue that that’s not crude--our numbers show that the peak was in 2008.

A Preliminary Investigation of Energy Return on Energy Investment for Global Oil and Gas Production

Economies are fueled by energy produced in excess of the amount required to drive the energy production process. Therefore any successful society’s energy resources must be both abundant and exploitable with a high ratio of energy return on energy invested (EROI). Unfortunately most of the data kept on costs of oil and gas operations are in monetary, not energy, terms. Fortunately we can convert monetary values into approximate energy values by deriving energy intensities for monetary transactions from those few nations that keep both sets of data. We provide a preliminary assessment of EROI for the world’s most important fuels, oil and gas, based on time series of global production and estimates of energy inputs derived from monetary expenditures for all publicly traded oil and gas companies and estimates of energy intensities of those expenditures. We estimate that EROI at the wellhead was roughly 26:1 in 1992, increased to 35:1 in 1999, and then decreased to 18:1 in 2006. These trends imply that global supplies of petroleum available to do economic work are considerably less than estimates of gross reserves and that EROI is declining over time and with increased annual drilling levels. Our global estimates of EROI have a pattern similar to, but somewhat higher than, the United States, which has better data on energy costs but a more depleted resource base.

The Consequences of Government Intrusion into Prices

Where price is especially sensitive is in the realm of essentials, such as food and fuel. If there's a shortage of an essential, its price immediately soars -- unless the government intrudes. Government can stop upward spirals in the price of essentials with price controls and price gouging laws. But such measures can cause supply to run out even sooner or drive sales underground.

Iran's envoy rejects news on Iraq's seizure of oil well

TEHRAN (ISNA)-Iran's ambassador to Iraq Hassan Kazemi Qomi rejected news on Iraq's seizure of an Iran-Iraq joint oil well in Iran's Dehloran border region.

In an interview with Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Kazemi Qomi said no oil well was occupied and the problem was resolved.

Iran to Cut Crude Exports

LONDON (IranMania) - Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari announced that the country aims to reduce its crude oil exports as a way to hike export of other oil products, terming it the strategy of the Islamic Republic Fars News Agency reported.

Deluge, power outage torment Karachi

KARACHI: A massive power breakdown in the country’s premier commercial and industrial hub, of 12 to 24 hours in some parts of the city, compounded the misery of the people already suffering a near-disaster after Saturday’s downpour which flooded residential areas, including the posh localities of Clifton and Defence Society.

Protesters took to the streets on Sunday to vent their anger against the Karachi Electric Supply Company, blocking roads, burning tyres and damaging a department store. A child was reportedly killed during a protest outside the KESC complaint centre in North Nazimabad’s Hayderi locality late in the night, as reports were coming in of the protests spreading to other areas of the city.

Gas from Iran to help save $5m a day

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will save around $5 million a day if gas imported through a pipeline from Iran is used to generate electricity in place of furnace oil, Prime Minister’s Adviser on Petroleum Dr Asim Hussain said on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference, he said Pakistan already facing an energy crisis was heading for a severe gas shortage and it would have to import gas.

He rejected a perception that Pakistan would be importing gas from Iran at a very high price and said the pipeline would help it to reduce consumption of furnace oil, the key fuel for power generation in the country.

MP's biggest thermal power station in fuel crisis

Madhya Pradesh's biggest Birsinghpur based 1340 Mega Watt (Mw) thermal power generation station is facing fuel crisis with a coal stock of just 10,000 metric tonnes (MT) to generate power against its daily need of around 15,000-16,000 MT if plant functions at its full capacity.

"We are in a crisis and are in constant touch with South Eastern Coalfield (SECL) for fuel supply to Sanjay Gandhi Thermal Power Station at Birsinghpur in Umaria district," MP Power Generating Company (MPPGCL) CMD RB Agrawal said.

Rangoon Electricity Cut to Six Hours a Day

RANGOON — Residents in Rangoon have greeted with dismay an announcement by the state-own Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise (MEPE) saying electrical power will be rationed to six hours a day.

The power supply to Rangoon’s townships will be distributed on a rotation basis, said an MEPE announcement.

Thailand: Carbon credits could subsidise mass transit

Gas Management Organisation (TGO), said the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTTPP) and Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) were studying which types of transportation projects could be claimed as CDM projects and sell the carbon credits.

"When the tickets are cheaper, the passengers may shift from driving to travelling by mass transit, which will result in fewer cars on the road and fewer greenhouse-gas emissions as well," he explained.

Waste storage is dark cloud over nuclear power industry

But here are some of the critical points about the dangers of reprocessing and why it's not the way to go as a waste disposal solution. To "reprocess" spent fuel, different elements like plutonium, are separated so they can be used in new fuel. The problem is, separated plutonium can be readily used to make nuclear bombs.

Oil Refiner Margins Poised to Rise as Shuttered Plants Increase

(Bloomberg) -- Refiners from Germany to Hawaii are weighing plans to shut or sell plants amid the biggest drop in oil demand in almost three decades.

Petroplus Holdings AG told workers in Teesside, northern England, their jobs are at risk. Royal Dutch Shell Plc may sell or close two plants in Germany and another in Montreal. Total SA will dismantle 25 percent of France’s biggest refinery. Chevron Corp. is reviewing its Hawaii plant. Within five years, about 25 percent of capacity in North America and 30 percent of Europe’s will be idled, the International Energy Agency says.

Looks Like Oil Production Already Peaked

The following graph shows that the spike in West Texas Intermediate Oil of $147 per barrel may have signaled that global oil production has already hit its peak.

Oil Shares at Deepest Discount Signal Recession’s End

(Bloomberg) -- The cheapest valuations in at least 14 years are making oil companies too alluring to pass up for UBS AG and Guggenheim Partners LLC, even though earnings in the industry may fall 48 percent this year.

Oil and gas producers in the MSCI World Index traded at $7.84 per dollar of profit this month, less than half the average of $17.10 in the gauge of developed markets and the widest gap since at least 1995, data compiled by Bloomberg show. UBS, Guggenheim and Cohen & Steers Inc. are buying stocks from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Transocean Ltd. because an economic rebound will lift the industry after it generated at least 50 percent more profits than any other group in the past year.

Exxon Mobil Given Until July 31 to Answer Texas Sabotage Claim

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil company, has less than two weeks to respond to claims by the Texas General Land Office that the company sabotaged wells to prevent other producers from tapping fields it no longer wanted.

The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates drilling in the nation’s biggest oil-producing state, won’t take action on allegations of an early 1990s program of plugging abandoned wells with trash, sludge, cement and explosives until August at the earliest, the agency said in a letter to Exxon Mobil. The commission provided a copy of the letter, dated July 17 and sent to Exxon Mobil lawyer W. Timothy George, to Bloomberg News.

Questioning the direction of transportation policy

So why would the United States continue to justify sinking billions of dollars into building cars and roads when we cannot fund the existing system or significantly reduce carbon emissions and lost time? We should be asking: Are we strategically building the right transportation future and are cars, green or not, the right mode of transportation for that future? Or more specifically, should the country more aggressively retool and pursue a national passenger rail system?

Monbiot: A kneejerk rejection of nuclear power is not an option

Support of nuclear power will no doubt provoke hostile responses, but we have a duty to be as realistic as possible about how we might best prevent runaway climate change.

Analysis: Fish and energy needs clash in Midwest

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Thousands of electric customers in several central U.S. states could be on the hook for the cost of improved trout fishing in northern Arkansas.

That's the assertion, at least, of a regional electric company and some utility regulators who are waging a behind-the-scenes battle with the federal government over the financial effect of a plan that would reduce the hydropower capacity of several dams.

Greenland shark may become new source of biofuel

SISIMIUT, Greenland — The Greenland shark, one of the largest species of sharks, is a nuisance to fishermen and its meat is toxic to humans, but researchers now hope the flesh can be used to create a biofuel for Inuits.

The Great Himalayan Watershed: Agrarian Crisis, Mega-Dams and the Environment

Since we tend to take water for granted, it is almost always a bad sign when it is in the news; and lately there has been all too much water-related news from some of Asia’s most populous nations. The stories have ranged from the distressingly familiar—suicides of drought-hit Indian farmers—to the surprising: evidence that pressure from water in the reservoir behind the new Zipingpu dam may have triggered the massive Sichuan earthquake in May 2008, for example. Meanwhile glaciers, which almost never used to make the news, are now generating plenty of worrisome headlines.

Apocalypse Ciao: Let the End Times Roll

Hardcore collapsitarians, these writers purport, agitate for total economic downfall and universal joblessness; they scoff at mere predictions of catastrophe and apotheosis, demanding their doom, ashes, and phoenix-rise right away. They'd like to see the dilapidated systems of America's beleaguered economy—finance, for one, but also retail—burn to the ground so that something new, brighter, and more durable might appear. These old ways, they contend, will self-destruct because of intrinsic design flaws, particularly the creaky command-and-control structures of the pre-Internet era. At lunch, Becker name-checked All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, Marshall Berman's modernist critique.

To its adherents, collapsitarianism suggests a giddy liberation from hope, from futile shoring up of ailing economies like Detroit's and the Sunbelt's, from bailouts and stimulus plans and climate change and toxic-asset recovery. On board are said to be Luddites, anarchists, survivalists, green types who see collapse as our comeuppance, critics of American exceptionalism, and even financial-sector employees who just want it all over already.

Green Economics and how it might work

In times of the global economic recession and ecological crisis, it is obvious a radical response is needed. World-renowned economist Herman Daly maintains the future of human civilisation is dependent on a new economic model, based on a dynamic model—known as the steady state economy—preserving the environment we are all dependent upon.

There needs to be a shift away from the current paradigm of the growth economy towards a system that emphasises conserving natural capital and views the economy as a subset of the environment. Neoclassical economics has ignored the environment. The current system views environment and economy as intertwined. Any environmental problem can be solved by the market or by governmental interference.

Oil Rises to Two-Week High as Chinese Refiners Signal Rebound

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose to its highest in nearly two weeks, buoyed by equity markets and signs that energy demand in China is rebounding.

Oil advanced for a fourth day as European and Asian stock markets gained, led by commodity and technology shares. Refiners in China, the world’s second-largest oil user, raised their operating rates for an eighth week to 85.1 percent on July 16, said CBI China, a Shanghai-based commodities researcher.

Global warming to open up north-east Arctic tanker route

A new "north-east passage" for shipping around Russia's Arctic coast and across the North Pole will be opened within a decade as global warming causes the ice cap to melt, Norway's foreign minister has predicted.

Jonas Gahr Store, speaking at a recent public lecture in Edinburgh, said the route through previously inaccessible Russian waters, could cut tanker journey times between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Yokohama in Japan by 40%, and provide a safer and "pirate-free" route for trans-global shipping.

Russia abolishes oil export duty for East Siberia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's government last week introduced long-awaited zero export duty -- though only for nine months -- for 13 huge oilfields in Eastern Siberia in a bid to help crisis-stricken oil companies and boost crude production. Massive reserves of the East Siberia's new generation of fields are seen as a resource base for Russian oil supplies to energy-hungry China.

Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, in April brokered a deal to ship 300 million tonnes of oil over 20 years to China by a pipeline starting from 2012.

Russia Gazprom may place 10-yr Eurobond - sources

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's gas export monopoly, Gazprom may place 10 year eurobond, possibly in two tranches of $1.5 billion and 350 million euros ($496 million), banking and trading sources told Reuters on Monday.

"There is talk about a 10 year deal in the 9.75-10.00 percent area," the trading source told Reuters.

Ruble Jumps Most in Five Months, Russia Stocks Rally on $64 Oil

(Bloomberg) -- The ruble gained the most versus the dollar since February and stocks rallied as oil, Russia’s chief export, climbed above $64.

The currency strengthened as much as 2 percent to 31.1612 per dollar, headed for its steepest advance since Feb. 11. The surge made the ruble the best performer among 26 emerging-market currencies. OAO Gazprom, the world’s biggest natural-gas producer, and OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company, led the 30-stock Micex Index to the highest level in almost three weeks.

US, Venezuela tensions rise over Honduras crisis

Leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ratcheted up his anti-US rhetoric three weeks into the Honduran crisis, dampening hopes for rapprochement between oil trading partners who have been bitter diplomatic rivals. Chavez initially blamed Washington for the June 28 ouster of his leftist ally, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, but then toned down his noisy campaign to demonize the United States in Latin America, as US President Barack Obama was praised for his quick actions to condemn the military coup.

'No compromise' over Kirkuk, Iraq Kurd leader vows

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq, July 20, 2009 (AFP) – The president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, Massud Barzani, insisted he will not "compromise" on long-standing Kurdish claims to the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, in a speech late on Sunday.

"We are committed to the application of Article 140 (of the Iraqi constitution) and we promise that we will absolutely not compromise on this issue or on the rights of the people of Kurdistan," Barzani said at a campaign rally ahead of Kurdish regional elections on Saturday.

Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution calls for a referendum to decide the fate of Kirkuk, which the Kurds have long wanted to make the capital of their autonomous region in the north, an aim strongly opposed by the province's Arab and Turkmen communities.

Highways need to be viable for future

Newspapers across Mississippi headlined a story that did not surprise public officials and civic leaders who keep up with the costs of highway transportation: Mississippi's gasoline tax revenue isn't adequate for the demand for maintenance and construction costs.

Ontario plugged in to the reality of electric cars

Do nothing and be blamed for letting an industry wither. Do something and be accused of picking favourites and playing fast and loose with taxpayers' dollars.

The McGuinty government decided to do something last week when it announced it would offer rebates up to $10,000, beginning next July, to anyone who purchases a plug-in hybrid or all-electric car. These car buyers would also be given special access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes and parking lots at GO Transit stations.

Tuvalu turns to solar energy - against rising seas

With a highest point 4.5 metres above sea level, the Pacific island state of Tuvalu plans to shift to generate all electricity from renewable energies by 2020, hoping to push other countries to follow suit to fight global warming.

Slimming good for the environment, says study

Staying slim is as important for the planet’s health as for our own, a new report reveals. Countries with normal rates of obesity (3.5%) consume almost 20% less food and produce up to one gigatonne fewer greenhouse gases than a population with a 40% obesity rate, concluded the article published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE).

Fish Getting Smaller as Their Habitats Warm Amid Climate Change

(Bloomberg) -- Fish in French rivers and the Baltic Sea are getting smaller as their habitats warm up, more evidence that climate change is forcing species from bacteria to sheep to adapt to a hotter planet, a new study said.

Chemicals That Eased One Woe Worsen Another

This is not the funny kind of irony: Scientists say the chemicals that helped solve the last global environmental crisis -- the hole in the ozone layer -- are making the current one worse.

The chemicals, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), were introduced widely in the 1990s to replace ozone-depleting gases used in air conditioners, refrigerators and insulating foam.

They worked: The earth's protective shield seems to be recovering.

But researchers say what's good for ozone is bad for climate change. In the atmosphere, these replacement chemicals act like "super" greenhouse gases, with a heat-trapping power that can be 4,470 times that of carbon dioxide.

Should humans dictate nature in the name of conservation?

Bold experiment has scientists planting trees in areas they don't belong in a pre-emptive strike on climate change

On naked patches of land in Western Canada and the United States, scientists are planting trees that don't belong there. It's a bold experiment to move trees threatened by global warming into places where they may thrive amid a changing climate.

See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/should-humans-dic...


Not necessary to plant trees. Tree species extended their ranges northward rapidly as the Wisconsin & Wurm ice sheets retreated, aided by squirrels & jays dispersing seeds. Nature will take its course unaided by human interference.


Painting with a broad brush,you are correct.

But habitats are nowadays so fragmented that trees may not be able to make the geographic transition by the normal means of wind water and wildlife seed dispersion in a lot of cases.

And if the cc guys are right,the natural processes might not be fast enough anyway.

Given the costs versus the potential benefits, some nurseries up north might not be a bad idea.

Well, Mac, in an effort to be concise, I may not have explained the case very well.

I certainly support the planting of trees: fruit & nut trees, trees to replace those cut for fuelwood, etc. What I meant to say is that it is unnecessary to attempt to "help" trees shift their ranges in response to AGW. Habitat fragmentation is a huge problem for many non-volant species, but not for species such as trees whose propagules can persist for a long time and be carried by agents such as the wind and mobile animals. Habitat was fragmented by land stripped bare by glaciers, too, yet by all indications, tree recruitment on previously glaciated terrain occurred quite rapidly. Maybe it would be a better idea to assist, say, salamanders shift their ranges northward. Trees, or birds, just don't need our help in this way.

yes but as the glaciers retreated they weren't followed by ciities,interstates,and monoculture farms,and birds weren't driven to near extinction by man made habitat losses at the other end of thier ranges.

Rivers weren't damned either.

The farthest i've EVER seen a gray squirrel from the nearest woods was a lot less than three hundred feet,problably not over two hundred feet.And they could see and undoubtedly SMELL black walnuts at that distance.Those particular squirrels traveled on a telephone line to within about 75 feet of the tree.

The farthest i've EVER seen a gray squirrel from the nearest woods was a lot less than three hundred feet,problably not over two hundred feet.

Mac, I understand you live on a farm but you should get to town more often. Gray squirrels are everywhere! They are all over town, every town, miles away from the nearest woods. They have even crossed the Atlantic and invaded Great Britain.

Gray Squirrels Invade Britain

American gray squirrels are pushing the native British red squirrel to the brink of extinction. The smaller native reds are down to about 120,000 the article reported, while the invasive American gray variety numbers 2.5 to 5 million.

Ron P.

I have lived in town too.Squirrels are every where in most cities as you point out.I simply forgot the city squirrels.

But city squirrels don't travel on the ground very far either-not if they are going to live long enough to reproduce.

They can't spread nuts very well either,as most seedling trees are uprooted or mowed off as seedlings in a city environment,and lots of species are missing in lots of locations,so there are no seed to move.

In Minneapolis, we are starting to see RED squirrels invade the neighborhood. This is definitely a real change either in the behavioral biology of the squirrels, or something else. It can't be cooling or warming as red squirrels are very common to the north.

The main characteristic of red squirrels are that they typically move out as soon as humans move in. Over the years I have heard people discuss the disappearance of reds as soon as they built a new cabin in the woods. The thought was that red squirrels just don't like people and would quickly leave an area when the commotion got too great. And it wasn't due to a clearcut of the woods either as most people left trees in place.

People are saying that they are seeing large chipmunks, and I have to tell them they are red squirrels.


Lots of white (albino) squirrels where I come from....Olney Illinois. They are the most abundant of them all. Many years ago, in another life.

But albino squirrels are usually just gray squirrels with some bad genes.

Red squirrels are a different species than grey. Much smaller, quicker, and more noisy.

The white squirrals in Olney IL are not "albino" squirrals, they are very well celebrated as actual variety of squirral that number in the thousands or more in Illinois.



So they are albino white squirrels. They are both white and albino?

No, I think they are albino gray squirrels where the recessive genes have come out because they are inbreeding. This is pretty obvious isn't it?

I recognize the town of Olney for maintaining the population, but a lot of towns are known for circuses and freak shows as well.

They also have white squirrels in Brevard NC. I have also been to places that have black squirrels. All of these, I am sure, are actually grey squirrels.

According to one of our local nature centers grey squirrels exhibit a full scale from white to black.

So any given white squirrel could be either a low pigment grey squirrel or an actual albino. Check the eyes to be sure.

I'm sure that the reds used to live in the MSP area, prior to settlement. It may be that they don't like people, but it also might be that unpopulated habitat is getting so limited that they are having to adapt. It is probably also the case that there are probably just now getting to be enough neighborhoods where the trees have grown back enough to support a greater diversity of wildlife.

I'm not totally sure about the reds not wanting to be around people. I remember being at Lake Itaska and the red squirrels were all over the place. Those, at least, seem to have become more or less habituated to people.

In Prairie Village Kansas we have grey squirrels (the most) and some red squirrels and a few white squirrels. The white squirrels are probably variants on the grey squirrels because of the size. Not albinos because don't have pink eyes.

My favorite coloration of squirrels are the Kaibab squirrels of the Grand Canyon area.

Several common species of wildlife have made the adjustments necessary to live in close proximity to people within my lifetime here in the southeast,including crows,raccoons,cottontail rabbits,coyotes,white tail deer, and black bears.

None of these animals dwelled in the yards of my grandparents but all except the bears and coyotes are commomly found in towns around here now,and the coyotes are making frequent appearances.

I know an old fellow who lives within the town limits of Bedford Va who has a very nice buck bedding down in an old shed not even fifty yards from his house.

Species can definitely not migrate fast enough to keep up with global warming by some studies.

The general rate of migration is one order of magnitude too slow.

See http://www.earthscape.org/r1/wwf04/

there is a place in wyoming, along the oregon trail where the migrants planted a certain variety of ash trees(i believe it was ash). the soil contains a high concentration of selenium and instead of being safely in place, the (ash) trees absorb the selenium into their leaves and spread the selenium over the countryside each fall when the leaves die. just like an asarco smelter in commerce city colorado.

My Broker is Lenny Dykstra, and when Lenny speaks...

This Daily Show video clip will kill you. Especially the last minute where CNBC's Jim Cramer gives his opinion of Lenny's market skills. I think Cramer, in this clip, encapsulates all the financial advice ever to come out of the talking heads on CNBC.

Lenny Dykstra's Financial Career

Ron P.

I saw that. Dykstra reminds me of Larry Kudlow's smarter brother.


I know, it is soooo unbelievable. Whenever I worry about what I will do for a living if I lose my job, I reassure myself with this thought:

"Cramer is allowed to stay on television" UNBELIEVABLE.

Does CNBC understand what a disgrace he is to that network and their credibility (whatever little they may have remaining)?


Does CNBC understand what a disgrace he is to that network and their credibility

The game is about ratings - and so long as Cramer deliver eyeballs - it doesn't matter if his existence adds to a correct perception that the stock market is nothing more than a con.

Has anyone noticed that quite a few people are walking around with a persistant dry cough? They go to the doctor... it's not strep throat... so no further treatment is deemed necessary.

... but what is it?

Ever heard of Air Pollution? As in ground level ozone, which is most prevalent during the warmest summer months?

E. Swanson

I have sealed myself up in a hermetically sealed chamber that uses only a filtered air-exchange with the outside, and my cough seems to be abating.

It's "a hermetically" and not "an hermetically", by the way, have to nip that in the bud.

Michael Jackson tried that...don't do the drugs.

I have that cough that you referred to. It is from a highly contageous summer cold that somewhat impacts the nasal cavity, but also settles in the lungs. It is quite odd in that you only feel bad for about two days. Really only one. You also have a sore throat and it makes your neck muscles tighten up. My son was in Catalina in an isolated camp and came back and got it from my wife in one day. But, within two days, all is moderately OK except for the cough that hangs around.

It is from a highly contageous summer cold that somewhat impacts the nasal cavity,


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Reuters: Russia abolishes oil export duty for East Siberia (uptop)

. . . 13 huge oilfields in Eastern Siberia . . . Russia, the world's second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, in April brokered a deal to ship 300 million tonnes of oil over 20 years to China by a pipeline starting from 2012.

300 million tons of oil over 20 years would be an average rate of about 300,000 bpd. Based on EIA data, from 2004 to 2008, China's consumption increased from 6.4 mbpd to 8.0 mbpd, an increase of 1.6 mbpd in four years.

I find it ironic that McGinty is offering rebates on electric cars while at the same time he has cancelled two nuclear reactors at Bruce. Keep thinking short term and just like ripping a band-aid off the pain will be much less.

At over $10,000.00 per kW, I wouldn't be too quick to pull the trigger either. And, of course, we know from [painful] past experience, cost estimates can be wildly short of the mark, particularly for new, advanced designs as in this case. I recall that Darlington, the last NGS built in Ontario, was originally budgeted at $2.5 billion and its final price tag came in at $14.7 billion.


Iirc one top condition on the bidding was a 'fixed price' not a 'cost estimate'. Only one of the three bids accepted that condition --- the two that did not were lower per kW installed.

Thanks, Tonu, for noting that, as I'm pretty sure you're correct. In this case, any cost overruns would be borne by federal taxpayers, not just the citizens of Ontario.


It reeks of politics; Perhaps he wouldn't politically be willing to favor a foreign supplier over AECL, and AECL hasn't been the shining icon of efficiency in the nuclear industry.

One can never dismiss the political element, as these forces clearly do exist (I can personally attest to this as I was a policy analyst with the Ontario Ministry of Energy's Electricity Section during the Darlington years). Nonetheless, as Tonu correctly points out, the other two bidders were unwilling to guarantee there would be no cost overruns and this was a critical requirement of Ontario's RFP. I think Areva's bid came in at $7,400.00 but, again, as it wasn't firm, it's anyone's guess as to what the final number could be.


Wow! There's a lesson in net energy and capital. This ought to be the poster child for the shape of things to come. The motto of the story is there are not any equitable alternatives.

The hydroelectric and biomass generation projects we've been working on come in around $4,000/kW. Biomass energy rate is $140-$190/MWh and run of river hydro is $110-$120/MWh. Given the price tag for the Ontario nuclear expansion, my WAG would be north of $150/MWh - and that may be optimistic. BC Hydro's current estimate for the 900 MW Site C is $6 billion, or $6,667/kW and $160/MWh (no fuel source required).

The long and short of it is this nuclear project as it stands now is a non starter. It doesn't even pass the smell test.

So the grown-up thing to do (being flip here) is to ask, what now? If the Ontario experience is going to be typical, either something drastic is going to have to change in nuclear power plant design, or nuclear has to be taken off the table completely. This should be a sobering moment for those formulating our energy policy and future.

I know DSM can only take us so far, but my average cost per kW of "new capacity" is literally one-tenth that of nuclear power, based on this latest AECL number.

Sometimes, it can be as little as $0.00; for example, we recently disconnected three of the six elements in an electric water heater, dropping that particular load from 24.0 kW to 12.0 kW, as there was more than enough recovery capacity to meet the client's needs. This was a "freebie", but the ironic thing about this is that we would need to retrofit some four hundred 2-lamp T12 fixtures to match the demand savings we achieved through this one simple, five minute act.


we recently disconnected three of the six elements in an electric water heater, dropping that particular load from 24.0 kW to 12.0 kW, as there was more than enough recovery capacity to meet the client's needs

I fail to see how this saves energy, i.e. to heat the same amount of water you need to run it twice as long. So you reduce peak demand which might be relevent to the specing of local electrical equipment, but at the larger scale, the amount of demand averaging over longer periods of time is unchanged.

Demand is the critical concern here, not energy. As a commercial account holder, the customer saves $9.034 per kW in reduced demand charges each month, for a savings of just over $1,300.00 a year. In addition, 200 kWh per kW of demand, per month, is shifted to the lower cost second tier as the result of their improved load factor, which reduces their energy related charges by $813.00/year; the combined demand and energy savings in this case are just over $2,100.00.

Very simply, the utility rewards customers with good load factors and punishes the inverse due to the higher cost of service.


The only way to support Nuclear power IS to keep from thinking Long Term.. privatize the near-term profit, and socialize the long term liabilities and waste!

..while Electric Cars CAN be powered with a wide range of other sources of electricity.

Electric cars don't need that much power. According to Hydro-Québec, the energy needed to power 1 million cars is approximately 3 TWh.

The only way to support Nuclear power IS to keep from thinking Long Term.. privatize the near-term profit, and socialize the long term liabilities and waste!

Thats demonstrably false. You discount long term liabilities, and its the same with any industry that has any type of decomissioning.

It's not the same, since the Decommisioning for Nuclear Plants involves hazardous materials barely any other industry has to contend with. So far, sweeping what we could under Fat, Reinforced Concrete rugs has still failed to prevent metals and fill from reactors showing up on the scrap market in developing nations. (Mexico, most recently)

As opposed to coal plants that just spit radon, uranium, thorium, and mercury into the air? I'm not sure what you're referring to, unless you're referring to the C60 in the mid 80s from medical equipment, which is independant of nuclear power.

Really, nuclear power is one of the few industries that completely internalizes its waste streams. And you can discount decomissioning costs quite a bit over the years.

As to the actual cost of decomissioning, its a bit of a mystery with some reactors sporting costs tens of times higher (UK) than similar sized reactors (France) which is probably due to the skill of a well maintained nuclear engineering talent pool.

Really, nuclear power is one of the few industries that completely internalizes its waste streams.

More lies by the pro-fission crowd.

All one has to do is ask the Navajo peoples their experience with Uranium mining to show that the above claim is false.

Ah yes, somebody who favors nuclear power isn't well versed in all the mining abuses for the past century and they're lieing.

Lies, Lies, Lies, all of it lies.

Instead of accusing your fellow posters, perhaps you could inform us of what the Navajo people's experience with uranium mining was.

Given current concerns about copper mining I wouldn't be surprised if it was quite bad.

Ah yes, somebody who favors nuclear power isn't well versed in all the mining abuses for the past century and they're lieing.

No, because he's been caught in the past making up statements. He made a claim of safety that was shown to be bullshit. Rather than going with "it seems you are ignorant of the Navajo people and how Uranium is part of the Nuclear fission cycle, so here is a link to correct your ignorance."

I went for the FAR stronger language of "you sir, are a liar." That kind of language is accepted 'round these parts on the worst of the global warming debates.

you could inform us of what the Navajo people's experience with uranium mining was.

You can read the link I've submitted as a simple example found in under 2 minutes via search engines.

And really - a claim of
industries that completely internalizes its waste streams
is bullshit on the face - "completely" is the key. Rare is any absolute claim correct.

(Waste streams of the planet are not even "completely" contained on this planet - the use of radioactive elements in space probes could be well-argued as a waste stream that has left the Earth biosphere never to return.)

I had no doubt as to your claim. Upon reading the link it is a fairly typical example of a conveniently located native population as a "throw away" (for the mining company) pool of employees.

To the best of my knowledge this sort of thing (including the health issues) is still happening in many areas of the world. Radiation exposure, black lung, silicosis, asbestosis, it stinks to be a miner almost anywhere.

On the primary point you objected to, the nuclear power industry has far more direct responsibility for its waste streams than any other industry I know of. Once something is recognized as entering the pipeline somebody is responsible for keeping track of it right to the end. It wasn't always this way, and I am certain that there are failings even today, but what he said is certainly the goal if not the full reality.

I can understand you objecting to the absolute tone, but I daresay you overreacted.

the nuclear power industry has far more direct responsibility for its waste streams than any other industry I know of.

And I'd say that is not even close to true, based on what I know. The waste stream is the responsibilty of the government by law. (Its that way in the UK and its why the DOE in America gets sued over waste due to the nexus of control over radioactive elements.)

But I don't have to try and navigate FedGov Laws to show he's a liar. I can point to the Navajo/mining of Uranium to show, yet again, he lies.

I daresay you overreacted.

I've not seen a mea-culpa or explnation for the position. No admission that he mispoke. So I'll stick with liar, given his past willingness to post demonstratibly false safety data.

So I'll stick with liar, given his past willingness to post demonstratibly false safety data.

I'm not about to argue with a child, but what the hell are you talking about now?

Hmm, I wonder if the folks who so brilliantly managed the UAW's pension funds also serve this client?

The owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant says it will have to wait almost 60 years before it has enough money to decommission the plant.

Faced with that lengthy timeline, lawmakers are likely to try again to force Yankee to set aside funds for decommissioning.

As the stock market has plummeted in recent months, so has the value of the Vermont Yankee decommissioning fund. It's worth around $397 million these days. But the expected cost of decommissioning is around $875 million.

See: http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/82666/


Somewhat meaningless, its how discounting works. If the regulatory authorities dont like delayed decomissioning its a matter of law, but affordable by the plant owner with a license extension. That Vermont Yankee wont get a license extension when it supplies most of Vermont power doesn't seem likely.

The notion that the fund wont recover over the next 20+ years seems a bit implausible to me.

but affordable by the plant owner with a license extension

Interestingly, the current owners haven't set aside any additional funds for decommissioning since they purchased the plant in 2002. Well, not to worry, all the utility has to do is blackmail the State into granting the plant an extension and the problem is solved.


Its not a problem to begin with. Its legitimate discounting of decomissioning. The state doesn't grant an extension, the NRC does. Now if the state wants funds to be requried for decommissioning by a certain date, they should have made that law. They didn't and its not necissary anyways.

You're right, the NRC ultimately decides if the extension will be granted, but as the VPR article points out, "the state will use its influence in the relicensing case and other regulatory proceedings to pressure the company to come up with enough money for decommissioning.". I don't honestly know how much influence the State of Vermont has in these matters, but I assume they hold a few cards of their own.

What we do know is that Entergy has said they cannot afford to decommission the plant for another 60 years and, furthermore, won't set aside any monies to cover this expense until the twenty-fifth year of their ownership. That doesn't strike me as very prudent. The underlying assumption is that the investments tied to this account will appreciate at a higher rate than the future cost of decommissioning, eliminating the current $500 million shortfall. If that's not possible (and I wish them the best of luck because I think they'll need it), then they will be transferring these costs onto future ratepayers which is inherently unfair.


I don't honestly know how much influence the State of Vermont has in these matters, but I assume they hold a few cards of their own.

Given they get over 70% of their power from Vermont Yankee, I'd say their bluster is hollow.

then they will be transferring these costs onto future ratepayers which is inherently unfair.

Thats how discounting works! You balance risk of total economic stagnation for decades against risk of opportunity cost. Honestly, discounting is the more prudent course of action, especially since the cost of decommissioning should decrease as time goes on, reducing worker radation exposure costs. Problems that can be delayed should be.

Given they get over 70% of their power from Vermont Yankee, I'd say their bluster is hollow.

Quite possibly, however, one would need to assess that in the context of the alternatives.

Thats how discounting works! You balance risk of total economic stagnation for decades against risk of opportunity cost. Honestly, discounting is the more prudent course of action, especially since the cost of decommissioning should decrease as time goes on, reducing worker radation exposure costs. Problems that can be delayed should be.

As you may know, Entergy Nuclear wants to spin-off its five northeast nuclear plants into a separate holding company, Enexus. The problem, as critics see it, is that the new company would be saddled with a high debt load and the value of its assets will continue to decline as these five facilities move ever closer to the end of their respective service lives. I'm hardly in a position to judge the level of risk with respect to the company's future liabilities, nor the future cost of decommissioning a NGS, but I'm not exactly getting the warm and fuzzies here -- I may be all wet, but it seems to me Entergy's motivation could be to protect its remaining operations from this overhang.


Some have said and agree that Bill Moyers is (has been) an bit utopian. I do not disagree (is that the same as saying I agree?).

I offer the following from Friday Night re: Obama and The Environmentalists

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL.

Some young and agile environmental activists tried to get Abraham Lincoln's ear last week. And George Washington's. And Thomas Jefferson's. And Teddy Roosevelt's. That's because, they say, President Obama is not listening. In the Black Hills of South Dakota, protestors from Greenpeace USA made a dangerous rappel down Mount Rushmore to unfurl a banner alongside the carved faces of the four American icons. "America honors leaders, not politicians," it read. "Stop global warming." The protestors were arrested, of course. They were trespassing, breaking the law. Much like the non-violent acts of disobedience during the Civil Rights movement.

My mind may still be willing but my body unfortunately could not scale Mt. Rushmore anymore.


Kunstler seems to have gotten disillusioned with Obama pretty quickly.

By now, it's self-evident that the "change" voted for in November's election was too horrifying to articulate. It still is. The suburban sprawl economy was all we had left. Now it's gone and we're stuck with all its deleveraging after-effects -- the worst case of "buyer's remorse" since the fall of Nazi Germany. Thus, the only "change" that President Obama can really work for is the health care system, which is a life-and-death matter. The sordid rackets so ostentatiously infecting the system boil down vividly to lives ruined and bankrupted, and a system more frightful to deal with than disease itself. Probably the baseline truth is that health care will end up being rationed one way or another. It's another prime symptom of population overshoot, and a reminder that life is tragic.


I get the feeling that health care reform is the tipping point. We either do it soon (and get it right) or we accept the truth that no change in any meaningful aspect of our economy can/will occur.

My hope is that we're willing to risk the chips on universal health care. We need it. We need to embrace some positive societal values really soon. Betting on BAU is very scary to me.

I cannot remember where I read it, but assuming HC bills get passed in the House and Senate it will be in the ensuing "conference committee" that the true force of the special interests will be brought to bear. Maybe it was Moyers (see below)

The more I think about it this scenario may have been related to the recent "climate" bill that did pass the House but not yet the Senate. Same process - do the dirty work in the joint committees.

In hindsight - for me - "the change that should have been demanded" (but was not really part of the campaign) was articulated in a admittedly somewhat utopian fashion by Moyers a few shows ago.


It's not about compromise. It's not about what the public wants. It's about money, the golden ticket to "the select few who actually get it done." And nothing will change. Nothing. Until the money-lenders are tossed out of the temple, and we tear down the sign they've placed on government — the one that reads: "For sale."


Yeah Pete. The Goalposts have just been dragged up to the Fifty.

Moyers (and you by uninvited extension) are not 'Utopians' for just suggesting that the influence of corporate dollars on our most vital Policy Questions (HealthCare, Military, Education, Energy, Agriculture.. etc..) should be stood up to and put down into their place.

Yes, it's an age-old struggle.. but that doesn't make the goal unreasonable or unrealistic.. Just hard as hell.. as usual.

It's a good day to die trying!

"We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the neverending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is."
— John Steinbeck (East of Eden)

I do think health care is worth spending on. Health insurance via your job is not good if we're headed into the Greater Depression. Access to health care is also one factor in encouraging smaller family sizes.

It is a crime for the U.S. not to have single-payer (payer being the government) health care.

Yes, our health care was ranked as thirty-seventh-best by the World Health Organization in 2000:


We are only 'the best' if spending the most, by far, per capital and receiving sub-World-standard outcomes is the criteria for 'best'.

Yes, look at all those third-world communist dictatorships such as Sweden, France, England, Spain, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway...and on...and on...clearly their people are suffering mightily and clamoring to move to the U.S.

It is truly sad to hear people who have their nest feathered to look upon all the people who don't and tell them to suck it up, buttercup and go die in the gutter, or go broke and live in a box. I hear this crap all the time from U.S. military (just to nip any rabid Patriots about to slam me, I just finished 20 years in the Air Force)and other Federal and State employees..."I got mine, I went to college, work hard, if other people aren't as smart or wise or industrious or fortunate as I am then they can eat dirt before I pay one dime to support them."

Hello selfish shallow thinkers: We already all pay for everyone's health care. Who do you think pays for the hospitals' 'free' (extremely expensive ER)care? Who do you think pays the extra private insurance premiums to pay the health providers to cover the indigent care? We do...it ain't magic elves riding in on winged pink unicorns, baby.

Gotta love how Shrub had his Rethug boys write into LAW that the U.S. government was forbidden to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry to lower drug prices as a stipulation for Medicare Part D. Way to go, 'free-market' hypocrites.

Yea, let's keep paying for marketing and administrative fees and great profit margins for medical industry paper and pill pushers and ignore how it is done better everywhere else. Yea, all that extra private health insurance certainly made GM and Chrysler and every other U.S. company more competitive against their foreign rivals whose companies don't have to deal with it.

I have my Tricare (for life), and a military pension, a current good job which also offered me health insurance, and I am waiting for my privilege to have some of my tax dollars pay for a national health care system.

Yes, our health care was ranked as thirty-seventh-best by the World Health Organization in 2000:

But Mitch McConnel claims we have the best healthcare system on the planet. And as none of the Democratic politicians would risk being labeled unpatriotic for daring to suggest we aren't number one the disinformation goes unchallenged. As a political debate tactic it works! We really need an electorate that can understand that constructive criticism of ourselves is not unpatriotic.

But, we are certainly number one in the world in cost per capita. And if your metric is how much wages and profit can be generated by the process of delivering a unit of healthcare -well we are the indisputable number one on that metric!

"....Mitch McConnel claims we have the best healthcare system on the planet."

mcconnel also ridiculed funding for research into why bees are disappearing.

he always has that smirk on his face, a lot like forbes.

We really need an electorate that can understand that constructive criticism of ourselves is not unpatriotic.


Enemy, (struggles to keep straight face) either my local scuba shop has been filling my tanks with Nitrous Oxide instead of Nitrox or my town is adding something to our water...

Exactly. One might as well wish themselves to fly to Jupiter and punch out God too.

"America's health care system is second only to Japan, Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, well...all of Europe. But you can thank your lucky stars we don't live in Paraguay!"

-Homer Simpson

IMO the whole health care issue is fraudlent.

First health care for the poor is already a done deal. Hospitals absorb it. The wait is long but the care is there.

Also we have Medicare.Nothing wrong with it so why fix something NOT broken?

I see it as something to dangle in front of the masses for political purposes.

As I have said before. My ex employer offers me Medicare Supplemental and it only costs me $16 per month.

If Obamay gets his way my ex employer will stop offering it.My cost will skyrocket.

I hope it fails utterly. Its bullshit as always coming from Disneyland East.



You have some good points,but too many p[eople fall thru the cracks these days,and they are mostly the ones most worthy of your respect-the guys who have worked two or even three jobs to raise thier families and own thier own house.

I personally know plenty of shiftless folks who use the emergency room and local hospital like a personal get out of jail card ,sometimes as much as two or three times in a year.

At least four I know are on disability and get around better and have more fun than others half thier age working sixty.

And they don't have to commute either.

I also know plenty of the two job kind who do without badly needed traetment because it would put them in the poorhouse or break thier pride.

Sometimes the only way to lick'em is to join'em.

I believe in the free enterprise system but in the case of medical care it has become so corrupted by the insurance ,legal,drug, and hospital industries that it's time to go Euro.

Once the govt is in charge of paying,we can paradoxically get by in this case with a lot less clerks and bueracrats,and there will be some real mucle of the buying side when it comes time to discuss prices.

And a lot less loot for the parasitic legal profession which is incidentally in the dems pocket.

A former rockribbed publican farmer at this end.

I would also add...the hospitals absorb it now, but for how long can they continue to do that? Already many are being forced to close.

Right!And they make it up by charging someone like me double!

My personal attorney(who is a nice guy with no insurance and two kids in private schools who doesn't make much because he does not do the high dollar kind of legal work) had a long go round with his hospital over a gall bladder operation.

Even though he was prepared to pay cash,he could not get the operation for less than something like fifty percent more thah BCBS would have paid for the same service AND NOBODY EVEN BOTHERED TO DENY THAT THIS WAS UNFAIR.IT'S LEGAL.In Virginia at least five or six years ago.

Fortunately he got well w/o the operation.

And the most interesting part of the story is that he found another doctor who practices MEDICINE rather than cya.His first doc wanted a nine hundred dollar test done.the second one told him that there was a possible cure that cost only ninety bucks plus a minor change in his diet and that if it didn't work no harm would be done.So she wrote the prescription and a week later he was well on his way to cured.

I personally have a couple of easily treated maladies, that are easily self-treated, but that our for profit health care industry will not tell you (or your doctor) about. Better to extract billions in profits for unneeded care -even if the side effects are great, than risk losing some business. Then we got the many thousands -probably a least a million, people, employed in doctors offices and insurance companies who are full time "fight over money (who pays -and how much)" people. So many negative sum games, when greed -for maximum profit is what drives the system.

The best health care situation I ever had was while working for the Indiana State Govt back in the late 70s, early 80s. Those were the early days of HMOs, and one had set up in Indpls in the form of a patient-owned cooperative. It was wonderful - reasonable in cost, good quality care, and you knew that if there was a problem, you could make your concerns known to the board.

Then someone came up with the bright idea of selling out to a corporation that promised cheaper health care, and it was all down hill from there.

I believe that such co-op HMOs are the way to go. It is the only way both to assure low cost care and to give patients some say in how their health care is provided. We are all just a bunch of fools and suckers to go along with anything else.

I am not expecting the government to set these up for us, just to create a pathway and remove the obstacles so that it is easier rather than harder for people in each community to help themselves.

The fact that such a thing isn't even on the table for discussion tells me all I need to know. What is being discussed is not a serious effort to actually solve problems and make a bad situation better. It is just one more puppet show. The puppets go through the motions, and then the puppeteer paymasters arrange things in such a way as to transfer yet more money from the ordinary people to their own pockets.

"I hope it fails utterly. Its bullshit as always coming from Disneyland East."

you must think you are clairvoyant. how do you know what the plan will look like ? how do you know that your former employer will continue your insurance with or without hcr ?

What I think it is is a ploy. A way to show that the Prez is 'doing something'. A game if you will.

There will be winners and losers. The losers will be the people. The winners will be obvious.

It will create another huge bureaucracy and the end results will be as all the rest before.

Medicare is such an example. I am on Medicare. It is helping to bankrupt the system. But the 'medical industry' is still growing more and more prosperous. The drug and chemical corporations are growing more and more prosperous.

And the real health of the citizens will continue to decline.

Ask about the current prices of many new medications. My wife takes over $300/month in prescription drugs. The reason why would take too long to answer herein..but note this...I take NO drugs and never have on any continuing basis. Never. My wife has had 16 Major operations over her lifespan. I have only just recently had one surgery. For renal cancer and that at age 70.

The medical 'industry' IMO is out of control and running amok.

A new health plan will NOT fix this. It will be just more of the same.
Its a political ploy as I said before.

The real reasons for its need would be found in the actions of globalism as far as our nations industry which has fled and taken the workers health benefits with them.

The bad health of our population is much due to our work habits or lack of, the pollution and bad food as well as many other factors. Part and parcel of The Olduvai Gorge paradigm.

It will at best be just a stopgap and nothing more as this country and the world sinks further and further into decay and chaos.

I sincerely doubt that socialized medicine will or could solve anything. I do belive in the good will of some doctors. I believe some actually believe in the Hippocratic Oath but most do not. I have met a few. Very few.

Airdale-there are far far worse problems than health care that need to be addressed, badly addressed but this is just a coverup...gilding the lily so to say as the parakeet has already molted and is surely near to death

I will start to consider the possibility that they are actually serious about cost control when they ban the advertising of prescription meds on TV. We got along quite well in the past, before those were allowed. Back in those days, it was expected that your MD knew what medications were available, and which were best for your condition. The idea that one would march into their office and demand that they be prescribed such-and-such because they saw it on TV would have been unthinkable. Note that it still IS unthinkable in almost all other countries, because big pharma is not allowed to advertise just about anywhere else. My God, how many billions of dollars do they spend (waste, actually) on those obnoxious ads?!?!?

I was excited to have a different shade of figurehead elected.

And I wasn't disillusioned for a good month or two, but then I was.

The chance that we'll do ANYTHING meaningful on the issue of climate change ("carbon") or health care is real close to zero, IMHO. I'm ready to be surprised, but to expect it is pure folly.

What will it mean when these efforts fail? Nothing. We're doomed (collectively, anyways).

Happy Monday!

Well, I know I am going to stay away at night because Kunstler has "gotten disillusioned". Wait, doesn't Kunstler make his living with that flame thrower of a word processor of his by staying disillusioned? I have asked this before, but is there ANYTHING that Kunstler has ever liked about the American idea, the American nation,the American lifestyle, American industry or anything good he has to say about America in general? Obama has real problems alright, but "disillusioning" people such as Kunstler is not one of them.


anything good he has to say about America in general?

My memory says he's in favor of sending money to the nation state of Israel.

While news.googleing "Civilization Collapse" this morning I came across this jewel, published just yesterday:
How Empires Die

It’s always a good idea to review one’s assumptions about the world in which one lives, such as the current politically correct view that Islam is “a religion of peace” and that the barbarity of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other Arab groups is an anomaly, the result of their incorrect interpretation of the Koran. Their interpretation, however, is quite accurate and the Koran is a call to arms and battle plan for the conquest of the world.

I have known this fact for almost 30 years. I lived in an Arab nation for five years and studied several books on the subject before going. The above is the main reason I always criticize political correctness. Political Correctness always tells damn lies.

Ron P.

Yes, because, of course, Christianity has never been associated with with war and conquest.

Scriptural texts are written to address contemporary issues and can mean whatever future reader want them to mean. The Koran addresses the issues of unifying the Arabian peninsula under a 7th Century socio/religious reformer's banner. The New Testament is a reflection of a 4th Century dominant Roman faction of emerging Christianity suppressing other forms.

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." Will Shakespeare

It would be difficult to find a more violent and vindictive document than the old testament. This culture of violence is being carried on by the likes of Sarah Palin ala her church in Wasilla. And then there is always "onward Christian soliders". The big three, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all totally suck. None of these are religions of peace although Christ had his good moments.

Ron: I usually ignore polemics like yours but this time I wanted to check the origins. The author of the article published in the Canadian Conservative press was Alan Caruba a 71 year old book reviewer who works for and blogs for the "National Anxiety Center" which I believe is slightly right of center. Anyhoo, the majority of religions founded on love and brotherhood appear to end up killing more people than they save. A case in point is apparently American Christianity.

Yes, because, of course, Christianity has never been associated with with war and conquest.

No, Christanity has a bloodthirsty past!

It would be difficult to find a more violent and vindictive document than the old testament.

Of course!

Anyhoo, the majority of religions founded on love and brotherhood appear to end up killing more people than they save. A case in point is apparently American Christianity.

Very true. Most religions, especially Christianity and Islam, have a bloodthirsty past. Even though the New Testament teaches peace and to turn the other cheek, the crusaders nevertheless used religion to kill everyone in their path on the way to restoring the holy land to those they felt were the rightful owners. However….

We today live in different times. No one pays much attention today to the absurdities of the Old Testament. We no longer kill witches as ordered in that bloodthirsty scripture. There are no more holy crusades to retake the holy land. No one pays any attention to the absurdities of the Old Testament today. That is not the case with the Koran.

In Saudi every male child has memorized, verbatim, the entire Koran by the age of 12. The events of 9/11 were inspired and carried out by those who felt they were carrying out orders directly from Allah.

The Christian Crusaders are all died out centuries ago. The Islamic Crusaders are alive and well and actively carrying out their Allah directed mission to kill all infidels. Well, at least a lot of them are, the most fanatical religious of them. And there are millions of them. And just one more point.

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."

But of course. That is exactly what they are doing….in spades.

Ron P.

Can't you find some site like WEHATEMOOZLIMS.COM to put this garbage on?

Just what is it you object to Brian, my comments about Islam or me, and everyone else for that matter, calling Christianity a bloodthirsty religion? I suspect the latter. Anyway to the politically correct, anything that is not politically correct is always garbage.

Ron P.

Please, Ron.

I know you're on a roll here, but is there any way to avoid these oversimplified "Red Meat" arguments?

"Politically Correct" is just one of those Easy-to-Target terms, but remains overly-vague in definition, because it's the edge of the surf on a changing language, and a changing culture. It used to be too radical to suggest that people not use the N word, complaining that those N's and Libs are just too sensitive.. but 'Political Correctness' was that dicey part of the give and take as we decide what is and isn't an acceptable use of language? At some point, all the obvious taboos were on that cutting line, while others were migrating over from the other side..

Of course, you said "Political Correctness always tells damn lies." .. you and your absolutes! Wobbly Shades of Gray at the boundaries of language will always be difficult to accept when you want to paint in black and white.

And of course the conversation that follows is pretty much what you could have predicted.. sound and fury, and generally unproductive and OT.


( The other terms in this category that get similar thoughlessness around here include but aren't limited to BAU, TPTB, and 'Technology' all tossed around devoid of details, important exceptions, or nuance..)

Of course, you said "Political Correctness always tells damn lies." .. you and your absolutes!

I should not speak so boldly, if it were my due to be believed; and so I told a great man, who complained of the tartness and contentiousness of my exhortations.

Michel de Montaigne

And of course the conversation that follows is pretty much what you could have predicted.. sound and fury, and generally unproductive and OT.

Yeah, don't you just love it? ;-)

Ron P.

My willpower for avoiding such threads is sadly lacking (obviously), but I can see how using too blunt language can do more to impair communication than to help it.

If people want a knock-down-drag-out it is easy to find a soft point and rub some sandpaper across it.

If there is an actual desire to communicate, more thought is needed and care to point out the truth that you wish to convey without picking a fight with the people you wish to communicate with.

It frequently fails anyway, but at least if you fail without being abrasive you can try again later.

R4, it is all in fun. As Montaigne implies, no one believes you anyway. So don't take yourself too seriously R4, no one else does.

Ron P.

Much easier said than done, I'm afraid.

We all have our failings...

And of course there are always those strange little anomolies that wreck a good story. The other night on a Christian network there was a very beautiful collection of churchs, many have been functioing for centuries. They were in Turkey. The long history of Iraqi Christianity is well known, and there are hundreds of Christian churches there. The Coptic Church in Egypt has been functioning for longer than the Euruopean Catholic church, with beautiful buildings now shown on the Egyptian government sites as tourist sites, to help promote tourism to Egypt.

Almost every Arab country has a Jewish minority and the Jews have been in many ways safer in Arab countries they were in Europe (remember, they were almost wiped out in the most Christian nations on Earth only 75 years ago) the Rabbi of Algeria actually has his stipend paid by the Algerian government.

The Taliban recently shamed themselves by blowing up ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. Of course many pointed out that this was normal way for the Muslims, totally intolerant of any other religion or culture...but wait...if that were always true, how had the statues survived for almost a thousand years under Islamic rulers?

Then the questions begin to spill out...HOW could there be a Christian church that has survived in Iraq for 1500+ years...and in Egypt, and in Syria, and in Jorden, and in Algeria...why had not the Muslims destroyed them a thousand years ago? And the Jews...how are there functioning Jewish Synagogues in almost every nation of the Mideast that have survived longer than Europeans have been in the new world? The Jews and Christians seem to have done better under Islamic law than the Aztec and Inca did under the rule of the European Christian humanitarians...

I only answer the post by Ron for one reason: Given the lack of historical and liberal arts education in America there is a real risk that some younger reader could come along and read his post and accept it as fact. This is a very dangerous time. There are Muslims who are VERY dangerous even to their own people, much less the rest of the world. There are Jews and Chritians who, likewise, are dangerous to their own people, much less anyone else. We must actually look, listen and learn...pay attention to the world, ask ourselves, "How do I KNOW that to be true?" Look at where the buildings are, the churches, the active congregations, and ask ourselves, "How did they survive, in 900AD, in 1000AD, in 1300AD...how was that possible?"

The history of the cultures of the world is much more complex than is often realized. We MUST not oversimplify to the point of making our thoughts dangerous. When asked what Hitler's greatest sin was, the French writer, philosopher and resistance activist Albert Camus said,
"He gave us simple answers."


To quote someone with a better knack for words than I:

Questions are a burden, answers a prison for ones soul.
Iron Maiden: Back in the Village

I think that pretty well sums up both sides of the problem.


Of course many pointed out that this was normal way for the Muslims, totally intolerant of any other religion or culture...but wait...if that were always true, how had the statues survived for almost a thousand years under Islamic rulers?

Without massive amount of gunpowder and modern technology it was impossible to blow them up. The statues were massive, high up in the mountains and in a remote location with very few people. Even the Taliban were not able to blow them up on their own. They had to hire Saudi demolition experts.

Then the questions begin to spill out...HOW could there be a Christian church that has survived in Iraq for 1500+ years...and in Egypt, and in Syria, and in Jorden, and in Algeria...why had not the Muslims destroyed them a thousand years ago? And the Jews...how are there functioning Jewish Synagogues in almost every nation of the Mideast that have survived longer than Europeans have been in the new world?

These regions had a Christian/Jewish majority over a thousand years ago. Iran had a Zoroastrian majority before they were invaded by Arab Muslims. Islam doesn't have a problem with accommodating non-Muslims who are "people of the book" as second class citizens. Minorities are tolerated as long as they know their place and accept living in an Islamic state.

There are no more holy crusades to retake the holy land.

What do you call Western aggression in Iraq & Afghanistan? Today, the "holy land" is where the oil is. The US military academies are rife with bullying of non-Christians by Christian officer candidates. Judaism, Christianity, Islam: alike relicts of the cult of Indra, of the father-war-sky god conjured by marauding horse culture nomads on the steppes of central Eurasia scared of lightning & whirlwinds. Singling out Islam to the exclusion of these other militant patritheistic perversions just demonstrates your bias.

I seem to remember GWB referring to the invasion of Iraq as a crusade, until his minders shut him up.

He meant it in the modern western sense - Islam saw it for what it was.

I agree. When we have religious fanatics, and not too bright ones at that, running governments, they always see God's hand guiding theirs. We were supposed to have Congress to avoid such disasters as the Iraq war. However many in congress are of the same mindset. Anyway there was never an official declaration of war yet we had war anyway. That is a problem that was never supposed to happen.

Ron P.

I believe he was speaking of the invasion of Afghanistan, about a month after 9/11.

STOP THE CHRISTIAN BASHING! PERIOD. It leads to hate, hate leads to violence.
Hitler was not a CHRISTIAN, he believed in a Darwin type ideology.
Stalin was not a CHRISTIAN.

Reality Check!

Do feel free to say the same when others 'bash' other religions.

Sorry RC, but DD is pointing out a violence that seems endemic in all three of the Religions he mentions. I don't call that Bashing. The pressures to conform at institutions like the Air Force Academy are legend at this point.

The moderates in all of these Religious Cultures have the unenviable task of dealing with their own extreme elements.. otherwise, all the positive parts of these Religions will continue to be smeared by the truly anti-social actions of those who misuse the faith.



Exactly. It is to be noticed that the first Israeli Prime Minister asassinated was assinated by a Jew, not a Muslim.

President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was asassinated by a fellow Egyptian and Muslim.

Moral: Keep your enemies close and in sight, your friends even closer.


I dont know where your hate or paranoia for islam comes from but

" In Saudi every male child has memorized, verbatim, the entire Koran by the age of 12 "

this statement is not correct.

"The Islamic Crusaders are alive and well and actively carrying out their Allah directed mission to kill all infidels. Well, at least a lot of them are, the most fanatical religious of them. And there are millions of them. And just one more point.

Ofcourse your peaceful loving westren countries have done nothing to muslim world. I have to forget the colonization period upto 1970. Then other stuff also which I dont recall all and most recently Iraq.

I hate to tell you this but since you dont like political correctness : you are not excatly on the right side of IQ curve for a darwinian. The future is bleak for your siblings.


The future is bleak for your siblings.

This is true. I had 9 siblings. Four are dead and the rest are very old. Not much of a future left for them.

Ron P.

Now clearly Islam does have a spreading of the faith -even if by violent meand part of it. But I know few modern Muslims actually subscribe to that world view. In fact Jihad -as a political weapon had pretty much died out until the US found it a convienient way to organize violent opposition to the the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. While we need to be aware that there is (and will always be) a small minority who wish to push their ideology/religion on us -by force in necessary -it was totally idiotic (and counterproductive) to make it the driving motive of our foreign policy.

When would be suicide bombers are interveiwed, it seems that few had religion as a primary motive -most are responding to grievances (real or imagined) against their people. And we've been involved in many actions that are percieved as hostile to the Muslim world. (We always explain our actions in high minded terms, so we are usually blind to how others percieve our actions). Even among AlQaeda recruits grievances are the primary motive. Our running off half-cocked in overreaction just generates more grievances and more recruits. What we have is a situation where we let our gut emotions dictate how we respond to real/imagined threats. That makes it oh so easy for would be enemies to manipulate us into comitting acts that help the extremists.


Keep up the good work.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to excuse the current Islamic holy war simply because other religions have engaged in such wars in the past.
As an intellectual exercise,thier thinking is ok.


Apparently they are afraid SO AFRAID of being called insensitiveor prejudiced that they are incapable of thinking about the fact that such a war TODAY is a present day danger,not an academic exercise of gotcha.

And while every war has always been horrible for the people directly affected,every new one has the potential to affect more and more people right up to the entire population of the whole world.

But be careful Mac.

Part of the fuss against 'Political Correctness' seems to assume that when you use language that IS being insensitive and offensive, that you are then somehow being really Honest and Thoughtful. We both know full well that this is not the case.

If you tell your son not to call your daughter a HO, or how about just calling her "Less worthy than a man".. is that political correctness? It used to be. Now, we generally see that there is a lot of cruel and belittling language that tears us apart.. and that the distasteful task of telling people that it matters what comes out of their mouths, and that some of it doesn't belong in decent society is part of a social compact that has been out of favour probably as long as Antitrust and Fair Use and anything else that tried to tell a corporation that THEY have certain social responsibilities. This has been painted as an unreasonable level of meddling and 'regulation' for our Free Society .. as it had chosen to operate like that kid on the playground who would spout whatever crap came into his head, and then bray that he was exercising his free-speech rights.

With all due respect,

If you tell your son not to call your daughter a HO, or how about just calling her "Less worthy than a man".. is that political correctness?

No, that has nothing to do with political correctness as the term is used today. Political correctness is changing the facts to avoid offending some cultural or other group. Bigotry is bigotry and has nothing to do with political correctness.

Blaming a person for something because of an accident of birth is bigotry and has nothing to do with political correctness, as the term is generally used to day. To be sure bigotry is not politically correct but neither are hate crimes. But we do not refer hate crimes as being politically incorrect, just ignorant criminal behavior driven by hateful bigotry.

All hate crimes are bigotry. The events of 9/11 were a bigoted hate crimes pure and simple. Calling them bigoted hate crimes however is very politically incorrect.

Ron P.

As was the invasion of Iraq - along with oil resource procurement.

Do you consider yourself bigoted? I consider you to be.

To your many rants on this topic, which are offensive and inappropriate to the forum, I say, And? WTFrick is your point?

I'm pretty much on the same page as you jokuhl,but I remain convinced that the fear of being called names is sufficient to shut down necessary discourse and calling people names is a tactic often used to shut them up and deny them a place in public forums.

Not so long ago I can remember folks who are environmemtalists being called derogatory names to marginalize them ,and it's still being done,but I hardly ever tune into those forums any more.

It's hard to do a good job discussing a complicated subject in just a few words, off the cuff.But if you don't do it on the fly,you are not part of the thread.

Another thing is that posts are not put up in chronological order,so You need to look at ALL my comments today in order to get a clearer picture of where I stand.

If I run across news of some hillbilly baptists(my OWN CULTURE,FAMILY FAITH,AND ETHICAL GROUNDING) who are preaching war on the public airwaves I will condemn them just as fast.

And incidentally it's ok for me to talk about baptist hillbillies since I AM a baptist hill billy.used to be,any way.still travel under those colors.don't discuss Darwin with the locals.

And I am open minded enough that I don't mind if others call me the same,so long as they append the winking smiley face to indicate they don't mean to deliberately offend.

I don't feel the nesessity to post links but any one interested can search the me news and get translations of stuff of thier radio and tv that will scare the hell out of them -if they have enough sense to understand that we are may really be at war one of these days.

With all due respect to the men and women we have over there now,it has never been a WAR in the usual sense of a modern war,but a police action.

Anyone who has triuble understanding this last observation can look upAmerican civil war,ww1, ww2 or korean cauuslty figures for single battles.

And if we had spent as much on conservation and renewables as we have keeping an army over there ,we probably wouldn't even need the oil.

With all due respect to the men and women we have over there now,it has never been a WAR in the usual sense of a modern war,but a police action.

Anyone who has triuble understanding this last observation can look upAmerican civil war,ww1, ww2 or korean cauuslty figures for single battles.

Ah the nostalgia for the old days where men stood up and killed each other face to face.

I've been reading quite a bit lately about history of such and the notion that it was glorious to get killed for king and/or country or religion ain't like it used to be. As you note, the machinery for killing reached such perfection during the Civil War that the winner was the side that could "waste" the most manpower. The Europeans didn't learn that until WW I, when they found out about the effects of the machine gun and trench warfare. WW II was the first time that civilians were targeted as much as the troops, such as the people of Tokyo and Dresden.

I notice that you left Vietnam off the list. More than 2 million Vietnamese died in that one (not to forget the Cambodians) and we lost. It's been said that the U.S. expended munition tonnages in Vietnam in excess of 4 times that used during all of WW II. How many have died in Iraq? How many more will die after the U.S. troops are moved out of town as our "Vietnamization" plan is replayed again in Iraq? And, if Pakistan goes Fundamentalist because of our involvement, what next?

E. Swanson

And, if Pakistan goes Fundamentalist because of our involvement, what next?

A nuclear exchange between Pakistan & India has the potential to kill hundreds of millions outright, and hundreds of millions more due to global disruption of agriculture, collapse of markets & trade, and radioactive fallout. The consequences of such an exchange are ghastly to contemplate yet it almost happened in December 2001 following the terrorist attack on India's parliament. The 9-11 attacks on the US would have paled in significance and been largely forgotten had the mushroom clouds risen above the subcontinent. Indian colleagues at the university where I worked at the time were deathly afraid of an exchange occurring. Humanity and the biosphere dodged a bullet at that time, for sure. And it may happen yet, as the global economic and environmental crises worsen.

I'd argue the "civilian targeting" point.

The "civilian" populations of war zones have been treated as everything from vermin to be eliminated to property for as long as records have been kept, quite likely for as long as we have had wars.

This is just one reason among many to be against war.

I recall reading that Ghengis Khan would raze any city that resisted, leaving only a few survivors to spread the word.

As to the rest of your points, you certainly paint a plausible scenario.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

Being a curious sort, I noticed this well known quote was called "The Old Lie".

Don't forget that other old saying: "History is written by the winners".

EDIT: Another one liner: "Young men die fighting old men's wars".

E. Swanson

And another one that has been around for a couple of decades now:

There are but few things in this world worth dying for. Oil is not one of them.

And, if Pakistan goes Fundamentalist because of our involvement, what next?

That isn't a very likely outcome (not that we are helping matters any), but the fundies are pretty unpopular in Pakistan, so a Tailiban takeover is not in the cards. That doesn't mean we are making the moderate majorities struggle any easier by our assassinations by drones.

I wish you were right about this but unfortunately you will likely be proven wrong.

We have a long, successful history of engineering our own worst problems...the Pak chickens will come home to roost also. In some respects, the first couple of birds came home a few years ago. A.Q. Khan ring a bell? Heard of the Jonger?

Blow-back...it's a killer.

B Dog,

Actually I feel the same way you do about slaughtering people by the thousands and tens of thousands,and the point I was trying to emphasize,perhaps clumsily,is that things could get a LOT WORSE-the current little toddler war type affairs could grow up into American Civil War,WW1,WW2,etc type affairs.

I should probably have included Vietnam as well but I could not remember immediately if the worst single days of that war were comparable to the bad days of the wars I did mention.

johukl,In reply again to your 3:30 pm post WE BOTH DO NOT KNOW THAT it is not the case that politically incorrect speech is NOT HONEST AND THOUGHTFUL.

Maybe you know that..

I am perhaps a little abrasive sometimes but I always tell it like I see it,never like I would like it to be.

Normally I think very highly of your comments but I fear that perhaps in this case you are blinded to certain realities by your political convictions.

Another example that copmes to mind is the name calling (xenophobes,protectionist,etc) used to shut up any one opposed to shipping our industry overseas,which was used quite liberally by every one making money out of he dismantlng of our economy.

And if you(rhetorically) are opposed to more immigration,it's always because you are a racist.NEVER BECAUSE YOU MAY BE SYMPATHETIC TO THE PLIGHT OF THE TENS OF MILLION of LOCAL CITIZENS WHO ARE ALREADY SEEING THIER WAGES FALL AS A RESULT OF GLOBALIZATION and cutthroat competition for the remaining jobs they are able top perform.

Of course if you (RHETORICALLY speaking,not aimed at you personally)are in favor of a growing population of unskilled labor,I guess I 'm just the sort of right wing radical as to suspect that you work in some part of the economy that BENEFITS FROM SLAVE WAGES. Or maybe you are actually ignorant enough to think that such id good for us.

So we have sent our textile and furniture industries mostly overseas,and now we havde a few million impoverished uneducated workers who are simply not giong to ever find new hi tech jobs.

And the current generation of kids leaving the big city schools who are on the streets or flipping burgers at best will never make a respectable living in am American factory or other job that requires only the will to work.

When the barricades are burning in the streets sometime soon,and we're doubling our prison polulation again,REMEMBER THAT IT WAS PREJUDICED rednecks like OLD FARMER MAC WHO TRIED TO POINT OUT the consequences of some of the policies that are too HOLY to be criticized.

We're in a world of Euphemisms.. or Squeaky Wheels.

There's too much shorthand that gets misread.. and I'm tired. I just was trying to point out the distinction between 'Brutal Honesty' and mere 'Brutality', of which there is so much, and which paints itself as Brutal Honesty..

But anyway, let the Lion lay down with the Lamb, and the Redneck and the Yuppie and the Hippie may share a couple pints of beer.. and enjoy a nice July evening.



As a certified redneck and systems programmer I have shared many a beer with yankees in Woodstock, NY., Italians who working in my team in Raleigh,NC and Irish men ,Canucks and many many others over my time span.

Now I drink alone but those times we shared and found we were pretty much alike after all.

Yet this world is disintegrating around our very feet. The time for talking of reality, whether it hurts you sensibilities or not,,that time is way past.

If we do NOT step up and lay it on the line then we are doomed before we even begin.

I talk a bit of spanish to each Mexican I meet. Be it in a restaurant or hardware store. I worked winter before last with a tree removal company in N. Carolina in a team with 6 Mexicans. We ate together, talked a lot and they wouldn't let me do strenuous work too much since I had showed them my cancer surgery stitches still healing.

They were the salt of this earth. Trying to keep those back home in food. They worked like dogs and were treated like slaves by the company owner who I learned to despise most heartily.

What can one say then?

Let the government uphold the laws. Like I try to obey them.

But all but one or two of those in the crew were here legally. They loved this country same as me. They had adapted. I respected them.

End of story and whatever it may mean. The boss later fired me and I was the only one with a legal CDL to drive his log truck. Go figure.

He fired me the same day I repaired 4 of his big Stihl saws, sharpened 14 chains and welded up a timber ropestop gadget plus fixed a truck or two with failing lighting and a few other chores.

I made a bit of money but I learned something better about those Mexican laborers. And about lazy white boys as well who want to boss and not do real work...etc....etc...

Who did I respect then? Who would I chance my life with? You know.

Airdale-moral is there are good and there are bad. I prefer to hang with the good no matter what. Men who work hard around you and climb huge trees with a simple rope and lineman hooks dangling a chain saw behind them are good men no matter what for they rely on the others.


You are a gentleman and a scholar beyond any doubt!


Apparently they are afraid SO AFRAID of being called insensitiveor prejudiced that they are incapable of thinking about the fact that such a war TODAY is a present day danger,not an academic exercise of gotcha.

And while every war has always been horrible for the people directly affected,every new one has the potential to affect more and more people right up to the entire population of the whole world. "

I totally agree with you... if only your ruling class would follow this logic " TODAY IN IRAQ".

Ahmed M

Peace be unto you Brother ( whatever the most polite form of address is what I wish to use)

If our ruling class were to do something so unexpected as to act rationally in the best interests of our citizens and the world's citizens,I would have to account this a miracle sufficient to restore the lost faith of my childhood!

If it comes to outright war in the near future the price for the citizens of the middle east will probably be the complete destruction of thier societies and environments,and the price here may not
much less.

We could all die.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to excuse the current Islamic holy war

On what basis do you think there is an "Islamic holy war"?

So far it's only a war of words mostly with an occasional aggressive act such as 9/11 or a hotel bombing,etc.

But if you don't think it's real spend a few hours googleing the speeches of characters such as the Iranian president,etc.

It doesn't amount to much as wars go for the time being,but mighty oaks from little acorns......

It is hard to do a good job in a hurry when writing about such involved and convoluted affairs as relations between religions,social classes,economic systems,and cultures. ..... I married a Jewish girl from Yonkers once upon a time (snips taken from this drumbeat)

Are you sure you are not filtering out the economic behavior/economic effects of the US of A vs others as a source of radicalization, and instead applying a filter of 'must be religion'?

Because 'must be religion' is not a 'good job' of explaining events.

(Oh, and I challenged Darwinian to explain that if the events of Sept. 11 2001 were all about religion - then why were 3 of the hijackers in a stripclub drinking? Perhaps you'd like to apply your religion filter THEN explain the actions of the 3?)

about Erics 8:20 post and religious filters:

I come from an Old Testament Baptist background wherein every word of the KJB is accepted as the voice of God.

My family and community believes in eternal hellfire and damnation.The list of things forbidden is so long that between it and the list of things mandatory,not much is left to chance.

But I've been to "tittie bars" with devout (male) church members and gotten falling down drunk there a few times,back in my youner days,but we had to drive two hours to Charlotte ,NC to be reasonably sure nobody would find out we weren't fishing.

The flesh is weak,especially when you know that forgiveness tomorrow can be had for today's sins.

I suggest you read Dostoevsky or maybe a history of the Catholic Church thru the last of the middle ages and the Enlightenment to gain a little insight into religion.

Personally I tend to agree that religion is not necessarily the prime motivator for suicide bombers,etc, but Islam is certainly a major contributing factor in that it teaches a moral code consistent with jihad.

Incidentally,if I were a young man in Palestine or Afghanistan who lost his family to American munitions,I would probably be either a patriot or a terrorist myself,depending on YOUR pov.

When you are wounded
and left on the plains
and the women are coming
to cut up your remains

Just roll to your rifle
and blow out your brains
and die like a man
-in Afghanistan.

Kipling of course.

We Baptists have gotten pretty soft in comparison.Not even half of us tote pistols these days,even in the hills of Appalachia.

The events of 9/11 were inspired and carried out by those who felt they were carrying out orders directly from Allah.

Interesting claim.

Have actual proof to back this up?

No need-the boob tube told him so.

Really now. Perhaps you think the 19 hijackers and all the suicide bombers before and since did it for the pure joy of doing it. Do you Eric, and do you Brian, believe that religion had nothing to do with it? Do either of you think they did not believe they would receive their reward in heaven for this act of martyrdome? Do you actually think the 72 virgins had nothing to do with it.

I really can't believe you guys are that naive.

Actually the Koran does not promise them 72 virgins, it actually does not give a number. But the number is plural.

"Verily, for the Muttaqun [righteous], there will be a success (paradise); gardens and grapeyards; and young full-breasted (mature) maidens of equal age; and a full cup (of wine)".
Does the Koran really promise Islamic martyrs 72 virgins?

But, like the Rapture is not in the Christian Bible the number 72 in not in the Koran. But that is what is taught by a lot of preachers, and the number 72 is added by a lot of mullahs.

Ron P.

Sure, religion had a lot to do with it-the religion of money and power. That religion isn't going anywhere. Probably no one remembers anymore, but there used to be a mythical character named Osama that they pinned this one on-a giant Arab on dialysis living in caves and able to appear and disappear using Maxwell Smart's cloak of invisibility. Those were the days.

Really now. Perhaps you think the 19 hijackers and all the suicide bombers before and since did it for the pure joy of doing it.

I can not be 'in their heads' and know their joy.

Do you Eric, and do you Brian, believe that religion had nothing to do with it?

There is a difference between your claim:

The events of 9/11 were inspired and carried out by those who felt they were carrying out orders directly from Allah.

And this new question.

Oh, and in the interest of me being FAR more fair to you than you normally show:

I'm sure for some of the people involved in the events of the day their religious beliefs helped them shape their actions.

(Answering questions - it doesn't hurt - see?)

If Islam prohibits strippers and booze - explain the below:

On September 10, three hijacker associates spend $200 to $300 apiece on lap dances and drinks in the Pink Pony, a Daytona Beach, Florida strip club. While the hijackers had left Florida by this time, Mohamed Atta is reported to have visited the same strip club, and these men appear to have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks (see September 10, 2001)

Do either of you think they did not believe they would receive their reward in heaven for this act of martyrdome?

Your words frame the question - by calling the actions martyrdome - you've hung a religious frame about the question.

America is a great power possessed of tremendous military might and a wide-ranging economy, but all this is built on an unstable foundation which can be targeted, with special attention to its obvious weak spots.

- OBL.

Note how there is a non religious frame for the hanging. But that framing means accepting responsibility.

Do you actually think the 72 virgins had nothing to do with it.

Is this a question?

I really can't believe you guys are that naive.

And I'm not shocked that you can't back up yet another claim you make.

Well, I don't think 72 virgins had anything to do with it. They've studied suicide bombers extensively, and the commonly cited factors - religion and poverty - don't really enter into it. People who do it are not particularly religious, and not necessarily poor and without prospects. In some cases, if they survived the attempt, they actually say the whole 72 virgins thing is silly.

What creates suicide bombers is occupation, not religion. It's seen as the only way to fight back in a situation where justice is impossible through legal channels.

The primary tools of asymmetric warfare as the underdog are propaganda and unpredictability.

Suicide bombing is a current favored tool in the unpredictability department, but not the only one, and as with all bombs it is still horribly imprecise so has costs as well as benefits from the propaganda perspective. Suicide bombers need to be motivated, but do not need as much training as is necessary to safely and effectively plant bombs.

Before suicide bombing caught on as a tactic underdog groups used concealed, hand planted bombs. These had other disadvantages but kept your membership more intact. Today in Iraq the military calls these IED's and AFAIK they are the major cause of US casualties.

Small squad raids on weak points are the oldest tool, and still in active use today. One of the more popular weak points to attack currently is oil production and shipping infrastructure, and so we come back around to Peak Oil and one of the significant above-ground factors that can disguise the geologic peak.

Hey, don't try to be reasonable or nuanced with the 'its all Islam' people...we've got a religion to tar, feather and get everyone's dander up over when baseless sweeping generlizations are to be made!

"If Islam prohibits strippers and booze - explain the below:"

They were just hedging their bets ..

Might as well enjoy a couple of lap dances now just
in case there were something less than 72 virgins
awaiting in paradise ..

Triff ..


I myself come from an Old aaaaaaaaa Testament aaaaaaaa God aaaaaaah fearing aaaaaaaah fundamentalist sects of Baptists that hew to the exact words of the KJB as holy writ straight from the throne of God.Been nearly drowned in a damned cold creek getting my sins washed away,and listened to turn the cheek one week and aneye for an eye the next.I am Currently known as a backslider on his way to the eternal fires of hell.

Fortunately no one who matters in my family either knows my true views these days or that I am OFM.

I have been to "tittie bars" and gotten falling down drunk with some very pious,dead serious Baptists on several occasions.

As the saying goes ,the flesh is weak.

Especially when you can repent of Saturday nite's sins on Sunday morning.

I suggest you read any of the worlds great novelists and learn a little more about religion.

Twain,Hugo,and Dostoevsky are great places to start.

National Anxiety Center. That rang a bell. I blogged about this over four years ago. Look at this nugget:

Dear Chairman Tauzin:
We write to express our support for the provision in the House version of H. R. 4, the Energy Policy Act of 2002, to allow oil and gas exploration in 2000 acres of the coastal plain of the 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We think that the possibility that oil supplies from the Persian Gulf states could be disrupted because of U.S. military intervention in Iraq makes the case for developing new domestic petroleum supplies urgent and compelling, although we recognize that it will take several years for production to begin in ANWR. The Congress should exercise more foresight in this regard than President Clinton did in 1995 when he vetoed similar legislation to open the coastal plain to exploration.
Myron Ebell
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform
Alan Caruba
National Anxiety Center


Same guy. Agenda anyone?

China is literally shaking in their boots over the Koran and its battle paln for the conquest of the world-or maybe they are just convulsing in laughter over the stupidity of the American public.

May I gently remind everyone that painting in broad brush strokes and pre-judging billions of people as being all alike is neither fair, nor truthful, nor kind, nor wise.

There are over two billion people who call themselves "Christians" of one sort or another. Just about the only thing that they all have in common is the mere fact of calling themselves "Christians", which in and of itself would seem to be a pretty harmless thing. Many, if not most, would no doubt admit that some (past and present) who have called themselves Christians have done bad things - things with which they do not approve and would never think of doing themselves.

I suspect that very similar things could also be said of the Muslim community of faith - and probably of all the other major faiths as well.

Shouldn't we judge each person by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin - or the name of their religion? Shouldn't we judge each person by what they actually have done, instead of by the actions of others who have appropriated - or arguably misappropriated - the name of their religion for themselves?


You are of course clorrect about the error of mistaking the aggression of a few individuals for the intentions of a whole race,religion ,or culture.

But the few can sometimes whip us the masses until the become the many.

Any religion can be hijacked and be made to serve the ends of fanatics,and to my knowledge all the most important ones have been.

As an aside ,I don't think our current invasion of the middle east has anything much to do at with religion.We would be there if we were nazis,communists,or just about anything but Quakers or maybe Amish,cause that's where the oil is and cause we have for now at least,the ability to support an army there.


Even if the Founding Fathers of this war were to admit it was over Oil, would you be willing to look up to your second sentence and consider that it was OUR FEW who have done the most to whip up any masses that would now continue to work towards our downfall? Our efforts have been the single-greatest recruiting and fundraising tool that al Queda or the Taliban could ever have prayed for.

If we had focused these billions on really SUPPORTING Afghanistan instead of what we did instead.. there would be more Afghanis alive and literate and fed today who would have no desperate reason to run back to the other side.


in reply to your 3;42 pm post I tend to agree with you.OF COURSE IT'S ABOUT THE OIL,,and you make a very good additional point about the fact that we have created most of our enemies by our own stupidity.(Of course if things had went the bushes way thier buddies would have written the history!)

You can obviously type much faster than I can and I am replying way too slow for this discourse to make good sense ,but if you read all I posted I think you will not find me too far out on the fringe.got some work to do now,will; check in again tonight.

I do apologize if my posts have had an accusative tone of voice to them today. This topic is tough not to get edgy over, and I didn't mean to paint you personally in a poor light. I find your posts to be thoughtful and sincere.. and try not to be personally insulting.

(While I'm not above poking Ron in the ribs if he blasts out a Definitive Blast like the 'PC' comment above..)


Jokuhl,per your 6:40 post your apology is greatly appreciated but totally unnecessary as I do not feel that you have insulted me.

It is hard to do a good job in a hurry when writing about such involved and convoluted affairs as relations between religions,social classes,economic systems,and cultures.

I apologize to you and any others here today who may have taken my words as a personal insult or attack.

So far as I am concerned when we mix it up here we can be and are like lawyers accusing each other of incompetence in court while trying a lawsuit.After a while the case is either continued,settled,appealed or whatever,and every body moseys over to the local watering hole and has a few drinks.

Then they play golf together the next day they are both free.

If the BS gets deep enough,I will call somebody on it once in a long while in no uncertain terms if I think they are misrepresenting the objective facts,but opinions are just opinions,and regulars will remember that every once in a while I give notice that I am not to be taken too seriously unless the subject is ag.

Lying and misrepresenting data is an ability that we as a species seem to have perfected,and our bullshit meters are not as good as they might be-they seem to fail more often when the party claiming the moral high ground is doing the fibbing.This is something I would like to explorte fully but this is not the right forum -unless we do it in terms of OPEC reserves maybe!

oldfarmermac -

What you say is quite true, and it's a good reminder that people tend to behave one way when they are consciously identifying with a religion, race, ethnic group, or political movement, but in an entirely different way when they are in a one-on-one relationship with someone from the 'other'.

As an example, I recently attended a traditional Jewish wedding in which a lovely Iranian couple were guests. So, there we were - Christian, Jew, and Moslem (Iranians no less!) merrily having a good time and getting drunk together (apparently, not all Moslems abstain from alcohol), without the slightest conscious thought of being different.


I married a Jewish girl from Yonkers once upon a time and one of he best parties we ever went to was a rip roaring black wedding on the southside of Richmond Va,where we lived at the time.

Our part black time farm hand eats at the kitchen table with us(we have no dining room) on days he works here.

The Mexicans living in our nieghborhood are ninety five percent of them salt of the earth people,which is more than I can say for my own relatives unfortunately. We have never assayed that high-but maybe the Mexicans wouldn't either if I knew as much about thier dirty laundry as I do my family's!

Checking out "The End Is Near" by James Carroll, the op-ed piece begins with the dangers of climate change and ends up in suggesting some of the origins of apocalyptic thinking originate from the Bible.

What's most interesting, though, is the comments to the article, where the most highly-rated comments spend considerable time referring to "climate change" in quotes, calling it fear mongering, repeating the article's point about past failed predictions, what "real" science is.

And the highest rated comment was the simple, "We removed James Carroll's column."

In most people's eyes, the end does not exist.

There are, however, a few highly-rated positive comments, but the highest rated is only, "Those who deny climate change are wrong." The positive ratings there would be from the choir.

“Over a Barrel: The Truth About Oil”,

an ABC News Special reported by Charlie Gibson, airs on Wednesday, July 22 at 10:00 p.m, ET.


Does Gibson know about TOD ??

Graph of the Day: Global Mean Temperature Projections to 2100

If emissions are halved by 2050, there is a 50 percent chance that the world will warm by no more than 2 degrees C.

Fat chance! China is building two new coal fired power plants each week. Absolutely nothing is being done to curb carbon emissions. Cap and Trade is being fought tooth and nail by the Republicans in congress. And if it were to pass it would make virtually no difference whatsoever. As I have wrote before, it is not about how fast we burn coal but how much of it we will burn. We will burn it all.

An I really don't agree with that graph. Since the carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for about 800 years there is no reason to believe, if we cut our emissions in half, that the temperature would stop rising after 2050 as the graph shows. If we kept dumping C02 into the atmosphere after 2050, even at half the rate, the temperature would continue to rise.

Not that it makes a lot of difference however. The question is what kind of civilization we will have after this one collapses in about ten years. Will they still burn coal? Who knows?

Ron P.

I don't believe it either. So many + feedbacks have been set in motion that temp would continue to rise even if we cut emissions completely. These feedbacks include reduced albedo, deforestation resulting in decreased sequestration potential, oceanic acidification reducing CaCO3 removal to sediments, thawing of permafrost releasing CO2 & CH4, decreased stratospheric O3 inducing global reduction in net primary productivity, potential disruption of thermohaline circulation, etc. The graph appears to disregard these factors and focus solely on the effects of emissions themselves. It paints a totally overoptimistic picture.

The relatively sudden release of CH4 from melting permafrost (and maybe from marine methane hydrates) is the really scary contingency. That has the potential to make things much worse, much faster than almost anyone is contemplating.

Maybe a comet will get us before anything else, as it did 12,900 years ago ...

The Clovis People and the Comet



True indeed. I don't know how to evaluate the risk of catastrophic release of the clathrates. Apparently it's happened before during major marine regressions and bolide impacts but I simply don't know how likely it is to happen again anytime soon. No one knows. But even without widespread clathrate release you're correct about the scariness of CH4 release from thawing permafrost. It's already happening and the rate is bound to increase. And it's only one - probably not even the most significant - of the + feedbacks that have already been initiated. Warming is progressing faster than even the "worst case" projections of the IPCC. The graph Ron linked to is deceptive in that it underestimates the amount of likely warming over the coming century.

FWIW, the climate modelers that I've talked to about this (including some luminaries) are almost all very skeptical that clathrate destabilization can happen quickly enough to be much of a factor.

RE: "The End is Near Article:" IT USED TO BE that apocalyptic warnings about the approaching end of time came from sign-holding religious nutcases. Now they come from hard scientists.

I am amazed that the the end of the US as we know it is not discussed more. President Obama's Science Czar has projected that the oceans will rise 13 feet by 2010. That is LESS than 6 months away and nobody in Orange County cares one bit about it. Multi Million dollar houses will be be underwater by years end. Where is the concern?

Even Debie Cook has been silent on it.

Who said 2010? I believe they are saying 2100.

Maybe it is a typo. Does anyone know?

"Holdren's track record shows a trend of alarmist viewpoints on scientific issues, including a statement made in 1973 that the U.S. population of 210 million at the time was "too many, and 280 million in 2040 is likely to be much too many." In response, Holdren recommended "a continued decline in fertility to well below replacement should be encouraged, with the aim of achieving [zero population growth] before the year 2000."

The current U.S. population is approximately 304 million.

After the perceived "crisis" of population growth faded, however, Holdren began sounding the alarm over global climate change. In the 1980s Holdren warned of human-caused ecological disasters resulting in the deaths of a billion people before 2020, and as recently as 2006, Holdren warned that sea levels could rise as much as 13 feet by the year 2010."

Has to be a typo.

Actually some are concerned. I have lived in one of those sea level California communities - a reclaimed swamp that was once under water - for more than 40 years. I have been aware of the danger and the earthquake potential. The land is not too solid. Some of my community is actually below sea level, protected by pumps. A few water front houses have been damaged and a couple were destroyed in 1967. In these cases there was either a Pacific storm occurring during high tide or the homes were built too close to the water. It would not be wise to own one of these water front homes unless one was very wealthy or could get subsidized insurance. The worst high tides were more than a decade ago. Thus far I have seen no obvious sea level rise in this area though there has been off and on beach erosion. From the stand point of climate, beauty, surprising low humidity and bug free ocean breezes this area is hard to beat. Still I am ready to move on short notice.

President Obama's Science Czar has projected that the oceans will rise 13 feet by 2010.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet must be in freefall collapse! Run for the hills!!!

I am going to put my house on the market. I mean, it has to be true. The guy is a Czar for goodness sake. He couldn't say things like that unless they were true. I can't imagine he would do it just to manipulate people. Would he?

John Holdren, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told the BBC, that “We are experiencing dangerous human disruption of the global climate and we’re going to experience more.” The news account of the interview goes on to say, “He added that if the current pace of change continued, a catastrophic sea level rise of 4m (13ft) this century was within the realm of possibility; much higher than previous forecasts.” Holdren actually said, “two, three, even four meters [6.6 to 13 feet] per century” is “well within the realm of possibility,” but even the low-range would be a catastrophe.

Dan Schrag, director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, says of 3.5 meters [11.5 feet] sea level rise: “100 years is possible.”

Hansen says up to 6 meters. So far, his model has been the most accurate.

House Passes Bill to Help Bring More Natural Gas Vehicles to the Market Faster


Good. The current process takes too long to certify conversion systems (and too many $'s).

There was a thread either in this DB or an earlier one or perhaps in an Essay Post regarding the combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am posting this URL I found created by a farmer in Georgia about some counties and towns in Georgia welcoming home a fallen soldier.

His name is John Beale and was an Army Staff Sargeant. Hope I got that right.

The video is a bit lengthy but well worth the viewing and it shows how patriotism of small town America is still not tarnished but alive and well.

The turnout of the people was utterly unbelievable as they lined the roadways of several counties and towns along the way.

If you can watch this video and do not get choked up then you need to check your pulse to see if your still pumping blood.

Its scenes and events like this that seem to be rare and yet keep some small hope alive in my chest that perhaps there are still decent and good folks in the south of this nation.

My south. My type of people. My part of the country and it may well be the same elsewhere but this is what I stumbled on over on a farming forum a bit of time ago. In fact I am still running the viewer/player.

Here is the URL:

If it does not resolve then you can go to this location where I found it at:


Airdale-if you notice nothing else notice the folks lining the roads and their salutes to the fallen soldier of their area, the many flags waving

Staff Sergeant


Ran across a 'Sergeant Sargent' before.

Also a 'Major Minor', a 'Captain Kidd', and various other humor-in-uniform rank-name combos.


It is beautiful footage, very moving, and yeah, how can you not cry a little. The south is a special place alright. A fallen soldiar came home to Hardin county KY about two years ago, and the road was lined from the interstate to the grave (they would not allow folks to be on the interstate or they would have lined it from Louisville to Radcliff).

Remember that most of the folks along that road work labor jobs, sometimes 12 plus hours a day, and don't make a lot of money, but they still make time to see to it that our fighting troops are not forgotten. There is so much positive energy there. That is the real obligation of the political leaders, the colleges and universities, the churches and the schools...we must guide so much love for this nation to positive effect. I have had a flat tire in Alabama and good ole' boys down there would have the tire changed before I could get the trunk lid open. I have family down there who have been given a house to live in for the first two months no money down until they could earn enough to pay the rent, no fees, no "deposits".

When people ask me where I would live if I could afford to live anywhere, I still have to say central Kentucky...it and the south are part of me now, no real desire to live anywhere else.


Yep, small town/rural America - my America, too. It is just a real shame, IMHO, that the lives of such good people are being thrown away and wasted on the stupid, futile schemes of moronic politicians.

Also, I wonder how many children of Goldman Sachs employees are coming back in flag-draped coffins?

WNC, I agree about the moronic politicians.

Mens lives should not be given for the wrong reasons.

However without those who do join the military what do we do when someone has to 'stand on a wall' and actually protect this country or its citizens?

Using our soldiers for humanitarian purposes, like destroying poppy fields or handing out candy or doing first aid ,,is IMO not their proper role and other organizations exist for that purpose.

But who is to stop the foolish acts of congress and the others?

The oath as I recall was 'to protect and defend'...not the rest.

Airdale-Beale was KIA by a IED

I remember when we had the draft. Other nations have used universal service to provide the manpower for self defense. However, as Nixon learned, the draft also provided manpower for the anti-Vietman War Mobilization. I just finished reading a section of a book which reminded me of the October 1969 protest in Washington where some 250,000 people appeared. The politicians in our so-called "democratic" society saw a real potential for another Revolution, so they killed the draft (eventually). The anti-War movement evaporated. Now, our dedicated mercenaries do a fine job of protecting our national interests.

I think it would be great if we went back to a national program of Universal Service, where every able bodied male was required to spend a couple of years doing something to help the country. ..

E. Swanson

where every able bodied male was required to spend a couple of years doing something to help the country

The ERA was never passed - but why not women, why just the males?

Yes I agree with you on that.

But when I enlisted(voluntarily) in 1957 I was thrown in with many in my forming up boot camp company who were drafted.

Almost to a man those drafted tended to be rather lazy and bitched a lot. Slacked off and in general were not good material. A few were good.

And later some of them re-enlisted but by far the 'lifers' who made the military a career came at that time from enlistees.

4 years later it then become harder to tell the enlistees from the draftees. So it was a difficult call to make as to the worthiness of many in the service at that time.

There was one big difference between now and then. You could get discharged with a Dishonorable Discharge. But now I think those are no longer issued except perhaps to criminals.

I spent 5 years altogher and it was and still is some of the better parts of my lifetime. Would not have traded it for anything else.


It is still possible to get a dishonorable discharge for violations of military good order, but they are quite rare these days.

OK, I know we've covered this ground before, but GE has just released their LED replacement for short and long neck PAR30 lamps (see: http://www.gelighting.com/na/business_lighting/education_resources/liter...)

These lamps draw 10-watts, produce 340 lumens (initial), have a CRI of 82 (the equivalent of a standard CFL) and a 20,000 hour service life (the point at which light output falls to 70 per cent of its initial rating). So, we're basically looking at a lamp that operates at 34 lumens per watt fresh out of the box and just under 24 lumens per watt at the 20,000 hour mark, at which point it's about as efficient as a halogen IR.

So, my question to one and all is this: does GE suck or are they being honest whereas others are not? (Hint: consult the Philips and Osram Sylvania catalogs before formulating your answer.)


How much of that energy goes into the resistors?

I don't know if that information is readily available; all I can tell you is that total socket load is said to be ten-watts.


Well, the amount of power that goes into the diode is essentially the voltage drop across the junction (between 0.7 and 1 volt) times the current going through it. So basically whatever is used up by resistance, is the difference between the power in and the power used by the LEDs. Efficiency in illumination is another matter.

(Defense Mechanism: I don't care if I screw up here, as it really doesn't matter, yet I know that there are enough smart EE's that will find something wrong with what I just stated . I wish I could get that kind of rabid feedback on depletion modeling. Honestly.)

I can't speak for GE's products but I have a box overflowing with prematurely failed CFLs...anything has got to be better than the situation now.

Bear in mind, if "bad power" and other environmental factors are largely to blame, then LEDs are unlikely to fair any better (LEDs are even more temperature sensitive than CFLs). At least with a CFL, your loss is generally limited to a couple bucks versus an equivalent LED at perhaps ten to twenty times that.

FWIW, I've had extremely good luck with CFLs made by Philips and to a somewhat lesser degree, GE, Osram Sylvania and TCP. However, any CFL that's Energy Star rated should, in theory, provide several years of good service (they go through a fairly rigorous and ongoing certification process).

Key takeaway: my financial break-even point with a CFL can be as little as one month, whereas with an equivalent LED lamp I could be looking at ten years or more. If a CFL should burn out in six months time, I'd be somewhat annoyed, but most likely still ahead of the game.


Buy at a store that honors warranties and keep a grocery bag for reciepts and product wrappers.

We are getting some bad cfls occasionally but most we have bought have performed superbly,lasting for years.

I'm glad I'm not the only one seeing abysmal CFL life. I have about a dozen that didn't last even a year - and they all claim extended life, like 7 years. The worst offenders are the supposedly dimmable CFL's - miserable performance and versy short life. Anyone have any brand that actually works?

I'll have to actually see the LED lights in use. The light quality really sucks on all the early versions I have purchased and tried.

Dimmable CFLs are well known in the lighting community to be highly problematic, especially when controlled by low-cost residential dimmers. I do not use nor recommend them; if you require dimming capability, it's probably best to stick with a high performance incandescent or halogen IR lamp.


We've had about a 50% mortality rate within two years for our CFLs, most of which are "off" brands - Commercial Electric, Max-Lite, Lights of America. Stuff on sale at HD. I doubt any of them are made in USA, but all claim to be Energy-Star compliant. What hasn't failed? Sylvania, GE. But overall, even the failing units have more than paid for themselves in saved electricity.

Common theme: heat. We have no recessed cans, and no fully enclosed fixtures, just surface fixtures, but most failures occured in ceiling mounts in which the bulb faces down, putting the electronics on top. The big 23W and 26W units show browned and cracked plastic where the ends of the lamp emerge from the base.

LEDs suffer from heat issues, too, but it will be years before the LED lifetimes are well known. Some interesting packaging places LEDs on metal substrates instead of FR4 fiberglas usually used for PC boards. Cree has some interesting heat sink designs. Lots of room for innovation there.

Today Paul Krugman in the NY Times states that Goldman Sachs is bad for America. Coincidentally, Barack Obama is more closely linked to Goldman Sachs than any preceding US President-I wonder how Obama feels about Krugman, a supporter, badmouthing his friends http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/opinion/17krugman.html?_r=2&ref=patric...

Today Paul Krugman in the NY Times states that Goldman Sachs is bad for America.

Krugman, the "Nobel prize winning economist", is just now figuring this out, is he? We hicks out in the sticks have known that for a long time now!

"The moon landing may be our Great Pyramid, an accomplishment never to be equaled."

-- Alan Cromer, 1993

Forty years after the great event and this quote from Richard Duncan's Olduvai Theory (http://dieoff.org/page125.htm ) rings as true as the first time I read it.

Analysis: Fish and energy needs clash in Midwest

This headline reminded me of GWB.

BTW, whatever happened to George?