Friday, September 30, 2005

Please just accept Jesus

If you will just comply then life will be so much easier for all of us:

Cell Phone offer for Jesus

Reply from a good friend (who happens to be a "conservative")

> Steve.
Thanks for the e-mail and the concern, but I think I’ll be ok. I won’t argue the point—oil is a finite resource and so, if one keeps using a finite resource, it must come to an end. A 1st grader can grasp the principle.

So, then, there’s the other side of the discussion. How much reserves are left? Who knows? OPEC nations lie so they can get a bigger quota. Environmentalists lie so they can scare people and force countries to adopt their view of the world (hey, that sounds like fascism doesn’t it?). Oh, and let’s not forget that back in the 1970’s one side argued that the Alaskan Oil Field would only have reserves for 10 years while the other argued at least 20—and then there was the terrible impact to the caribou (poor things we supposed to die off in droves if the pipeline was built). Some 30 years later the oil is still flowing and, what do you know, the caribou herd is bigger than ever. Both sides were wrong.

So who really knows? Certainly you and I don’t. All we can do is choose a side to stand on and, for the sake of our friendship, I’ll stand on your side—with one caveat, Steve. We’ll not act like a bunch of Luddites along the way. The idea that we will blindly continue along and wake up one morning and, well, no more fuel so everything stops, is nothing short of ludicrous.

We’ve already seen a change in automobile design and hybrid cars are quickly becoming popular. If we consider just that and more people by them, then the demand for gasoline goes down. There could be tax incentives to encourage the purchase (which there are—hey, a tax break that helps everyone—well how about that?).

We could also increase the number of nuclear reactors. France gets 95% of its electricity from nuclear energy. It’s proven safe and cheap. And let’s not point to the accidents; fewer people have died from those over the past 3 decades than from all murder and automobile accidents in a single week. (Hey, if a person is not for cheap electricity from nuclear energy, is that person then “anti-poor?” Seems to me the poor would certainly benefit from cheaper electricity, wouldn’t they? Oh, and let’s not forget the elderly on fixed incomes—certainly they come out ahead.)

And then who knows what discoveries await that might also impact the situation? All of which could decrease the demand for petroleum which, in effect, would increase the supply, which in turn drives down prices. This, interestingly enough, moves the “peak” further out in time.

So, we agree oil is a finite source. Your position, Steve, seems to be that the world is static so we will march blindly toward the end. I disagree. So, in five years, you may in fact be right that the oil stopped flowing as it used to. But, I believe I’ll be standing right next to you saying “I told you so” just as well—the world will still function, man will move on, and things will change—it’s been that way for millions of years.

I know it’s been a while since we’ve debated. I hope you will take my points in the spirit of friendship and debate for which they are intended.

Oh, and one last thing—the above is the conservative opinion on this issue. It is not “head-in-the-sand”. Unfortunately it takes too much time to explain in a 5 second news snip it—much easier to just tell people that the world is ending and blame conservatives!


Hi Jim,

Thanks for the interesting/thoughtful reply.

I too value our friendship above "politics" and personal opinions. I know you are not an "ideologue" or a "ditto-head" and are perfectly capable of rational thought and reasoned analysis and can reach independent conclusions. I also realize that we often have divergent points of view and that your assessment of the "situation" doesn't often match with mine. This is what makes life interesting and keeps both of us intellectually nimble.

I challenge you to find an energy source as flexible and as cheap as oil however. Remember our transportation needs. Everything is dependent on transportation, which requires cheap oil. There is nothing on the horizon. Imagine the retrofitting of the millions of cars/trucks/et al.... to what? what is there to take the place of oil?

OK. We're not going to the edge of plentiful oil to NO OIL. There will be an orderly and gradual decline in supply. Problem is demand will continue to rise. This is the crux. For this reason price will go sky high. There will be alternatives. Solar, wind, nuclear will come to the fore as they become ever more price efficient. Did you know Denmark now gets 20% of their energy from the wind? Iceland is almost all geo-thermal. There are alternatives, but nothing as ubiquitous and as CHEAP as oil. Once oil goes into decline there will be massive convulsions and adjustments in our world.

The incentives you mention to move to alternative fuels or hybrids are not coming from the Repuglican party. Take a look at the energy bill just passed. It calls for $25 B in subsidies to drilling companies. Is that forward looking? There have been no major oil fields discovered in recent times. Look at our west. They are frantically trying to cover every bare spot of public and private land with wells, ruining the water tables, ruining ranchers ways of life, destroying the land for generations for the last drops of oil. It's a crime against nature and against all I hold dear. For what? So we can drive our gas guzzling SUV's for a few years longer before we ultimately run out of oil anyway?

Head-in-the-sand is indeed the Republican stance. What about the rail beds that exist already? Progressive thinkers would be moving to capitalize on the next phase of life after the decline of oil by transitioning from a car/truck based society back to efficient rail transport. Agree? With locomotive technology as it is nowadays you can move miles of railcars with one engine. We need forward thinkers. Not corrupt Tom DeLay types trying to feather their nests with federal largesse.

If you are a "conservative" you must be truly disgusted with the current crop of Republican leadership. They are not "conservative" by any long stretch. They are as corrupt as the Democrats when they ruled the hill.


Plamegate redux

Now that Judy Miller is going to testify in Plamegate this cartoon from 2003 has heightened relevance:

Get Stupid

Daily Kos on Right-wing hypocracy

Now that the Repuglican world is crashing down Daily Kos piles on.

An excerpt:

"And as for the audacity of Democrats speaking up during this process... the redfaced, flatulent fury with which you declare Republicans off-limits to that which you so gleefully hurl yourself...

Welcome to the world of the politics of personal destruction, you tubthumping, chin-jutting, Bush humping gits. Welcome to the nasty and partisan world that Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Hugh Hewitt, Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and a legion of insignificant lowest-rung toadies like yourselves nurtured into fruition daily with eager, grubby hands, and now look upon with dull-faced faux horror."

Western Skies - Richard Dawkins Interview - September 27, 2005

Richard Dawkins in Colorado Springs

An excerpt:

RAHER: So what will you tell people when you go home and they ask you "How was Colorado Springs?"

DAWKINS: I think I would say that Colorado Springs, like other parts of America, is divided between two different Americas. There's the intelligent, educated, open-minded America, which is prepared to listen to evidence, prepared to listen to argument, prepared to change its mind. And there are close-minded, fundamentalist people who don't want to know, don't want to learn, don't want to listen. They know what's true, it's in the holy book. They've been told what's true, they feel passionately that they know what's true, and no argument, no argument whatsoever can ever sway them. And therefore, when they hear an argument that does sway them, they simply shut their eyes, shut their ears. And it's almost as though there's a kind of partition in America between the educated thoughtful half of the country, and the closed-minded thoughtless part of the country.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Flight of the Chickenhawks

Flight of the Chickenhawks



Think Progress » Press Roundtable: Gen. Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.)

This interview with a former commander of CENTCOM begs to be read in its entirety. It is important because it reflects what thinking people in our military know in their bones but are unable to express.

Press Roundtable: Gen. Joseph Hoar, USMC (Ret.):

An excerpt:


Anyway, I think for me it’s important to say that, up front, this thing was wrong from the beginning, and so as is often the case, it’s very hard to make it right once you start down the wrong road. I’m not at all optimistic about the outcome. I think part of the reason is that our leadership – civilian leadership has got it wrong. Once the government was overthrown, the requirement from there on in was for political leadership; for the politics to take the lead, rather than the military side.

There needed to be somebody there that had special envoy status with access to the president, somebody that could call up the president and say, “What do you think?” P. J. and I were just talking about a few minutes ago about George Mitchell and Mr. Clinton during the Northern Ireland issues where there was a constant set of discussions in how we ought to do it – gaming it, questioning it – and the president was deeply involved in the issues and understood the issues, and traveled and talked. We don’t have that. By default, we’ve had three successive civilian leaders out there, all of whom in my judgment have been ineffective; one bordering on criminal, but the other two relatively ineffective as well.

And as a result, the object out there is to kill more Iraqis. I want to tell you that you cannot win this war by killing Iraqis. Now, that ought to be self-evident, but it apparently is not."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Peak Oil

As I drove to work this morning I listened to C-Span's Washington Journal on Sirius Satellite Radio as they interviewed Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, a conservative Republican from the state of Maryland. As unlikely as it may sound, this ultraconservative is bucking the trend of his head-in-the-sand (groan) colleagues. Representative Bartlett was like a breath of fresh air. He gets it. He understands that the world is at a threshold.... a turning point .... a tipping point.... We are at the threshold of peak oil world wide. I just read Matt Simmon's eye-opening book "Twilight in the Desert: the coming Saudi oil collapse and the world economy". Please read this book. Matt Simmons engaged in extensive research to substantiate the truths that the Saudi oil fields are at or near their peak output potential. What does this mean? Well, the USA reached peak production in the 70's and our production has declined since then to 75% of that peak despite new finds in the Gulf of Mexico. The Saudi's main oil field has been pumping out oil since the 60's. All oil fields go through a cycle of increased production, peak production, followed by decline. There have been no new major oil discoveries in recent times. The era of cheap oil is over.

OK, "so what" you say. I can drive my car less or I can walk to work. WRONG. Our entire economy from food to the supermarkets to the banking industry is built on cheap oil. Gas at $3 /gallon is cheap. As world demand continues to increase and the supply has peaked and begins to decline gas prices will escalate rapidly. We're looking at $10/gallon or $15/gallon gas in the very near future.

This very conservative representative (Republican) Roscoe Bartlett referenced an article readily available on the Internet. I urge you to read it in its entirety and consider every point expressed with the utmost thought:

Then consider this article:

Plan your future with open eyes. We are in for some wild and wooly times. I urge you to prepare.

In five years time or less I will say "I told you so"....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side' - Britain - Times Online:

"RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today."

The age of Ray Kurzweil - The Boston Globe

One of the most fascinating people in our world:

The age of Ray Kurzweil:

"What will happen when technology outstrips human intelligence? Renowned -- and controversial -- techno-visionary Ray Kurzweil says we won't have to wait long to find out. And he, for one, is looking forward to it."

Monday, September 26, 2005

Network news broadcasts give scant coverage to Frist

Funny how this works... Lots of coverage to Kate Moss's use of drugs, but a paucity of news about the most powerful figure in the U.S. Senate's possible criminal activities...

Network news broadcasts give scant coverage to Frist [Media Matters]

Topo of our Saturday 18-mile run of Gold Camp Road, Old Stage Road, FR 379 and 701, 668 and Seven Bridges Trails. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A 90 Part History of the British Empire

BBC - Radio has some great audio on the web.

Global warming pictures from the extremes of the earth

Global warming at the extremes of the earth: Habitats and cultures everywhere react to climate's rapid changes.

Global warming, pictures

We now know after Iraq and Katrina that this administration is incompetent and criminally negligent. We have to take matters in hand at every level. If our national government refuses to act then it must begin at the grassroots.

Project Censored: The news that didn't make the news

The most important story of the year that was ignored by the MSM:

Project Censored

Novak: With friends like these, does Bush need enemies?

Now Republicans are bashing Bush. At a conference of the "well-heeled" and wealthy held in Aspen presumed former supporters of Bush purportedly engaged in constant and thorough criticism of our man in the white house. The wheels are truly coming off this administration:

With friends like these, does Bush need enemies?

The Left Coaster: Top Republican Tells Post: Laura Has Taken Away Bush's Swagger

What happened to the swagger of our prez: Ask Laura

Asshole :: Film Strip International

Check it out:


Saturday, September 24, 2005

John descends along the Pipeline trail. Posted by Picasa

Jim, rick, and Paul on Old Stage Road. Posted by Picasa

Paul, Rick, and Jim on Old Stage Road. Posted by Picasa

Rick, John, and Paul on today's 18-mile loop run up the Gold Camp Road, Old Stage, FR 379, Pipeline, and seven bridges trail west of our fair city (Colorado Springs) Posted by Picasa

Rebekka receiving a nice sports bag for her finish. Posted by Picasa

Rebekka and Steve following the Montana Marathon in Billings, MT, September 18th. Steve finished 3rd overall in the marathon, while Rebekka was 3rd in her age group in the half. Posted by Picasa

There are many more funny pictures from Bush's vacation here. Posted by Picasa

Climbing Boulder | Rock Climbing | Ice | Bouldering | Alpine | Beta | Photos | Updated Daily

Great web site on climbing in Colorado (thanks John):

Climbing Boulder Home

Media Reform Information Center

This web site has a lot of good links about how our media is controlled by just a handful of corporations.

Media Reform Information Center

Friday, September 23, 2005

Bush is Reportedly Drinking Again Bush is Reportedly Drinking Again Pattern of Abuse -- Page 1 Pattern of Abuse -- Page 1: "The U.S. Army has launched a criminal investigation into new allegations of serious prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan made by a decorated former Captain in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, an Army spokesman has confirmed to TIME. "

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Bloomberg says U.S.: "The widening investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff is moving beyond the confines of tawdry influence-peddling to threaten leading figures in the Republican hierarchy that dominates Washington."

O'Reilly touted Iraqi oil "success story," but ... [Media Matters]

O'Reilly touted Iraqi oil "success story," but ... [Media Matters]: "On both the September 21 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor and that day's broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Bill O'Reilly offered misleading data to praise the post-war rehabilitation of the Iraqi oil industry. Calling Iraqi oil exports 'one success story in Iraq that hasn't been told' O'Reilly stated that Iraqi oil production was at '98 percent of capacity.' But his assertion that Iraq is pumping close to capacity ignores the larger issue that the capacity level -- the total volume the nation is capable of producing -- has decreased from pre-war levels, a decline that has steepened in the first six months of 2005."

Falafel Bill's head explodes!

Here's an interesting statistic Phil Donahue brings up in the interview: Two things have doubled in the last year--the number of dead American soldiers in Iraq and the price of Haliburton's stock.

Go here: Crooks and Liars for the video. MUST SEE.


Phil goes on the offensive immediately telling Billy that he's leading the pack to marginalize Cindy Sheehan.

Donohue: Cindy Sheehan is one tough mother and nothing you say or anyone else is going to slow her down.

Bill: That's fine, she's has a right-

Phil:....You can't hurt her, she's already taken the biggest punch in the nose that a woman can take.

Bill, in his infinite wisdom asks: How? Phil: She's lost a son- Bill: Oh, OK...

Phil asks O'Reilly if his children would fight in the war and the meltdown ensues. Bill tells him that his nephew just joined (that's not his kids) and blows his top. O'Reilly threatens to boot Donohue off the set for saying absolutely nothing. The bloviator really lost it, playing the ' you're denigrating him' card. If C&L was like certain right wing sites, I'm sure we would fact check Billy's nephew.

Bill, what did Phil say to denigrate him? Nothing. Donohue brought up Jeremy Glick.

Phil: I'm not Jeremy Glick, Billy...You can't intimidate me..."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - Ed Quillen

Our own Ed Quillen from Salida weighs in with this Sunday piece in the Denver Post:
"Of Course Bush Cares...


Well, at least our morality police haven't gone to these extremes.... YET!


When fanatics decide they have "all the answers", whether Christian or Muslim.... the situation is dire....

onegoodmove: Bush On The Wing

Pretty good.... Scenes of our prez to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Pigs on the Wing"...

onegoodmove: Bush On The Wing

No Place for a Poet at a Banquet of Shame

The Nation:

"...the poet Sharon Olds has declined to attend the National Book Festival in Washington, which, coincidentally or not, takes place September 24, the day of an antiwar mobilization in the capital. Olds, winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and professor of creative writing at New York University, was invited along with a number of other writers by First Lady Laura Bush to read from their works. Three years ago artist Jules Feiffer declined to attend the festival's White House breakfast as a protest against the Iraq War ('Mr. Feiffer Regrets,' November 11, 2002)."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Go to Google and do a search on "failure", clicking on "I'm feeling lucky" and see what comes up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Parting shot at Granite's Peak as the grey cloud overtakes the monolith. Posted by Picasa

SB turned around here at 1100 on September 13th, after nearly 11 miles and more than 5,000' of elevation gain. The turnaround decision was made after great reluctance based on my philosophy that "the mountain isn't going anywhere". It was later in the day than I had planned to be at this point, an ominous grey cloud was overtaking the peak, the class 4 climb had the added difficulties of snow and ice, I was alone. I turned back with extreme reluctance after the considerable work I had put in to make it this far. The guide book I consulted recommended the month of August as the optimum time to climb this remote peak. I think September is better due to the much fewer thunderstorms, but then again there is the freak snowstorm that can throw a wrench into the machinery. Early snow is the worst, because it is loose and unconsolidated. It conceals the rocks, but does nothing to cushion their edges... Posted by Picasa

SB's beleaguered runner's toe suffered the added ignominy of frost nip on the tip while on Froze to Death plateau. The toe's tip stayed white and numb for better than an hour before it came back to life following vigorous rubbing. Posted by Picasa

Sunrise on Froze to Death Plateau. With temps hovering at 15F it was truly chilly. Posted by Picasa

SB on Froze to Death Plateau en route to Granite Peak. Posted by Picasa

The saddle where the climber's route to Granite Peak parts ways with the Phantom Creek pack trail. Posted by Picasa

The sun does Rebekka... Posted by Picasa

Now we're talking SNOW. Posted by Picasa

More snow Posted by Picasa

Incipient snowfall Posted by Picasa

The light rain turned to snow as we near Mystic Lake. Posted by Picasa

The approach to Granite Peak is long. We backpacked in 6 miles. The first segment took us three miles in to a hydro-electric project, Mystic Lake at 8000'. Posted by Picasa

Car camping before our assault on Granite Peak, high point of Montana. The bumper sticker on the left reads "We support the guy in China making those idiotic yellow magnets", the right sticker reads "Come the rapture, can I have your car?" Posted by Picasa

Offerings at the "Medicine Wheel". Posted by Picasa

Medicine Wheel, Wyoming: thought to have been built somewhere between 1200 and 1700 by Native Americans, this "wheel" with multiple spokes at nearly 10,000' elevation looks like it could roll off the hillside. Posted by Picasa

Overlook to Bucking Mule Falls, Wyoming. This was a short little 3-mile hike to an exceptionally beautiful overlook. We saw no one on the trail, though there were camping trailers scattered in every turnout along the 8-mile gravel road to the trailhead. Hunters one assumes. We saw a nice buck with two doe in tow along the trail. Fortunately it was probably too far in for the large rear-ended hunters to haul their rifles. Posted by Picasa

Bucking Mule Falls, Big Horn National Forest, Wyoming Posted by Picasa