Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dr. Albert Bartlett: Arithmetic, Population and Energy

Video of the lecture and full text at the link:

I have to go to the geology literature and ask the literature, “What do you think is the total amount of oil we will ever find on this earth?” The consensus figure in the literature is 2000 billion barrels. Now, that’s quite uncertain, plus or minus maybe 40 or 50%. If I plug that in and do the fit, the peak is this year (2004). If I assume there is 50% more than the consensus figure, the peak moves back to 2019. If I assume there’s twice as much as the consensus figure, the peak moves back to 2030.

So no matter how you cut it, in your life expectancy, you are going to see the peak of world oil production. And you’ve got to ask yourself, what is life going to be like when we have a declining world production of petroleum, and we have a growing world population, and we have a growing world per capita demand for oil. Think about it.

In the March 1998 issue of Scientific American, there was a major article by two real petroleum geologists. They said this peak would occur before 2010, so we’re all in the same ball park. Now, that article in Scientific American triggered a lot of discussion. Here is an article in Fortune magazine, November 1999, talking about “Oil Forever,” and in that article, we see a criticism of the geologists’ analysis, and this is from an emeritus professor of economics at MIT. And he said, “This analysis (by the geologists) is a piece of foolishness, the world will never run out of oil, not in 10,000 years.” So let's look at what’s been happening.

Here we have two graphs, on one scale, we have here in the graphs, that’s the annual discoveries of oil each year (pointing); here is the annual production of oil each year. Notice since the 1980s, we’ve been producing about twice as much as we’ve been finding. Yet you’ve seen and read and heard statements from PhD non-scientists saying that we have greater resources of petroleum now than ever before in history.

What in the world are they smoking? (audience laughter)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Action Hero

Some Hamlet for you:

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Looks like Copa America's a success, so far, technically and organizationally (well, to a lesser extent).

Many 'Western' newsources have kept on doubting Venezuela's ability to pull the event off, but it's clear that was all just failed anti-Chavez propaganda. And the Guardian's been doing its best to find anti-Chavez discontent during the tournament.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Ho ho (Derision in High Places II)


[The outgoing US ambassador to Venezuela] poked fun at President Chavez's anti-American rhetoric, saying Americans were likely to do "very conspiratorial things" during the Independence Day holiday, such as attending baseball games.

Mr Maduro told reporters that "William Brownfield came to Venezuela with one mission: to destabilize the government of President Chavez, to help topple him. And his mission has failed."

Maduro states an obvious truth. But look closely at the preceding factory-built sentence, if you can bear the pain: "poked fun" (a capital offence already, that locution); "anti-American" (ditto); "rhetoric" (in BBC English, this means 'disgraceful eloquence in the articulation of unwelcome truths'); and finally, the joke: "very conspiratorial things". (Geddit?!?!)

How wry. I think it's fair to say that Mr. Brownfield was deriding the idea that the US government would ever do what it always does and always has done .

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What's wrong with 'lenin'? Ask Francis Boyle.

'lenin' informs us that he's going to be presenting his thoughts at the Marxism 2007 conference, which starts tomorrow. Title of his paper: "'What's Wrong With Conspiracy Theories?"

What's wrong with 'lenin' is that he is still cheerfully deploying this thoughtstopper, without once stopping to ask himself who gave him it, or what it's actually for, and who else uses it, and why. No doubt 'lenin' has his reasons; it's just a little strange that he never explains them. Perhaps his next paper will be entitled "What's wrong with Islamofascism?", or "What's Wrong With Political Correctness?" No need to distance himself with quotemarks or anything. Words are innocent, after all. You can just pick them up and use them as you find them. Right, 'lenin'?

Francis Boyle would most certainly disagree. As would Jamey Hecht:


This phrase is among the tireless workhorses of establishment discourse. Without it, disinformation would be much harder than it is. “Conspiracy theory” is a trigger phrase, saturated with intellectual contempt and deeply anti-intellectual resentment. It makes little sense on its own, and while it’s a priceless tool of propaganda, it is worse than useless as an explanatory category.

So why is 'lenin' still riding that allegedly tireless workhorse? Everyone else can see that it's ripe for the knacker's yard.



Australia admits oil motive in Iraq

AlJazeera, THURSDAY, JULY 05, 2007

Australia has admitted for the first time that securing the supply of oil is a key motive for its involvement in the US-led war in Iraq.

Brendan Nelson, the defence minister, said "energy security" was one of the main priorities behind his country's support for the war, which is unpopular among Australians.

Blair: Iraq oil claim is 'conspiracy theory'

Guardian, Wednesday January 15, 2003

Tony Blair today derided as "conspiracy theories" accusations that a war on Iraq would be in pursuit of oil, as he faced down growing discontent in parliament at a meeting of Labour backbenchers and at PMQs.

"Derided"? Aha. And note that Blair achieved that derision without using a single adjective. If he'd said (for example) "a ridiculous conspiracy theory", then it would have been a tautology. The compound noun itself is already a term of derision; a loaded term, not quite as innocent as 'lenin' pretends it is. Now, it's not surprising that the Vicar of Downing Street would reach for that trusty loaded weapon when under fire himself. But why is 'lenin' waving it around, like a three-year-old with a hand-grenade? Maybe he can tell us. He doesn't have to explain whose interests he serves in deploying it.

(Of course, it's always possible that Britain and Australia are in Iraq for different reasons: the Aussies for the oil, the Brits as humanitarians or archaeologists or sun-worshippers or something. Just as it's always possible, though sadly unlikely, that the left will finally, belatedly, grow up.)

Prof. Francis Boyle: 2001 anthrax attacks were a covered-up inside job

From After Downing Street.org, Tue, 2007-07-03:

[...] Boyle's assessment was based on his years of expertise regarding America's bioweapons programs. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 that was passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and signed into law by PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush.

After realizing that the anthrax attacks looked like a domestic job, Boyle called a high-level official in the FBI who deals with terrorism and counterterrorism, Marion "Spike" Bowman. Boyle and Bowman had met at a terrorism conference at the University of Michigan Law School. Boyle told Bowman that the only people who would have the capability to carry out the attacks were individuals working on U.S. government anthrax programs with access to a high-level biosafety lab. Boyle gave Bowman a full list of names of scientists, contractors and labs conducting anthrax work for the U.S. government and military.

Bowman then informed Boyle that the FBI was working with Fort Detrick on the matter. Boyle expressed his view that Fort Detrick could be the main problem. As widely reported in 2002 publications, notably the New Scientist, the anthrax strain used in the attacks was officially assessed as "military grade."

"Soon after I informed Bowman of this information, the FBI authorized the destruction of the Ames cultural anthrax database," the professor said. The Ames strain turned out to be the same strain as the sporesused in the attacks.

The alleged destruction of the anthrax culture collection at Ames, Iowa, from which the Fort Detrick lab got its pathogens, was blatant destruction of evidence. It meant that there was no way of finding out which strain was sent to whom to develop the larger breed of anthrax used in the attacks. The trail of genetic evidence would have led directly back to a secret government biowarfare program.

"Clearly, for the FBI to have authorized this was obstruction of justice, a federal crime," said Boyle. "That collection should have been preserved and protected as evidence. That's the DNA, the fingerprints right there. It later came out, of course, that this was Ames strain anthrax that was behind the Daschle and Leahy letters."

At that point, recounted Boyle, it became very clear to him that therewas a coverup underway. He later discovered, while reading David Ray Griffin's book on the 9/11 attacks, The New Pearl Harbor, that Bowman was the same FBI agent who allegedly sabotaged the FISA warrant for access to [convicted co-conspirator] Zacharias Moussaoui's computer prior to 9/11. Moussaoui's computer contained information that could have helped prevent the attacks on the World Trade Center and thePentagon.

In 2003, Bowman was promoted and given the Presidential Rank Award byFBI Director Robert S. Mueller. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote a letter to Mueller, chastising the organization for granting such an honor to an agent who had so obviously compromised America's security.

During the anthrax scare, the House of Representatives was officially shut down for the first time in the history of the republic. Once opposition from Leahy and Daschle evaporated in the wake of theattempts on their lives, the USA PATRIOT Act was rammed through.Testimony by Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) revealed that mostmembers of Congress were compelled to vote for the bill without even reading it.

"They were going to move to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, which is all that really separates us from a police state," Boyle said. "And that is what they have done now with respect to enemy combatants [in the Military Commissions Act of 2006]." Boyle added that lawmakers are now arguing that Amendment XIV, which guarantees due process of law toall Americans, does not mean what it has been taken to mean and that, under the Military Commissions Act, any U.S. citizen can be stripped of citizenship and be labeled an enemy combatant. [...]

--full text here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

For Lenin's Tomb: 9/11 and "the territory of the aggressor"

Andreas Hauss writes:

In a Spin: the German Federal Constitutional Court

Dear Reader,

Germany's highest court has just passed down its ruling on the deployment of German Tornado jets abroad [it's permitted]. But what on earth do they mean by "the territory of the aggressor" ? Hm? The USA? Germany? Iraq? Or even... Afghanistan?

Yes, indeed: Afghanistan! We are defending ourselves. Afghanistan was the aggressor - and is, it seems, still aggressing away right now.

A tornado can easily knock some screws loose.

The Tale of Evil Osama, who attacked NATO from his cave in Tora Bora on September 11th, has still never been proven to be true; and it is now providing the basis for an unacceptable legal ruling.

TWO purely political consequences:

1. The left is going to have to address the issue of 9/11, whether it wants to or not.

2. When NATO's contractual and legal foundations can be twisted to suit any purpose, by means of garbled Arabian Nights fairy tales and plain lies, then Germany must leave NATO. (The Original Sin was Yugoslavia in 1999.)

Anyone who accepts lies as the implicit basis of a transaction will eventually be dragged across the desk and led by the nose round a circus ring. The left must, finally, grow up.

-- by Andreas Hauss at medienanalyse-international.de (Freely translated from the German.)