245 Responses to Open Thread Non-Petroleum, March 22, 2017

  1. Science has proven that Republican Conservatives, (i.e. Right-Wing Ideologues), are just plain dumb. That is they have much lower cognitive ability than their much smarter counterparts, Liberal Democrats.

    The below is a very extensive paper published by the Association for Psychological Science. I think it just confirms what most of us already know.

    Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact


    Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

     photo Right Win Ideology_zpslziawm4u.jpg

    I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any honorable Gentleman will question it.

    John Stuart Mill: In a Parliamentary debate with the Conservative MP, John Pakington (May 31, 1866).

    • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

      My conservative values stem from a deep love of the USA, including all it has been and all it can be. There’s no intelligence deficiency there, just a sensible pragmatic consideration of which candidates better align with my own beliefs and desires. As of now, I will say Trump has been aligned with me around 70-80% of the time, and I am in full agreement with him on most of the larger issues of importance.

      • Nick G says:

        Yeah, the study about is about a general correlation – it doesn’t say that smart people can’t be wrong too. I know plenty of smart people who have unrealistic ideas about how the world works (i.e., are conservative).

        A big part of the problem is misinformation from bad journalism: Fox News, NewsCorp, talk radio, etc.

        • GoneFishing says:

          The plan is to pump a lot more CO2 into the air and dumb us all down.

          • R2D2 says:

            You might want to have your furnace checked out for leaks

            • GoneFishing says:

              Villager’s don’t comprehend sarcasm.

              • GoneFishing says:

                Sorry, the term villager and comprehension in the same sentence is inexcusable.

                • R2D2 says:

                  Stormwatcher, I understood your sarcasm just as much as you understood mine. You just don’t seem to like it, when your on the receiving end. You should be more careful. Now man up and sleep in it.

                  Sarcasm- a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Villager, you do not comprehend the difference between a personal attack and a generalized statement. I have no expectations for you so you meet my expectations.

                  • R2D2 says:

                    Bullshit, you were directing your sarcasm at Dave Hillemann. You just did it behind your mothers skirt. If you’ve got a problem with somebodies statement. Grow a pair and lay out your case. Your comment was just a cheap shot.

                    “man up”

                    “I have no expectations for you so you meet my expectations”

                    Careful, your going to fall off your high horse.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Well, you have just shown a proven ability to misinterpret, misconstrue and spew hatred. Having home problems or just not getting your prescriptions filled?
                    I was referring to a Harvard paper on the cognitive effects of CO2 which I had presented here at an earlier time.
                    But if you need to believe something else, then join the delusional masses.
                    Why have you named yourself after a star wars character that looks like a rolling garbage can and makes unintelligible beeps?

                  • R2D2 says:

                    “misinterpret, misconstrue and spew hatred”

                    FishBait, your the one who make the first sarcastic comment(refer to the definition). Now your referring to some study that you’re pulling out of your rectum from some past post. That has no relationship to the prior conversation being discussed. Then belittled me for not comprehending your now disclosed nonsense. You make less sense than Trump. I don’t know if your a conservative, but your stupid enough to be one.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    The villagers are angry because they can’t understand even simple things.

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          I know plenty of liberals who THINK they are smart, and for the most part, they are, depending on the subject matter in question.

          In some respects, they are as dumb as fence posts. In politics for instance they expect working class people to vote for politicians who are campaigning on globalism and ( relatively speaking ) open borders.

          They believe they can piss and shit all over just about any cultural value held by working class people, and use sniffy nose in the air condescending language while they are doing it, and still expect working class people to vote their way.

          They are often accomplished in math, but they can’t see something that is perfectly obvious, which is that there are more working class people in this country than any other class, and that the working classes INCLUDE most of the minority ethnic or racial population, and most of the various other politically sensitive classes as well such as gays and lesbians etc.

          And after steadily losing power, politically, to the supposedly less intelligent so called conservative faction, until they are in the dog house , politically, quite a lot of them REFUSE to even consider the possibility that maybe they are in the dog house due to failing to understand reality at the fairly simple level of electoral politics.

          Quite a few of these supposedly intelligent liberals are actually STUPID enough, when it comes to winning elections, to accuse the largest bloc of people they need to win of being racists, xenophobes, sexist, superstitious, etc, on a blanket basis.

          And then they accuse any body who tries to get them THINK a little of being a Worm Tongue sent by the opposition.

          Well folks, let this old redneck who likes to watch cars go around in circles while drinking beer with his friends remind these super smart liberals of a couple of things just one more time. In order to win at the track, you first have to FINISH the race.

          In order to advance your grand agenda, which DOES include some absolutely critical and absolutely essential elements, such as protecting the environment, well you first have to WIN elections.

          The Trumpsters aren’t interested in doing a goddamned thing for gays and queers and girls and boys who want to switch bathrooms. YOU can’t do a damned thing for them unless you are IN POWER.

          If you want to return to power, well, you are going to have to adjust your politics to reflect the fact that MOST people are going to vote their own personal values, their own personal interpretation of the world as divided into two camps, US and THEM, and they are going to vote the way they THINK best represents their own economic interests.

          Conservative people are not even half as stupid as liberals like to make them out to be.

          Consider the issue of unions versus open shop or no unions for instance. The average or typical person who does not support closed shops understands a few things that pro union liberals are VERY CAREFUL to avoid mentioning when the topic is unions.

          I will get back to this particular point later, the sun is out nice and warm, and I’m going out for a while to enjoy the spring sunshine and get a little exercise transplanting some walnut seedlings which will hopefully produce a few thousand bushels of super nutritious and tasty nuts over the next century or so.


          • I know plenty of liberals who THINK they are smart, and for the most part, they are, depending on the subject matter in question.

            In some respects, they are as dumb as fence posts.

            Hell, I never met a conservative who thought differently. What conservatives don’t realize is that has nothing to do with math or engineering. It is all about philosophy. Or more correctly, their philosophical world view.

            And their view, that is the average conservative view goes something like this. (Though they may not agree with all the below, most conservatives would agree with most of what I have listed.)

            We need to go back to the Bible. We should get God back into government. Prayer ought to be returned to public schools. Evolution is a myth. You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands. Queers ought to be shot. Amerka, love it or leave it. Professional wrestling is not fake. Most intellectuals are dumb as fence posts and they don’t know shit abut how to make Amerka great again.


            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi Ron,

              You are a prime example of precisely the sort of politically naive liberal individual I have been talking about.

              I am not advocating defending the church, or god in government, or any of the shit you posted. You can search the whole internet, and you won’t find that I have supported even ten percent as many key Republican party policies and positions as I support in common with the D party.

              I am talking about WINNING ELECTIONS, or at least not LOSING elections by unnecessarily insulting many tens of millions of people. ENOUGH of those people could be and would be voting YOUR way ,rather than for the opposition, for the D party to WIN, if you would simply ditch the condescension , and the trash talk, and talk to them and about them respectfully while seeking common ground.

              Holier than thou trash talking Democrats need to keep their goddamned mouths SHUT in certain respects if they want to win elections.

              If you are trying to make friends with a new acquaintance or coworker , or trying to get a date, or get a JOB, or MAKE THE SALE if you are a salesman, well, you can bet your last can of beans that you do NOT have a snowball’s chance on a red hot stove of getting that date, or landing that job, or making that sale, if you GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO INSULT THE WOMAN,INSULT your new potential employer, or INSULT that potential customer.

              Why do you think things should be different in terms of winning votes ????

              If you want the vote of the working class and people who take religion seriously, etc, you will find it helpful to display a little of the tolerance you ( rhetorical ) supposedly hold sacred.

              Even the dumbest hillbilly understands meaning of the old saying that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

              There are ENOUGH such culturally conservative and religious people in this country to elect so called conservatives aka REPUBLICANS such as Trump, and enough of them to elect Republicans to a substantial majority of all public offices nationwide.

              That’s an incontestable fact, and there’s not a damned thing you can do for it, except wait for them to die, unless you are willing to think about winning them over to your side.

              Keep up the UNNECESSARY and UNCALLED FOR condescending trash talk, and you can kiss the votes of ENOUGH of the culturally and politically conservative and middle of the road people nationwide good bye to STAY in the dog house.

              Sure Clinton won the popular vote, but that’s JUST ONE election, where as the R’s have been winning elections at upwards of twice the rates D’s have been winning, which is obvious from the fact that the R’s control so many state legislatures, governor ships, mayors and sheriffs offices, etc nationwide.

              It’s not at all unusual for a baseball team to do well one or two innings out of the nine while losing the game.

              If you can’t comprehend that the culture war the liberals have been winning in the courts for the last couple of generations has been playing a MAJOR role in liberals losing ELECTIONS, to the point that the R’s now have firm control of government at every level, nationally, well, you just aren’t open minded enough to GET IT.

              If you are incapable of understanding that if you want to win elections, then you must run candidates and pursue policies that are more appealing to the majority of the people than the candidates and policies the OTHER party runs and pursues, well, that LACK of understanding will KEEP you out of power.

              Sometimes it’s NECESSARY to back off publicly supporting some portions of your overall agenda, and substitute portions of the oppositions agenda in order to win elections, and put MOST of YOUR OWN agenda into practice.

              If you LOSE , you won’t be putting much of YOUR OWN agenda into practice.

              I don’t know how to make it any plainer.

              • Mac, let’s understand where I am coming from. I am not trying to win friends and influence people. I am not looking for converts. I have no need to spread honey over anything. Vinegar will do just fine, thank you.

                Do you actually think I want to proselytize Trump supporters? First of all, I realize that my input is just a drop in the ocean and has little to no influence in the grand scheme of things. But most importantly I know it is impossible to convince Bible thumping ignoramuses into believing anything logical or scientific. Their world view was pounded into their heads while they were still children and it will never change.

                Hey, all I am doing is telling it like it is. And if it taste like vinegar then so be it.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Hi Ron,

                  MY POINT is that if you want to win elections, you MUST win friends and influence people to vote your way.

                  And while there are plenty of ignoramuses in this country, including some who are indeed bible thumpers, they ARE all entitled to vote, unless they’re convicted felons or something of that nature.

                  It IS possible to find common ground, and work with them, and get them to vote YOUR WAY.

                  The VERY FIRST STEP involved in doing so is to quit badmouthing them. Now if you are NOT willing to do that……… well, they will continue to vote against the D party, because until the badmouthing stops, they will never listen to any argument that can potentially result in their changing their political stripes.

                  I am sure you believe it is wrong to badmouth a person who is born physically deformed, or with less than normal intelligence, etc. And you are undoubtedly smart enough to know that we don’t choose our parents, or the station in life to which we are born. Either of us could have been born a black kid in Africa where we would as likely as not starved or been killed in one of the many wars that plague that part of the world, or we could have been born with the proverbial silver spoon, and our surnames could have been Vanderbilt, or Getty.

                  SO -If you understand this , and I am absolutely sure you DO, where do you get off, how do you justify consistently and perpetually badmouthing your fellow citizens who happened to be born into a culture that has shaped their lives just as the culture they are born into shapes the lives of starving African kids and the lives of Vanderbilt rug rats ?

                  Is it my old Daddy’s FAULT he was born to parents who were hard working and honest but barely literate parents, who taught him as best they could, to live right, according to what THEY knew themselves ?

                  There was a ONE ROOM SCHOOL near here, back then, and life was pretty damned tough, and the one old woman who ran that school, single handed, and was a SAINT, if ever there was one, believed in the KJB. Daddy went to work, he never had a shot at a real education, nor did anybody else in this entire neighborhood, excepting the kids of the very small handful of wealthy people who lived here back then.

                  If you want to know WHY so many culturally conservative people are READY and EAGER to give culturally liberal people the middle finger, think about just how unjustified you are when you talk about people like my old Daddy the way you do.

                  He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, in a flash, although he doesn’t know you.

                  You are as guilty of stereotyping people for reasons of your own as any body from the opposite end of the political spectrum. Do you realize that?

                  Somehow I doubt you have even the foggiest idea what is actually taught in the VAST majority of churches these days, or not taught, because you focus exclusively on the worst case examples of religious people in term of their behavior and politics.

                  The adult lesson this last Sunday at the church where my folk are buried was NOT about denying evolution, or a flat earth, or any of that sort of dogma. It was about doing the right thing, when you run across somebody in a lot of trouble, thru no fault of their own. The lesson taught that you are not to turn your back, that you are not to be afraid of the person in need, that you WILL go out of your way, and spend your time and your money helping the person in need.

                  A few weeks back the lesson was about putting aside some of your earnings as savings, and living modestly, rather than extravagantly, and turning away from rich food, and strong wine , and that sort of thing.

                  The basic rules we live by, if we are civilized, are woven into every lesson, rules such as thou shalt not steal, etc.

                  I can’t even REMEMBER the last time I heard a preacher bring up the subject of evolution from the pulpit, although it happens. I can’t even remember a preacher saying anything against birth control, although it happens.

                  It never seems to occur to people like you that the various taboos enforced by most churches or religions serve very useful purposes, in terms of the smooth functioning of the lives of the members. If you don’t eat pork, you don’t get sick from eating it, and in times gone by, eating it was often a death sentence.

                  Not having extramarital sex solves ninety nine percent of the problems associated with sexually transmitted diseases. A woman who refuses to sleep with a man who does not wish to marry her doesn’t risk having to raise a child without the man around to help .

                  There’s a reason religions are pretty much universal across time and geography. They are evolved behavioral systems that confer FITNESS. The most fit individuals and societies tend to grow and eventually smother out competing societies. You know enough biology to know this is so.

                  Now having said all this, I recognize that modern societies, especially wealthy ones, have evolved in ways such that the role played by religion in times past can now be played, and IS played, frequently, by other institutions, and that in such highly evolved societies, religions tend to fade away, with nobody the worse in consequence.

                  Personally I am a hard core Darwinist, and believe in evolutionary theory, including the relatively new field of evolutionary psychology.

                  I don’t believe in eternal life, or Heaven or Hell, or any dogma as such, but otoh, I am not blind to the reasons why religions exist and persist.

                  I rarely set foot inside a church these days, except to attend funerals and weddings, but I still know what goes on inside, in general terms.

                  • The VERY FIRST STEP involved in doing so is to quit badmouthing them.

                    Fuck no I will not. They are dumb as dirt and I will continue to remind them of that fact.

                    Now if you are NOT willing to do that……… well, they will continue to vote against the D party, because until the badmouthing stops, they will never listen to any argument that can potentially result in their changing their political stripes.

                    They are dogmatic ideologues. They don’t listen to arguments…. period.

                    Those who know that their beliefs are founded in reason are willing to argue their way to victory and are willing to renounce opinions that do not survive such argument. Those who are aware that their beliefs are founded in faith, on the other hand, are unwilling to submit their beliefs to dispassionate discussion and do not expect to change their own beliefs ever. They are perfectly willing, if pressed, to resort to force to change other people’s beliefs by brainwashing children, persecuting heretics, and warring with “unenlightened” adversaries. Religious instruction manipulates the vulnerable psyches of young children before they are able to think for themselves, endeavoring to prevent them from ever acquiring this ability. They never attain an intellectual resistance sufficient to counter the influence of dogmatic precepts, to grow up as free individuals.

                    Bertrand Russell:
                    Human Society in Ethics and Politics.

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            OldMacFarmer aka KGB says-

            “to accuse the largest bloc of people they need to win of being racists, xenophobes, sexist, superstitious, etc, on a blanket basis”

            “aren’t interested in doing a goddamned thing for gays and queers and girls and boys who want to switch bathrooms”

            Your statements makes it clear you don’t have a problem with your behavior. You just don’t want to be called out for who you are. It’s not about your vote for Liberals. It’s about your mean selfish actions. Once conservatives understand they are uncivilized knuckle draggers. There will be no problem with Liberals winning the vote.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi HB,

              It’s not at all uncommon to run across people who are so utterly wrapped up in their own righteousness and so intellectually blind that they are simply INCAPABLE of appreciating constructive criticism, whether presented diplomatically, or sarcastically, or in any OTHER fashion, but you are about as extreme an example of that sort of person as I have ever run across.

              I DON’T go around insulting the working class people who are the real core of the Democratic voting coalition, calling them racists, xenophobes, superstitious, etc, on a blanket basis.

              That’s the sort of talk you and countless holier than thou liberals, including some other regulars here, engage in on a regular basis, and then you go around blaming the people you talk about that way for voting for the opposition, repeating your insults once again.

              Before the election, you accuse them of stupidity, and after the election, you blame losing on their stupidity.

              What I actually SAID farther down was THIS.

              “The Trumpsters aren’t interested in doing a goddamned thing for gays and queers and girls and boys who want to switch bathrooms. YOU can’t do a damned thing for them unless you are IN POWER.”

              WHAT YOU SAID , quoting me, out of context, so as to create the impression I”M a trumpster ““aren’t interested in doing a goddamned thing for gays and queers and girls and boys who want to switch bathrooms”

              Well, so long as the D party is out of power, it WON’T be doing much to protect gays and lesbians or transgender individuals or endangered species or what’s left of the natural world.

              It takes a real idiot to deny such an obvious and simple observation.

              It takes a partisan idiot, or cynical brazen hypocrite like you to take a few well selected words OUT OF CONTEXT and thereby try to make the speaker of those words look bad.

              This technique works if you have a way of presenting your cherry picked, out of context quote to the public, when the person whose words you quote cannot reply due to lack of access to whatever media you use .

              In a forum such as this one, it won’t work. I can repeat the words I wrote earlier, and RESTORE the context, leave you looking like an even bigger fool.

              And while I may not get many if any replies supporting the arguments I have been making here, well……. I have reason to believe that the LACK of counterarguments is evidence enough that I am getting thru to at least some people.

              And it’s obvious enough, to anybody who cares to take a few hours reading the many sites devoted to internal D party politics that more and more big D Democrats are coming around to thinking the way I have been talking here.

              I’m just repeating the message of this large and growing bloc of Democrats. This bloc is now large enough that the last election for party chairman was pretty damned close. The Republican Lite faction is on it’s way out, it’s just a matter of time.

              This message is not my original creation by any means, and I have never claimed otherwise.

              With a little luck, the rising Sanders and company faction will soon take control of the D party away from the declining Republican Lite faction that has controlled the party in recent times , and return it to its true roots, and start kicking Republican ass instead of the D party getting ITS ass kicked.

              If my circumstances are such that I am able to do so , I will probably be out and about having a good time next election working the phones and maybe doing some door to door with some of the young people I met at Sanders rallies.

              Being retired has some good points, such as being free to do what you please, once you have taken care of any personal obligations such as looking after family members.

              But I will never go around pretending the D establishment is always right, and the R establishment is always wrong, or arguing that socially conservative and religious people do not have the right to believe in values of their own choosing.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                “I am talking about WINNING ELECTIONS, or at least not LOSING elections by unnecessarily insulting many tens of millions of people”

                OldMacDonald aka KGB, Sanders had lost the election by mid March of 2016. But you insulted HRC every other day until Nov 8th by spewing Russian Conservative fake news. Your a Trumpster, plain and simple.

                “Even the dumbest hillbilly understands”

                There you go, insulting millions. Your a bigger conman than your Trump. Your just a “stupid Conservative”.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Back to you one more time, HB

                  SURE I’m a stupid conservative.(SARCASM LIGHT ON FOR HB’S benefit. )

                  That’s why I post at least a couple of thousand comments a year in various forums in support of this country moving to a Western European style health care system, in support of pedal to the metal incentives for the renewable energy industries, in support of energy efficiency and conservation, in support of strong environmental rules and legislation, etc.

                  Please keep it coming, because you are helping me make the case that the D party needs to change direction to a significant extent in terms of what it places first and foremost in the overall party agenda.

                  Bankster buddies and globalism aren’t very effective arguments at a time when the people are scared for their jobs.

                  Sure people like you who have some money are happy when they can hire their yard work done for peanuts because so many people are out of work due to the industry they USED TO work in has been shipped overseas.

                  But the catch is that such people generally fall into the class of people once described as ” newly minted conservatives” by a conservative comedian or pundit. I don’t know who he was, but he nailed it.

                  His definition of a newly minted conservative is this: ” a Democrat who has just been mugged”.

                  It’s as easy as falling off a log for liberals who are government employees, retirees, welfare bums, professional people working in fields where their jobs are not threatened by immigrants or their industry being offshored, union members with seniority in industries that CAN’T be offshored, such as with the public utilities, etc etc.

                  But as for the REST of the people, academic arguments about “everybody ” EXCEPT THEM being better off due to globalism don’t cut much ice when they have already been shitcanned by globalism, or in FEAR of being shitcanned by globalism and immigrants taking their jobs.

                  The French have a saying about such thinking which goes something like this.

                  “Only a fool or an academic could possibly believe….( insert example argument).

                  Only a fool or a liberal insulated from the effects of globalism and immigration could possibly believe it’s safe to campaign on globalism and relatively open borders at a time when people are worried sick about their jobs and life styles.

                  Now as it happens, I am not a hypocritical and cynical partisan, like you, and I don’t mind at all pointing out the TRUTH about globalism , when it comes to politics.

                  The Republicans are the real drivers of the globalism movement, in terms of American national politics. The Democrats, or more specifically the Clinton machine faction of the Democrats, are just ” me too” Republican Lite types who are all too happy to take the banksters money, and corporate money, and sell out the people who are the core of the Democratic Party coalition , the working class people of this country.

                  And ENOUGH of them understand this reality, and gave the Republican Lite D HRC the finger in the states that put Trump in the White House.

                  Now WITHIN THE CONTEXT of this observation, it does not matter that Trump is a con man, who will happily sell out ANYBODY, and has habitually done so all his life.

                  He had sense enough to take advantage of the very real fears of these people for their jobs, and at least CAMPAIGNED on keeping the industry here in the USA.

                  Clinton was so unspeakably arrogant and condescending that she didn’t even put in an appearance in the last three big states where she in effect told generally reliable D voters to go fuck themselves, but please on the way don’t forget to stop off at your polling place and vote for me.

                  Now I realize that you and a lot of other hard core Democrats are incapable of understanding such simple observations, but there is no doubt in my mind that there are millions of others who have seen the light already, and millions more who will, in the near future.

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    Somebody here in this forum, I can’t remember who, recently posted a comment to the effect that Trump’s election would or might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the country, because it would finally force the people to realize what Trump type government is all about.

                    They may be right. In my opinion, there is an EXCELLENT chance they are right, and that the result of Trumps election is that there will be a powerful political backlash in favor of liberalism and Democratic Party politics, resulting in the return of the D party to power.

                    BUT BUT BUT BUT this observation is only likely to hold true if the D party evicts the Republican Lite faction that has controlled the party in recent times, and puts real Democrats and real Democratic policies first and foremost in future elections.

                    This is NOT to say that the D party should abandon very much of the current party agenda, other than the Republican Lite portions of that agenda.

                    The D party does not NEED to turn it’s back on gays and lesbians or transgendered people or racial or ethnic minorities, or the fight for strong environmental legislation, or any of the high moral ground it holds in such matters.

                    All it needs to do is understand that all the people mentioned in this comment will vote D ANYWAY, so long as they do not feel betrayed by the party. What other choice do they have, other than to vote R?

                    They’re on board, they’re in the bag, so to speak, down on the plantation , in the sarcastic language of the R party . They won’t be leaving the D party “plantation” because it’s their political home.

                    What the D party must do is put the economic security of the working class people of this country first and foremost in terms of selecting candidates and formulating policy, and communicating policy to the voting public.

                    OTHERWISE………. the R’s may well remain in power for quite some time, probably until the demographic trends in favor of the D party result in the D’s returning to power. In effect this means waiting for most of the boomer generation to die off, and be replaced at the polls by younger people who are on average more liberal than their grandparents and even their parents by a country mile.

          • alan2102 says:

            Oldfarmer: Off topic, but I just wanted to pass something along to you (and anyone else who might be interested).

            You wrote, on an older thread:
            Oldfarmermac says:
            01/20/2017 at 10:44 pm
            “I no longer have access to professional journals, which is a great disadvantage to me…. Hopefully within the next year or so, I will have my personal ducks in a straighter row, and get up to Blacksburg, and enroll in a course or two as a special grad student, which will give me access again”

            You don’t need to enroll in courses. You just need to go to sci-hub.cc:


            ….enter PMID or DOI, and bingo! FREE FULL TEXT of just about anything academic. Works like a charm.



            • Oldfarmermac says:

              HI Alan,

              THANK YOU!

              I have heard this sort of thing mentioned, but was under the impression you must have a valid student id number to get access.

              But now that I am more or less fully freed up to do as I please, excepting family obligations, I intend to enroll in a class or two anyway, because as an enrolled student, I can get an appointment to talk to just about any professor in the entire university during his student office hours.

              Such face to face access is PRICELESS when you are researching a book.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        As of now, I will say Trump has been aligned with me around 70-80% of the time, and I am in full agreement with him on most of the larger issues of importance.

        Well, you are definitely in the minority!

        The whole world is laughing at the USA because of Trump! He is managing to destroy decades of hard diplomatic work and the USA is rapidly losing respect on the international stage!

        Don’t forget that Trump lost the popular vote by about 2 million votes and was elected by less than 25% of eligible voters. Trump’s job approval rating stands at 37 percent with a whopping 56 percent of Americans disapproving of the job Trump’s doing.

        • Songster says:

          Hi Fred,

          He won the election fair and square. Sorry, but your statistics really don’t mean much. He won. The electoral college exists for a very good reason. Would you prefer out and out North vs South or East vs West or Liberal vs Conservative with real weapons? Without the electoral college that probability is vastly increased (IMHO).

          As to what the rest of the world thinks, again, so what? We have many times been very unpopular, even when doing the right thing. Their vote doesn’t mean much to me.

          Trump is bizarre (and stupid about climate), for sure. But things did need to get shaken up, be it by Sanders or Trump or another (I voted another). The rotating Clinton/Bush door was really not working either.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Trump is bizarre (and stupid about climate), for sure. But things did need to get shaken up, be it by Sanders or Trump or another (I voted another). The rotating Clinton/Bush door was really not working either.

            I take your points and agree that things were due for a shake up regardless and that, in and of itself was to be expected. Though Trump being stupid about climate is the least of my problems with him.

            Claiming my statistics don’t mean much misses quite a few elephants in the room, One of which is that he and his administration actually have to govern. His approval ratings are the lowest of any president ever! Winning got him in but that was just a job offer. He is still in a probationary period and his performance so far has been very unimpressive with regards actual governing.

            As for suggesting that what the rest of the wold thinks of us is unimportant is a very head in the sand kind of attitude. How the US interacts with the rest of the world has real consequences for all Americans.

          • The electoral college exists for a very good reason.

            Bullshit! The electoral college existed for a very good reason. Existed, in the past tense. In the early days where communication was poor and horse powered travel was the only kind of travel, the electoral college system was enacted to help solve that problem. Each state would vote for representatives to go to Washington and and vote for them.

            Then these representatives would all travel to Washington and cast their vote for President. But now in the days of instant communication, the electoral college system is an antiquated system.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Horse and buggy travel had quite a bit to do with early days political arrangements, no question.

              But Ron is wrong about the REAL reason we have an electoral college, and why we have IN ADDITION to the electoral college, TWO SENATORS per state, regardless of population.

              The smaller states would not have been willing to enter into long term or permanent political alliances with the larger and more powerful states without the safegaurd two senator per state arrangement.

              And while I am not especially fond of the electoral college myself, I don’t have any trouble seeing it as being a restraint on what can be or could be referred to as a runaway majority that might steamroller the interests of the people of some of the smaller or less economically powerful states.

              I want to be clear about my opinion of Trump. He is the worst president we have ever had, by a mile, and I have a hard time thinking of any particular policy of his which I agree with, for the same reasons, or to the same extent.

              He’s so bad I’m even just the tiniest bit hopeful he will have to resign , even with the R’ in control of Congress to cover his sorry ass.

              But the people of the three big rust belt states sent the majority that voted for Clinton a MESSAGE. The message will most likely be forgotten, but it was clear enough. Piss and shit on us enough, and we will rebel, and even vote for the opposition, when you force feed us social change we aren’t all that interested in to begin, and when you run a globalist bankster when we are worried sick about losing our jobs.

              The electoral college and the two senators serve useful purposes, in terms of allowing the country to BE a country. They serve to protect the interests of people who are MINORITIES as measured or defined by the PLACE they live, or the cultural and economic class they belong to.

              There is a real possibility that some states would actually try to secede if these arrangements were seriously questioned. Without them, there would not likely even BE a USA as we know it.

              • Mac, the electoral college has absolutely nothing to do with minorities. We only had one minority when the electoral college was enacted, blacks. And at that time they were not even allowed to vote.

                Also, minorities, of that time, had nothing to do with where you lived. Small states are better represented by two senators and representatives based on population. But the president is elected by the people, not by states. Or at least that’s the way it should be.

                There is a real possibility that some states would actually try to secede if these arrangements were seriously questioned.

                Oh good gravy, you know better than that. The last time some states tried to secede we went to war. It is impossible for states to secede though some right wing wingnuts give lip service to it.

                • Hickory says:

                  OFM- someone losses however the system is designed. Currently Wyoming population wins big at the expense of Washington. Why is the the vote of someone in Casper Wyo more valuable than one persons vote in Spokane Wa?
                  One person one vote is how a democracy should work.
                  I’m pretty sure if the country could vote on it in that manner, that is what the outcome would be.

                  Also, many people in states that did not vote for Bush or Trump (but nontheless voted for the popular vote winner) would like to exit the union, and for good reason with a schmo like Trump as the so-called president.

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    Hi Hickory,

                    I don’t dispute your comment at all.

                    All I’m saying is that there are REASONS we have the political institutions we do, and that they are GOOD reasons, or at least they WERE good reasons at the time these institutions were put into place.

                    I am also saying that given the advantage the people in such states as Wyoming have now, due to the two Senator rule, they can be expected to fight like hell if anybody tries to change that rule.

                    Personally I do not defend the electoral college arrangement. I just recognize it as the fact it IS.

                    If it is ever on the ballot as a referendum question, I will vote in favor of doing away with it.

                    I have never given any deep thought to whether I would vote in favor of doing away with the two senators per state rule.

                    The arguments for doing so are compelling, but the arguments for retaining it are compelling as well.

                    It serves as a constraint on the majority forcing unwanted change on the people in smaller states, and without that constraint, they might actually decide to withdraw from the union.

                    They SIGNED UP according to the deal that gave them two senators, and they will be exceedingly unhappy about the deal being changed without their consent. It’s not likely people from Wyoming or Vermont will go along with giving up their advantage, lol.

                    And there’s a flip side, as well. Small states can morph from red to blue, giving the liberal D faction MORE power.

                    As a matter of fact, I have consistently argued that the inevitable passing of the two older generations, really old folks and the boomers, will result in the country turning sharply to the left, politically, because younger people are more liberal than older folks, on average , by a country mile.

                    So MAYBE if the two senator rule is maintained , it will actually work to the advantage of the liberal / Democratic party wing, in the not so distant future, depending on which states go from red to blue soonest.

                    A lot of people are in favor of allowing DC and maybe Puerto Rico to join the union as states. The odds are EXCEEDINGLY high that senators from DC would invariably be D’s and very high that senators from Puerto Rico would be D’s as well, in the opinion of the people in favor of state hood.

                    It would be interesting indeed to participate in a nuanced discussion of these possibilities, but this forum is not the place for it.

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Hi Ron,
                  I am beginning to think that if there is ANY POSSIBLE WAY for you to misinterpret what I say, you will find it.

                  THIS is precisely what I SAID.

                  “The electoral college and the two senators serve useful purposes, in terms of allowing the country to BE a country. They serve to protect the interests of people who are MINORITIES as measured or defined by the PLACE they live, or the cultural and economic class they belong to.”

                  I didn’t fucking bring race into this argument, but you apparently saw the word minorities, and just fucking jumped to the conclusion you reached without even reading the REST of the sentence.

                  Now just about everybody in this country, excepting the hard core members of the right, thought Trump didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the nomination, and then after he did, just about everybody thought he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the election, but he DID.

                  SHIT HAPPENS.

                  You may be unaware of it, but there are PLENTY of very liberal people who talk about the possibility of states such as CALIFORNIA seceding from the union.

                  The opposite extremes of the political spectrum could conceivably find COMMON GROUND in dissolving the union as we know it.

                  The rural states might just be happy as hell to tell the liberal states to get lost, we don’t WANT you if we have to accept your culture along with your money.

                  And the liberal states such as New York and California that have the money might be happy to say thanks, we’re fucking tire of supporting your sorry impoverished asses ANYWAY, and tired of your obstructing us in our efforts to rearrange the country and the world to suit US.

                  The odds of it actually happening are exceedingly slim, maybe so low as to approach zero, but there is nevertheless a possibility the country could fall apart politically.

                  And while we went to war over secession in the eighteen sixties, that war was primarily about just one overriding issue, slavery.

                  You may not realize it , but prior to the twentieth century, just about everybody in the USA looked at the union as an ALLIANCE of states, something along the line of the current day European Union.

                  If you asked a New Yorker previous to 1900 what he thought about the federal versus state issue, he almost for sure would have come down on the side of the states having just about all the power, and the federal government very little power at all, other than to secure the borders, run the post office, etc. And this was even AFTER the Civil War.

                  My opinion is that the odds of the USA surviving in it’s current political form for the easily foreseeable future are anywhere from a hundred to one in favor to a thousand to one, or even higher, in favor.

                  But the flip side is that there might be a one percent possibility the country falls apart, politically.

                  • Hickory says:

                    OFM- we agree about the electoral issues by and large. Regarding the voting trends that you mentioned, I was surprised to find out that the current young generation (millenials)
                    have a higher rate of right leaning voters among them then the boomers generation did at their age. Also, the country is slowly getting older, favoring the conservative vote.
                    On the other hand the country is becoming more multi-racial, which strongly favors the democratic party.
                    I am not confident in either party, since both spend about 95% of their mental bandwidth just fighting the other side, rather than crafting good policy without partisan concern, and both have to work in a faulty system that gives them the incentive to have only a very short time horizon on their goals and operations.
                    Low expectations. But also very low tolerance for tyranny, and racism and bullying (and ignorance).

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                OldMacDonald aka KGB says- “Piss and shit on us enough, and we will rebel, and even vote for the opposition, when you force feed us social change we aren’t all that interested in to begin”

                Spoken like a true racist and homophobe who doesn’t realize their hypocrisy.

                Science has proven that Republican Conservatives, (i.e. Right-Wing Ideologues), are just plain dumb

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  HB does it again, he pulls a few phrases out of context to make me look like a villian or nincompoop in his three twenty three seventeen 3:23 pm comment.

                  This is what I actually said.

                  “But the people of the three big rust belt states sent the majority that voted for Clinton a MESSAGE. The message will most likely be forgotten, but it was clear enough. Piss and shit on us enough, and we will rebel, and even vote for the opposition, when you force feed us social change we aren’t all that interested in to begin, and when you run a globalist bankster when we are worried sick about losing our jobs.”

                  How about that. What I said is about as far from what HB would like everybody to BELIEVE I said as the east is from the west.

                  Now as for where my loyalties lie, I AM an advocate and somewhat of a self appointed spokesman for working class people, having been born and bred and raised among them, and having many friends and relatives among them to this day.

                  I have never denied my origins, I BRAG about them, I am PROUD of them.

                  But I also have a SUPERB well rounded education, earned by the sweat of my brow, at three well respected universities, as a graduate of one, and an off and on grad student for decades at the other two, plus a couple of years of specialist training I got at community colleges, etc, plus I read serious books even in my old age at LEAST twenty hours a week.

                  HB , you don’t know shit from apple butter.

                  A person with real ethics does not defend one scumbag in preference to another. He exposes both for what they are.

                  Incidentally, just about all the major polls tell us that Sanders is by a mile the most popular politician in the USA today.

                  The Sanders camp will be taking over, and next time around I will be manning a phone with the kids in that camp, and providing rides, and helping register likely D voters.

                  This past time , I was too tied up in the house with family responsibilities to do much, other than donate a few bucks and get to a few meetings, and post stuff on the net.

                  • HuntingtonBeach says:

                    OldMacDonald aka KGB, Sanders failure to unite the party after his loss to HRC left the door wide open for the Russian fake news to divide the party. Your just a fool who fell for the con and you won’t admit it.

                    “sweat of my brow, at three well respected universities, as a graduate of one, and an off and on grad student for decades at the other two, plus a couple of years of specialist training I got at community colleges, etc”

                    Your going to need that Obama insurance medical card. When you go to the ER with your broken arm. You might also want to ask them to remove your Republican cancer for your soul.

              • HuntingtonBeach says:

                OldMacDonald aka KGB says- “I want to be clear about my opinion of Trump. He is the worst president we have ever had, by a mile, and I have a hard time thinking of any particular policy of his which I agree with”

                And yet when it came time to oppose Trump. You did nothing.

                Science has proven that Republican Conservatives, (i.e. Right-Wing Ideologues), are just plain dumb

                • Oldfarmermac says:

                  Of COURSE I’m a right wing ideologue.

                  That’s why I support strong environmental laws, renewable energy, single payer Euro style health care, etc etc.

                  I don’t support one ethical train wreck over another. I do what I can to get rid of both of them.

                  • Mac, if you are not a right wing ideologue, then I am not talking to you or about you. I am speaking only to, or rather about, right wing ideologues.

                    But that begs the question, if you are not a right wing ideologue, then why are you bitching so much about my posts, posts that have absolutely nothing to do with you.

        • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

          I don’t give a shit about “approval ratings” or what the outside world thinks of the USA. To do so would be like basing my electoral decisions on peer pressure. Do liberals do that? Maybe they do, considering how insistent they are about their politicians “being on the right side of history.”

          • Survivalist says:

            The Daily Donald. The stupidest man to ever occupy the WH. No question about it. It’s interesting that you find so much to admire in the man.


          • Fred Magyar says:

            I don’t give a shit about “approval ratings” or what the outside world thinks of the USA.

            Maybe you should! The US comprises only 5% of the world’s population. We are faced with global problems which simply can not be addressed at the national level. Humanity needs to cooperate at a global level to survive.
            Trump and his administration are trying to go back to a time and place that doesn’t exist anymore.

            I doubt a talk by someone like Simon Anholt a political scientist and adviser to presidents and prime ministers of 54 countries, during a career spanning more than two decades, will change your mind but who knows, it might just give you an understanding of why you might want to reassess your thinking.


            Or maybe delve a little deeper and listen to a talk by Yuval Noah Harari: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow


            • Walt Seh says:

              Good Evening Mr. Magyar,

              When I saw your mentions of “global problems” or a statement “humanity needs to cooperate a global level to survive” I sense that your thought processes may have been unduly corrupted by the globalists, ultimately COMMUNISTS, who have subverted (often by PROXY) many of the United States’ civic and cultural institutions. The United States isn’t the only place where this is happening though. It’s been happening throughout the entire western world, including here in Canada, which got an earlier start to the process in any event.

              I’m not going to go into all the details about the communist subversion, because to even come close to understanding the FULL situation, one must undertake several YEARS of study and reflection.

              On the other hand, I will guide you toward the book “1984” by Geo. Orwell. In it, he describes a image of a future world beset by out of control government espionage including thought police who seek to exterminate anything which runs counter to the government’s official narratives.

              A lot of people write off “1984” as pure fiction, but the TRUTH is, it describes our current plight most correctly. How so? The key is to keep in mind Mr. Orwell could accurately describe life under a government usurped by communism because of first-hand experience with the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Once he saw what these forces of pure EVIL could get up to, he probably had an easy time writing a book about what life would be like for the rest of us under oppressive communistic tyranny.

              Be well,

              • Fred Magyar says:

                I’m not going to go into all the details about the communist subversion, because to even come close to understanding the FULL situation, one must undertake several YEARS of study and reflection.

                Why are you assuming I have not spent several years of study and reflection trying to make sense of the world? And why the all caps for ‘YEARS’?

                In any case you seem to have very little understanding of the present, let alone the future if you are still focused on communism and capitalism. We are in the 21st century and things have changed a bit. The vast majority of humans are quickly becoming useless. Hint, the very concepts of labor and capital might become meaningless in a world of AI, robotics and bioengineered humans.

                Take 50 minutes and watch the talk I posted above, by Yuval Noah Harari: Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow


                Then come back and tell me again how nationalism and 19th century isms are still relevant paradigms in the 21st century.

                You suggested I haven’t spent years studying history, I suggest you have no understanding of the present and how things will change in the future.

                Then again, I might just be wasting my time arguing with a bot.

    • Nick G says:

      Scott Adams is impressed by Trump’s ability to hypnotize people.


      Sadly, Adams doesn’t seem to realise that sales & marketing skills alone aren’t enough to run a country. It works for a small real estate company, but…

      Interestingly, the people around Trump are making the same mistake: they describe themselves as entrepreneurial. Well, any good investor knows that the entrepreneurial skill set is great when a company is new and small, but that it fails badly when a company gets large and complex. And I can’t think of any organization bigger and more complex than the US government.


    • Survivalist says:

      Make America Great Again™. Trump and his stagnant ideals. Crisis cults serve up illusions of recovered grandeur and empowerment during times of collapse, anxiety and disempowerment. Crisis Cults echo xenophobic ideology and seek to magically recover a pure mythologized past. A past that most certainly, in reality, did not exist anywhere, ever.

      “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward

      • Fred Magyar says:

        “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward

        Well right now we seem to have an incompetent land lubber who is at the helm and he has pointed our bow directly into the wind and our sails are luffing. We need to tack!

        • Oldfarmermac says:

          Hi Fred,

          I totally agree about the lubber at the helm, but I’m afraid the only way we are likely to get rid of him and his kind is for the opposition to adjust THEIR sales so as to win future elections.

          We could talk forever about the faults of the R party in general and Trump in particular, but criticizing the people who voted for him will only harden their resolve to vote for him, or someone like him, next election.

          It’s one thing to talk abstractions such as the pro’s and con’s of free trade or globalism, or the dangers of runaway climate. These things are real enough, to people who are knowledgeable, but they are NOT the things that motivate them to vote one way or the other, except among the elite few who are better educated.

          The average man or woman on the street is going to vote his or her own perceived best interests.

          In terms of winning elections, it doesn’t even matter if that man or woman is deluded. He will vote his PERCEPTIONS, and so will she.

          In order to get their votes, the D’s have to run candidates on platforms that reassure them they are more important to the party than banksters, corporate executives, folks who have millions in the stock market, etc.

          Will the D party adjust it’s sails to accommodate the realities that led ENOUGH people to vote for him to put him in the White House?

          The R party has ITS sails adjusted to suit the R agenda, and doesn’t NEED to change, in order to keep winning, at least in the short term.

          The D’s are losing and losing BADLY. They have been losing for a pretty good while now.

          Most people who spend time studying politics seem to think the R’s are going to mop up again in the mid terms.

          The D’s need a new game plan, and new players, or to at least shake up their roster.

          • Fred Magyar says:

            OFM, I think we need a couple of real alternative political parties. This Remocrat and Depublican schtick just isn’t cutting it anymore.

            Though I have to admit a fair share of schadenfreude watching Paul Ryan having to admit defeat on Obamacare’s repeal. To be clear, I am not a fan of the ACA and believe we should be on a single payer system. I was with Bernie Sanders on that one.

            There are still millions of Americans who even now do not have health care. Having STRONG>access to health care is just bullshit…

            I think we are ripe for some serious political disruption here in the US.

            Case in point: In Brazil for example, basic health care was written into the constitution because it was considered a basic human right. If you are poor it is free. If you have money you can still get five star service at private clinics.

            I have a good friend who is one of the top hepatic surgeons in Brazil he is the head of the department of surgery at a state university and heads the university hospital there. He also owns a couple private clinics as well. I have gone on rounds in the hospital with him and met his staff. They are all topnotch surgeons and also compassionate human beings.

            I think the American political class needs to seriously reassess what it means to be human.


            • Songster says:

              Hi Fred,

              I agree on needing additional political parties here. I tire of the continuous tit for tat arguing here and in the country in general. Let the extreme right and extreme left have their own sanctioned parties. Both of their views, generally, are not helpful. I neither want unlimited spending, illegal immigration, un-needed military adventures, ridiculous government regulations or denial of science.

              As to healthcare, single payer, for me, would seem to be the best alternative. But, we would also need to control immigration, military costs, and keep other general budget items in control as it will be expensive thus causing something else to be cut or we continue to debase our currency more than we have done so far.

              I am hoping that all of the current uproar in our government will lead to some of these changes.

            • Oldfarmermac says:

              Hi Fred,

              You and I are in the same book I at least to the extent we both believe our two party system needs a major overhaul, at the very least.

              Once in a while we might even be on the same page, lol.

              No matter how hard I try, I just can’t see things improving for the better politically,barring plain old good luck, such as Trump having to resign, unless the D party adjusts it’s priorities along the lines advocated by the Sanders camp.

              There is little to no real hope the liberal camp can convince the conservative camp to change it’s world view, it’s values and morality, and that camp is numerous enough that the D’s must have some of them, and a bountiful harvest of independent or middle of the road voters as well, to return to power.

              If liberals and big D Democrats approach these needed voters diplomatically, and refrain from pushing their hot buttons to the extent possible without compromising core D party values, they can find plenty of common ground.

              I will have more to say about how to find this common ground later. There are things I want to do before it gets dark. If I weren’t old, I could have finished the entire day’s planned work by noon. 🙁

              There are a number of extremely compelling reasons we should have a single payer health care system, but preferably with the option of opting out, and going to a pay for service doctor or hospital if you want to, because without that option, the people with a lot of money are far more likely to try to sabotage the system.

              Now as far as the ACA aka Obamacare is concerned, I consistently said back during the discussion of it and the struggle to pass it, that it would be a short term disaster for the D party, but that it would also be a clear long term winner.

              My opinion is that my prediction was basically a good one, because the ACA sure as hell REALLY pissed of a LOT of people who not only lost good insurance policies mostly paid for by their employer, or the small companies they owned, and forced them to pay what they considered outrageously high premiums for something they never asked for, and didn’t want, and on top of that the D’s had the GALL to tell them that the premium wasn’t or isn’t a tax. I understand the TECHNICAL argument that the premiums are not taxes, but you can take it to the bank that the average person on the street considers any money he must spend because of a government mandate tax money.

              And while most people might disagree that the ACA was deliberately written to reward D voters and punish R voters, there is no doubt at all that R voters who were compelled to buy ACA policies believe the ACA was written with this dirty trick in mind.

              The R’s who had to buy policies at high prices tend to be high earners , compared to D’s who were also compelled to buy high priced policies, because a hell of a lot of government employees, union members, health care professionals, and other professionals are D’s who continued to get their policy thru their employer. A much higher percentage of high earning R voters seem to be self employed as small contractors, small business owners,etc.

              I know some of that sort personally who are STILL furious that they were compelled to buy policies that put them in the position of subsidizing people they very often consider trifling worthless loafers.

              Now all I need do is to point out that there ARE a LOT of trifling, worthless people in the USA who are quite happy to work as little as possible, and game the system to whatever extent they are able, to get flamed, but it’s still true, and I know some of that sort personally. I should point out that I also know quite a lot of people , at least four or five times as many, who are not well off who are hardworking, deserving individuals who SHOULD have tax paid health care provided.

              The fundamental mistake the D’s made in writing the ACA is that they should have put the bill on the government tab, rather than on the individual shoulders of voters who will NEVER forgive them. I know at least two or three of that sort too. One is a very liberal very young professional woman , a second cousin, who just recently graduated from a so called local public ivy, and landed a hot job making great money. She will never forgive the D’s for losing the policy her employer provided previous to the ACA being passed. She suddenly found out that IN EFFECT, she was hit with a mid to high four figure unexpected tax bill.

              I believe in markets in general, and in free markets, most of the time, when they actually exist, but over the years the health care industry in this country has captured the regulatory and political authorities that were PUT IN PLACE to regulate the industry so as to better serve and protect the public. Now these same authorities protect the industry from the people to as great or greater an extent than they protect the people from the industry.

              A few days back a dozen plus Democrats voted with the Republicans to block a bill proposed by Sanders and another senator or two that would have, if it were enacted, forced the drug companies to negotiate the price of drugs sold to the federal government. That’s the sort of behavior I call Republican Lite.

              There’s simply no reason at all that we should have to pay megabucks for health care so physicians can drive super cars and otherwise live the life of Reilly, or that we should have to pay two or three or even sometimes ten or more times the price for the same drug that people in other countries get at such a huge discount because THEIR government tells the drug companies what they will pay for any given drug, and if the drug company doesn’t accept that price……. Well then, they don’t sell that drug in that country. It’s no surprise that they generally accept the offered price, is it?

              I agree, health care should be dealt with as a basic human right, although I would like to figure out ways to force people to do the right thing for themselves, or bill them for their care.

              As I see it, an adult who has been told repeatedly that some particular bad habit is going to kill him, or make him VERY sick, and cost the country a million bucks to treat him, should have to pay out of his pocket to the limit of his resources for treatment, if he persists in his reckless behavior.

              I used to ride motorcycles. In the event of a serious accident, I would have had to pay for my own treatment. I gave up motorcycles many years ago, after one too many near accidents, lol.

              But I have friends who ride, and some of them ride recklessly. WHY should I live a low risk life style, and be forced to subsidize their HIGH RISK life style? That’s a HARD question, and convincing answers are scarce.

              But overall, single payer health care means we get twice the health care per dollar, and that’s reason enough. What I lose subsidizing bums and willfully high risk individuals, I will get back twice over by forcing doctors, hospitals, and drug companies to really compete for my health insurance dollar, and by eliminating a lot of more or less parasitic middle men who add little or nothing of any value to the end user, the tax payer and patient.

  2. wharf rat says:

    Record precipitation, snowpack in California expected to increase hydro generation in 2017

    Snowpack levels have increased significantly from the near-zero levels measured in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in April 2015. As of March 21, 2017, the California Department of Water Resources reported that statewide snowpack was 158% of normal for that date. A more important metric when considering snowpack is the snow water equivalent (SWE)—the total amount of water contained within the snowpack. California’s SWE levels have noticeably increased this year, and as of March 21, the California Department of Water Resources reported that the statewide snow water equivalent was also 158% of average for that date.


    • GoneFishing says:

      Looking at the rainfall records, the heavy rains come every five to seven years with droughts in between.

  3. clueless says:

    If a person wanted to escape global warming, it appears that they could move to Fairbanks, Alaska.


    • GoneFishing says:

      Last winter was just the opposite with much higher temps than normal.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Do you ever bother to actually fact check any of the stuff you post? You do of course realize that the further north you go the faster things are warming up and the greater the temperature swings will be with all of the ensuing feedbacks, right?


      Over the past 60 years, the average temperature across Alaska has increased by approximately 3°F.[3] This increase is more than twice the warming seen in the rest of the United States. Warming in the winter has increased by an average of 6°F [3] and has led to changes in ecosystems, such as earlier breakup of river ice in the spring. As the climate continues to warm, average annual temperatures in Alaska are projected to increase an additional 2 to 4°F by the middle of this century.[3] Precipitation in Alaska is projected to increase during all seasons by the end of this century. Despite increased precipitation, the state is likely to become drier due to greater evaporation caused by warming temperatures and longer growing seasons.[3]

  4. Survivalist says:

    Scientists have discovered as many as 7,000 gas-filled ‘bubbles’ expected to explode in Actic regions of Siberia after an exercise involving field expeditions and satellite surveillance, TASS reported.


    • GoneFishing says:

      They need to pop all those pimples and set them on fire. That way it is only CO2 not methane. I bet the mythbuster guys would love that opportunity.

      • Survivalist says:

        We’re likely to see a heavy CO2 release once that tundra duff layer starts getting a regular wildfire season.

        Found this article interesting too.

        And this on blackening of Greenland ice sheet

        • GoneFishing says:

          As far as the methane pockets are concerned, lighting will do. however it is much more likely to be released as methane than burned. Also the bogs and many ponds and lakes release methane across he planet. Now that the permafrost is melting that same biological action will occur across vast areas.
          Yes, albedo changes across much of the snow and ice packs (not just Greenland) due to soot and algae are changing the albedo of the planet and causing melt in many cases. Soil also can get blown long distances.
          When American geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj set up a mini weather station at 5,800m on Mount Himlung, on the Nepal-Tibet border, she looked east towards Everest and was shocked. The world’s highest glacier, Khumbu, was turning visibly darker as particles of fine dust, blown by fierce winds, settled on the bright, fresh snow. “One-week-old snow was turning black and brown before my eyes,” she said.

          The problem was even worse on the nearby Ngozumpa glacier, which snakes down from Cho Oyu – the world’s sixth highest mountain. There, Horodyskyj found that so much dust had been blown on to the surface that the ability of the ice to reflect sunlight, a process known as albedo, dropped 20% in a single month. The dust that was darkening the brilliant whiteness of the snow was heating up in the strong sun and melting the snow and ice, she said.


      • Max Gervis says:

        If we can believe the scientists really just recently discovered these things, then how can we say they haven’t existed for hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years, all the while ready to “go off” at a moment’s notice, regardless of man’s activity on the planet? Though, I can see also a case where actually the scientists discovered these gas bubbles long ago, but waited until a convenient political moment to tell the public, like how businesses and governments time out the delivery of good or bad news.

        • GoneFishing says:

          It was a lot more fun when people believed in UFOs. These conspiracy theories are just plain boring and lame.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            UFO’s ARE literally real. I have seen some myself, and know a few other people who have seen some as well. Definition , the simplest possible one, something seen in the sky that is not an ordinary aircraft.

            I believe in Little Green Men as well, although I am ready to bet the farm against a stale donut that there won’t be any coming here from Mars, or any place else, at least not within any time frame meaningful in terms of human life span.

            As big as the known universe IS, it seems very likely to me that there are also men ( sentient bipeds with two eyes up top, etc, ) of many varieties and colors SOMEWHERE. Also some that look more like octopi, or maybe elephants or raccoons, or dragons.

            Whatever it is that people see, they do actually see something.

            I once parked my truck and hiked up a hill to get a better look at some lights I kept seeing in the sky, and got to a place I could see what was making the lights. Somebody had run their Jeep off a private mountain road, and the headlights were pointed almost straight up. With the air crystal clear, I couldn’t see the beams, but when the light struck some low level clouds passing over, I could see the clouds lit up in spots. They were turning the lights on and off as needed to save the battery while trying to winch it back on the road. I got an unopened fifth of one o one Wild Turkey as a thank you for pulling them out with my truck, lol.

            There isn’t any point to this comment, or any moral, and anybody guilty of trying to find one will be sued for slander, other than to point out that there ARE still some things to be seen that are not always easily explained.

            I once saw three suns in the sky from my front yard, the usual one in the middle, and one on either side, and of COURSE I didn’t find a camera in time to get a picture, which I was sure would make me famous.

            This was pre internet days, and I couldn’t convince a soul I saw what I did, and at the time, I wasn’t able to research it, and eventually forgot about it.

            Now of course even back then I knew this had to be a mirage of some sort, but it was a couple of decades, after the arrival of the internet, before I finally learned something about this particular optical illusion. Not more than maybe one person out of a million will ever actually see it, because the weather has to be EXACTLY right, and it seldom lasts more than a few minutes.

            Another time I was out working in the sun with a thunderstorm threatening, and all at once the sun seemed to get to be twice as bright and hot as usual. I looked up and was instantly temporarily blinded by the glare. This perceived extra hot bright sun lasted maybe a minute or two.

            I have never heard of any thing quite like this happening to anybody else , but what I think happened is that for that minute or two, the sun happened to be shining directly on me, plus a thundercloud by accident was shaped and located in such a way that it worked like a mirror and reflected the additional light and heat on the spot I was working.

            If I can find anybody with money who will pay for an expedition to find the edge of the Earth, I’m ready to sign up. Sounds like a great way to see the world on somebody else’s money to me, lol.

            I guarantee that if we actually do find the edge, I’m dumb enough to stand right on it, and take pictures to prove it.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Yes Old Farmer, and there are sometimes glowing red pillars in the sky also.
              Side lighting from clouds is a well known and measured phenomena.

              Even weirder, I have seen trees melt snow.

              You and others might be interested in the International Cloud Atlas (which also covers meteors).
              and with photos

              • R2D2 says:

                An important source of radiant heat is the sun, or solar radiation. Tree trunks are dark and so absorb much of the sun’s energy that falls on them. … On the other hand, snow around the base of trees absorbs much of the energy emitted by the tree trunk near the ground

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Glowing red I have seen many times, but never as vertical pillars. Horizontal strips, or pancake like , would be more like it, and a suffused red glow all over the horizon as the sun sets is so commonly seen hardly anybody even notices it.

                I know now that if there are layers of near transparent or diffuse clouds composed mostly of minute frozen water droplets, situated in just the right fashion, light can be refracted and focused in such a way as to produce the illusion of the triple sun, from finally running across this data on the net.

                Are these red pillars ever seen from the southeastern USA to your knowledge?

                About that standing right on edge to take pictures, well on second thought, I would be afraid to do it, or even get within a mile or two, because all the water running off would make Niagara Falls look like a drippy faucet, lol.

                Anyway, we have a good scientific explanation about how the world sits on a giant tortoise’s back. When asked about it, some proponent of that theory, when asked what the tortoise sits on, after a few minutes thought explained that it’s tortoises all the way down, lol.

            • Hightrekker says:

              What if the speed of light is the governor it probably is?

            • OldFarmerMac says:

              UFO’s ARE literally real.
              I believe in Little Green Men as well,

              Why am I not surprised?

              As big as the known universe IS, it seems very likely to me that there are also men ( sentient bipeds with two eyes up top, etc, ) of many varieties and colors SOMEWHERE.

              Absolutely. However most people who believe in UFOs have no concept of the distance between stars or or how space ships propel themselves. In space the only way to gain momentum is to throw something else in the opposite direction. (No, we have not figured out how to violate the basic laws of thermodynamics and we never will.) Rockets throw spent rocket fuel in one direction and therefore they move in the opposite direction.

              And the speed that you gain depends entirely on the weight of what you throw and the speed that you throw it. If you could throw fuel, or whatever, equal to your weight, at one tenth the speed of light then you would move away from that fuel at one tenth the speed of light. But you both move, in opposite directions, from that point, at one twentieth the speed of light. (Okay, you would have to throw it a little bit at a time but the principle is still the same.)

              At that rate it would take you about 200 years to reach the nearest possibly habitual planet, about ten light years away. Then you would have to do the same thing just to slow down. That is throw something equal to your weight in the opposite direction. Then you would still need to have enough fuel left to land on a habitual planet, if you were lucky enough to find one there.

              Understand that something travelling at one tenth the speed of light would go three quarters of the way around the earth in just one second. Doing that, even if we use tiny nuclear bombs to do the propelling, would be impossible. We can only hope to travel at a tiny fraction of the speed of light. It would take us thousands of years to reach the nearest possible habitual planet.

              Little Green Men would have to do the same thing. That is unless they have figured out how to overthrow the laws of thermodynamics. And I seriously doubt that.

              The distance between stars, especially stars with earth like planets, is just far too great to ever hope to travel to them.

              One more point. If a civilization ever figured out how to travel at speeds relative to the speed of light, and they encountered a dust particle equal to the weight of a grain of sand, it would create an explosion that would blow them apart.

              • Oldfarmermac says:

                Back atcha AGAIN , Ron

                I cannot possibly believe you read my comment as indicating that I believe UFO’s are space ships with little green men in them.

                What I said is that it is perfectly obvious that people do see things that are not easily identified , in the sky, and that these things are obviously not ordinary aircraft.

                My point, such as it is or was, is that people are prone to just go around making fun of other people for no good reason, for instance implying that anybody who has SEEN a ufo is an idiot or nut case of one variety or another.

                And while I believe that the odds of us or anybody else discovering new physical laws and principles that will make interstellar travel possible are close to zero , you can spend some time hanging out in forums where theoretical physicists discuss such matters, and you will find that some of them do believe that such discoveries ARE POSSIBLE.

                But I’m not betting the farm on it, lol.

                Here’s another possibility. Somebody somewhere may be building space habitat that is so advanced that they can live in it indefinitely, recycling every last milligram of waste into renewed resource, and on such a scale that they need not make land fall more than once in a VERY long time, to renew their supply of anything running short.

                Interstellar hydrogen is out there, a few molecules in every cubic meter, and with the right tech, a fast moving ship could sweep such hydrogen into a funnel, and use it to run it’s engines, assuming the mastery of fusion power.

                It might take a century to accelerate such a ship up to a tenth of light speed, but she would COAST all the way here, once accelerated, and only have to fire her engines to SLOW down and make landfall, starting deceleration a century ahead of course. A voyage of ten thousand light years might be considered routine, among some alien species, just as the former migratory life style of some human societies involved people traveling great distances, with some of the old folks dying, and some babies being born routinely on the way.

                Likewise it is may be possible for such a ship to use reactive armor to protect itself from any particle in it’s path. Such armor could possibly be deployed many many miles in advance of the ship itself, using remote controlled smaller ships.

                I am not saying such ships actually exist, but it pays to avoid being dogmatic about physical reality, given that it’s impossible to know what MIGHT be built, discovered or invented in the future.

                You have often said you believe it is impossible to scale up the renewable energy industries to the point they can shoulder the load currently borne by the fossil fuel industries.

                I used to believe you were correct.

                You may be right about that, but a lot of people smarter than I am believe it’s possible.

                I changed my mind after seeing just how fast the technology of renewable energy has progressed over the last decade or so, and coming to appreciate how fast new renewable technology is likely to arrive over the next few years and decades.

                The fact that I know more than a little about how well we can live without consuming vast amounts of energy also helped me change my mind.

                Barring it burning down, the house I live in will last at least a couple of hundred years, and it might last five hundred years, if it’s kept dry and free of leaks and rot and termites, etc.

                And most of the furniture in it will last more or less forever, lol. None of the good stuff has ever been in a box, none of it has a brand name on it, none of it has any materials in it other than good domestic hardwood, brass and steel hardware, some glass, and some wax.

                I personally believe the renewable energy transition will happen, if we stay after it, and get the transition far enough along before our one time endowment of non renewable resources is depleted to the point that finishing the transition becomes politically and economically impossible .

              • Fred Magyar says:

                In space the only way to gain momentum is to throw something else in the opposite direction

                It is one way but not the only way! A space craft can literally sail on solar winds.


                Given enough time, a spacecraft equipped with a solar sail can eventually accelerate to higher speeds than a similarly sized spacecraft propelled by a conventional chemical rocket.

                “A sail wins the race in terms of final velocity because it’s the tortoise and the hare,” says Les Johnson, the Technical Advisor for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center. A chemical rocket provides tremendous initial thrust, but eventually burns up its fuel. “Since the sail doesn’t use any fuel, we can keep thrusting as long as the sun is shining.”

                Photons Rule! 😉

                “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
                Mark Twain

                • Photons Rule

                  Well no, they do not. Fred, I have known about solar sails for years now. After all I worked at NASA for he last 17 years of my career. Though I was in computer science myself I rubbed shoulders daily with rocket scientists. No one ever took solar sailing very seriously. That is because for inter-stellar space travel it would take sails many thousands of miles in diameter.

                  From your link:
                  The continuous thrust provided by sunlight hitting the solar sail will accelerate the probe to an impressive 63,975 mph (28.6 km/s) relative to the sun.

                  Okay, do the math. If the nearest possible habitual planet was only 10 light years away, (and that is being grossly overly optimistic), then it would take that spacecraft only 104,666 years to reach that planet.

                  No, solar sails is not a viable option when it comes to interstellar space travel.

                  And even for interplanetary travel sails have a serious problem. There is no way of slowing them down or even changing course without jettisoning their sails and resorting to rocket fuel. That is just one of the reasons that solar sails have never been taken seriously by NASA.

                  • Fred Magyar says:

                    No, solar sails is not a viable option when it comes to interstellar space travel.

                    I wasn’t talking about interstellar space. I was just making a comment that rocket propulsion is not the only possible way to move a spacecraft.

                    Furthermore I think any discussion of interstellar space travel by humans anytime within our and our descendants lifetimes is moot. It ain’t gonna happen!

                    Though I did not work at NASA myself, I used to sell a high end scientific graphics software package back in the day and had many NASA scientists and engineers as customers, even a few rocket scientists. So I do have a pretty good idea how those guys think!

                    BTW, I know this is the internet and sarcasm often fails even when we employ winky faces, but my italicized “Photons Rule” followed by the quote from Samuel Clemens was intended to be somewhat tongue in cheek and yes it was a little dig at your absolutist comment that jet propulsion is the only way to move in space…

                  • Oldfarmermac says:

                    For now, fusion power is still theory, and my guess is that it will still be theory decades from now , even in a large stationary power plant on the ground.

                    But a fusion engine running on the hydrogen molecules that could be scooped up as the ship travels could exhaust it’s own burnt fuel, and so you would basically have a rocket engine that COLLECTS or HARVESTS it’s own fuel, the same as grazing a horse back in the days of traveling into wilderness areas.

                  • But a fusion engine running on the hydrogen molecules that could be scooped up as the ship travels could exhaust it’s own burnt fuel, and so you would basically have a rocket engine that COLLECTS or HARVESTS it’s own fuel,

                    Oh my goodness. You know that would not work. The hydrogen you are capturing is at rest, compared to the speed of your space ship. Capturing it, and bringing it up to the speed of your spaceship, slows you down. Then you expel it, or rather the fused helium atoms, speeds you right back up again. Nothing gained.

                    Anyway, fusion just produces heat, that’s all. How do you suppose they would convert this heat to thrust that would propel those helium atoms backward?

                    You haven’t given this much thought have you Mac?

                  • notanoilman says:

                    “Anyway, fusion just produces heat, that’s all. How do you suppose they would convert this heat to thrust that would propel those helium atoms backward?

                    You haven’t given this much thought have you Mac?”

                    Neither have you. Fusion would work about the same as a rocket engine or, if using a Bussard Ram, a jet engine. Your arguments would prevent a jet engine from working too. 😉


                  • @notanoilman

                    Notanoilman, you are the one who has not done his homework. You have just not kept up on your science fiction since the Bussard engine was proposed. And the Bussard engine is, and always was, science fiction.

                    Bussard ramjet
                    The exhaust velocity of the ions when expelled by the ramjet was assumed not to exceed 100,000 m/s. The thrust of the ramjet d/dt(mv2) was equal to the mass of ions expelled per second multiplied by 100,000 meters per second. In the Zubrin/Andrews design of 1985, this resulted in the condition that d/dt(mv1) > d/dt(mv2). This condition resulted in the drag force exceeding the thrust of the hypothetical ramjet in the Zubrin/Andrews version of the design.

                    That’t exactly what I said, the drag would be equal to the propulsion. Though the scientists in this article concluded that the drag would exceed the propulsion.

                    You wrote: Your arguments would prevent a jet engine from working too.

                    No it would not. There is absolutely no comparison. A jet engine uses fan blades to dig into the air stream, much like a prop driven plane does. The blades actually pull into the air. The air is then compressed and jet fuel is injected into it. Then the combustion expels both the air and the spent jet fuel giving it the thrust. (Actually the oxygen in the air and the fuel are converted to CO2, CO and water vapor but the principle is the same.)

                  • notanoilman says:


                    I have no desire to get into a long to and fro on this but FWIW.

                    Yes, I am familiar with the problems of the Bussard Ram. A ram jet engine has no fan blades to dig into the air. It does not need to rely on the expulsion of fuel residues to create thrust, very hot air would do the trick thanks to Charles’s law.

                    Fusion would rely on expelling the plasma at a very high temperature and, from that, a very high velocity. Yep, just Helium coming out but VERY fast, quite an ISP. The NERVA fission engine worked on the same principle with Hydrogen as the working fluid.

                    But none of this detracts from it being very impractical with our current level of technology.


        • Songster says:

          Sure Max, World-wide, all the climate scientists, were just waiting for this moment! OMG….I should have seen it sooner. /sarc

  5. wehappyfew says:

    Some of the Sea Level Altimetry products have been updated. We are now past the bump from El Nino and had a small La Nina, yet the sea level rise persists.

    Acceleration is evident.


    • Rick's says:

      This El nino and La nina stuff is quite interesting. For this is because I can recall back to my USAF days hearing about all these weather control experiments being done by the US, West Germany, Soviets, red China. But then suddenly around the time the Berlin wall fell and the USSR collapsed it seemed like all those reports stopped while at the same time the scientists came up with the words El nino and La nina to describe a new phenomenon they were witnessing.

      Gets me wondering if the 2 are actually connected. In that the results of the attempted weather controls are the reason for the phenomenon. Thinking economically it would’ve made sense back in the cold war for a country to warm up the temperatures of it’s own country while cooling down ‘the enemy’ on the other side of the world. But because we had both halfs of the world trying to do this type of thing at the same time, I can see where they could create a condition involving a pendulum swinging back & forth between warm & cold temperatures. In other words the cold war weather control projects could create the El nino La nina system the scientists discovered in the 1990’s.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        In other words the cold war weather control projects could create the El nino La nina system the scientists discovered in the 1990’s.

        No Rick, it’s the the little green men from Mars. They are preparing an invasion and need to make some changes to the planet’s climate… No worries!

      • notanoilman says:

        The term “El Nino” goes back to 1892 or earlier, a little before the Berlin Wall was even thought about, let alone falling.


    • GoneFishing says:

      I wonder at what amount and when the acceleration of sea level rise will level off. 20 mm per year, 25 mm/year, or will it go incremental as more inland ice is needed to be melted?
      To muddle the answer is the fact that the process based models of the IPCC show half the sea level rise of empirical based estimates from past temperature sea level change relationships. Even the empirical estimates may be low since generally temperature rose significantly less rapidly in the past than it is now.

      • Hightrekker says:

        SST anomalies off of west coast of Peru/Ecuador (Nino 1+2) are at their warmest levels since October of 2015. Currently +2.6°C
        Can you say El Niño?
        I know you can!
        We are sailing into unchartered waters——

      • Andy Fishburn says:

        My opinion, now might not be the time or place to bring the IPCC’s epic fail predictions and models into the debate. Same can be said for all the misleading and manipulated left-wing narratives coming from those predictions and modellings. Don’t get me wrong, climate change is real, but we are overdue by now for another miniature Ice Age, not a Venusification of Earth. Look at it this way, men are liars, women are liars, but the sun always tells the truth…especially the sun spots. I look at the sun each and every day. What I and the experts see is a decline in sun spots in a way not seen since the 1600s. That is one of the sure signs of coming global cooling, not warming as the mainstream scientists wish you to believe!

        • Fred Magyar says:

          What I and the experts see is a decline in sun spots in a way not seen since the 1600s. That is one of the sure signs of coming global cooling, not warming as the mainstream scientists wish you to believe!

          Absolutely! Which is why I, living in the greater Miami area, have been stocking up on salt, snow shovels, and bought a new snow blower…

        • George Kaplan says:

          Where’s the flat earth parodist when we need him. There’s some great new material being posted here now.

          • GoneFishing says:

            He fell off the edge. 🙂

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Yeah, LOL!

            What I and the experts see is a decline in sun spots in a way not seen since the 1600s.

            If that ain’t comedy gold, I don’t know what is…

        • Songster says:

          You “look at the sun each and every day”. And just what is your occupation? I mean besides bullshi** others that is.

    • George Kaplan says:

      Coastal areas don’t necessarily need permanent flooding to become problematic. Higher storm frequency (100 year storms become one year storms by 2100 under RCP8.5 and directly impact 5 million in Europe – lower under other RCPs but still much more frequent) or higher wave energy leading to increased erosion (mostly impacting Southern Hemisphere) can do the job as well:





      • GoneFishing says:

        This is only a modern problem. Primitive man could just move a little further from the ocean and didn’t have many fixed abodes to lose as we do now.

        I don’t know if there is a way for satellites to measure the amount of rogue waves formed on the ocean, but with increasing wind and changing patterns rogue waves should be forming much more often. The shipping insurance companies might be very interested in that occurrence.

        • R2D2 says:

          General high-order rogue waves and their dynamics in the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. General high-order rogue waves in the nonlinear Schrödinger equation are derived by the bilinear method. These rogue waves are given in terms of determinants whose matrix elements have simple algebraic expressions. It is shown that the general N-th order rogue waves contain N−1 free irreducible complex parameters.

          • George Kaplan says:

            Quite interesting, highly theoretical, and nothing whatsoever to do with rogue waves in the ocean.

            • GoneFishing says:

              It’s a simple model concerning one possibility.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Here’s some info on rogue waves in the sea.


              Massive rogue waves aren’t as rare as previously thought
              Findings are critical for safe operations at sea
              March 8, 2017
              University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
              Scientists have captured new information about extreme waves, as one of the steepest ever recorded passed by the North Sea Ekofisk platforms in the early morning hours of Nov. 9 2007.

              Credit where credit is due:


              The birth of rogue waves can be physically explained through the modulation instability of water waves. In mathematical terms, this phenomenon can be described through exact solutions of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, also referred to as “breathers.”

    • John Norris says:

      Thanks for the link, WHF. I used the Aviso data to plot 5 yearly trend values. As you can see in 2013 we broke out of the box.

  6. George Kaplan says:

    “Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual maximum extent on March 7. This is the lowest maximum in the 38-year satellite record. NSIDC will post a detailed analysis of the 2016 to 2017 winter sea ice conditions in our regular monthly post in early April.”

    I recall Survivalist called this for the the 6th, based on Jaxa.


    I find NSIDC sometimes confusing as they have one graph which is a five day average (which effectively adds a delay to the numbers) and one which is daily, I don’t know what one they used to call the maximum.

  7. Hightrekker says:

    Liberal Lies!

    Arctic Entering Its Hottest Period in 2.5 Million Years as Last Remnants of Laurentide Melt Away

    “This is the disappearance of a feature from the last glacial age, which would have probably survived without anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.” — Adrien Gilbert


    There are many ways to tell the Earth’s temperature. One is by measuring how warm the atmosphere is near the surface. Another is to track the heat content of the world’s oceans. Still another is by taking account of melting glaciers and comparing thaw lines with times in the geological past

  8. Survivalist says:

    referring to his dating life the decade prior. “It is a dangerous world out there—it’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave solider.”


    The guy’s a fucking nutcase. He compares the experience of Vietnam vets with his sex life from the 80’s.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      The guy’s a fucking nutcase. He compares the experience of Vietnam vets with his sex life from the 80’s.

      The next paragraph is even more informative. Someone needs to start a petition to have him tested!

      If indeed Trump has neurosyphilis, he’d be in famous company. Al Capone had it. So did composers Frederick Delius and Franz Schubert. Many others were suspected of having it, including Hitler, Mussolini, and Ivan the Terrible. What might enable us to eliminate Trump from this group? Two simple blood tests, in combination, can determine whether a patient has syphilis now or had it in the past. If both tests are negative, then he doesn’t have neurosyphilis. If one or both tests are positive, further evaluation, probably including a spinal tap, would be in order.

      The importance—both to Trump and the nation—of establishing or ruling out this diagnosis cannot be overstated, because this infection is treatable. Without treatment, however, the disease is progressive: It can make for a rather ugly end to one’s life.

      Maybe he doesn’t suffer from neurosyphilis and is just another run of the mill narcissistic sociopath and pathological liar with multiple personality disorder. In other words, a fucking nutcase… In any case the guy needs a complete medical and psychiatric evaluation!

      One thing I think we can say for sure: “A Great and Brave Soldier”, he most definitely, is not!

      • GoneFishing says:

        Fred, it sounds like you are saying that the inmates are running the sanitarium.

        • Lloyd says:

          Is Donald Trump truly crazy?: Hepburn

          But the evidence is growing that Trump is losing touch with reality, with his childlike actions and aberrant behaviour prompting more and more concerned mental health professionals to speak up.

          So worried are these experts about Trump that they are ignoring the so-called Goldwater Rule established in 1973 by the American Psychiatric Association. The rule declares it unethical to diagnose a person without examining them personally. The policy was instituted after more than 1,000 psychiatrists told a magazine that 1964 Republican candidate Barry Goldwater was mentally unfit to be president.

          The question of Trump’s mental state is extremely important. That’s because an unstable, erratic president could wreak havoc around the world, spelling trouble not only for Americans, but for Canadians and people in every other country.

      • Hightrekker says:

        He is just another run of the mill narcissistic sociopath and pathological liar with multiple personality disorder.

        Was born on third base and thought he hit a triple, then got some lucky pools of the dice.
        A symptom, not a cause.

        Easily replaced by the millions of sociopaths available.

  9. Survivalist says:

    Interesting story on Russia Troll Brigades and influencing the news cycle. Maybe some Russian sock puppets here too. I find it odd that a fine blog like this attracts some extremely idiotic comments from people who, if they are legit, should probably be watching Duck Dynasty or reading an Archie comic or something. Does it seem odd to anyone besides me that a man who claims to agree with Trump would come to this blog to read the articles posted by Dennis and Ron? The articles posted here, in my opinion, are not really what the Ted Nugent followers are looking for.


    • Dave Hillemann (Texan) says:

      Are you one of Caelan MacIntyre’s pseudonyms, by chance? He’s from Canada too, and your argument sounds similar to one he tried to use against me last year.


      • Survivalist says:

        No I’m not. We just happen to agree.

        • Hightrekker says:

          How about some optimism?

          On the other hand, and to leave you on a high note, the collapse of the current cultural system (neoliberal capitalism, profit maximization, revolving debt financing, the impacts on the education system, etc.) is a good thing. When I say unfixable, I mean just that. Some systems are fixable, or adjustable so that they work better in time. This one we live in is neither. It is so full of positive feedback loops that reinforce destructive behaviors that there is very little that can be done to break out without that very act destroying the interlocking processes and thus, itself bringing about collapse. What we need to do is see the bright side of this. For one, it will significantly slow down the human-caused forcing of the climate (other natural feedbacks aside this will be a very positive development.)

          Once the rotten old system is debris it will be possible to reset human values (many of which are learned) and start fresh. We won’t have the high tech gadgets to help us back to the kind of life many of us live now. But, so what. We will get a chance to start over, and hopefully do it better next time. At least that is my hope on this day of turning.

  10. Oldfarmermac says:

    Read and heed.

    This short excerpt from a new book lays out some agricultural history, little known to people outside the field other than biologists, which is critically important to understanding what the future holds in terms of food supplies.


  11. Doug Leighton says:

    “Wed., March 22, ‘17 – We’re in ‘uncharted territory’ due to the unprecedented global heat Earth is experiencing, sea ice reaches record-breaking lows at both poles, and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may reach 410 ppm this year.”


    • Doug Leighton says:




      • Doug Leighton says:

        Plus, that IAE (International Energy Agency) happily reports a very healthy 1,6 mb/d increase in oil demand last year and something similar (apparently) every year, all the way to the end if time. So, a nice trend there what with production at 90 mb/d in 2013, now about 97.5 mb/d. Progress on all fronts, eh wot lads?

        • GoneFishing says:

          Despite what we may think, apparently continuing to use as much fossil fuel as possible is the plan.
          Plan B, use more natural gas as oil depletes.
          Plan C, use more coal as natural gas and oil depletes.
          Plan D, use methane hydrates as everything else depletes.
          Plan E, get conservative, run all the extraction operations using renewable energy.
          Plan F, last part of plan SHTF
          All above plans have a sub-component where efficiency is increased so the masses can still use the stuff to get to work and the rich people can continue to enjoy their lifestyle.

          • R2D2 says:

            ICCT: incremental technology can cut vehicle CO2 by half and increase fuel economy >60% through 2030 with ~5% increase in price

            Starting from a baseline 26 mpg (9.04 l/100 km) in 2016, the The ICCT team assessed increased consumer label fuel economy (as opposed to the regulatory test fuel economy) to 35 mpg (6.71 l/100 km) in 2025 and to 42–46 mpg (5.6-5.11 l/100 km) (under three scenarios) by 2030. These fuel economy levels are achieved based on a sustained 4%–6% annual reduction of fuel use per mile with incremental technology additions that do not compromise vehicle size or utility at an incremental cost of $800–$1,300 from 2025 to 2030. The resulting trajectory would reduce CO2 emissions by half and increase fuel economy by more than 60% from 2016 through 2030. Based on a detailed analysis of the efficiency technologies used to achieve these lower CO2 emission levels, the ICCT study concludes that vehicle prices would increase by about 5% by 2030.

            “the rich people can continue to enjoy their lifestyle”

            Sorry StormWatcher, I guess you didn’t make the cut

            • GoneFishing says:

              Wow, you follow me everywhere I go little rolling can. It’s like having an internet doggy.

              • R2D2 says:

                Maybe you should give your new found Pitbull a treat if he is hungry. Instead of kicking him.

            • Doug Leighton says:

              “The resulting trajectory would reduce CO2 emissions by half and increase fuel economy by more than 60% from 2016 through 2030.”

              Yes, but Transport currently only accounts for (only) about 13% of CO2 emissions whereas Forestry alone accounts for roughly 17%. Not that I’m knocking efficiency improvements but with 80 million more people on the earth every year how much will these efficiency improvements really help?

              • R2D2 says:

                Extending the life of humanity doesn’t come in one simple little pill. Today even effective birth control has other options. It took centuries for humanity to dig themselves into this mess. It won’t be turned around over night. First you have to point yourself in the correct direction. Than second you have to start walking before you run.

                • It won’t be turned around over night.
                  First you have to point yourself in the correct direction.
                  Than second you have to start walking before you run.

                  Wow! I have never heard such profound verbiage in a long while. Such deep knowledge and wisdom you show.

                  Let me add a few:

                  Don’t take no wooden nickles.
                  Pretty is as pretty does.
                  You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.
                  People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
                  Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows. 😉

                  • R2D2 says:

                    We are all going to die and as you know humanity will also go extinct. Maybe it will be 5, 500 or 500,000 years from now. When you get down to it, it’s really very simple. The 350 pound 20 year old, who eats 1/2 gallon of ice cream everyday has a choice. Myself, I prefer an ice cream cone on date night and a hour bike ride 6 days a week. With the plans to live to be 95 years old.

                    I would rather get my ducks in a row than run around with my hair on fire. If your a Doomers and give up. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

                    Now it’s time for me to go and take my Lipitor.

                • Doug Leighton says:

                  I don’t see how extending the lifetime of humans is going to help us get out of the huge mess we’re in. Anti-aging medicine would certainly be a hit with the pharmaceutical industry though. Imagine a few billion 120 year olds taking their daily anti-aging pill at $100 a pop.

                  • R2D2 says:

                    I would put population overshoot as maybe the number one prior. But it has to be matched with reducing the human foot print or damage to the environment.

                    Maybe I wasn’t clear. It’s more like your going to have to take a thousand different pills and some of them you won’t show results or work.

                    Life is like a brand new car. Drive it careful, wash and maintain it. It will most likely last a long time. Or, you could say fuck it. There is no hope the car going to not stop running someday and drive it towards a cliff today.

      • Hightrekker says:

        I was reading about how countless species are being pushed toward extinction by man’s destruction of forests. … Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
        — Bill Watterson

        • GoneFishing says:

          I wonder if it is statistically inevitable that a planet able to sustain complex life forms for long enough will develop an anti-lifeform.

  12. Survivalist says:

    It’s a little odd that Comey tells the voters about investigations into Clinton prior to the election but not about investigations into Trump.


    Could have been because Trump himself wasn’t under investigation but that people around him were. Could have been OpSec too, trying to flush out some Russian agents.

  13. Survivalist says:

    35 min interview re What Will Cause the Next Holocaust


    Hint: ecological panic + politics.

  14. Hightrekker says:

    Eurogroup Finance President Accuses Southern Europe of “Spending Money on Booze and Women then Begging for Help”

    So they just wasted the rest?

  15. Rational Analyst says:

    I am reading stuff on the Internet and am haring Mike Pence blather on in one of Trumps ‘adore me’ campaign tours in WV…

    Idiot Pence said (paraphrase) ‘The era of slow growth is over’…’jobs are coming back’…we will pass the largest tax cut since Ronald Reagan…blah, blah, blah…”the war on coal is over”…”A new era of energy has begun” (note: how can we have a ‘new era of American Energy’ when idiot Pence is pushing coal? is that new?)

    The clown show (R) party couldn’t even pass a new health care bill to replace the ACA they so hated. I got news for the (R) party…you have had 25 years to craft the ideal bill…ever since Health care costs and lack of coverage came on the the national radar about the time the Clinton administration came to power. President Obama took the (R) poster child, Romney Care, and tried to use their idea nationally, and got crapped on because the (R) idea was promulgated by a (D) black president.

    So, the point of my screed is this: Expect NO HELP from LEVIATHAN regarding getting our crap together to plan for a rationale energy policy going forward.

    Happy Daze are here again! Oh Golly, idiot boy Pence actually just said we will “restore the arsenal of democracy”. This is from the administration that has a man crush on Vlad. How the hell did we get here? Too many rubes in this idiocracy.

    Sloganeering and jingoism are no substitutes for logic, reason, and science. This is depressing.

    • GoneFishing says:

      In America the slogan always was “Anyone can become president.” I guess no one thought of this result.

      But here is a prescient quote from George Carlin “In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem.”

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Violence erupts at pro-Trump rally in Huntington Beach


      Bill maher Interviews Timothy Snyder on Real Time 3/24/17


      Very distributing, especially for you Fred

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Very distributing, especially for you Fred

        Not quite sure why I’m being singled out? In any case there are many things I find troubling to be sure.

        I will relate two personal anecdotes. Back in the late 1970s I was being trained by SubSea Oil in Italy to become a diver. I decided to visit Hungary on a long holiday weekend. Took a train with a friend and we had to change trains at the Austrian Hungarian border. We still had to get past guard towers, barbed wire and soldiers with machine guns.

        A few decades later well into the 21st century I took another trip to visit my family in Germany and we decided to drive to Budapest to visit our Hungarian relatives there. We drove from Munich, through Austria, straight across the Hungarian border through what used to be border and passport control stations, now empty. There was no one there to stop us or check our travel documents because by this time Hungary was part of the EU. Side note : they still kept their own currency, but I digress.

        Point is, anyone who argues that in the 21st century an EU with open borders and free trade isn’t better than one with closed borders and isolated xenophobic ultra nationalist tendencies has no clue what they are talking about.

        Let’s just say I’m not a big fan of Viktor Orban and his Jobik party! They are fascists, plain and simple. Not to mention that they are supported by Putin’s apparatchiks. We’ve seen that movie before and it doesn’t end well. I have taken public transport in Budapest from Széll Kálmán tér (Széll Kálmán Square, formerly between 1951 and 2011 Moszkva tér or Moscow Square) …

        Here’s an interesting exchange that occurred shortly after the Brexit vote but before Trump was elected.

        The Rise of Populism and the Backlash Against the Elites, with Nick Clegg and Jonathan Haidt

        Very distributing, for all Americans and citizens of the free world who still believe in the liberal concept of democracy, not just me! At least that is how I see it. A resurgence of populism and nationalism, while understandable, is the last thing the world needs right now. Nick Clegg and Jonathan Haidt argue we should just give the populists plenty of rope and they will hang themselves because they don’t have a real plan. They are like the dog who has caught the car it was chasing, now what?!

        Case in point: Trump and the Republican’s poorly planned repeal of the ACA. A few more major blunders like that one and even the most ignorant Trump supporters will turn against him. Unfortunately at this particular juncture in history with pressing global issues, I’m not sure we have the luxury of time to let the populists figure things out for themselves.

        • Doug Leighton says:

          Hi Fred,

          This business (debate) of borders is extraordinary complex and one that I have faced many times having lived and worked in many different countries. Also, one of my Daughters lives in Italy (married to an Italian) and I studied in a “foreign” country (Sweden). I like the comment by Frank Furedi below from his essay: “There is little enlightened about being ‘post-borders’ today”. I believe Furedi is/was Hungarian???


          “The debate about borders in Europe is driven by two contradictory, but very human, passions. The human aspiration for freedom of mobility is clashing with people’s existential need for a sense of security. Neither of these sentiments can be ignored, which means Europe has some very difficult choices to make. The answer to this current crisis lies somewhere in the reconciliation of the aspiration for freedom of movement with the existential need for spatial and symbolic security, and in protecting, not demolishing, the Enlightenment ideal of the boundary between things.”

          • Fred Magyar says:

            Furedi is a Hungarian born professor of sociology whose family left Hungary after the 1956 revolution. While not particularly relevant to a discussion about political borders, It might be worth mentioning that he is a climate change denier.

            I certainly agree that the debate about borders in Europe and elsewhere is a highly complex one, to say the least. However let’s not forget that the idea of a European Union came to be as result of two extremely bloody and devastating world wars. The Europeans wanted to find a way to make sure that never happened again!

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        Fred, because from what I have seen here you have shown more concern about tyranny and fascism than anyone else. I thought you would find it interesting and help the need for this conversation to move forward.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Oh, ok but I would hope that there are many more people who are concerned about tyranny and fascism around here, than just me.

  16. GoneFishing says:

    Keynote address by Dr. Joseph Romm, creator of climateprogress.org, at the Annual Wirth Sustainability Luncheon in Denver, Colorado, Sept 9, 2016.
    He strongly discusses the future of energy in the world.

    “Almost anything you think you know about climate change is outdated.”

    • Fred Magyar says:

      IMHO, this talk should be a posted front and center in the so called ‘Petroleum Thread’ Future US Light Tight Oil (LTO) update… While I do read the posts and discussion in that thread, more and more I find the comments there to be diverging from reality to such an extent that I find myself just rolling my eyes when I read them! To paraphrase what Romm says at the end of the talk when asked about fracking, It’s game over for the fossil fuel industry, full stop!

      To me that discussion is over as is the discussion that still somehow rages about the validity of climate science!

      What scares me is that the majority of the posters on the Petroleum thread are still thinking like Steve Mnuchin. They somehow think that driverless electric vehicles are some distant dream…


      TODAY, IN 2017, the president’s top economic advisor said he had no worries about robots putting people out of work. “In terms of artificial intelligence taking over the jobs, I think we’re so far away from that that it’s not even on my radar screen,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told an audience in Washington. “I think it’s 50 or 100 more years.”

      • GoneFishing says:

        But the important prognosticator and actualizer of our time thinks that many jobs will be taken over by robots and computer systems. That person is Elon Musk.

      • Doug Leighton says:


        Chizuko is friendly, kind, always smiling and only talks when she is asked a question by her “partner” (man or woman). Ishiguro said, “She’d make a great wife for anybody. Many Japanese parents are buying them for their sons.”

        The efficient design makes Chizuko easy to produce. She is on sale at Seiyu for 5 million yen (about $50,000) each. But for this week – and this week only – you can buy one and get one free. “If you consider how much you spend on a girlfriend over time, it’s a real bargain,” Ishiguro said.


        • Doug Leighton says:

          Meanwhile, not to be outdone:

          China’s life-like ‘robot goddess’, Jia Jia, impressed the public by holding conversations with participants at a conference in Shanghai. The realistic AI humanoid, which was unveiled last April, also made specific facial expressions when asked various questions, including whether or not she had a boyfriend. Her inventor predicted that within a decade or so, artificially intelligent (AI) robots like Jia Jia would begin performing a range of menial tasks in Chinese restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals and households.

          • GoneFishing says:

            What happens to society when robots replace workers

            If you doubt the march of worker-replacing technology, look at Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer. It employs more than one million workers in China. In 2011, the company installed 10,000 robots, called Foxbots. Today, the company is installing them at a rate of 30,000 per year. Each robot costs about $20,000 and is used to perform routine jobs such as spraying, welding, and assembly. On June 26, 2013, Terry Gou, Foxconn’s CEO, told his annual meeting that “We have over one million workers. In the future we will add one million robotic workers.” This means, of course, that the company will avoid hiring those next million human workers.


            • Hickory says:

              The robots that replace the workers at Foxcomm cost a lot more than all the robotic driver replacements we will have on the worlds roadways over the next decade.
              While many of the current robot prototypes being displayed in places like in China (JaiJai) are female, the next generation ones will be unisex, and carry heavy weaponry, facial recognition cams, their own overhead infrared drones, and if you look close at the model tag in the battery compartment- will be owned by the Trump-Koch Consortium,Inc. They will be policing all the unemployed displaced workers, and stationed at all key food distribution and industrial infrastructure sites, among other tasks. And at all the polling places, and newscasting sites. Don’t be surprised when this consortium makes a move to buy up the grid. Good morning.

              • GoneFishing says:

                The factory robots actually produce something versus the autopilots in cars which just use up energy and materials to move themselves around.

                As far as weapon carrying robots to police humans,
                humans will turn them into useless junk very rapidly. Then the humans will have the heavy weapons. Bye bye consortium.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Some years ago, there was a hilarious exchange of comments in some magazine or another about the possibilities involved if it becomes possible to build robots that look enough like humans, and are intelligent enough to pass for humans.

            I wish I could remember which one it was, but if anybody else remembers it, they would provide us all with a great belly laugh by linking to it.

            Some guy said he would have his on remote, for house cleaning and sex, etc, and then park it /her in a closet until he got horny again, and never have to put up with any woman’s bullshit again.

            The women’s responses were the really good ones. Hopefully somebody who is skilled at finding such stuff will link to it.

        • Fred Magyar says:

          Blade Runner (1/10) Movie CLIP – She’s a Replicant (1982) HD

          • GoneFishing says:



            A documentary on how robots and automation can and will replace more than 25% of the workforce in the near future.

            • Fred Magyar says:

              Actually the video talks about replacing 45% of the labor force. The 25 % cited was unemployment numbers during the depression. I have even seen talks where people who are supposedly in the know are talking 50% or more of all jobs replaced by AI and Automation in the next two decades…


              Coca-Cola Wants to Use AI Bots to Create Its Ads
              Algorithms can already pick music and write copy

              • GoneFishing says:

                “Actually the video talks about replacing 45% of the labor force. The 25 % cited was unemployment numbers during the depression”

                Which is why I said “more than 25%” and did not specify a date but left it at a nebulous “in the near future”. I don’t take those predictions, such as 45%, as hard numbers nor simultaneous across various businesses. Also I guessed that if it reached 25% in a relatively short time period that the unemployment would be in a free fall cliff mode unless severe government action and societal action was taken. The degree to which automation can be supported is somewhat dependent (at least initially) upon the ability of the consumer to partake of the goods and services produced. Without jobs the purchasing power of a large number of people would disappear.
                Now if the goods and services produced were disconnected from capital, then automation could quickly run it’s course and society would move on to a new state of being. Unless governance is severed from business influence, there will be a big fight on our hands. The people will not put up with being pushed out of the system. Look what has happened lately just because some people were unhappy with less of the pie. Imagine if they thought they would get no pie at all.

                • Fred Magyar says:

                  GF I wasn’t disagreeing or quibbling with you.
                  25% of useless humans is already a very big deal and has a huge impact on our present industrial civilization… We had all better start thinking about it now!

                  Excerpted transcript from a podcast interview by Ezra Klien and Yuval Noah Hariri, author of HomoDeus A Brief History Of Tomorrow


                  Ezra Klein
                  Then why, given the range of uncertainty both about AI development and what an AI would look like, are you so persuaded that human beings will not be a dominant life form in 300 years?

                  Yuval Hariri
                  It’s not because I overestimate the AI. It’s because most people tend to overestimate human beings. In order to replace most humans, the AI won’t have to do very spectacular things. Most of the things the political and economic system needs from human beings are actually quite simple.

                  We earlier talked about driving a taxi or diagnosing a disease. This is something that AI will soon be able to do better than humans even without consciousness, even without having emotions or feelings or super intelligence. Most humans today do very specific things that an AI will soon be able to do better than us.

                  If you go back in time to the hunter-gatherer days, then it’s a different story. It would be extremely difficult to build a hunter-gatherer robot that can compete with a human being. But to create a self-driving car that is better than a human taxi driver? That’s easy. To create an AI doctor that diagnoses cancer better than a human doctor? That’s easy.

                  What we are talking about in the 21st century is the possibility that most humans will lose their economic and political value. They will become a kind of massive useless class — useless not from the viewpoint of their mother or of their children, useless from the viewpoint of the economic and military and political system. Once this happens, the system also loses the incentive to invest in human beings.

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    Will the machines be producing products for themselves? Who will be buying the products when most people have no money?

                  • GoneFishing says:

                    After listening to the interview and thinking about this topic, it seems so much like just continuing the trend of the last few centuries. People embrace new technology and push aside any downsides it may have, one thing after the next, never really stopping long enough to think about any of it until it is well entrenched and probably being replaced anyway. AI and more automation! Why not? It’s the way to go, get rid of those pesky people, right?
                    Just more of the same. All headed to the same end.
                    I just can’t get my head around the idea of staring into a pair of dead eyes on a machine that looks human. It would be like the walking dead, even worse since it was never alive. Automatons.
                    Then this idea of men turning themselves into little gods through genetic changes and machine enhancements, it’s the dream of sick minds. Those who are attracted to such adolescent dreams will just be making themselves into nightmares.
                    If you think Trump is bad, wait until one of those genetic monsters takes control.
                    Maybe civilization is headed to be the supreme freak show before it fizzles out.
                    But since they are not human anymore they are fair game. Worst you get is a fine.

  17. robert wilson says:

    New Yorker on Trump and associates.. Art Robinson is mentioned as a possible science advisor.. Dr Robinson publishes Access to Energy which he took over from the late Petr Beckmann. Art is active in Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. He is a leader in home schooling. He was once associated with Linus Pauling but they had a falling out. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency

    • Fred Magyar says:

      Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

      ROTFLMAO!! Arthur Robinson wears a tinfoil hat! And he is a fucking creationist to boot!

      Mercer and his brother, Randall, who also worked at the hedge fund, sent him a paper by a scientist named Arthur Robinson, who is a biochemist, not a climate expert. “It looked like a scientific paper, but it was completely loaded with selective and biased information,” Patterson recalled. The paper argued that, if climate change were real, future generations would “enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life.” Robinson owns a sheep ranch in Cave Junction, Oregon, and on the property he runs a laboratory that he calls the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Mercer helps subsidize Robinson’s various projects, which include an effort to forestall aging.

      From Wikipedia:

      In addition to believing that global warming is a hoax, Robinson opposes abortion and supports gun rights,[1] cutting taxes, increasing border security and building new power plants.[1] He argues for balancing the federal budget, defunding earmarks and ending special-interest influence in Washington.[1] He also supports restoring sound money and ending the Federal Reserve System. Robinson is against bailouts to Wall Street banks.[citation needed] He also supports a strong national defense, but with a more restrained foreign policy.[27] Robinson is a signatory to A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, a petition circulated by the Discovery Institute to promote intelligent design.[28]

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Fred,

        You remember the comic who said anybody who hates dogs and kids can’t be all bad?

        I don’t know anything about this guy, but if he is a creationist, then he either isn’t very bright, or else he’s just maintaining some camouflage. Plenty of people pretend to believe things they know are jokes.

        But anybody who is in favor of doing away with earmarked money ( unless it is tied to a tax especially enacted to provide that money, such as a fishing license fee being used to pay to support the fish and game department, and bailing out bankers can’t be ALL BAD, lol.

        This comment is partly jest, partly sarcasm, and I know YOU will get it, but I feel compelled to add this last line for others.

        Naked apes have a way of automatically, without thinking, opposing anything that an enemy or outsider finds worthy of support, and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of this shortcoming occasionally.

        Anybody who is opposed to or actively working against the renewables industries, etc, is either less than well informed in respect to our environmental problems, or just looking out for himself and his friends at the expense of everybody else, and eventually at the expense of their own kids and grandchildren, although they are generally not AWAKE ENOUGH to understand this fact. This Arthur Robinson appears to fall squarely into that category.

        If you approach them properly, you can often get individuals who are in favor of some particular environmentally dangerous or damaging practice to change their minds about it, especially if their own personal paycheck doesn’t depend on it.

        We used to use a lot of dangerous and persistent chemicals in the orchard biz( and still do, but the ones we use these days are substantially less harmful, and we use them in lesser quantities) but the worst of these older pesticides have been banned for some time now.

        I often talk with local guys who are still in the biz, and some of the older ones have a mindset opposing any regulation of the way they farm the way some people just automatically oppose or support certain political issues or policies, without ever giving any thought to the opposing arguments.

        It’s a total waste of time , the worst thing you can do, to approach this sort of guy and tell him he is stupid, ignorant, selfish, etc, and that he is not doing what is in his own best interests, although all the these arguments may well be true.

        What you must do, if you want to have a meaningful conversation with him, is to avoid even mentioning the actual issue you want to talk about, until you have a PLAN in mind, something along the lines of the plan a good soldier makes to win an anticipated battle. You

        You start out by being friends, or at least by being a neutral, politically, if at all possible. This means if you are a hard core liberal in favor of no questions asked free choice abortion rights, you simply steer totally clear of any discussion of this topic if at all possible, etc.

        If you are a hard core Darwinist, you will do well to remember the Winston Churhill’s famous remark about at least mentioning the Devil himself favorably in Parliament, supposing the Devil were to come out opposed to Hitler.

        If your opposite number believes in Jesus, you can find SOMETHING nice to say about the Christian religion, without compromising your own principles, if you have brains enough to think a little about whether you are trying to win a DEBATE, or whether you are trying to win a convert to your point of view, or at least help the other guy develop some insight into the errors of his own position, WITHOUT pushing his hot buttons. Once you push a hot button or two, of the wrong sort, you might as well go back to the ball game and the beer, and forget about it, until the next time.

        Now suppose your target is mad about the government taking away a certain chemical, for instance, parathion.

        I have knowledge of parathion, having used it myself, and don’t have any problem putting a wistful look on my face and remembering fondly that it killed damn near anything small and creepy crawly that it touched, for weeks after you used it.

        But then I follow up by saying well, at least it’s no big loss, because by the time it was outlawed, you had to use twice as much and it lasted half as long, and some of the bugs just didn’t seem to do well without it anyway, like it was a VITAMIN or something.

        And you know what? The other guy will AGREE with you, that he can get along without parathion ok, but then he will start bitching about the price of the alternatives on the market.

        And THEN, if you have brains enough to remember that you are trying to win a CONVERT, rather than a DEBATE, you sympathize with him, about how tough it is to make a living these days.

        And THEN, while remaining sympathetic, you mention that it’s not really even the two of you who are bearing this extra expense, but rather that it is ultimately paid by the end user of the food he produces, because he and all the other farmers just pass their costs along, just like everybody else in business. The price of trucks n’ tractors, insurance, taxes, ever damned dime a farmer pays out is ultimately paid by the ultimate customer, how could it be otherwise ???

        Along about this point, you SHUT UP about chemicals, and get back to your football and beer, and the attractive woman over at the other end of the bar, and how you wish you were young and good looking again, lol.

        You have done ENOUGH for the moment, because the little seed you have planted between his ears has to be allowed time to grow there, but after a while, he you will hear him say to another farmer, fuck it, whatever it cost us to stay in business, somebody else is paying it anyway. The last new truck you bought cost four times as much as the last new one your daddy bought, didn’t it?

        You don’t make converts to a new way of thinking by way of direct frontal assaults.

        Now some time later on, maybe weeks or months down the road, you get into ANOTHER conversation about chemicals with this guy, and the best time to do it is when the talk is about people getting sick and dying of cancer, heart disease, etc, more often than the older folks used to.

        And if you work it right, you will be able to point out that you read in the news that people who live in jungles and eat what God (remember that this guy probably thinks well of JESUS, and that you are not trying to win a fucking debate, but rather a CONVERT ) intended them to eat, meaning whatever they could find and catch and cook, as opposed to TWINKIES and Big Macs, don’t have heart disease, and they don’t have diabetes, etc. and that the only real good reason you have heard that they DON’T is that they don’t eat the crap we eat these days, all full of chemicals and ten times as much sugar as we ought to eat, and that they get some exercise.

        And then you point out that you would have to go off to college to even be able to read the fucking ingredient list on half the stuff in the supermarket these days, never mind having even the foggiest idea what all them damned chemicals are FOR, or what they might do to you, if you eat enough of them long enough, and fondly remember the biscuits and corn bread Momma used to make, that had maybe five or six ingredients at the most, and you knew what they were and where they came from.

        And then you DROP IT AGAIN..

        Anybody who has read this far has brains enough to understand that the guy who hates the EPA is gradually learning WHY we NEED the EPA, without pushing his hot buttons, without insulting his intelligence, without criticizing his intellect, or his way of making a living, or his culture or his religion.

        A year or two down the road, he will have accepted these new thoughts as if he had arrived at them of his own free will, and in a very real sense, he actually does accept them this way, but only because you originally planted them in his mind in such a way as to BYPASS the mental filters he uses to keep out enemy propaganda, lol.

        A right thinking true believing free market god fearing self respecting self supporting old country boy ain’t ABOUT to listen to any environmental bullshit preaching coming from a bunch of them there tree hugging whale loving commie socialists dimmercrats.

        But if you just use a little sense, you can talk to him about environmental issues, and social issues, and find PLENTY of common ground.

        Eventually you get around to talking about how there ain’t no fish in some stream or river you used to fish in because somebody upstream is dumping mine wastes into the water, or about how much it costs somebody you know for city water because it costs so much to get all the crap out of the water so you can drink it these days.

        The ONE THING you never do is put your potential convert on the defensive unnecessarily, because the defensive reaction is to shut you out, and prevent any further consideration of what you have to say, and harden his resolve to continue thinking as he always has, in the past.

        Will you ever succeed in convincing this guy to vote for HRC instead of Trump ?

        That’s a long shot, but it’s not impossible. OTOH, you have a fair shot at getting him to the point while he does not vote D, he simply stays home sometimes.

        At election time, a dead enemy soldier, or one missing in action, is about as useful as a live one voting your way.

        Elections are won one vote at a time.

        • You remember the comic who said anybody who hates dogs and kids can’t be all bad?

          It was attributed to W.C. Fields. But Fields actually never said the phrase. It was said about W. C. Fields at a roast.

          W. C. Fields

          Anyone who hates children and dogs can’t be all bad.

          Although very commonly attributed to Fields, this is derived from a statement that was actually first said about him by Leo Rosten during a “roast” at the Masquer’s Club in Hollywood in 1939, as Rosten explains in his book, The Power of Positive Nonsense (1977) “The only thing I can say about W. C. Fields … is this: Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad.”

          I know, this does’n matter at all, but I do enjoy a bit of trivia now and then. 😉

  18. sunnnv says:

    re: talk of warming climate…

    Warm weather leads to first recorded natural gas storage injection in February

    “Warmer than normal weather throughout much of the United States resulted in the first recorded net natural gas injection during a week in February since weekly storage data has been collected. For the week ending February 24, the amount of natural gas in storage in the Lower 48 states increased 7 billion cubic feet (Bcf). While some weeks during March in previous years had recorded injections, net injections of natural gas into storage do not typically occur until at least April.”

  19. Survivalist says:

    It was big news, but it wasn’t good news. Also, surprise, it wasn’t reported on most television “news,” otherwise known as babysitting for adults.


    • Geoff Riley says:

      Just how do you think TV news should report on the whole climate change issue? From a news director’s perspective, climate change simply doesn’t provide enough new content on a day-to-day basis to come up with “packages” that are not just compelling to the key demographic sought after by most daily news programs (women ages 25-54), but also are saleable to the program’s advertisers and adhere to mandates stating equal weight be given to the multiple perspectives of a controversial matter. At best, you would get daily segments with an anchor intro “climate scientists say the planet continues to warm, though the consequences of the warming are still being debated,” going to a package with some wire service B-roll of polar bears, Al Gore, etc. and some soundbites from scientists representing both sides of the debate.

      • Fred Magyar says:

        Just how do you think TV news should report on the whole climate change issue?

        Like this!

        Climate Change Debate: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

        Should we debate whether or not owls exist?!

      • Survivalist says:

        So you’re a news director who can’t figure out how to cover climate change? Life’s tough, it’s tougher when you’re stupid.

    • GoneFishing says:

      I think it is astounding that global air temperature rose at the rate of 6 degrees C per century and there was little response to this. Global air temperature rise is still being slowed by ice melt and ocean warming. I wonder how reductions in those inhibitors will affect future temperature rises.

      Sea level rise reaching a half inch per year doesn’t surprise me since the inertia in the system is just starting to be overcome and increasing sea level rise was quite predictable. When it reaches one inch per year and above maybe global warming will be taken seriously.

      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hey guy’s ,

        I don’t have the foggiest idea who Riley is, or what his positions are on the issues, but he HAS pointed out one of the tough little inconvenient truths about the way the advertising supported mass media work in this country.

        Like it or lump it, the typical citizen on the street, male or female, old or young liberal or conservative, comes equipped with a brain that’s programmed to run on more immediate time scales than decades.

        The repetition of the same basic information day after day almost inevitably results in it being mostly tuned out. We don’t hear the beer ads, the phone ads, the car ads, most of the time, unless something in our immediate environment has focused our attention on beer, or phones, or cars.

        This however does not mean these ads don’t work, over the long term. They do.

        This is no problem for beer companies, or car companies, they have the money to pay for ads now that barely register on our consciousness, but later on, we are prone to say gimme a bud, rather than asking for something a little more special.

        Nobody is willing and able to put the environmental ads up on a saturation basis.
        A tv news program producer cannot hope to keep his job running more or less the same thing day after day.

        Riley’s right, on this particular point.

  20. sunnnv says:

    Natural gas leaks are being mapped by (some) google street view cars.

    Some added equipment analyzes methane as the cars drive around,
    making maps of leaks in different cities.


    • GoneFishing says:

      Very nice work on the EDF’s and Google’s part. Now the distributors need to act on this information or be forced to act upon it.

  21. Oldfarmermac says:

    This is long shot in more ways than one, but maybe ten years ago I read about Ford the car company inventing a catalyst that could be put ON the outer surfaces of the coolant radiator, which actually broke down some troublesome pollutants in the air as it is drawn thru the radiator. The energy used is not an issue, in this case, as it is being dumped into the air anyway as waste heat.

    Does anybody here know anything about such this potential technology?

    • alimbiquated says:

      Electric cars don’t need water cooling, so the future of this idea is limited.

  22. Oldfarmermac says:

    For Ron,

    We ran out of reply slots up above.

    I just don’t seem to be able to get across the simplest possible thought to you. I can’t say for sure whether this is due to my inability to properly express my argument, or whether you are simply as big an ideologue YOURSELF as the worst ideologues at the opposite end of the political spectrum, because you obviously refuse to EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE my argument, never the less REFUTE IT.

    You simply say that by SKY DADDY you will not quit badmouthing people who thru no fault of their own disagree with you. Well, it’s a free country more or less, for now, and that’s your privilege.

    And then you post this quote.

    “They are dogmatic ideologues. They don’t listen to arguments…. period.

    Those who know that their beliefs are founded in reason are willing to argue their way to victory and are willing to renounce opinions that do not survive such argument. Those who are aware that their beliefs are founded in faith, on the other hand, are unwilling to submit their beliefs to dispassionate discussion and do not expect to change their own beliefs ever. They are perfectly willing, if pressed, to resort to force to change other people’s beliefs by brainwashing children, persecuting heretics, and warring with “unenlightened” adversaries. Religious instruction manipulates the vulnerable psyches of young children before they are able to think for themselves, endeavoring to prevent them from ever acquiring this ability. They never attain an intellectual resistance sufficient to counter the influence of dogmatic precepts, to grow up as free individuals.

    Bertrand Russell:
    Human Society in Ethics and Politics.”

    There is a great deal of truth in this quote , but it’s also way way WAY WAY THE FUCK WRONG, almost wrong enough to characterize it as pure fucking partisan bullshit, in some respects.

    Bertrand Russel isn’t half as fucking smart as you think he is.

    For instance, he says “They never attain an intellectual resistance sufficient to counter the influence of dogmatic precepts, to grow up as free individuals.” about children who grow up in religious environments.

    Well, I was such a child, and over the years I have known HUNDREDS of others, as a student, as a teacher, and as a worker and businessman, who pretty much forgot their religious training, and are PERFECTLY fucking able to think for themselves.

    Further more, religions evolve with and within the societies in which they exist, and the religion of my great grand parents is not the religion of my parents, and the religion of my parents is not the religion of my nieces and nephews and younger cousins.

    Now even though I have posted probably THOUSANDS of comments here in this very blog which you founded, to the effect that I support the vast majority of the key policies of the Democratic Party, and have hardly ever posted a comment in favor of any particular Republican Party policy, you want to know why I keep disputing your comments about stupid, ignorant, redneck unwashed, etc etc, etc conservative people.

    Well try REALLY REALLY hard to see if you can get your head around this possibility. Try to consider the possibility, no matter HOW remote it might be, in YOUR ideologue estimation, that I am SERIOUS, that I DO support single payer health care, that I DO support the renewables industries, that I DO support strong environmental legislation, ETC ETC ETC.

    Now explain to me how it is that I can support these things, and still be a right wing ideologue.

    You can’t.

    Now try to get your head around THIS observation.

    You can be a member of a team, or an impartial observer who is willing to point out the shortcomings of a team, WITHOUT being either a MEMBER of, or a SHILL , for the opposition.

    Can you get your head around the possibility that I am actually VERY MUCH in agreement with MOST of the D Party agenda, excepting the parts of it I criticize here and elsewhere, using other internet handles??

    Can you get your head around the idea that although I believe HRC is the worst candidate the D party has run in my lifetime, in terms of being a high risk , Republican Lite candidate, that I believed she would win, and said so, quite often, while remarking that she MIGHT LOSE ?

    If you were not a total ass kisser, and that in my opinion is the LAST thing you would ever have been, at times when you were working in a management role, you probably believed your team was WRONG, that your team leader or leaders higher up the ladder were making mistakes, and SAID SO.

    You can be a dyed in the wool TIDE fan, and scream ROLL TIDE ROLL until you can’t whisper the next day, but that does NOT mean you can’t criticize players and coach, ESPECIALLY IF THE TEAM IS ON A LONG FUCKING LOSING STREAK, without being accused of being a traitor to the team.

    But since you ARE an intelligent man, obviously enough, then I must conclude that you simply have an intellectual blind spot that keeps you from understanding what I have been saying. You don’t want to hear anything I say, so you just blank it out, JUST LIKE a backwoods preacher blanks out any criticism of HIS beliefs. Just like Russel says religious people blank out any possible consideration of information contrary to their beliefs. This is true in some respects, and depending on the PARTICULAR TOPIC, or issue, it can be almost universally true, or almost universally false.

    It absolutely IS possible to have a rational conversation, an extended dialogue with religious people, about MANY issues and find LOTS and LOTS of common ground that can be exploited politically to the GREAT ADVANTAGE of the Democratic Party, and to the people of this country, and the world.

    BUT they won’t talk to people who go around bad mouthing them the way you do. They won’t read this blog. You are ENCOURAGING them to vote R, to vote for Trumpster type politicians.

    Your comments are a PRICELESS gift to the R party.

    The R’s don’t NEED to actually DO anything for religious people , so long they have people like you to piss them off to the point that they vote R just to spite your kind of people. The R’s can just take them for granted.

    The R’s don’t actually need to do much of anything for working class people so long as the D Party runs mostly on a Republican Lite style platform, because the D party isn’t doing much for them either, with that sort of platform and candidate.

    The working class is the BIGGEST single class, by any measure, of the voting age population, and it INCLUDES the various minorities and most of the members of various special interest groups as well, when it comes to personal and civil rights.

    The D party has nothing to lose, by shifting emphasis away from it’s Republican Lite ways, and more towards the interests of the LARGE majority of the people of this country, and doing it in SUCH A WAY that the majority of working class people BELIEVES the D party is putting their best interests first and foremost.

    Note I am not disputing the entirely obvious fact that the overall D agenda is far superior to the overall R agenda, but rather that it needs upgrading in such a way as to convince the people that they should be voting for it.

    HRC won the popular vote, true, but that’s just ONE example, whereas the R’s have been consistently mopping the floor with the D’s for years and years.

    The D’s can’t control the R party team, but they can make the changes necessary to get the D team back to it’s winning ways.

    • Hightrekker says:

      The old saying goes, “the people get the government they deserve.” And I think there is a great deal of truth to this. We have become a nation of profoundly ignorant people – ignorant, tending toward stupid, and incredibly selfish, narcissistic. When somebody pops up and promises to make the world the way it was when they were “happy”, well this is what we get.


      HRC won the popular vote, true, but that’s just ONE example, whereas the R’s have been consistently mopping the floor with the D’s for years and years.

      HRC won the popular vote, but if you take away California, he won the popular vote in the other 49 States.
      California is so Democratic (not a major office held by a repug) that it skews the data, and being so large, it dominates)

      • HuntingtonBeach says:

        “HRC won the popular vote, but if you take away California, he won the popular vote in the other 49 States”

        I find this comment extremely dismissive and anti American democracy . Californians are 13% of US Americans and already have the least representation in Washington per person. Let’s talk about what happens when 13% of Americans reddest states population are eliminated.

        Russ Feingold launches new group aimed at ending Electoral College


        • Hightrekker says:

          I was born in LA. My father was born in CA, and I’m almost 70.
          My Grandmother lived in CA in the late 1800’s.

          Of course CA gets screwed by the Fed’s, and only get’s about 70% of the money it pays out in taxes back.

          Plus, CA is the Tech and Agriculture center of the US, and also entertains the rest of the Planet.

          It is obviously not like the rest of the US.
          That was my point– if CA is taken out of the picture, Trump won the National vote.
          Get it?

          • HuntingtonBeach says:

            Well Captain Obvious, what a useless piece of insecure Trump trivia you have uncovered. What’s your point ? That you can spin the numbers or the bible belt is a welfare state.

            Trump loss the popular vote by 2.8 million.

            Get it ?

            Your coal job isn’t coming back, you have been conned

    • There is a great deal of truth in this quote , but it’s also way way WAY WAY THE FUCK WRONG, almost wrong enough to characterize it as pure fucking partisan bullshit, in some respects.

      Bertrand Russel isn’t half as fucking smart as you think he is.

      Well hell, I have finally found someone who is smarter than Bertrand Russell was. He died in 1972 at the age of 91. Apparently you were not aware of that little tidbit of knowledge.

      Let me quote again the last two sentences of Russell’s quote:

      Religious instruction manipulates the vulnerable psyches of young children before they are able to think for themselves, endeavoring to prevent them from ever acquiring this ability. They never attain an intellectual resistance sufficient to counter the influence of dogmatic precepts, to grow up as free individuals.

      And you reply: but it’s also way way WAY WAY THE FUCK WRONG…

      Well, I was such a child, and over the years I have known HUNDREDS of others, as a student, as a teacher, and as a worker and businessman, who pretty much forgot their religious training, and are PERFECTLY fucking able to think for themselves.

      No you do not know HUNDREDS of others who were able to shuck their early religious indoctrination. That is a gross exaggeration and you fucking well know it. Yes, a few do overcome their early religious indoctrination. These people usually have a very high IQ or their indoctrination was just not that strong to begin with… or both. Also there is a genetic factor there as well. Some people are just natural skeptics. These people are a tiny minority but they do exist.

      Do you actually believe that Russell meant that no one ever overcome their early religious training? You give yourself as an example. Well congratulations, I am such an example myself. And I can name perhaps a dozen others but certainly not hundreds. Most religious disbelievers were never strongly indoctrinated to begin with. But Obviously Russell was speaking of youths in general, and never meant to imply that there were never exceptions. And I must say that I am a little shocked that such a smart man as yourself did not realize that.

      I lived in Saudi Arabia for five year. Not one Saudi in one thousand is a disbeliever. Their indoctrination is almost total. A Saudi male is required, in school, to memorize the Koran, usually by the time he is 12. And all Saudi’s are supposed to pray 5 times a day. Their indoctrination is almost total. Of course even here there are exceptions to the rule. As I said, perhaps one in one thousand are able to overcome such indoctrination.

      But I am not surprised that you were able to overcome your early religious training. After all, you are smarter than Nobel Laureate Bertrand Russell. I was indoctrinated early as well and I also overcame that training, though I am not nearly as smart as Russell was. And to repeat, I personally know perhaps a dozen others like myself, who overcame our early indoctrination. Though none of them were nearly as strongly indoctrinated as even the average Muslim. Like I said, it all depends on the strength of your early indoctrination and your cognitive ability to overcome it.

      I am going to leave it here. You know I like to keep my posts as short as possible. Otherwise no one would bother to read it.

      From Wiki: Bertrand Russell

      Russell claimed that beginning at age 15, he spent considerable time thinking about the validity of Christian religious dogma, which he found very unconvincing. At this age, he came to the conclusion that there is no free will and, two years later, that there is no life after death. Finally, at the age of 18, after reading Mill’s “Autobiography”, he abandoned the “First Cause” argument and became an atheist.

    • Doug Leighton says:

      “Bertrand Russel isn’t half as fucking smart as you think he is.”


      A selected bibliography of Russell’s books in English, sorted by year of first publication:

      1896. German Social Democracy. London: Longmans, Green.
      1897. An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry.[168] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
      1900. A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
      1903. The Principles of Mathematics.[169] Cambridge University Press.
      1903 A Free man’s worship, and other essays.[170]
      1905. “On Denoting”, Mind, Vol. 14. ISSN 0026-4423. Basil Blackwell.
      1910. Philosophical Essays. London: Longmans, Green.
      1910–1913. Principia Mathematica[171] (with Alfred North Whitehead). 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
      1912. The Problems of Philosophy.[172] London: Williams and Norgate.
      1914. Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy.[173] Chicago and London: Open Court Publishing.
      1916. Principles of Social Reconstruction.[174] London, George Allen and Unwin.
      1916. Why Men Fight. New York: The Century Co.
      1916. The Policy of the Entente, 1904–1914 : a reply to Professor Gilbert Murray. Manchester: The National Labour Press
      1916. Justice in War-time. Chicago: Open Court.
      1917. Political Ideals.[175] New York: The Century Co.
      1918. Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1918. Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism, and Syndicalism.[176] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1919. Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy.[177][178] London: George Allen & Unwin. (ISBN 0-415-09604-9 for Routledge paperback)[179]
      1920. The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism.[180] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1921. The Analysis of Mind.[181] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1922. The Problem of China.[182] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1923. The Prospects of Industrial Civilization, in collaboration with Dora Russell. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1923. The ABC of Atoms, London: Kegan Paul. Trench, Trubner.
      1924. Icarus; or, The Future of Science. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
      1925. The ABC of Relativity. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
      1925. What I Believe. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
      1926. On Education, Especially in Early Childhood. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1927. The Analysis of Matter. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner.
      1927. An Outline of Philosophy. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1927. Why I Am Not a Christian.[183] London: Watts.
      1927. Selected Papers of Bertrand Russell. New York: Modern Library.
      1928. Sceptical Essays. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1929. Marriage and Morals. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1930. The Conquest of Happiness. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1931. The Scientific Outlook,[184] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1932. Education and the Social Order,[185] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1934. Freedom and Organization, 1814–1914. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1935. In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays.[186] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1935. Religion and Science. London: Thornton Butterworth.
      1936. Which Way to Peace?. London: Jonathan Cape.
      1937. The Amberley Papers: The Letters and Diaries of Lord and Lady Amberley, with Patricia Russell, 2 vols., London: Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press.
      1938. Power: A New Social Analysis. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1940. An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
      1945. A History of Western Philosophy and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day[187] New York: Simon and Schuster.
      1948. Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1949. Authority and the Individual.[188] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1950. Unpopular Essays.[189] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1951. New Hopes for a Changing World. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1952. The Impact of Science on Society. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1953. Satan in the Suburbs and Other Stories. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1954. Human Society in Ethics and Politics. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1954. Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories.[190] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1956. Portraits from Memory and Other Essays.[191] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1956. Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950, edited by Robert C. Marsh. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1957. Why I Am Not A Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects, edited by Paul Edwards. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1958. Understanding History and Other Essays. New York: Philosophical Library.
      1959. Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare.[192] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1959. My Philosophical Development.[193] London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1959. Wisdom of the West, edited by Paul Foulkes. London: Macdonald.
      1960. Bertrand Russell Speaks His Mind, Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company.
      1961. The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell, edited by R. E. Egner and L. E. Denonn. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1961. Fact and Fiction. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1961. Has Man a Future? London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1963. Essays in Skepticism. New York: Philosophical Library.
      1963. Unarmed Victory. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1965. Legitimacy Versus Industrialism, 1814–1848. London: George Allen & Unwin (first published as Parts I and II of Freedom and Organization, 1814–1914, 1934).
      1965. On the Philosophy of Science, edited by Charles A. Fritz, Jr. Indianapolis: The Bobbs–Merrill Company.
      1966. The ABC of Relativity. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1967. Russell’s Peace Appeals, edited by Tsutomu Makino and Kazuteru Hitaka. Japan: Eichosha’s New Current Books.
      1967. War Crimes in Vietnam. London: George Allen & Unwin.
      1951–1969. The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell,[194] 3 vols., London: George Allen & Unwin. Vol. 2,

      I’d say Russell’s command of English, his understand of Math and Logic was rather impressive. And, that his Nobel Prize was well deserved. BTW his IQ was about 180. Oh yeah: “Principia Mathematica”, the landmark work in formal logic written by Alfred Whitehead & Bertrand Russell, served as a major impetus for research in the foundations of mathematics throughout the twentieth century.

      “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” — Bertrand Russell

  23. Survivalist says:
  24. Hickory says:

    On a non-partisan note,
    I went to an electric bike expo (about 20 manufacturers displaying their bikes) this weekend.
    Got to ride about 20 different bikes.
    If you’ve never ridden an electric bike, try to get a chance. Its hard not to smile when you feel like you are 3 times stronger than you ever were (and handsome too).
    These bikes can enable an average person to- easily commute, haul cargo loads up to perhaps 100 lbs, and have an excellent time at recreation or running errands. To have this kind of vehicle available in the future will surely make some communities much more viable and sustainable that would otherwise be.
    There has been quite a lot of innovation over the past ten years. Currently you can buy a wide range of bikes, or kit components. A very robust kit today will cost about $1000 bucks- $400 motor, $500 battery, etc. This will power you up a 5000 ft mountain, and is compatible with most bikes.
    And there are ones optimized for folding up and taking on the train, ones for hauling cargo, ones for the roughest terrain, ones for sleek commute. Every niche is being explored.
    Good bike trails are golden, be safe out there.

    As an an example of what manufacturers are offering- here is Bosch

    • notanoilman says:

      Thanks for the report. That Bosch system seems to be aimed at manufacturers rather than after-market. It looks like the bike needs to be designed around it.


  25. Dennis Coyne says:

    Hi all,

    Ron Patterson’s wife’s health has taken a turn for the worse. She was in the hospital for 6 days with congestive heart failure and came home on Wednesday and is on hospice care. Ron expects she has from days to weeks left and does not think he will be posting much.

    • GoneFishing says:

      That is a rough time to go through. I hope they have support of family and friends and take advantage of that support.

    • Suyog says:

      Sorry to hear that. I hope he gets all the support he needs.

    • Fred Magyar says:

      My heart felt sympathies!

    • HuntingtonBeach says:

      Your news brings sadness to my heart. Ron your a great loving human being. I know inside that hard shell is a big teddy bear. Cherish these moments and keep reminding the two of you about the wonderful times you have had together. I know all your friends here wish the two of you the best and are going to be here for you when the time comes.

      Best wishes, your in my thoughts

    • notanoilman says:

      My sympathies to you and your family.


      • Oldfarmermac says:

        Hi Ron,

        I’m sorry I am late expressing my sympathy for your family problems.I haven’t had access for a couple of days due to a phone line being out.

        I pray ( figuratively) that your wife’s last few days will be comfortable and peaceful. My family does everything possible to keep members at home, surrounded by familiar scenes and familiar faces, which I personally believe is the most important single thing that can be done for somebody when the end is near, and you have my utmost respect for doing the same.

        I will not mention politics for the next few days.

        After that I will have something more to say.

    • wharf rat says:

      All the best, Ron.

    • Alhall says:

      I will said a prayer,tonite,for you///Mr, Patterson….thank,for all the information.you provide here\~bless

  26. Survivalist says:

    Ron, my thoughts are with you in your time of grieving. I hope all the cherished memories bring you some happiness during this difficult time. My deepest condolences.

  27. GoneFishing says:

    What are Americans concerned about?
    Gallup most important problem poll.


    Although economic problems are important, the overall concern for them has dropped lately.
    However, dissatisfaction with government/leadership is on the rise, doubling since November.
    Immigration/ illegal aliens has taken a sudden rise, almost as if they are being led to believe it’s a bigger problem than before.
    Way down on the list is environmental/pollution problems at 3 percent. With little mainstream coverage that is understandable.

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      The Achilles Heel of our free press system is that it depends mostly on advertising revenue, and to get the ad money, publishers have to chase after the hot topics.

      It seems unlikely that the percentage of space on tv, in major papers, on web sites, etc, devoted to environmental issues will stay about where it is, until some things start happening on a regular basis that will make headlines about the environment attract more readers than headlines about athletic contests and show biz people.

      • Survivalist says:

        One thing that I’ve learnt from the Internet is that there are people willing to write much better for free than those who expect to get paid for it. POB is a great example. George Mobus has a great column. Many more too. I haven’t bought a newspaper or watched TV in years.

  28. GoneFishing says:

    Warnings on the US climate change plans.

    “They are giving up that leadership position and I suspect that it will be taken up by other competitive countries,” said Stocker, adding that China was well-placed to do so.

    That view was echoed by Myles R. Allen, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford. “If China saw the U.S. as being short-sighted (…) they might even welcome this as a chance to take over climate leadership,” he said.

    Germany’s environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, said promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency is already creating large numbers of jobs around the world. “Whoever tries to change into reverse gear is only going to harm themselves when it comes to international competitiveness,” she said.


    • Oldfarmermac says:

      I believe Hendricks the German environment minister is dead center in the bullseye when she says that in the future the competitive position of countries that pursue renewable energy policies NOW will be far superior to those of countries that don’t.

      In some respects, it doesn’t really matter if you spend a lot more on something new, now , that may be less practical and less economical than the business as usual alternative, TODAY.

      An electric car still costs a good bit more than an otherwise comparable ICE car, especially when you take into account the opportunity cost and the time value of the money you save by buying the conventional car. If you pay thirty thousand for an electric, and twenty for a comparable conventional car, and invest the ten thousand difference, at the end of five years you might with some luck have twenty thousand to buy ANOTHER new conventional car. ETC.

      But if you can’t get buy gasoline in 2022 except for a rationed gallon or two once a week, because there’s a war on, your existing five year old electric will be worth three times the price of a new conventional car.

      It’s not what renewables save you today. It’s what they might save us a few years down the road that really counts.

      I’m still looking for quality data about how much the growth of renewable energy, the growth of the electric car industry, etc, is depressing the sale of coal, natural gas, and oil, compared to what the total sales volume thereof would be the case otherwise.

      It’s obvious that the sale of coal in the USA for electrical generation has already taken a serious hit. The sale of gas is as generating fuel is up, but up how much LESS than if there were no wind and solar juice being fed into the grid and produced and used behind the meter?

      Electric cars aren’t yet popular enough to displace enough oil to matter, but ten or fifteen years down the road ?????

      And anytime the sale of a commodity is reduced because the sales of a substitute are increasing, the PRICE per unit sold falls too, meaning the producers take a double hit, lower volume AND lower price.

      My guess is that the USA, all of us collectively, will save enough on the purchase of coal and natural gas as generating fuel to repay what we have previously spent on subsidizing the wind and solar industries within the next few years, and continue to earn a substantial “profit” on this investment from there on out.

      I can’t prove it, not being a skilled researcher and numbers cruncher, but otoh I haven’t seen any proof that I’m wrong about it.

  29. GoneFishing says:

    Warming could reach up to 10C.

    Our results show that the amount of carbon that drove the PETM warming was about the same amount as the current ‘easily accessible’ fossil fuel reserves of about 4,000 billion tons. But the warming that would result from adding such large amounts of carbon to the climate system would be much greater today than during the PETM and could reach up to 10 degrees. This is partly due to the current atmosphere containing much less CO2 – approximately 400 ppm (parts per million) – compared to before the PETM, where the concentration was about 1,000 ppm and partly because we emit carbon into the atmosphere at a much faster rate than during the PETM. If we then also take into account the fact that climate sensitivity increases with the temperature, it means that it is all the more urgent to limit global warming as soon as possible by reducing the man-made emissions of greenhouse gases,” explains Professor Gary Shaffer, who conducted the study in collaboration with researchers from Purdue University, USA, the University of Chile and the Technical University of Denmark.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-06-future-global-warmer.html#jCp


  30. GoneFishing says:

    Warming could reach up to 10C.

    Our results show that the amount of carbon that drove the PETM warming was about the same amount as the current ‘easily accessible’ fossil fuel reserves of about 4,000 billion tons. But the warming that would result from adding such large amounts of carbon to the climate system would be much greater today than during the PETM and could reach up to 10 degrees. This is partly due to the current atmosphere containing much less CO2 – approximately 400 ppm (parts per million) – compared to before the PETM, where the concentration was about 1,000 ppm and partly because we emit carbon into the atmosphere at a much faster rate than during the PETM. If we then also take into account the fact that climate sensitivity increases with the temperature, it means that it is all the more urgent to limit global warming as soon as possible by reducing the man-made emissions of greenhouse gases,” explains Professor Gary Shaffer, who conducted the study in collaboration with researchers from Purdue University, USA, the University of Chile and the Technical University of Denmark.

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2016-06-future-global-warmer.html#jCp

    • Oldfarmermac says:

      Does anybody have a map or chart that predicts how much hotter it will be in the southeastern USA in the event the average temperature goes up ten C?

      Our hottest days might be so hot we would have to just about give up on the techniques we use and the crops we grow today.

      • GoneFishing says:

        It won’t matter Oldfarmermac. Six C essentially ends the environment as we know it. 10C makes it a new world.
        Here is five degrees.

        Five Degrees
        The planet as we know it becomes unrecognisable:-
        · No ice sheets remain
        · No rain forests left
        · Rising sea levels have caused mass inundations far inland totally altering the
        geography of the planet
        · Humans will herd into shrinking habitable areas
        · Drought
        · Floods
        · Inland temperatures 10° or more higher than now


        • GoneFishing says:

          To give you an idea, with less than 1C the temps around here expanded their range by about 25 F total. More cold than hot due to jet stream changes shifting Arctic air southward.
          With even more heating the Jet streams could commonly cross the equator causing unpredictable weather and temperatures. Agriculture could become a total crapshoot until things stabilized.

          • Oldfarmermac says:

            Hi GF,

            I have to agree with you, just five or six degrees means the end of life as we know it.

            But , and this is a very important but, some places will change a lot more and a lot more for the worse, than others.

            It will probably get so hot and dry now in a lot of places in the tropical latitudes that large areas will necessarily be more or less abandoned, but at my latitude, well above sea level, and within three hundred miles of the coast, maybe something along the lines of current day tropical or semitropical agricultural techniques will work.

            I don’t expect to be around long enough to personally see the average temperature rise more than maybe a tenth, at the outside.

            But somebody else will need this place to live and work in times to come, and there are somethings I might be able to do in order to make it a better place in a much hotter world.

            I could for instance plant sapling trees as future shade for the house and buildings- trees that are adapted to much hotter weather than the ones here now.

            Anybody planning on new construction work could plan it so as to minimize solar gain, etc.

            • GoneFishing says:

              Your altitude/latitude should resemble south Florida weather with greater temp variation, but drier since the area to west of you (central continental) will get much drier and hotter. Problem is until climate stabilizes somewhat, weather will be chaotic, meaning you might still get cold weather on occasion relieved by heat waves. You are not in a bad place since you don’t depend on the Gulf Stream for heat. Those regions will change even more dramatically as the GS slows or stops.
              Forget apples.

            • notanoilman says:


              Saplings -> Palm trees


    • Dennis Coyne says:

      Hi Gone fishing,

      There are not 4000 Gt of easily accessed fossil fuels, only economists believe that.

      Those guys solve problems by assuming the solution. The likely level of easily accessible fossil fuels might be 1500 Gt of Carbon (this includes the fossil fuels already used).

      Still a problem, just somewhat smaller in magnitude.

      • GoneFishing says:

        Hi Dennis, who said anything about 4000 Gt of fossil fuels?
        Nature is providing albedo changes, CO2, and plenty of methane to continue man’s initial push.

  31. Oldfarmermac says:

    I won’t comment on these links for now, but it’s extremely important that everybody be aware of this sort of thing.


    And this one might be even more important.


  32. Oldfarmermac says:

    For anybody, especially anybody fluent in German, since the Germans apparently have a word for just about anything imaginable.

    I’m looking for a word or phrase that means the same thing as “everything else held equal” but that can be used in describing situations or making comparisons that are more involved or detailed than usual.

    For instance in discussing the effect of wind and solar power on the quantity of coal and gas sold, and effect the PRICE of coal and gas due to declining sales, you need to point out that even though wind and solar power are obviously displacing coal and gas is generating fuel , the quantity of each one sold, and the price of that quantity, might still be going up for other reasons, which we group together as “noise ” in describing them.

    There should be a way of expressing this sort of thing gracefully using a few commonly understood short hand phrases.

  33. Oldfarmermac says:

    This link is a couple of years old now, but it has some great if dated info, and a very nice interactive chart that gives the amount of electricity produced annually in each state by wind,solar,hydro, nuclear, coal, gas etc.


  34. Eulenspiegel says:

    What about this:

    The inventor of the original lithium ion battery has a new toy –
    The lithium (or cheap natrium) glas battery, with about the 3 times density than today batteries and the option to be cheaper due to be composed of only cheap and abundant raw materials.

    If this happens to be true, this can change a lot – up to medium distant aviation will be possible to run on electricity, or rednecks with a solar roof will get energy independent.

    Looks like a game changer.

  35. Doug Leighton says:


    “Our research shows that even slow, naturally forced climate change is capable of driving rapid large-scale changes in ice volume in Antarctica – and therefore global sea levels.

    “This is of particular interest to scientists because humans are now the main agents of climate change, and the rates of change today are much faster than those that occurred millions of years ago during the interval that we studied.

    “Increasingly we are understanding that the Antarctic ice cap is not some enduring monolithic block but a much more slippery ephemeral beast – and the implications of that realization for the future of Antarctic ice sheets in a very rapidly warming world have not escaped us.”


    • Doug Leighton says:


      “…And all this is part of an accelerating rise that may have already begun. Per the IPCC, the average rate of ice loss from Antarctica has increased from 30 billion tonnes a year over 1992-2001 to 147 billion tonnes a year over 2002-2011. Twentieth century sea level rise was linear, increasing in fixed steps, because its chief sources were ocean expansion due to warmer waters and glacial melting. It will happen at an exponentially growing rate this century because the main source will be the melting of, and faster ice flows from, the gigantic ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica.”


      • Doug Leighton says:

        Now, the good news,


        “Iceland has seen a dramatic increase in the followers of its indigenous pagan movement in recent years, making Odin worshipers the country’s fastest-growing religion…the total of Icelanders who revere Odin, Thor and the Goddess Freyja has leapt 50% since 2014 to 3,583, with more than twice as many male as female faithful……..” Exponential growth! Cool.

        “Mr Hilmarsson says the country’s first pagan temple in 1,000 years will be used to mark weddings, naming ceremonies, and funerals, and should accommodate 250 people at a time. Built on land donated by Reykjavik Council but funded by donations, it should be ready early in 2018. And there can be little doubt that Asaru’s media-savvy High Chieftain will ensure that its dedication attracts plenty of coverage in Iceland and abroad.”


      • GoneFishing says:

        Time to buy land above 20 feet msl.

      • George Kaplan says:

        A new daily CO2 record for Keeling curve today – 409.56 ppm. It was a big jump from earlier in the week so might drop again over the next couple of days.

        • GoneFishing says:

          It normally peaks in April/May and falls until sometime in August due to plant growth. Last year it had only one reading below 400 ppm. This year that should not happen.

  36. Dennis Coyne says:

    A new post is up on World Oil Production


    also there is a new Open Thread Non-Petroleum


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