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    Spare change? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 06:13:04 PM EST
    Bailout Total: $29.616 Trillion Dollars
    09 December 11

    There is a fascinating new study coming out of the Levy Economics Institute  of Bard College.  Its titled "$29,000,000,000,000: A Detailed Look at the Fed's Bail-out by Funding Facility and Recipient" by James Felkerson. The study looks at the lending, guarantees, facilities and spending of the Federal Reserve.

    The researchers took all of the individual transactions across all facilities created to deal with the crisis, to figure out how much the Fed committed as a response to the crisis. This includes direct lending, asset purchases and all other assistance. (It does not include indirect costs such as rising price of goods due to inflation, weak dollar, etc.)

    The net total? As of November 10, 2011, it was $29,616.4 billion dollars - (or 29 and a half trillion, if you prefer that nomenclature). Three facilities--CBLS, PDCF, and TAF-- are responsible for the lion's share - 71.1% of all Federal Reserve assistance ($22,826.8 billion).

    Bailout Total: more...

    How many times now could every mortgage in the United States have been bailed out 100% thus restoring the value behind the CDO securities wall street got themselves in so much trouble with?  

    The economy would have been rockin with consumer spending the past couple of years if every homeowner suddenly had had an amount equivalent to the value of his/her home to spend any way they chose.

    Companies all over the country would be at top production rates to meet consumer demand and there wouldn't be enough people to fill all the open jobs. Negative unemployment anyone?

    Some homeowners though might have been "undeserving", like some wall street CEO's were/are, and we couldn't have the undeserved receiving welfare from the government.... of course.

    I hope people get a bit of change after all is said and done.

    One economic sector blooms (none / 0) (#63)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:42:34 AM EST
    NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) - In what stock market analysts are pointing to as a rare bright spot in an otherwise gloomy period for Wall Street, manufacturers of downward arrows posted record profits this week.

    While makers of cars, computers, farm equipment and practically everything else saw their fortunes plunge this week, producers of downward arrows notched double-digit gains, inspiring investors to snap up their shares like never before.

    Companies like National Plunging Arrow Corp and Consolidated Downward Pointy Lines saw their shares rocket as investors rushed to participate in the suddenly red-hot red-arrow sector.

    "We are seeing investors move out of Treasuries and gold and into downward-arrow stocks," said analyst Harland Dorinson, who covers plunging trend-line manufacturers for Morgan Stanley.  "At a time when the world is facing extreme uncertainty, the one thing we know for sure is that going forward there will be strong demand for downward pointy things."

    In-depth analysis here...


    Had a horrible (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:10:18 PM EST
    day today. I got the big C diagnosis but fortunately it is Stage 1. Still it's going to be a big pain in the butt I fear.

    That must be difficult to learn. (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:13:25 PM EST
    Good thoughts coming your way.  

    I am sorry, Ga6th...and also mixed with (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:15:45 PM EST
    good thoughts for you that the stage is one. 'Pray that you will find soon that the treatment will squash the C of stage 1 (and leave you as feisty as ever here.)

    Oh, no (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by sj on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:42:25 PM EST
    I'm so sorry to hear this.  Truly, truly sorry.  Glad you found it in Stage I.

    So sorry to hear this, Ga... (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:05:28 PM EST
    it's the classic good news-bad news: "the bad news is, you have cancer, the good news is that we caught it early."

    The thing is that no one I know, including my own mother, who got that good news-bad news speech, has ever heard anything past, "you have cancer;" the adrenaline and roaring of one's heartbeat just drown it all out.

    In my mom's case, she is now 17 months post-diagnosis,and cancer-free.  She had a lumpectomy, then a week of twice-a-day, for 10 minutes each session, radiation delivered directly to the site of the lumpectomy via a catheter-like arrangement.

    I can only hope that the course of your treatment is smooth, and doesn't significantly disrupt your life.

    All good thoughts being sent your way for a complete recovery!


    That sucks, Ga6thDem (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:36:47 PM EST
    This might be of some help, I'm not sure, but maybe worth looking into...

    A Report On Curcumin's Anti-Cancer Effects (.PDF, 8 pages)

    Imagine a natural substance so smart it can tell the difference between a cancer cell and a normal cell; so powerful it can stop chemicals in their tracks; and so strong it can enable DNA to walk away from lethal doses of radiation virtually unscathed. Curcumin has powers against cancer so beneficial that drug companies are rushing to make drug versions. Curcumin is all this and more.

    Curcuma longa is a ginger-like plant that grows in tropical regions. The roots contain a bright yellow substance (turmeric) that contains curcumin and other curcuminoids. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries. But it's only within the past few years that the extraordinary actions of curcumin against cancer have been scientifically documented. Among its many benefits, curcumin has at least a dozen separate ways of interfering with cancer.


    Certain enzymes enable tumors to create a blood supply for themselves. Known as "angiogenesis," this phenomenon allows tumors to invade surrounding tissue and spread. Working with blood vessels of the eye (where angiogenesis creates big problems for vision), researchers at Tufts University were able to inhibit blood vessel formation by using curcuminoids. Curcumin blocks AP-1, which enhances angiogenesis.

    Also the phytochemicals in blueberries, apple juice, and any kind of red berries apparently are good...

    Berries: Cancer-fighting super foods?

    Anthocyanins are a group of phytochemicals that give many berries their red color. In laboratory studies, anthocyanins inhibit growth of lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells without affecting growth of healthy cells. Decreased cancer development is also seen in animals given anthocyanins.

    Ellagic acid is another important phytochemical in virtually all berries. More than a simple antioxidant, ellagic acid also blocks metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer. In animals, it has inhibited development of colon, esophageal, liver, lung and skin cancers stemming from a variety of carcinogens.

    I'm so sorry to hear that.... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by desertswine on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:05:17 PM EST
    but you gotta believe that you're going to be OK.

    It gets better after the day of diagonosis. (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:23:36 PM EST
    I remember everything in my brain coming to a stop... and it took weeks to get beyond the idea.

    You have friends here, Ga6th, keep the faith.


    Gosh. That is bad news. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:23:57 PM EST
    But I am sure you can lick it.

    Take care.


    Ga6th, you are now on my list (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:16:14 PM EST
    of people who get special good thoughts sent their way daily.

    You're in a tough situation, but you seem like a pretty tough person. Cancer treatment is no fun regardless of the stage. Still, the odds are you will beat this.

    You have many blog shoulders to lean on here at TL. Please don't hesitate to use us if you need us.


    Sending good thoughts your way (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:20:32 PM EST
    as you and your comments are such a good part of my day.  So, from experience from friends fighting this, get an IPad to take to chemo to post to us!  The IPad also is good for reading for hours to get you through the waiting -- and for taking notes at the doc's office, I'm told.  Even better can be a tape recorder or a companion to come along to hear what you miss.

    And I've got other friends and family who were diagnosed at Stage 3 and Stage 4 and were given only months . . . and that was many years ago.  So Stage 1 is going to be beatable, bet on it.

    Another tip:  All the stats that you will see on these here internet toobz about survival rates are based on several years ago, as up to date as the data can be.  But survival rates actually are getting so much better every day, because of all of the wonders of great minds in medicine.  So the only data that matters?  Your own.  

    Take care of yourself in every way that you can and look forward to the feeling that you will have when you get the all-clear, when every day after that will be a new lease on life for a new you.  Plan now for something amazing to do!


    Don't (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 04:29:58 AM EST
    know all the details yet but the biopsy said it was confined to the thyroid so thankfully I probably won't have to have chemo.

    keep the faith, Ga6th (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:38:18 PM EST
    i am literally wishing you well

    Stage 1: My mother heard those same words (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Mr Natural on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:58:33 PM EST
    about a year and a half ago, caught early like yours because she was being CAT-scanned to follow up on another problem.  Treatment with a Cyberknife left no visible tumor.  I wish you the same happy result.

    Best wishes to you Ga. (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:08:47 AM EST
    I'm hoping for the easiest possible treatment, and the most complete, speedy recovery for you.

    So sorry to hear that ga6 (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:37:55 AM EST
    Hope your course of treatment is relatively easy, and completely successful! We will all be thinking of you of course. And you are a feisty one- I don't think cancer knew what it was getting itself into.

    Hang in there (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:45:00 AM EST
    You caught it early - stay positive.

    Backyard Bobcats (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Rojas on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:06:52 PM EST
    What Digvy said - twice (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:47:22 AM EST
    A beautiful takedown onf the PPUS. Who could have known, indeed?

    And she puts it together that the PPUS has made a perfect excuse for timid action and "powerlessness".  

    Yes... (none / 0) (#60)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:52:03 AM EST
    When people say they want change it's not because they are tired of "partisan bickering" (which basically consists of derisive Republican laughter.) They're sick of a government that does exactly the opposite of what they want it to do.

    President Irony remains silent (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:00:00 AM EST
    remains silent about OWS, as his own State Department shoves his foot down his throat.

    U.S. calls on Russia to respect peaceful protests
    December 09, 2011

    WASHINGTON -- The United States called Friday on both Russian authorities and protesters to remain peaceful as opponents of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin prepared major weekend demonstrations against his rule.

    Putin has angrily accused the United States of inciting the protests after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised concerns about the fairness of parliamentary elections that Putin's party won but with a reduced majority.

    State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that the United States supported the right to peaceful protest in Russia as it does "anywhere in the world."

    "We expect that those demonstrations will remain peaceful on behalf of all parties, whether they're the demonstrators or whether they are those keeping social order," she said.

    "So our expectation is that if there are protests, that they will be peaceful and that they will be allowed to proceed peacefully," Nuland said.

    oculus (none / 0) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:24:21 PM EST
    Florida vs Michigan in the Sweet 16 of NCAA volleyball right now on ESPN3. Gators up 1-0 in sets.

    Let me know how it turns out. (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 07:31:29 PM EST
    Off to hear what, in an interview in local paper, appears to be an outlier pianist.  But he is on faculty at Indiana, a very fine music school.  

    Go IU (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:10:46 PM EST
    One of the special sides of being at Indiana University was being able to attend the opera on weekends for very (as in, very) cheap student tickets. Chamber music, etc. quite good as well.  When my husband & I were there---oh those many years ago--I lived in a dorm next to the music school...close enough to hear the scales. Yes, it was a privilege.  (BTW, a number of Santa Fe summer apprentices come from IU's music school over the years; same for Colorado's Central City summer program.  Next to Julliard....)

    I live near the Peabody Conservatory (none / 0) (#16)
    by sj on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:48:18 PM EST
    Very much the same thing.  A lot of students live in the area as well.  I love the summer when the windows are open.  Can hear singing and piano and often (my favorite) cello.

    You remind me that I haven't availed myself of the many (often free) performances nearly often enough.  I haven't even checked out their Christmas program.  Shockingly lax on my part.


    oh, thank you (none / 0) (#69)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:37:00 AM EST
    for that gorgeous sonic image . . .

    I'm thinking (none / 0) (#10)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:13:08 PM EST
    Donald wishes his daughter stayed further west to play because college volleyball is one hell of a spectator sport and Albany is a bit more than a puddle jump to go see games

    Florida wins over Michigan in straight sets 25-21; 25-13; 27-25


    Thanks for the writeup (none / 0) (#96)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 04:05:23 PM EST
    Sounds like it was a great match beginning to end. Thought I was impressed  by the 3,503 at the Gator game last night. The Rainbow Wahine tripled that total.

    Quote two of the day (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:01:08 PM EST
    "I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That's how you make atheists."

    --Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, responding to a survey showing that atheists and agnostics know more about religion than believers.

    I hope she can read (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by observed on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:07:04 PM EST
    Greek and Hebrew!

    Actually the poll appears to be more about (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:23:05 PM EST
    religious history rather than religion itself.

    ¶ Fifty-three percent of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the man who started the Protestant Reformation.

    ¶ Forty-five percent of Catholics did not know that their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols, but actually become the body and blood of Christ.

    ¶ Forty-three percent of Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the foremost rabbinical authorities and philosophers, was Jewish.

    The question about Maimonides was the one that the fewest people answered correctly. But 51 percent knew that Joseph Smith was Mormon, and 82 percent knew that Mother Teresa was Roman Catholic.

    The article's pretty old. I remember it had a link to the actual questions but I can't seem to find it.

    No matter. Religious belief is about faith. If you don't have that then being able to score 100% on this, or any group of questions, is meaningless.


    Found the questions (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:31:52 PM EST
    they're embedded as another link within the article. For some reason I can't copy them.

    But I don't think that knowing that most people in Indonesia are Muslims is a question about religion.


    History of religion is definitely (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by observed on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:47:14 PM EST
    important in terms of understanding religion.
    Anyone who is a Christian should understand that his New Testament is a collection of cherry-picked documents, all written decades after certain alleged events, chosen  to make a standard text centuries after.
    They should understand that many of their dearest beliefs are not reflected by the text in the original language (virgin birth, anyone?).
    They should understand that the documentary existence for Jesus's life, let alone any of the  miracles attributed to him, is almost nil---and completely nil if you discount Josephus.

    Many people become non-believers after they enter seminary, once they learn more about their sacred texts.

    If you neglect the history, you might as well become a Hare Krishna or a Moonie, IMO.


    "Cherry picked." Male writers and (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 01:04:13 PM EST
    pickers.  Add Papal infallibility to list of doctrines not included in the New Testament.  

    Oh I agree that an educated person (none / 0) (#62)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:34:33 AM EST
    should know all those things.

    Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.

    But the survey has nothing to do with religion. If it did it would address specific questions that a Muslim should know about Islam, not 3400 people what the largest religion in Indonesia is. Same for Protestants and Catholics... and other faiths.

    Interestingly enough, no Muslims were surveyed. I wonder why.


    completely agree (none / 0) (#86)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:58:30 PM EST
    with everything you say here

    these statements are true & necessary at the level of literal reality, which crazy fundamentalist religionists have abandoned in favor of fantasies constructed from literal interpretations of bad and/or literal translations of foundational texts

    then again, there's C. G. Jung, who famously said that, whether or not the virgin birth occurred in reality, the fact that many people believe it occurred does make the virgin birth a psychological reality

    that psychological reality is what has become the target of activist atheists - that, & the church, another product & activity of human beings


    I have always said my excellent (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:40:27 AM EST
    Catholic school education made me an atheist. Teaching us to think  was not in their best interest in my case.

    12 years for me. (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:44:03 AM EST
    I guess I'm kind of an agnostic lite, now. It doesn't play much of a role in my life anymore, but I certainly don't think any less of those who for whom it is a big part of their lives.

    Everyone has certain things they're passionate about, for some it's religion, for others it's their occupation, politics, cars, music, whatever.

    I do enjoy going to a mass on occasion, it's warmly nostalgic for me...


    I do spend a lot of time thinking about (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:59:58 PM EST
    spiritual questions, creation, the posibility of god, etc, but I just don't put it in a dogmatic religious context anymore. If there is a god I think I will be forgiven for that.

    I do like hearing mass now and then for the nostalgia  of it too. I also had 12 years..


    Some would probably say (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:32:39 AM EST
    there's a difference between knowledge and wisdom...

    True, but it's hard to ... (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:15:46 AM EST
    ... have much of the much of the latter without much of the former.

    I think the latter requires the former, (none / 0) (#84)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:47:57 PM EST
    no "buts" necessary...

    Appreciate the laugh (none / 0) (#6)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:04:56 PM EST
    ...and your obvious push at provocation.

    Forgot to mention: I disagree w/the cynicism (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:06:03 PM EST
    So there's something provocative (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:11:10 PM EST
    about being atheist?

    nothing inherently provocative (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:25:49 AM EST
    about being an atheist - atheism is just another faith-based position

    but the way that dogmatic atheists push their beliefs on others is quite provocative, not unlike the behavior of fundamentalist Christians

    of course, Christine was talking about Edger's provocation


    Actually, there is nothing remotely (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 01:18:10 AM EST
    similar. And, if you're going to begin with the fallacy that atheism is a belief system, there's not point responding at all.
    Atheism is not a belief system, any more than not believing in Santa Claus.
    That comparison may offend some, but the mote lies in thine eye, because they are logically the same position.

    please explain, if you will, (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:01:52 AM EST
    why you're saying it's a fallacy to characterize atheism as a belief system

    what else could it be? "the Truth"?

    Webster's defines the word "atheism" as follows (emphasis added):

    2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b: the doctrine that there is no deity

    my own belief system is that the truth of deity's existence or nonexistence cannot be known by human beings

    i don't understand the basis on which anyone can be so positive one way or the other


    Atheism is lack of belief. (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:24:22 AM EST
    If you think that not believing in Santa Claus, or not believing the moon is made of green cheese, are beliefs, then I think your epistomology needs help.
    The existence of religion raises the question "is there a God".
    Atheism simply answers by saying "Show me some evidence. I see no evidence whatsoever for the claim of god's existence".
    I don't believe in phlogistons either, by the way.

    i see it the other way around (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 03:20:56 AM EST
    to my mind, the question of whether deity exists comes first, & then come the responses

    myth is one response

    prehistoric cave paintings may be another, as are the shamanistic & other rituals of small-scale societies

    codified, organized religion is yet another response

    other responses include atheism, New Age "spirituality," & agnosticism

    by "deity," i don't mean a bearded old rageaholic in the sky, or anything as childish as Santa Claus or a moon made of green cheese - frankly, i had hoped you might give me more credit than that

    i mean something more on the order of an intelligent, generative, organizing, encompassing, living, immanent (not transcendent) nonhuman consciousness with which it may or may not be possible for human consciousness to establish direct, deliberate communication of some kind

    in my experience, thoughtful people who believe in a deity also regularly weigh the possibility that no deity exists, & such people also ponder the implications of that negative possibility - but they choose to throw in with the positive possibility (the I Ching: "the Superior Man stakes his life on following his will"), & that's the leap of faith (Pascal: "le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas")

    i find such people infinitely more intelligent & humane & intellectually supple than the Richard Dawkinses and Sam Harrises of the world, who strike me as rigid, dogmatic, one-dimensional, unsubtle, literal-minded, condescending, & quite intolerant of both ambiguity & intellectual disagreement


    "condescending" (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:37:19 AM EST
    Try reading your post.

    my comment is certainly critical (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:18:19 PM EST
    of aggressive gasbag religionists & antireligionists

    how is it condescending?


    Great questions, TAF (none / 0) (#72)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:02:34 AM EST
    First, I look at how Webster's defines the word "atheism" as follows (emphasis added):

    2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity

    Second, for me "belief" or "disbelief" doesn't even enter into the equation. That is a framing that the church would like people to argue over because it offers the opportunity for calling disbelievers "sinners" - another frame that has no meaning outside the churches framing.

    Instead I rely on observation. First, I observe that there is a universe. A reasonable and I think unarguable definition of "universe" would be "all" that is, has been, and will be.

    The universe is everything, in other words. And being everything, there can be nothing that is outside it. If we were to say that the universe is "contained" within something larger, we would only be saying that the universe is larger.

    So, there is nothing that is not "the universe". Everything that we see, including ourselves, is an expression of the universe. A being of the universe. Or to put it another way everything we see is the universe doing something, expressing itself.

    Now, people - you, me, everyone - are therefore the universe doing something, expressing itself. Again, the universe is everything, therefore so is everything within it, including people.

    There is nothing separate from the universe. Everything is the universe.

    To find "god", all we need to do is look in a mirror. Belief or disbelief is irrelevant.

    However, one of the problems we have as people is that...

    The root of the matter is the way in which we feel and conceive ourselves as human beings, our sensation of being alive, of individual existence and identity. We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms- Most of us have the sensation that "I myself" is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body--a center which "confronts an "external" world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. "I came into this world." "You must face reality." "The conquest of nature."

    This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not "come into" this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean "waves," the universe "peoples." Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated "egos" inside bags of skin.

    -- Alan Watts

    Of course, there is also a great deal of fear of enlightenment going around. ;-)


    you noticed (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:15:42 PM EST
    that i said i'm agnostic, right?

    & you left out part b of the Webster's definition: the doctrine that there is no deity

    i think discussions of the church are irrelevant to discussions of deity except

    (1) insofar as the church (organized religion) is one response to the question of deity's "existence" (quotation marks here as a nod to your argument about the falseness of separating anything from "all that is"), and

    (2) insofar as doctrinaire, evangelistic atheists reject the very notion of deity because they are repelled by human institutions & behavior

    as an agnostic myself, i have no quarrel with nonbelief in deity or with belief in deity

    but, contra observed (upthread), who thinks my "epistemology needs help," the passionate conviction that deity cannot exist because one has found no (grossly material? subatomic? historical? ___ ?) "evidence" of deity is a belief


    And again... (none / 0) (#80)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:19:47 PM EST
    for me "belief" or "disbelief" doesn't even enter into the equation.

    yes (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:42:20 PM EST
    i think the (or a) crux of the matter appears upthread, where observed says

    The existence of religion raises the question "is there a God"

    & i reply

    to my mind, the question of whether deity exists comes first, & then come the responses [such as religion]

    i think the question of deity's existence belongs to the realm of meaning, not to the realm of empirical knowledge

    knowing that we are mortal, or simply observing the wonder of the universe, we wonder why we are "here"

    or, as we construct & maintain the fiction of an individual "self," we wonder how "we" "fit into" the vast universe of our perception, & "we" project a Deity with human characteristics

    & then some people worship that projected humanoid Deity while others rage against it & all its works


    You need help. (none / 0) (#124)
    by observed on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 07:49:30 PM EST
    This is absolute mush.

    ah, the "you need help" gambit (none / 0) (#126)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 09:26:57 PM EST
    thanks for your concern

    . . . and with that vulgar rhetorical move (none / 0) (#127)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:35:07 AM EST
    & your quickness to take rather waspish & nastily expressed offense, you confirm that i have been attempting to hold a nuanced discussion with a fanatic

    recommended reading for you (in exchange for your kind suggestions that my epistemology & i "need help"): the radical left-wing British critic & theorist Terry Eagleton on The God Delusion, by  Richard Dawkins

    an excerpt:

    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins. . . . Card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins . . . are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don't believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith . . . . The more they detest religion, the more ill-informed their criticisms of it tend to be. If they were asked to pass judgment on phenomenology or the geopolitics of South Asia, they would no doubt bone up on the question as assiduously as they could. . . . There are always topics on which otherwise scrupulous minds will cave in with scarcely a struggle to the grossest prejudice. For a lot of academic psychologists, it is Jacques Lacan; for Oxbridge philosophers it is Heidegger; for former citizens of the Soviet bloc it is the writings of Marx; for militant rationalists it is religion. . . . Dawkins, who is as obsessed with the mechanics of Creation as his Creationist opponents, understands nothing of . . . traditional doctrines. . . . Dawkins considers that no religious belief, anytime or anywhere, is worthy of any respect whatsoever. This, one might note, is the opinion of a man deeply averse to dogmatism. . . . . He is like a man who equates socialism with the Gulag. Like the puritan and sex, Dawkins sees God everywhere, even where [God] is self-evidently absent.  . . . These are not just the views of an enraged atheist. They are the opinions of a readily identifiable kind of English middle-class liberal rationalist. . . . There is a very English brand of common sense that believes mostly in what it can touch, weigh and taste, and The God Delusion springs from, among other places, that particular stable . . . at its most philistine and provincial.

    you're welcome


    I agree (none / 0) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 04:32:36 AM EST
    100%. I think there's a certain strain of fundamentalism in Atheism much like Christianity.

    Really?! Expressing the opinion that (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:07:38 AM EST
    there is no god compares with being extremely religious? What are the strictures on private and public lives that atheists wish to impose?
    Many Christians advocate imprisonment---even death----for homosexuality.
    Many want to forbid abortion, even in the case the mother's life is in danger.
    Many want to mandate teaching of pseudoscience in the classroom, because the truth offends there religious sensibility.
    How many wars have been started over atheism?
    Possibly---and only marginally and to a very small degree---one could cite Communism, but it would be a terribly ahistoric reading of that movement to see it as driven primarily be atheism.
    Compare that with any average century of religious warfare.
    Little known fact, there was a centuries long genocide of Indians by the Muslims, probably killing tens of milllions of people over their refusal to become Muslim.
    And that's on top of the wars you know about.
    Face it, religion and peace go together like a flaming oil well and a little spout of water.

    No (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:13:54 AM EST
    it's the attitude of absolute righteousness that's the same as fundamentalist Christians.

    Respectfully, I find astrology a good (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:59:00 AM EST
    analogy. It's generally acceptable to say that astrology is obviously complete nonsense. Try to say the same thing about religion, with all its institutional support, and the hammer comes down.
    We are not so far from the days when a person who said there was no god had no future: literally, because he would be executed.
    And in many countries of the world today, the same standards hold.
    I am glad that people can laugh at religion with  (relative) impunity. It's a sign that we live in a civilized country.

    you know what's really amazing? (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:43:44 AM EST
    having this discussion in my pajamas in Oakland with a guy halfway around the world in Kazakhistan - netizens in the digits of an unknowable god

    as for astrology, seems to me there has been more than the normal level of anger & outrage on blogs all over the internets for a couple of days - must be because Mercury has been retrograde ;)


    another analogy (none / 0) (#68)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:33:06 AM EST
    some people deal with a bottle of scotch by turning into obnoxious drunks

    some people deal with a bottle of scotch by turning into tight@ssed prohibitionists

    neither reaction in itself says anything inherently true about whether a locked box contains a bottle of scotch


    yes, it's the total self-righteousness (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:09:00 AM EST
    & the extremely childish conception of deity that makes in-your-face atheist scolds the mirror image of fundamentalist Christianists & other unhinged religionists

    anyway, looks like Edger's "provocation" worked


    Nice job on the straw men, Addams. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:17:02 PM EST
    i do not understand your comment (none / 0) (#81)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:23:13 PM EST
    & why are you so angry?

    Animosity or argument? (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:28:11 PM EST
    Addams Family should write a treatise on this subject for she is surely learned, temperat, and dispassionate in discussing a subject so prone to emotional forays  my agreement with Addams Family is esp pronounced in her comparison those who are trapped by rigidity and intolerance of another's belief system.  

    Mostly, observed, I confine religious discussions to explorations with mutually respectful friends and/or to general information-seeking  or non-passionate discourse. Personal beliefs in such an intimate area as spirituality are better respected as personal.

    If one looks around, one can locate unkind, uncaring actions by people of any spiritual outlook  (Christian or atheist or whatever). The fact that a person(s) may act at variance with stated beliefs, tho, is a commentary on the person and not the belief itself.  iMO, the anger or frustration one may feel and display toward another's beliefs (or the ridiculing thereof) says a lot about the person holding and displaying that acrimony...more than about the target of any such disdain. (Not to diminish whatever negative experiences individuals have incurred in the institutional religious area while growing up, keep in mind that very many experienced wonderful internal peace, solace, and spiritual oneness in that same belief.  it would be even better if we could respect each other in our beliefs...true tolerance without disparagements, hostile jokes, taunts.  True tolerance.)


    Missing my point, but not surprising. (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 05:50:49 PM EST
    Someone said that atheists' attitudes are comparable to those of fundamentalists (or something similar).
    That kind of comparison is absolutely absurd.
    On a PERSONAL level,  some people may take offense that some atheists are quite vocal and assured in their remarks. But do we call someone a "strident" geologist if they lampoon flat-earthers? Is a biologist "intolerant" if he says that Intelligent Design is a pseudoscience?
    Many atheists believe that the specific religious beliefs which see their expression in modern life are complete rubbish.
    Expressing strong opinions---even in a manner which offends some---is not intolerant.
    Likewise, on a personal level, many religious people are kind and thoughtful; however, this has absolutely nothing to do whether their beliefs hold any water at all.
    There are plenty of very nice astrologists. In fact, in my experience, people who believe in astrology are more tolerant than most Christians.

    Expressing strong opinions is (none / 0) (#109)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:12:08 PM EST
    to be lauded. Ridiculing other beliefs and/or people who would hold beliefs unlike yours is something quite different. 'Suggest that you reflect on that distinction.

    I suggest you consider the question (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by observed on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:05:09 AM EST
    more closely, because I have.
    For instance, must I respect the notion that Jesus was born of a virgin, or that Mohammed was born without a foreskin? These ideas are primitivistic and absurd, worthy of ridicule.
    You cannot separate out "religious belief" in general from its components. A person who thinks the stars influence life on earth is generally ridiculed, but a person who believes that an unseeen power has physical agency to alter the local physical structure of the universe in response to spoken or thought pleas  is not considered batty?

    Religious institutions fear ridicule because it is a very effective tool. Why is ridicule of religious beliefs effective? Please ponder this question. Ridicule of the theory of gravitation would not have the same impact.


    To each his/her own, etc. (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by christinep on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:24:22 PM EST
    We are entitled to our opinions. Based upon your immediate statement, IMO, you are exhibiting intolerance about religious faith. That is your right, of course...as it is my right to conclude as I have about a matter of faith.

    christine, perhaps you are aware (none / 0) (#132)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 03:19:06 PM EST
    of the psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg's model of the six stages of moral development, a model that adapts the work of the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget

    Kohlberg's six stages are as follows:

  • Preconventional morality (stages 1 & 2)

  • Conventional morality (stages 3 & 4)

  • Postconventional morality (stages 5 & 6)
  • this commenter appears to be (or be stuck) at stage 4 - see, inter alia, his comment #56

    at stage 4,

    it is important to obey laws, dictums and social conventions because of their importance in maintaining a functioning society. Moral reasoning in stage four is thus beyond the need for individual approval exhibited in stage three; society must learn to transcend individual needs. A central ideal or ideals often prescribe what is right and wrong, such as in the case of fundamentalism. If one person violates a law, perhaps everyone would -- thus there is an obligation and a duty to uphold laws and rules. When someone does violate a law, it is morally wrong; culpability is thus a significant factor in this stage as it separates the bad domains from the good ones. Most active members of society remain at stage four, where morality is still predominantly dictated by an outside force.

    i think you must be referring to me (none / 0) (#113)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:35:55 PM EST
    i said this:

    the way that dogmatic atheists push their beliefs on others is quite provocative, not unlike the behavior of fundamentalist Christians

    that comment does three things:

    1. it says that the behavior of some atheists is similar to the behavior of fundamentalist Christians

    2. it asserts that atheists, in taking a position "against" deity (as the word's etymology reveals), are expressing a particular belief or set of beliefs

    3. it asserts that some atheists are dogmatic in the holding & the expression of their beliefs

    the comment is about some atheists' behavior, not about their beliefs

    speaking of beliefs, i believe that the moon is NOT made of green cheese, because people have stood on the moon & because the moon's surface has long been visible through a telescope - the evidence is in: there is no green cheese in the composition of the moon

    i believe that Santa Claus is NOT an actual person because i saw my parents setting Christmas presents under the tree in the wee hours of Christmas morning - the evidence is in: there is no Santa Claus

    in other words, there is actual evidence - material, scientific, historical, social evidence - that the moon is not made of green cheese & that Santa Claus is not an actual person

    i cannot give you comparable evidence that a deity does NOT exist or that a deity DOES exist - my conclusion is that the actual state of affairs regarding this issue cannot be demonstrated at this time: that is what i believe to be true

    nor have you given me evidence that a deity does NOT exist or that a deity DOES exist - your conclusion is that no deity exists: that is what you believe to be true


    Epistemological rubbish. (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by observed on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 04:29:19 AM EST
    Asserting that, lacking evidence for existence of some entity, we must treat existence and non-existence equally, misses the point:
    lack of evidence of existence IS evidence of non-existence.

    of course it is (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 11:37:18 AM EST
    & it seems you are missing my point . . . but OK

    I want to add something to this comment. (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by observed on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 12:12:19 PM EST
    Of course I disagree with you on the answer to this question, but that's not the point. Is it possible you are right and I am wrong? Well, sure.
    What is not possible is to put the question of god's existence into the framework of ordinary human knowledge and experience. As far as I know, this is consistent with theology: understanding god is beyond human ways of knowing.
    Thus, according to every standard of knowledge I am aware of, the evidence is overwhelming that there is no god. You  may believe differently, but not only will your belief conflict with the evidence, but your way of arriving at your conclusion is in conflict with all established rules of rationality.

    i guess (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 04:56:04 PM EST
    this whole long discussion started because you took offense when i compared some activist atheists' behavior with the behavior of some Christian fundamentalists  - if so, i regret offending you, but i see what i see - for example, i'm a committed feminist & an enthusiastic urban cyclist, & i also see that some other committed feminists & enthusiastic urban cyclists are hateful, irrational zealots

    anyway, i'm not even sure what you mean at this point by "this question"

    1. do you mean the question of whether, "lacking evidence for existence of some entity, we must treat existence and non-existence equally?"

    well, that depends on the context, & on what you mean by "treat equally"

    consider the Immaculate Conception - are you obliged to accept the notion that belief in the Immaculate Conception is rational? in the domain of rational discourse, of course you're not

    but in the domain of civic discourse (which is itself often irrational), it's irrelevant whether belief in the Immaculate Conception is rational or not - in this domain, civility & the First Amendment oblige us to (1) respect others' right to believe in the Immaculate Conception & (2) ensure that others' belief in the Immaculate Conception does nothing to infringe on our right to categorically reject, for ourselves, belief in the Immaculate Conception & everything that goes with it

    2. do you mean the question of whether "lack of evidence of existence IS evidence of non-existence"?

    again, the domain of logical discourse is one thing - but consider the domain of scientific discourse, where evidence is routinely lacking (until it isn't) - there was no evidence for microscopic bacteria as agents (rather than effects) of disease until Louis Pasteur, despite withering ridicule from his scientific contemporaries, undertook the experiments that eventually brought us vaccines & antibiotics - that's because Pasteur's hypothesis could be empirically proved & because, as a hypothesis, it was by definition also open to being empirically disproved

    the question of a deity's (non)existence cannot be proved or disproved in the materialist sense because that question doesn't belong to the domain of rational, logical, scientific discourse, & so i couldn't agree more with you here:

    What is not possible is to put the question of god's existence into the framework of ordinary human knowledge and experience.

    all i'm saying is that, as an agnostic, i take a position of not knowing what is true with respect to the possibility or impossibility of a deity's existence

    i don't claim that my position of not knowing constitutes evidence for anything other than my having taken that position


    I"m sorry, you really missed the point. (none / 0) (#123)
    by observed on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 07:46:48 PM EST
    Let me reiterate that your original comparison of atheists to fundamentalists was completely off the mark---offensively so.

    i offered a comparison (none / 0) (#125)
    by The Addams Family on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 09:23:45 PM EST
    that was based on my experience with/observations of the behavior (not the specific beliefs) of two subsets of dogmatic activists from two different groups that are both focused on the question of deity

    i think you & i agree that atheism itself is nothing more or less than simple "disbelief in the existence of deity," as Webster's has it (defintion 2a)

    but to move from simple disbelief in deity to the authoritative denial of all possibility of deity, one needs to believe in the superior "nature and grounds of [one's own] knowledge, especially with reference to its limits and validity" (i'm sure you'll recognize Webster's definition of the word "epistemology")

    that is the leap of faith i see in those atheists whom i compared to fundamentalist Christians - both groups are compelled, for whatever reason (safety in numbers?), to seek converts

    i see this behavior as possibly expressive of a fanatical temperament, not as something that necessarily proceeds from belief in/disbelief in deity - after all, there are plenty of religious & nonreligious people who are not fanatics

    i must go now & gather seed for my bird feeder


    Even funnier..your word twist, that is (none / 0) (#32)
    by christinep on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:34:51 PM EST
    Funnier still: you were condescendingly (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by observed on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 11:51:21 PM EST
    referring to someone's search for "magic wand" solutions in an earlier thread.
    Maybe you ought to meditate and pray to overcome your hubris.

    Earlier threads now? (none / 0) (#93)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:38:50 PM EST
    Ah, we seem to be casing about...and, Lashing out with whatever word comes to mind. So, you try "hubris", uh, observed?  that word may be a little over the top for this kind of back & forth on a blog.
    If it makes you feel better, go ahead.  Find some words to throw ...and, then let's get beyond that.

    Let's get beyond you pretending that you are (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 05:53:08 PM EST
    being nice about... anything, to anyone you disagree with.
    If you were a man, you would be considered a condescending pr***
    Not sure what the term for a woman is.

    Couched in what is hoped to pass for (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Anne on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 06:18:18 PM EST
    diplomacy and tact are extremely passive/aggressive comments that fool no one.

    For some reason, I picture Lily Tomlin as the phone operator, only with an acid tongue and after partaking of perhaps one-too-many martinis.


    You forgot the line about pearl-clutching. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:18:15 PM EST
    I picture ABG after a couple of (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:28:55 PM EST
    valiums, with a clutch of pearls running through his fingers.

    You appear to resort to name-calling (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:17:08 PM EST
    when you have no argument. Whatever it is called for a man or woman...well, it is all the same. I'll choose to smile with a laugh because the kind of argument that you would appear to invite is not worth it. (Note: I'm always open to talk, give & take, discuss, or argue...not so much the petty, stale name-calling routine.)

    Well, you fail to get the point of the (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by observed on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:28:01 PM EST
    prior comment, and then you resort to name-calling and insults---as usual.
    Pot, meet kettle (except for the first part---I understand your comments, when they have any intelligible content)

    oh, i bet you are (none / 0) (#104)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 07:06:31 PM EST
    Not sure what the term for a woman is.

    I think a copy of Ovid's (none / 0) (#21)
    by observed on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:26:04 PM EST
    Metamorphoses would complement the bible nicely.

    Proof for God's existence: (none / 0) (#24)
    by observed on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 09:48:35 PM EST
    Ever notice how when people dont' dial the number they intend, they get "THE wrong number"?
    According to the laws of probability, it should be "a wrong number", but almost every time, it's "The wrong number".
    If you calculate the odds here, it's almost definitive proof in the existence of a deity.

    This, then, (none / 0) (#27)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 10:10:29 PM EST
    is the taboo of taboos. You're It!

    i have always loved (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:51:36 PM EST
    that passage from Watts - it's lovely

    Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:29:14 PM EST
    reminds in a video today that YouTube will delete your account this coming Monday December 12th if it's not linked to a gmail address.

    And nobody wants to lose their copies of all those hot obama speeches now, do they? ;-)

    Google/YouTube emailed a reminder with instructions about this to all YouTube account holders who were not using gmail accounts back on October 21

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by sj on Fri Dec 09, 2011 at 08:40:22 PM EST
    That was a pain.  Not that I have so much out there, but I still didn't want to lose it.  btw I don't think much of the new interface.  Way too much junk.

    Speaking of faith in higher powers (none / 0) (#58)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:38:32 AM EST
    You'll want to listen to this even if you don't want to listen to this.

    Hopefully it will be provocative enough to provoke thought rather than complaints about being provoked to think.

    National guard soldier arrested for not wanting to fire on American citizens
    December 08, 2011

    Nice dig! (none / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 04:11:45 PM EST
    So did you listen to it, (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by sj on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:24:16 PM EST
    or just prod?  And if you listened to it, what are your comments on it?

    It isn't Edger here that I see making digs.  Not that he hasn't.  Not that I haven't.  Not that we all haven't.  We have.  But here, you are the digger.

    Btw, I did listen to it.  As of now there is no documentation (that I know of) to substantiate the the event(s) that he is describing.  But, if they are true, the implications are frightening.  And his analysis of those implications are well reasoned.

    Some people might listen to it, and, because of his accent, dismiss the content.  That's on them.


    sj: My comment to Edger (none / 0) (#114)
    by christinep on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 09:39:42 PM EST
    responded to his middle sentence with the play on the word "provocative" wherein his multiple-use of that word presumably referred to an earlier intro by him pertaining to religion. At that time, I remarked that his approach <on the subject> was designed to provoke. If that is why edger chose to drive home the word, well...he gets to do that. And, I get to catch the "dig."

    But, to the extent that you called me on that, I'll acknowledge that I should not have taken the cheap bait. My goof.


    Or, possibly, (none / 0) (#115)
    by sj on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:25:19 PM EST
    "provocative" also referred to the content of the link.  Which it is.  In every sense of the word.

    If they get what they want (none / 0) (#66)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 10:30:58 AM EST
    Monckton?!? Heh (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:13:48 AM EST
    "Lord" Monckton stories spinning scary stories again?  He's a funny guy, but has serious issues with the truth and reality:

    • He calls himself a member of the House of Lords (without voting rights).  In reality, the House of Lords authorities have said Monckton is not and never has been a member and that there is no such thing as a non-voting or honorary member of the House.  The House took the "unprecedented step" of publishing online a cease and desist letter to Monckton from the Clerk of the Parliaments, which concluded, "I am publishing this letter on the parliamentary website so that anybody who wishes to check whether you are a Member of the House of Lords can view this official confirmation that you are not.

    • Monckton's claimed the climate treaty is being used to impose a single, communist, world government.  Grab your tinfoil hats and watch out for the black helicopters!

    • Monckton is the same guy who proposed controlling AIDS by quarantining all AIDS patients for life.




    Actually I don't care who, or what Moncton is. (none / 0) (#88)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 01:22:08 PM EST
    I do care who and what is pushing the global warming hoax.

    Are you claiming that the content is wrong?

    Of course, since you are so interested in the messenger:

    To capture the public imagination,
    we have to offer up some scary scenarios,
    make simplified dramatic statements
    and little mention of any doubts one might have.
    Each of us has to decide the right balance
    between being effective,
    and being honest.

    - Leading greenhouse advocate, Dr Stephen Schneider
    ( in interview for "Discover" magagzine, Oct 1989)



    Jim, that citation is kind of old (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 01:29:02 PM EST
    i think reality has replaced any doubts that scientists had in 1989

    It's not only old (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:40:39 PM EST
    Jim's distortion of it is a lie.

    Schneider said what he said. (none / 0) (#130)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:52:53 PM EST
    Each of us has to decide the right balance
    between being effective,
    and being honest."

    That says that it is okay to lie to the public. The context is that it is about man made global warming.


    He did indeed (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 04:41:48 PM EST
    He just didn't say what you said, which is the very reason his quote is always edited by the wingers.

    Actually, the point is that we have a (none / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 01:47:22 PM EST
    leading proponent saying that it is okay to lie.

    Do you actually think that a scientist is allowed to lie?

    I'll take a guess and say you don't.

    Now, do you think a scientist who says it is okay to lie, which is what Schneider does, has any credibility and should be listened to?


    More than 1,000 dissenting scientists (updates previous 700 scientist report) from around the globe have now challenged man-made global warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore. This new 2010 321-page Climate Depot Special Report -- updated from the 2007 groundbreaking U.S. Senate Report of over 400 scientists who voiced skepticism about the so-called global warming "consensus" -- features the skeptical voices of over 1,000 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC.



    1000? (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 05:01:15 PM EST
    Wow, I had no idea.

    Is that almost 2% of all the scientists in the world?


    Science is not about (none / 0) (#131)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:55:22 PM EST
    consensus. It is about the ability to demonstrate.

    The man made global warming hoaxers have done nothing but yell that they are right.

    That doesn't work in science.


    The only LIE is YOURS (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:47:48 PM EST
    Actually, the point is that we have a
    leading proponent saying that it is okay to lie.

    Schneider was saying no such thing.  You honestly think a prominent scientist would - in a published interview - say that it's okay to lie?!?

    You're funny.

    What Schneider was actually discussing was the difficulty in trying to communicate complex, important issues without adequate time during media interviews.  IOW - talking about science in sound bites.  Of course the wingers always omit the rest of his quote in order to conceal its true meaning:

    On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but -- which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This 'double ethical bind' we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

    Schneiderman carefully explained what he meant, but the wingers persist in their infantile distortions.

    What else would anyone expect/


    The content is absolutely wrong (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:49:56 PM EST
    Monckton is a ridiculous liar, as is anyone who pushes the (now thoroughly) debunked "East Anglia emails" conspiracy, or the distortion of Schneiderman's interview.

    That was easy.


    Yman (none / 0) (#129)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:51:09 PM EST
    I do not care about Monckton.

    The question is, is the information he provided in this instance, correct?

    And it is.

    So quit trying to win by shooting the messenger. People are too smart for that argument to work.


    No, it's not correct (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 04:31:38 PM EST
    ... and citing Monckton as a source on environmental issues (or anything) is pathetic.

    BTW - I read the letter and (none / 0) (#91)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 02:03:01 PM EST
    from it I derive that Moncton is a Lord (Viscount) but there is disagreement over whether he is a "non-voting" member of the House of Lords.

    Although Monckton inherited a peerage, he did so after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999,[22] which provided that hereditary peers would no longer have an automatic right to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Monckton asserts that the Act is flawed and unconstitutional, and has referred to himself as "a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature" in a letter to US Senators,[23] and also as "a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote."


    So I find your attempt to shoot the messenger laughable and completely off the subject.


    Of course YOU do (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 08:55:43 PM EST
    The fact that Monckton claims to be an honorary/non-voting member of the House of Lords when the House of Lords itself says there is (and never has been) such a thing is as believable as most of your stuff.

    Actually, if you claimed to be a non-voting President of Wingerland - that would be more believable.


    Donald, you are an intelligent person (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 04:29:23 PM EST
    So why do you claim that global warming is "a fact of life."

    The only "settled on" in science is that nothing is settled.

    I suspect the reason is that you put politics above science. You should know better.

    There is plenty of evidence that man made global warming has been a hoax since before Mann put out his phone hockey stick.

    As for Schneider, he said what he said and he has never refuted it.

    In the meantime, we have this from Dr Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia:

    He admitted withholding data about global temperatures but said the information was publicly available from American websites.

    And he claimed it was not 'standard practice' to release data and computer models so other scientists could check and challenge research


    Think about that. A scientist who doesn't want to release data/models so that other scientists can check them.

    Do you think that would be acceptable in any other branch of science? Medical research?

    And  then we have this from Jones via a BBC interview:

    BBC - Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    (Jones) Yes, but only just.


    Jones has written some other amazing things in his emails. None of which he ever thought would see the light of day. But they did:

    Obama science advisers grilled over hacked e-mails
    Dec 2 06:17 PM US/Eastern
    AP Science Writer

    ..... Another Jones' e-mail read, "I would like to see the climate change happen so the science could be proved right."


    Think about that, Donald. Dr Jones is admitting that it has happened.

    What do I think?

    I think we need more research into climate, and what causes change. Recent studies have indicated that cosmic rays have an effect and others have shown that carbon dioxide is a lagging indicator of temperature increase. That means that CO2 is not a cause.

    The UN, which I supported for years and especially as a child, has become a cesspool of bureaucrats desperately trying to force money from the west via the phony claims of some.

    Canada and Japan are withdrawing from the Kyota treaty. That should tell us all something.

     We, thankfully, never signed.


    a correction (none / 0) (#99)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 04:32:33 PM EST
    Think about that, Donald. Dr Jones is admitting that it has not happened.

    What ever happened (none / 0) (#75)
    by CoralGables on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 11:30:00 AM EST
    to Andrew Luck.

    Offshore odds have Luck finishing 3rd in the Heisman voting behind winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor and just barely behind runnerup Trent Richardson of Alabama.

    They don't often miss on this because there are limited number of voters, it's known who the voters are, and it's not hard to nail down a representative sample size.

    Rounding out the top five are 4) Montee Ball (Wisconsin); and 5) The Honey Badger of LSU

    Probably two factors (none / 0) (#82)
    by brodie on Sat Dec 10, 2011 at 12:37:24 PM EST
    re Luck:  the uptick in picks in the second half of the season combined with the lack of a truly monster Heisman worthy performance in that same period against quality opposition.  I'd define monster game as passing for over 300 yards with 3 or more TDs with no interceptions against a major opponent resulting in a win.  He's done well but not quite spectacularly well lately.

    Expect Griffin or the AL running back to win the Heisman.