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Embracing a fire that still burns us today

Posted: June 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 4, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

A friend of mine surprised me with an unexpected opinion the other day. Like me, he had recently traveled to India and came away stunned by the immensity poverty prevailing there.

Yet, while others blame British colonialism or corrupt governance for this plague, my buddy concluded, “Religion is a great way to keep the masses in check while the privileged continue their plunder.”

It’s a large leap from faith to economic performance, but it surely does take something palliative to soothe the mind when looking out at 600,000,000 million destitute fellow citizens.

It wasn’t too long ago that a popularly held American belief in “Manifest Destiny” allowed millions of Americans to accept the annihilation of a native people as “God’s manifest will.”

Today, we’d have a much harder time convincing Americans God wants us to slaughter all of Canada to extend our “seas to shining seas” all the way to the Arctic Ocean.

But the “Manifest” mantra worked back then when disinformation and twisted, bigoted religion captured the hearts of Americans who came to believe the American natives were inferior and were God’s fodder in our national expansion.

It’s apparent that nations act according to their cultural and national beliefs. We follow whatever’s been zapped into our national conscious as “good.”

And we don’t step too far out of our core image and comfort zone — unless we’re successfully scared, tricked, or manipulated. 

Unfortunately, the manipulated part happens with some frequency.

A good and noble German people bought into Nazism and launched headlong into World War II — and by the time most woke, the evil machine had taken the controls.

Ditto on our Japanese friends whose faith in a God-empowered emperor permitted untold atrocity.

And yet, today we know our Japanese friends to be highly cultured, intelligent and peaceful.

For the faithful among us, there’s a biblical proverb that pretty much sums it up, Proverbs 6:26: Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?

What we allow into our hearts we become. When we embrace fire it will burn us.

Manipulation has burned the minds of entire peoples to perform heinous acts previously never imaginable.

So, with this as a preamble, it was again provocative to hear Richard Clarke — George H.W. Bush’s, Bill Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s security and anti-terrorism boss — again taking to airwaves airing his first-hand and expert opinion that President Bush and associates are provably guilty of serious war crimes relating to Iraq II and torture, and are prosecutable under existing law.

Clarke, you recall, resigned prior to America’s invasion of Iraq during G.W. Bush’s Iraq war. He’s the guy who warned the Bush administration about Bin Laden months before the attacks, and he’s testified before Congress, proven his positions, and has published countless papers detailing the deceptions leading to that war and the war crime acts committed in it.

We’re well past a decade since the start of that war and even today, a war-rallying America largely views President Obama as a wimp for shutting it down. 

Many Americans still believe Saddam staged the attacks against the Twin Towers, as Bush and Company wanted us to believe. But that’s a myth, same as the rest of the cascading lies that were told and sold:

“Saddam funded Al Qaida.” “Saddam had nuclear weapons.” “No, Saddam had a nuclear weapons program.” “Saddam had mobile weapons labs.” “Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and could hit us in a year.”
Nope, nope, nope, nope and nope.

We were sold a war, charged it on our national deficit credit card, and we’ve held that fire closely to our chest and it’s burned us and we’ve not yet had the national courage to expose and extinguish the flame.

One trillion deficit dollars later, 6,000 American soldiers died, with another 30,000 or so injured. Another 200,000 Iraqis died from fighting / starvation / depravation with millions more dislocated into poverty.

We also ironically hung out some 2 million Iraqi Christians who, once protectedby a strong state, are now driven off, persecuted or worse. 

And, along the way, we introduced torture as a newly accepted American practice and have turned a Patriot Act and overly aggressive NSA to spy and prey on our own people.

We embraced the fire and it continues to burn.

It’s a bad, sad story in America’s history book, but most are pretty much OK with it.

We’re desensitized to the mayhem. And we surely don’t want to consider the possibility of an America gone wrong against our long-standing claim as captains of liberty, justice, and exceptionalism.

Except that, examined or not, America staged a war under false pretense with no ramifications for the perpetrators of the act.

And that’s a fire that burns at our national morality and international standing.

We’re today more callous, indifferent, detached. Crimes were likely committed, but hey, “That’s just war.”

But what are the moral costs to a country of forsaking justice in favor of a well-manipulated story?

We carry these moral burdens and flaws and can’t rise above them until we finally and formally forsakethat which burned us.

Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. “Full Speed to Port!” appears Wednesdays in The Signal.

 

Comments

BrianBaker: Posted: June 4, 2014 6:47 a.m.

"But what are the moral costs to a country of forsaking justice in favor of a well-manipulated story?"

I don't know, Horton. Are you referring to Benghazi?


Somehow, I doubt that.


ricketzz: Posted: June 4, 2014 6:49 a.m.

We are starting a new war against the Russians. Nobody believes Putin is the aggressor except idiot western Euro-peons and We the Piddle. We are so stupid we don't even bother to check the real news; we believe anything served up on the commercial telescreen as true gospel, while ignoring The Gospels.


17trillion: Posted: June 4, 2014 8:17 a.m.

"and even today, a war-rallying America largely views President Obama as a wimp for shutting it down."

BS Gary! Public opinion on Afghanistan is overwhelmingly positive that we get out. Announcing our get out date is the stupid thing, something Obama has mastered.


therightstuff: Posted: June 4, 2014 8:25 a.m.

Gary, you raise some good points but I noticed that you completely omit any reference to the leading Democrats who not only warned about weapons of mass destruction but also voted for the war. When you give a commentary that is so politically partisan, aren't you embracing a fire that still burns us today?


projalice11: Posted: June 4, 2014 8:27 a.m.

I'll take the "wimp" over the following:

"President Bush and associates are provably guilty of serious war crimes relating to Iraq II and torture, and are prosecutable under existing law."


17trillion: Posted: June 4, 2014 9:01 a.m.

I find it amazing that you've mastered cut and paste but not the meaning of "right lane must turn right". Can you explain this to me?


hepnerkid: Posted: June 4, 2014 9:35 a.m.

History tells us that weakness is an invitation to be attacked. Time and again, peaceniks have led the way to destruction and all the time with the best of motives but always laced with poor judgement. If a rattlesnake threatens you, you are best served by killing it. The snake has nothing personal against anyone, it's just being true to itself and the same thing can be said for many peoples around the world.


stevehw: Posted: June 4, 2014 10:49 a.m.

Some of us would say it's not really a good idea to go around poking sticks in holes trying to piss off rattlesnakes, then using that as an excuse to kill them. Or that once you've successfully antagonized it into threatening you (in its own self-defense), that there are options like getting away from it.

Time and again, chickenhawks and warmongers have led the way to destruction (with self-interest and selfish motives usually laced with poor judgement) by lying us into wars of aggression and geopolitics.


hepnerkid: Posted: June 4, 2014 11:08 a.m.

To deliberately seek trouble is not what we are talking about. There is a big difference between knowing when you are threatened and protecting yourself and simple going out looking for a fight. History is the absolute arbiter of right and wrong. Chamberlain at Munich and Truman with Korea. Similar situations with different outcomes. It is never bad to take a stand against the bully. Some would have us just hand over our lunch money.


hopeful: Posted: June 4, 2014 11:24 a.m.

stevehw wrote: "Time and again, chickenhawks and warmongers have led the way to destruction (with self-interest and selfish motives usually laced with poor judgement) by lying us into wars of aggression and geopolitics."

I agree with you, Steve, and I do not, nor will I vote for politicians who advocate for war. Unfortunately, it is obvious that many Democrats, such as projalice11, are just as bad as the Republicans they condemn, because they will continue to vote for the people, who got us into this mess with Iraq and Afghanistan.


Lotus8: Posted: June 4, 2014 1:04 p.m.

I am always disappointed when someone starts out a piece so well and then rides off into the partisan hinterland. Your commentary was going so well and then you blindly fell in behind the "everything is the fault of a political party and the one I root for has the moral high ground." Please wake up. The lobbyists that get both parties' pawns elected wanted (and still want) war. We provide foreign aid to countries with the caveat that they use a lot of that money to turn around and by our tanks, aircraft, etc. Heck, Iraq just purchased a fleet of F-16's from us! This keeps union jobs going, union membership up, union dues up, and democratic contributions from the unions up. It also keeps the economy going and the jobs numbers looking good for a sitting democrat in the oval office and the democrats working to get elected again in Congress.

The first part of your article, and the anti-war angle are spot on. But your partisan presumptions are misguided. I implore you to open your mind and transcend party politics. Or are you so married to your "Full Speed to Port!" moniker that you are afraid to publish opinions critical of the left?


BrianBaker: Posted: June 4, 2014 1:18 p.m.

It's pretty easy to throw around terms like "chickenhawks" and "warmongers", but I don't think it's at all helpful to any meaningful discussion.

That's not meant as a slam, it's simply an observation.

That kind of divisive language simply diverts attention away from the fact that we as a country have failed to follow proper constitutional procedures in our decisions to go to war since WW2, the last war that we formally declared.

There's a reason the Constitution requires Congress to actually declare war. It's done to address EXACTLY these issues, by assuring that making war is actually done by a national consensus, rather than at the whim or discretion of any one person, or small group of people.

I know there are various war powers "acts" and "resolutions" on the books out there, but they don't meet the test of constitutionality, and we can clearly see the resulting political discord that results from skipping the important step of actually DECLARING a war; which declaration actually names a specific enemy country, a reason and stated goals of that war, and kicks the Geneva Conventions into play.

Truman tried to dodge around it by calling Korea a "United Nations police action" instead of a "war", and just about every President since has done something similar.

And now, as a result, here we are.


Lotus8: Posted: June 4, 2014 1:37 p.m.

Great points BrianBaker.


BrianBaker: Posted: June 4, 2014 1:42 p.m.

Thanks, Lotus.


stevehw: Posted: June 4, 2014 2:03 p.m.

Lotus...you started out okay, and then veered into *exactly* the thing you argued against!

' Your commentary was going so well and then you blindly fell in behind the "everything is the fault of a political party and the one I root for has the moral high ground."'

which you followed up with a string of accusations against *democrats*! What about the Republicans and the big business owners and the corporate giants like Lockheed Martin and Halliburton and such?


stevehw: Posted: June 4, 2014 2:08 p.m.

Baker...first, I agree with you. Let me get back to that in a second.

"It's pretty easy to throw around terms like "chickenhawks" and "warmongers", but I don't think it's at all helpful to any meaningful discussion."

I don't know what else to call someone like Mr. 5 Deferments Cheney, who lied us into a war of aggression that cost thousands of American lives, and who shows absolutely ZERO concern or remorse for his actions. Or Sen. "Bomb Iran" McCain, who never met a conflict that he didn't think required "boots on the ground" to solve. If you have a better name for them, let's hear it :).

It doesn't matter, really, what the Constitution says or what the law is...I've come to realize over the last few years that the guys in charge are going to do whatever they want to, regardless of what the law or the Constitution say or what the American people want. If they want a war (Iraq, for example), then we're going to war...the powers that be will make sure it happens, and there isn't anything that mere citizens can do to stop it.

Oh, sure, we can stamp and shout about "Congress declares war" or the War Powers Act or this law or that law, but in the end...the proof is in the pudding.

When was the last time Congress actually *didn't* vote for war in one form or another?


Lotus8: Posted: June 4, 2014 3:10 p.m.

Steve - I assumed that those points had already been made by both the author and others. I only included those as a less obvious balancing point from the other side. Please don't try to paint me with a partisan brush. It will prove unsuccessful. I view politics as akin to pro wrestling, where the loser is the audience. The two parties claim to hate each other, put each other in headlocks, and then go have beers together afterwards and laugh at the dumb crowd who paid money to see the show and were intensely rooting for one side or the other.

Most of the folks who post on here are living in an echo chamber. They go home and watch MSNBC or FOX News to reinforce their party allegiances and viewpoints and then come on this site to play ping pong with the same old tired facts to show that their wrestler is better. What they fail to realize is that no matter how much they post about Hulk being the best ever, the Macho Man guy will never yield. They are simply wasting keystrokes.

There are some, however, who raise some interesting points that I enjoy reading.


Lotus8: Posted: June 4, 2014 3:25 p.m.

By the way Steve, I agree that McCain is horrible. While I respect his service in the military, he has used it to provide cover as a politician whilst he flip flops every which way with the breeze. I believe that he would have been a poor president. To your point, he gets behind every hot issue of the day with guns blazing before he even understands the facts. But there he remains, consistently reelected by his constituents.

And as for Dick Cheney, I respect him for at least being honest about his intentions. But there is a reason that his political ambitions were required to be moved behind the scenes. His brand of management is the type that the public is scared of (and rightly so). With a president like Bush Jr. in office, Cheney's sphere of influence/power during those 8 years was very wide reaching.

I feel that our current president has his knees on the steering wheel and is not paying attention to the road. All presidents and politicians lie, and badly. But this guy has surrounded himself with biggest batch of folks who "have trouble with the truth" that I can remember. And due to the advent of Fox News, it has given a pass to both sides of the news aisle to play politics. So the mainstream folks don't ask the questions that they would have some 15-20 years ago and Fox News is written off as quackish (pretty rightly so, I might add). Nobody in the media is left to serve the public's interest, as everyone has taken sides in the hunt for ratings. Is it any wonder so many in the voting public now register as unaffiliated with a party?


hopeful: Posted: June 4, 2014 3:29 p.m.

Lotus8 wrote: " The two parties claim to hate each other, put each other in headlocks, and then go have beers together afterwards and laugh at the dumb crowd who paid money to see the show and were intensely rooting for one side or the other."

Wow, I have to say, I think Lotus8's description above is THE best I have ever seen...you nailed it!

I also wouldn't doubt if the politicians from both parties PURPOSEFULLY try to get the Americans to bicker with each other because the politicians believe it will take pressure off of them.


BrianBaker: Posted: June 4, 2014 4:43 p.m.

Steve, there shouldn't be any reason to call anybody anything, if the proper procedures are followed, which is exactly my point.

Has Cheney seen action? No. Has McCain? Yes. So what? By the same token, I can ask if Obama's ever come anywhere near a uniform, and the answer's a resounding "no", yet he's the guy who's turned Afghanistan into the longest war in US history.

During his first run at Prez, he "vowed" to get the country out of Afghanistan virtually immediately. Instead we saw a "surge" and huge buildup, and here we are years later, still there.

Doesn't that make him both a "chickenhawk" and a "warmonger"?

So that's really pretty pointless, I think.

There's absolutely NO doubt that the Constitution's being ignored, as we both agree. That's a problem endemic across the issues, as you've heard me complain about endlessly in this forum. And as long as we as a country keep shrugging our shoulders and not doing anything about it, things are just going to keep getting worse.


therightstuff: Posted: June 4, 2014 4:45 p.m.

Lotus8, that may have been true 20 or 30 years ago but I don't think it is true today. I think the two parties genuinely hate each other and never go have beers together. This is part of the reason nothing gets done in Washington.

And guys, I'm not a big fan of McCain but I believe the "surge" was his idea which proved to be THE turning point in the war.


BrianBaker: Posted: June 4, 2014 4:53 p.m.

TRS, McCain wasn't in any position to DO anything about it. Obama, obviously, was. And did.


Lotus8: Posted: June 4, 2014 5:50 p.m.

The only reason the politicians don't physically go have drinks together today is that someone will shoot a video or pic on their phone and sell it to TMZ. I meant having a beer in a more figurative fashion. The more that nothing gets done in Congress or the state legislatures other than meaningless restrictions on soda size and the like, the more the decisions must be made by the president/governor via executive fiat. Our representatives know that incumbents have a virtual 100% reelection rate in specially drawn districts, so unless they really piss someone off or get caught with their pants around their ankles in an airport restroom, they have no chance of losing the privilege and money that come with their office. Even then, look at the crackhead mayor in Toronto or the French and Italian presidents with their orgies while in office. Heck, look at how revered JFK was/is and he was banging all sorts of women while in office. We really don't hold our politicians to a very high standard, and it is almost more important for them to be in the news for whatever reason to secure name recognition, as their party will back them if they know that a win is assured at the ballot box.

The outward bickering is meant to hinder real solutions in favor of kicking the can down the street some more and being able to point to the other side of the aisle come reelection season and claim that you would have accomplished so many things had it not been for those dastardly beasts.


ricketzz: Posted: June 5, 2014 6:28 a.m.

Obama should invite Putin to Camp David for some R&R, like Nixon and Brezhnev did. They got blotto and Brezhnev scared the crap out of Nixon driving drunk on a closed highway. Good times.

JFK was as much an Imperialist warmonger as anyone. We have run out of worthy adversaries. Use the UN to clean up Africa.


CaptGene: Posted: June 5, 2014 9:00 a.m.

So, another "piece" by Horton that could have been replaced with three words: "Bush is bad".

If I ever own a one trick pony, I will name it Horton. --edited.


Indy: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:06 a.m.

BrianBaker wrote: “But what are the moral costs to a country of forsaking justice in favor of a well-manipulated story?"

I don't know, Horton. Are you referring to Benghazi?

Indy: For a really good description of the events and timeline in the Libya incident, read: The Benghazi Hoax by David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters for America (Oct 16, 2013)


BrianBaker wrote: Somehow, I doubt that.

Indy: As we see illustrated by this poster and most of his conservative brethren at this site, they ignored the UN’s inspectors that found no WMDs in Iraq, NONE.

Yet, the blind adherence to the voice of George W Bush got us into a USELESS war with Iraq unless you consider the real objective, OIL.

The deception by the fossil fuel industry to cloud the invasion of Iraq sadly created the consequences that Gary noted:

“One trillion deficit dollars later, 6,000 American soldiers died, with another 30,000 or so injured. Another 200,000 Iraqis died from fighting / starvation / depravation with millions more dislocated into poverty.”

But the real capper is the comparison of this war with a terrorist attack at a consultant in a nation with no formal government . . . that sadly left 4 Americans dead . . . after republicans immediately started cutting the budget dollars to embassies when Obama took office . . . I wish I was making this up . . .


Indy: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:09 a.m.

Therightstuff wrote: Gary, you raise some good points but I noticed that you completely omit any reference to the leading Democrats who not only warned about weapons of mass destruction but also voted for the war. When you give a commentary that is so politically partisan, aren't you embracing a fire that still burns us today?

Indy: Yep:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkS9y5t0tR0
“Hillary Clinton's Iraq war speech on the Senate floor in October 2002. Hillary Clinton explains why she is voting to go to war in Iraq.”

Indy: Both parties wanted the oil there . . .


Indy: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:14 a.m.

BrianBaker wrote: There's a reason the Constitution requires Congress to actually declare war. It's done to address EXACTLY these issues, by assuring that making war is actually done by a national consensus, rather than at the whim or discretion of any one person, or small group of people.

Indy: Interesting that even today the House can’t take a vote on the minimum wage let alone a ‘war’ . . .

I’ll go back to the SCOTUS justice that noted the definition of pornography, is well, ‘you’ll know it when you see it’. Same applies here . . . couching a ‘war’ with ‘focus group tested’ slogans is insulting to the public . . . and use the pretense of ‘saving Iraq’ when in the oil there was the key is just piling on the insults.


Indy: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:24 a.m.

Hopeful wrote: Lotus8 wrote: " The two parties claim to hate each other, put each other in headlocks, and then go have beers together afterwards and laugh at the dumb crowd who paid money to see the show and were intensely rooting for one side or the other."

I also wouldn't doubt if the politicians from both parties PURPOSEFULLY try to get the Americans to bicker with each other because the politicians believe it will take pressure off of them.

Indy: No truer words have ever been written at this site . . .

Anyway, a good article in the LA Times you should read regarding your issue with doctors in your referral list:

Thrown a curve by health networks
http://www.latimes.com/business/healthcare/la-fi-healthcare-watch-20140601-story.html#page=1
LISA ZAMOSKY

There is several recommendations to address the issue you’ve faced.


Indy: Posted: June 5, 2014 11:27 a.m.

Lotus8 wrote wrote: The outward bickering is meant to hinder real solutions in favor of kicking the can down the street some more and being able to point to the other side of the aisle come reelection season and claim that you would have accomplished so many things had it not been for those dastardly beasts.

Indy: Another excellent recap of the politics in the US today . . .

And the situation is made worse by the way politicians ‘collect’ money in that they go to their ‘base’ and make the other side’s base to be the ‘demons’ thus the money starts rolling in . . . but this has created the paralysis in governance that you’ve noted.

I remember a politician in the early 90s that noted ‘compromise is failure’ . . . thus starting us down this partisan political path of insanity . . .


17trillion: Posted: June 5, 2014 12:10 p.m.

Did the Black Knight say something?

Tiss but a scratch!

A scratch? Your arm is cut off!

No it isn't.


tech: Posted: June 5, 2014 1:06 p.m.

Indy: Both parties wanted the oil there . . .

Farcical political "blood for oil" assertion unsupported by data.

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MTTIMIZ1&f=M

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm


stevehw: Posted: June 5, 2014 1:38 p.m.

You know, part of a good sense of humor is knowing when the joke gets old.


17trillion: Posted: June 5, 2014 2:09 p.m.

Yea, but being a conservative means I usually have a blunt mindset on such things, thus we're not privy to the subtle nuances of comedy like liberals are. Besides, we've gone from "Windy" to "Indynile" to the "Black Knight". It seems like the where Indy is concerned, there is no limit on the comedy potential. Naturally it should be noted that your ire is directed at a conservative and not Indy for his CaptGene iteration.

What are your thoughts on Lois and her "Bingo"? That probably passes as scholarly discussion with you.


tech: Posted: June 5, 2014 3:20 p.m.

"You know, part of a good sense of humor is knowing when the joke gets old." - stevehw

Au contraire, Steve! The Black Knight has no expiry. If you disagree, you obviously need to attend an Arguement Clinic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y&feature=kp


Indy: Posted: June 5, 2014 7:09 p.m.

Tech wrote: Indy: Both parties wanted the oil there . . .

Farcical political "blood for oil" assertion unsupported by data.

Indy: The politicians of both parties have become very clever not to speak off the cuff and thus we get the well-rehearsed ‘focus group tested’ slogans to each respective party’s base.

So I’m not surprised that there little to support the reality that the US goes to war in the Middle East mainly to secure the oil reserves of the target nations, in this case Iraq . . . who I believe is in the top 5 for proven oil reserves (http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Energy/Oil/Reserves ) noting that the US on this list is 14th.

Most Americans don’t know the US has less than 3% of the world’s ‘proven’ oil reserves . . . but I wouldn’t be surprised that many politicians know this . . . and thus the provocation as we saw prior to the war, to IGNORE the UN’s inspectors that found “NO” WMDs . . . yet we went to war anyway . . .

And just as many politicians today support the KeystoneXL pipeline that will only take Canadian ‘tar sands’ oil to the world market, same is with Iraq in that their oil drives the ‘world price’ down and thus helps the US with its need to import ‘50%’ of our current oil needs.

I’m going to be addressing the book you referenced, Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong by Robert Bryce, since I’ve gone directly to the ‘energy’ section of the book.
He, like this poster, needs to take a larger view . . . of the issues but more to come on that.


Indy: Posted: June 5, 2014 7:13 p.m.

17trillion wrote: Yea, but being a conservative means I usually have a blunt mindset on such things, thus we're not privy to the subtle nuances of comedy like liberals are. Besides, we've gone from "Windy" to "Indynile" to the "Black Knight". It seems like the where Indy is concerned, there is no limit on the comedy potential. Naturally it should be noted that your ire is directed at a conservative and not Indy for his CaptGene iteration.

Indy: The really sad part of this poster’s ‘shtick’ like many of the other conservatives can’t ‘see’ that once their ideology positions are disproven, all they have left is to discredit the ‘bringer’ of the ‘bad news’.

It’s so painfully obvious that you wonder if a poster like this even understands what he’s reading at this site . . .

But in either case, failure is indeed difficult to swallow . . . but if it makes it easier, by all means keep right on going . . . since, here it comes, wait for it . . . IT’S COMEDY GOLD!


stevehw: Posted: June 6, 2014 10:34 p.m.

I love the Argument Clinic sketch! Not to mention how apropos it is to these discussion fora LOL!

Did try one of the Punches yet?


ricketzz: Posted: June 6, 2014 6:21 a.m.

"I paid for an argument and all I'm getting is mindless contradiction."


17trillion: Posted: June 6, 2014 7:54 a.m.

"Most Americans don’t know the US has less than 3% of the world’s ‘proven’ oil reserves"


Laughing....saying it Black Knight does not necessarily make it so.


CaptGene: Posted: June 6, 2014 10:41 a.m.

17T, This is the Indy Nile/Black Knight SOP:

Cut and paste,
repeat ad nauseam.

If that fails (it always does) point out your completely un-provable education in the hopes it will intimidate the opposition ad nauseam.

If that fails (it always fails to silence the opposition, except for their laughter) then question the education of your opposition...again, ad nauseam.

If that fails (again, save for the opposition's laughter...) co-opt their tag lines as if they were your own...yet again, ad nauseam.


17trillion: Posted: June 6, 2014 10:48 a.m.

That's why "it's just a flesh wound" is so funny. Steve, like most libs, has no sense of humor. The Black Knight, like the real Black Knight, keeps saying it but there is no basis of reality. It's not a flesh wound Indy, your arm is really cut off!

The Black Knight lives in a technological vacuum. The Black Knight is anti-science and in fact is a denier.


tech: Posted: June 6, 2014 2:22 p.m.

"I’m going to be addressing the book you referenced, Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong by Robert Bryce, since I’ve gone directly to the ‘energy’ section of the book.
He, like this poster, needs to take a larger view . . . of the issues but more to come on that." - Indy

Always taking shortcuts, aren't you? Stop being lazy. It's a short read that I finished in a few hours.


tech: Posted: June 6, 2014 2:27 p.m.

"I love the Argument Clinic sketch! Not to mention how apropos it is to these discussion fora LOL!

Did try one of the Punches yet?"

Glad to be of service, sir! :-D

Not yet on a Punch. My humidor is getting low and I will remedy that on the next order. Any particular Punch? Your recommendations have been excellent to date.


tech: Posted: June 6, 2014 2:37 p.m.

"So I’m not surprised that there little to support the reality that the US goes to war in the Middle East mainly to secure the oil reserves of the target nations, in this case Iraq . . . who I believe is in the top 5 for proven oil reserves…" - Indy

What an interesting deflection, Indy. Why don't you acknowledge that my EIA Iraqi import cite conclusively rebutted your "Blood for Oil" nonsense?


ricketzz: Posted: June 7, 2014 6:32 a.m.

"Iraqi" sweet crude goes into a global pool that is owned by Big Oil. Big Oil ordered the Iraq War to get production back to pre-Desert Storm levels. "American" oil company is a joke, right?


tech: Posted: June 7, 2014 8:38 a.m.

I suppose you have a copy of the order, ricketzz.


therightstuff: Posted: June 8, 2014 11:23 a.m.

It's filed right under the unconditional surrender document by the Taliban.


tech: Posted: June 8, 2014 11:46 a.m.

No doubt, TRS.


Indy: Posted: June 8, 2014 8:25 p.m.

17trillion wrote: "Most Americans don’t know the US has less than 3% of the world’s ‘proven’ oil reserves"

Laughing....saying it Black Knight does not necessarily make it so. too simplistic?

Indy: Reminds me of the children story about the ostrich burying his head in the sand . . .

In any event, check out the link . . . it has the data . . . or listen to a poorly trained individual that can’t read statistics.


Indy: Posted: June 8, 2014 8:27 p.m.

Tech wrote: "I’m going to be addressing the book you referenced, Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong by Robert Bryce, since I’ve gone directly to the ‘energy’ section of the book.
He, like this poster, needs to take a larger view . . . of the issues but more to come on that." - Indy

Always taking shortcuts, aren't you? Stop being lazy. It's a short read that I finished in a few hours.

Indy: Based on what you’ve written, I gathered as much . . . read too fast and lose the ability to think and understand what you read . . . but the review is coming . . .


tech: Posted: June 9, 2014 11:46 p.m.

Speak for yourself, Indy.

By 6th Grade I was scoring at the 98th percentile in Reading Comprehension (96% overall) in national standardized Iowa Tests.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_Tests_of_Basic_Skills

Reading the entire book provides context for the approach and analysis performed by the author. I doubt your bias will be altered but I'm looking forward to you challenging the annotated data. --edited.


Indy: Posted: June 9, 2014 5:13 p.m.

Tech wrote: Speak for yourself, Indy.

Indy: Thanks that’s exactly what I do here . . .

Tech wrote: By 6th Grade I was scoring at the 98th percentile in Reading Comprehension (96% overall) in national standardized Iowa Tests.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa_Tests_of_Basic_Skills

Indy: Cool . . . some of my relatives are from Iowa . . .

Tech wrote: Reading the entire book provides context for the approach and analysis performed by the author. I doubt your bias will be altered but I'm looking forward to you challenging the annotated data. --edited.

Indy: I’ve jumped to the section on Energy.

The author definitely understands the ‘technology’.

And I did see some of the excerpts from the book that you’ve posted here.

In any event, you’re showing your ‘cards’ too early . . . since any analysis of his data will be from my ‘perspective’ based on my knowledge. You want to call ‘knowledge’ a ‘bias’, go ahead but that doesn’t change the reality.

Finally, reading technical literature isn’t like reading a novel . . .


tech: Posted: June 9, 2014 7:30 p.m.

We're not playing cards, Indy. You've already indicated your bias here:

"He, like this poster, needs to take a larger view . . . of the issues but more to come on that."

Precisely why you should read the entire book.


ricketzz: Posted: June 10, 2014 7:18 a.m.

I took ITED in the fifth grade. Top stanines (99%+) on every subject. And I finished before everyone else. IQ measured at 150 plus. Nya nya nya.


17trillion: Posted: June 10, 2014 7:37 a.m.

I'm a college dropout, but I'm still smarter than the Black Knight.


CaptGene: Posted: June 10, 2014 1:41 p.m.

The mascot suit from any college is smarter than The Black Knight!


tech: Posted: June 10, 2014 4:57 p.m.

"IQ measured at 150 plus. Nya nya nya." - ricketzz

Gee, it's so readily apparent too.


stevehw: Posted: June 11, 2014 9:02 p.m.

You all going to whip out your johnsons and start measuring them next?

Criminy...it's like a bunch of 7th grade boys around here.


CaptGene: Posted: June 11, 2014 9:42 p.m.

If you had a johnson you could compete too!


stevehw: Posted: June 11, 2014 10:12 p.m.

Did I say 7th grade? I meant 3rd grade.


ricketzz: Posted: June 11, 2014 6:47 a.m.

Yes. I should try to impress everyone with polysyllabic speech and cognac labels.


tech: Posted: June 11, 2014 11:36 a.m.

Wouldn't that detract from your mantra of impending doom and sociopaths, ricketzz?


ricketzz: Posted: June 12, 2014 6:35 a.m.

Dick Cheney had a meeting with the heads of all the big oil companies in January 2001. Iraq oil fields were discussed. The minutes of the meeting were ordered sealed by Nino Scalia, who went duck hunting with Cheney, right before the SCOTUS ruled on the meeting notes. This country was lost about a month earlier when the Supreme Court stopped Florida from counting votes because letting them continue might cause irreparable harm to George W. Bush.

A mantra is a phrase or word repeated to help relax a person by focusing the mind on nothing; here in the West, we have TV to focus the mind on nothing, but have completely lost the "relax" part.


tech: Posted: June 12, 2014 10:24 a.m.

Thanks for the update from the fever swamps, ricketzz. You live there so others don't have to.


Indy: Posted: June 12, 2014 5:22 p.m.

Tech wrote: We're not playing cards, Indy. You've already indicated your bias here:

"He, like this poster, needs to take a larger view . . . of the issues but more to come on that."

Indy: Yes, most writers exhibit the same biases themselves as they write one chapter or a whole book.

Tech wrote: Precisely why you should read the entire book.

Indy: Yes, I get the same criticism since I haven’t read the ‘entire’ Bible either . . . but that’s one of the advantages of intelligence that you ‘stop digging’ when you see the effort isn’t going anywhere.

In any event, the writer is knowledgeable of the various technologies that I’ve read so far . . . but that doesn’t make him a ‘strategist’ on natural resources.

He sadly is making the same mistake that you and other neoclassical based market fundamentalist make in that you assume the past is going to predict the future . . .

We saw that didn’t work in 2007 as the President’s Council of Economic Advisors (including one of the libertarian economist you’ve cited was on) as well as the Fed were all ‘predicting’ ‘growth’ in 2007 . . . based on models that didn’t include other underlying issues as the explosion in private debt that crashed the economy.

Most folks don’t realize that the financial malfeasance in the financial markets by folks like Goldman Sachs, Countrywide Financial (now gone after being fined hundreds of millions of dollars) and JP Morgan Chase that just got fined over $2 BILLION dollars . . . were out defrauding homeowners using subprime mortgages these folks knew couldn’t be paid back by the borrowers.

And the conservative libertarian response? Oh, it was that the government passed on law on ‘red lining’ . . . which it did to prevent discrimination for ‘QUALIFIED BUYERS’.

This is pretty standard for conservatives to ‘leave out’ of the debate the facts that don’t support their failing ideology.

Thankfully for the public, I’m here to correct and expose that.


Indy: Posted: June 12, 2014 5:25 p.m.

Ricketzz wrote: Dick Cheney had a meeting with the heads of all the big oil companies in January 2001. Iraq oil fields were discussed. The minutes of the meeting were ordered sealed by Nino Scalia, who went duck hunting with Cheney, right before the SCOTUS ruled on the meeting notes. This country was lost about a month earlier when the Supreme Court stopped Florida from counting votes because letting them continue might cause irreparable harm to George W. Bush.

Indy: Yes, the meeting with fossil fuel executives was ‘sealed’ to cover up the collusion of Cheney and Halliburton . . . and not to disclose the ‘coziness’ between this industry and the Bush Administration.

I hope I live long enough to Cheney ‘skewered’ for his actions and un-American activities . . .


tech: Posted: June 12, 2014 6:46 p.m.

"Thankfully for the public, I’m here to correct and expose that. " - Indy

Your hubris is boundless and endlessly amusing.


Indy: Posted: June 13, 2014 6:17 p.m.

Tech wrote: "Thankfully for the public, I’m here to correct and expose that. " - Indy

Your hubris is boundless and endlessly amusing.

Indy: When I read your post, I get the stuff you don’t grasp or understand.

Thus, again, I’m just here to help you . . . and to be repetitive, exposing your educational background would be helpful in that endeavor.


tech: Posted: June 14, 2014 8:11 p.m.

Not really, Indy. Your repetitive cliché ridden posts are a running sight gag in The Signal Forums akin to circus clowns unpacking themselves out of a microcar, horns honking.

Prattle on! :-D


ricketzz: Posted: June 16, 2014 6:54 a.m.

"Fever swamps"? I live in a dusty hot canyon!

http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Oil-execs-in-task-force-meetings-1646418.php

Maybe the Fever Swamps is where Cheney and Nino went duck hunting.


tech: Posted: June 17, 2014 11:00 p.m.

It's figurative, ricketzz. It's where you and Milbank reside mentally.

Your link doesn't support this ludicrous assertion: "Big Oil ordered the Iraq War to get production back to pre-Desert Storm levels."

Industry, trade, NGOs and other groups, including "green" organizations, meet with administration officials on a regular basis.

*Yawn* --edited.


ricketzz: Posted: June 17, 2014 6:43 a.m.

Some people get lip service. Some people get military support.

The US military is supporting oil wars while using renewable energy in ever increasing amounts.

Wait'll all the desert hardened mercenaries are sent to the Arctic Circle! That's why they say be careful what you wish for. Hahaha!

You forget I lived among the Big Oil people as one of their own, did 20 years in Houston, during the time oil went from $3 a barrel to $30 a barrel. I know how these people think. And drool.



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