Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The End of America

Returning to Naomi Wolf. After watching her interview on C-Span After Words: "Naomi Wolf interviewed by Viet Dinh" (Aired: 10/20/2007) Podcast page

After watching it on C-Span last week I was so affected that I downloaded the podcast and listened to the full one-hour program again. Today I listened to it for the third time. Every American concerned about democracy and the preservation of the Constitution should hear it.
Important interview of Pete Seeger on
Book Forum covers the debate on the New Atheism

On a registered paid-users-only web site I follow,, there was a compelling trip report on hiking Corsica. Here is a link to a photo gallery with captions tracing the trip. The next best thing to doing the hike.

HuffPo: Mike Gravel comments on his exclusion from last night's debate

RawStory: Scholar links Bush's US and Hirohito's Japan

Important OpEd from this morning: I know waterboarding is torture, because I did it myself

Link to video of Valery Plame Wilson on the Daily Show last night
I just read Garry Wills' "Negro President" (Jefferson, because he courted the slave states, where negros though they couldn't vote comprised 3/5ths of a person for electoral college purposes). It covers much of the same ground as the following book. Jefferson called it the second revolution. Any notion that our founding fathers were calm dispassionate sages pontificating in their white powdered wigs will fade quickly upon close examination of the actual bitter partisanship and acrimony of the times.

A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign

by Edward J. Larson

Reviewed by Thom Hartmann

One of the most startling things we learn from history is how little we've learned -- and how often that failure to learn causes history to repeat itself. The election of 2008 may well -- depending on who is the Democratic nominee -- end up being a startling replay of the election of 1800. In that election, Thomas Jefferson, who along with James Madison founded what is today's modern Democratic Party (known then as the Republican Party), challenged sitting president and ardent conservative Federalist (what today would be called "Republican") John Adams.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Permian Extinction: Global Warming 250M years ago

I'm watching an excellent show on National Geographic Channel, "Naked Science: Extinctions" Only one in twenty species survived this global warming extinction 250 million years ago... I read a book on the same subject recently: Extinction: How Life on Earth nearly ended 250 million years ago.

I think this is where we are heading now with man-caused Global Warming. Will mankind survive? At the very least the population must decrease drastically. Money won't matter. Survival of the fittest will prevail.

Tuesday evening links

Just got back from German movie night at Colorado College. Tonight we watched "Die Verlorene Ehre der Katherina Blum" based on a novella of the same name by Heinrich Boell. I had seen it in the mid '80's while stationed in Germany and learning the language. Seeing it tonight was both a refresher and a revelation. The themes and lessons apply precisely to the Bush/Cheney Amerika.

Excellent blog I just discovered: Global Guerrillas

Peak Oil watch: from Five geopolitical processes, each a positive-feedback loop, and each an accelerant of declining oil production

It is one thing when some crackpot bubble blogger says the market is overvalued and due for a fall. It is quite another when Goldman Sachs, one of world’s largest investment banking and securities firms, says the same thing.

"Wall of Money" set to flow into Asian renewable energy

More Peak Oil: In an exclusive interview with, the former head of exploration and production at Saudi Aramco, said that oil production had reached a structural ceiling determined by geology rather than geopolitics, and that the technical floor for the oil price will rise by $12 annually for the next 4 to 5 years as new fields become increasingly costly to exploit

New York Magazine: The Catastrophist View: What would it take to send the U.S. economy—and New York’s—into free fall? A doomsday primer.

When Jim Rogers speaks, I listen: Here he is on "China Bubbles" (not happening) and Bernanke's Printing Press

Finally, from the Freedom From Religion Foundation: Why Jesus?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Here is where to put your money: China Energy Prospects

The Podcast
(Energy News, podcasts, interviews)

return of the Karduchoi

Tom Dispatch: Thoughts on getting to the March (against the war)

American Prison Camps are on the way (and you might be an internee, innocent and guilty have no bearing)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Link roundup

HuffPo: Marty Kaplan: No blood for no oil

NYT: Alberto Salazar: Marathoner Speaks to his god

The Guardian: The edge of oblivion:
Conservationists name 25 primates about to disappear

Springs Culture Cast: Interview with Noel Black, publisher of Newspeak: a very independent and very necessary alternative publication in the sick James Dobson "Focus on the Family" country.

Steven Weber: No justice, no peace: As the Bush war machine rolls along, the profiteer horde has filled its sacks and there is little that will be left when they skip out to their ranches or beach front condos or corporate headquarters or upscale hooches.

Der Spiegel: White House Leak: Cheney's Plan for Iran Attack Starts With Israeli Missile Strike

The Bush Era's Dark Legacy of Torture

Important Film: Terror's Advocate

NYT: The Evangelical Crackup

NYT: Bush's Dangerous Liasons
Yesterday I was in D.C. running on the mall with old Air Force and other services running friends in memorial of fellow runner, Mike Mann, who died recently of lung cancer from second-hand smoke at the age of 39. What a spirit. His motto was "Don't give up. Don't ever give up". He lived this motto to his last breath. This year in his last year of life he completed his Bacalaureate Degree with Magna Cum Lauda honors, and retired from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant with 20 years service. One year ago, following chemotherapy, he ran his last marathon at Virginia Beach in 2 hours 54 minutes.

After running on 17 Air Force and DoD teams in my 24-year Air Force career, the last race I ran for the Air Force was the Marine Corps Marathon in 2003. At 48 years of age I was well beyond my peak so I "sacrificed" myself to run side-by-side with Mike for the first 13 miles to help him stay on pace for a sub-2:40 run. After the half-way point I faded on cue to a 2:56 finish. Mike went on to run a 2:37 marathon and 2nd Air Force runner in the Air Force's victory.
I just discovered that my brother, J. Douglas Bremner, M.D. has been invited to blog on Huffington Post. Here is one of his recent posts : The Hospitals are killing us. But now the Schools too?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Vagabonding author Rolf Potts has a Vagablog

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Scientist Space: 13 things that do not make sense interviews Paul Krugman: "Where does the Right-Wing End and the Media Begin?"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Guardian: Naomi Wolf: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps

Links for Wednesday evening

Factory Farming is cruel, but it may also lead to antibiotic resistant staph infections...

Robert Redford's new movie "Lions for Lambs" Roars at Rome Film Festival (And yes, it's very political)

Amy Goodman sez: "Hold Politician's Feet to the Fire" --literally--regarding global warming and the fires in California

In the last week or so I've come to know several very key people and their ideas. They have hit me hard and their message resonates with the current of the times.

1) Naomi Wolf with her new book "The End of America" on the slow march towards totalitarianism that is happening in our country. Start with her profile on or her author blog on Powell's web site. I watched her on C-Span After Words last night and was so impressed that I downloaded the podcast of the interview and listened to it again today. She outlines the ten steps that totalitarian regimes take to shut down democracy. They track right along with what Bush/Cheney are doing. Read the introduction to "The End of America".

2) Bill McKibben is leading the fight to bring awareness of the urgency of Global Warming through his efforts at and his writings, most recently Deep Economy.
He spoke at Colorado College last month but at the time I didn't even know who he was. Since then I've read one of his books "Wandering Home" about a 200-mile trek between his two homes-- one in Vermont and the other in upstate New York.

3) Naomi Klein with her new book "The Shock Doctrine" in which she articulates the way disaster capitalism moves quickly to grab wealth in the wake of catastrophe.

And here is another link to track:
I think we are living in very exciting times. There are huge challenges to move towards sustainability and eliminate the carbon footprint. Will we be smart enough to adapt?

Perry Como

Papa Loves Mambo -- hit from 1954

Carbon Output rising faster than forecast

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We are mammals

Though I have never really "believed" in any religion I have not until now fully embraced "atheism". What does that mean to embrace atheism? Christopher Hitchens in his recent book, "God is not Great" refers to we humans often as mammals. I think that is appropriate. It provides perspective. Though we have "consciousness" and "awareness" (at least some of us) we are still mere mammals. We need to remember that. We need to be more humble. I find it astoundingly ignorant that a cluster of us have embraced texts 2000 years old and older as the heighth of truth. This is the legacy of Christianity and Judaism. These texts were written by men and edited by men who had an agenda long before the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and prior to modern science and Newton and Einstein and Darwin.
James Kunstler reports on the Peak Oil Conference in Houston: Peak Universe

Amazon Review: Green Sky in the Morning, Humanity take Warning (The world has experience of Global Warming. The world goes on. Life continues. Many species do not.)

Dick Cavett blogging on NYT says: Hey Listen! This one will kill ya!

The Field Negro sez Silence is never Golden! (Thanks Jose)

Army Captains pelt Joint Chief of Staff Adm Mullen with tough questions on war

Tom Tomorrow presents the perfect Repug candidate for Prez: Ugg Mighty Hunter

Oh, did I mention that I have weaned myself from Microsoft Vista? I am now 100% Linux Ubuntu

Richard Dawkins, prominent atheist and scientist, tells us it's "Time to Stand Up"
DailyKos Diary: Has the U.S. Reached its Debit Limit? one is going to come out and say they have lost confidence in the US' financial situation. Instead they will simple go on quietly selling dollars.

It's not Left vs Right any more. It's Right vs Wrong: Arianna Huffington: Midnight in America

Monday, October 22, 2007

Is America experiencing a moment of "unbelief"? Heaven forbid!
Jason Epstein on the Nuclear Threat. I am going to have to look up this book by Richard Rhodes, one of my favorite authors: Arsenals of Folly: the Making of the Nuclear Arms Race.

Steven Weber on Huffpost: Technologie Macht Freiheit!

Andrew Skurka hiking a long ways!

Bad Religion? LA is burning

Hillary's Sex Appeal

Bad Religion? Los Angeles is burning

Monday link round up

Peak Oil is Now: what are you going to do about it?

TomDispatch: A Guide for the Perplexed: Intellectual Fallacies of the War on Terror By Chalmers Johnson

Why is New Zealand scooping the American press again? Destruction of Evidence -- Ohio's 2004 Ballots

Game: Consumer Consequences: Find out if you are living a sustainable life

Congressman Dennis Hastert, R. Ill. announces retirement as Abramoff Scandal nips at his heels

Naomi Klein: Outsourcing Government

NYT Travel section: France goes biking in Paris! Finding Liberte on two wheels

Truthdig: Scott Ritter says we are "On the Eve of Destruction" (That phrase achieves resonance with me because I have a vivid memory of the first time I heard that song sung by Barry McGuire in 1965--it shook me to my core)

Huffington Post: Marty Kaplan asks in a brilliant post: Soros or Murdoch?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Denver Post: Athletes over 40 hurdle past records, stereotypes

Nietzsche's Cosmos

Harper's Magazine: Nietzsche's Cosmos

In some remote corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever animals invented Recognition. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of “world history,” but in any event it was never more than a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled and congealed, and thus the clever animals had to die. One might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how pathetic, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary is this human intellect from the perspective of nature. There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when the story of humankind and its intellect has gone to its end, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no additional mission which would lead it beyond human life. Rather, it is human, and only its possessor and begetter takes it seriously–as though the world’s axis turned in its midst. But if we could communicate with the gnat, we would learn that he likewise flies through the air with the same solemnity, that he feels the flying center of the universe within himself. There is nothing so reprehensible and unimportant in nature that it would not immediately swell up like a balloon at the slightest puff of this power of knowing. And just as every porter wants to have an admirer, so even the proudest of men, the philosopher, supposes that he sees on all sides the eyes of the universe telescopically focused upon his action and thought.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Über Wahrheit und Lüge im außermoralischen Sinn sec. 1 (1873) in: Werke in drei Bänden, vol. 3, p. 309 (K. Schlechta ed. 1969)(S.H. transl.)

It has started...

Japan and China Lead Flight From Dollar

Data from the US Treasury showed outflows of $163bn (£80bn) from all forms of US investments. "These numbers are absolutely stunning," said Marc Ostwald, an economist at Insinger de Beaufort.

Asian investors dumped $52bn worth of US Treasury bonds alone, led by Japan ($23bn), China ($14.2bn) and Taiwan ($5bn). It is the first time since 1998 that foreigners have, on balance, sold Treasuries.

Blogger Buzz: Environmental Blog Roundup

Blogger Buzz: Environmental Blog Roundup

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sioux City Iowa "Lewis and Clark" Marathon Results

The marathon has passed into the annals of the history of Bremner. It was not a pretty event. Running only about 10 miles a week doesn't bode well for a 26.2 mile race. The course spent a lot of time on concrete bike paths for the first 10 miles. At mile 12 we saw our first hill. Not too bad, but I had to let go of the young Army medic I had been talking to for the previous five miles. Running his first marathon he qualified for Boston with a 3:07. This after training in Iraq by running five mile loops around the base at 4:30 A.M.!

After the halfway point I knew it was going to be a hard day. As someone passed me he asked me if I knew how bad the hill coming up was. I told him I thought we already passed the hill. "There is supposed to be an even bigger hill at mile 17". Well, at least I had something to look forward to. At the 16-mile mark the hill began. With the exception of a couple flat spots here and there it continued relentlessly for a full two miles, zapping whatever I had left in my legs. I slowed to 8 and 9 minute miles and eventually even 10 minute miles. At mile 20 Forrest Gump passed me--someone dressed like Forrest with a fake beard and long hair. I gamely caught back up to him and passed him. I got beat by a hot dog in the PPA--that was humiliating enough--but Forrest Gump? Well, that only lasted until mile 22 where he passed me and proceeded to bury me.

Time: 3:31
No age group award
I am in Sioux City, Iowa this morning about to run the Sioux City "Lewis and Clark Marathon". This will be my 45th marathon state and 86th marathon.

Former legal council for President Nixon, John Dean says: "Government Surveillance Threatens Your Freedom, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Windbelt Micro-wind, 10 Times Cheaper Wind Energy!!

Leahy Rips Reported Compromise On FISA: Intel Committee Is ‘Caving’ To White House Pressure.

Obesity is a problem that is chronic, stigmatised, costly to treat and rarely curable. Why?

Shapes of Things to com:

Blackwater: Newly created Thug Class.

Music Scholar Barred From U.S., but no one will tell Her why.

Bill McKibben web site

The World According to Dubya

London Times: The World According to Dubya: 50 Religious Insights from George W. Bush

This is how the rest of the world sees us. If it wasn't so scary it would be funny. What a country!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dalai Lama Asks -- "If Buddhist Doctrine of 'No-Self' Is Wrong, Who Are These People?"

Anatta says that personal identity - the self - is actually an illusion. Instead, each of us is an aggregation of different factors (biological, historical, karmic, experiential, etc.), intersecting to create the false sense that we exist as distinct beings. The Buddha compared the self to a chariot: Is the "chariotness" in the wheels, the axle, the seat ... or not in any single place at all?
Oh! The hypocrisy. (Mukasey, Durbin and the Right)
Rolling Stone: The Ethanol Scam

Currency traders were given a green light to continue selling the US dollar on Wednesday, as the IMF said the greenback “remains overvalued”.

Though Al Gore reportedly said he is not running for President, why has he put out policy positions on three presidential candidate platforms in the last few days?

London Review of Books: It's the Oil

The World Oil Forecasts Including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE - Update Oct 2007

Juan Cole: Oil Peak or Peak Oil?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

From Harper's Weekly

Ramzi Yousef, the jailed mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, converted to Christianity, and guru Sri Chinmoy, author of 1,500 books and organizer of the Self-Transcendence 3,100, the world's longest footrace, died of a heart attack.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My wishlist
Free Rice: Improve your vocabulary and help solve world hunger

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blogger Play is a great time-waster. It shows a slide show of the latest pictures as they are uploaded to

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yesterday the Daily Olympian posted photos of 46 local soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq in 2006-2007.

Barack Obama speaks out against going to war with Iraq in 2002. Prescient.

Oregon couple goes off the grid in 1970's Tudor house.

StepItUp: Five Day walk across Vermont for stopping Global Warming.

TomGram: Nick Turse, The Pentagon's 100-year War

Interview with Richard Dawkins

Monty Python - International Philosophy

HuffPo has some really great posts recently. Here are a couple more MUST-READs:

Naomi Wolf: American Tears I didn't realize it was getting this bad...

Larisa Alexandrovna lays out the stark reality behind the attacks eloquently in Our Cold Civil War.
Absolutely MUST-READ Dyno-mite conversation between Naomi Klein and John Cusack on Huffington Post:

Part I

Part II

Money quote:

Cusack: Right, you have a quote in the book: "It's impossible to tell where the government ends and Lockheed begins." And the most unbelievable thing about it besides the carnage and the hubris and the insanity of it all is how blatantly they lie about their dedication to strict economic Darwinist rules. It's the mother of all con jobs -- free market rhetoric is being used as the cover story for crony capitalism... They are the biggest welfare freaks on the planet. On Democracy Now recently you recited Alan Greenspan's definition of crony capitalism to his face and asked him if the U.S. fits the bill:

"When a government's leaders or businesses routinely seek out private-sector individuals or businesses, and, in exchange for political support, bestow favors on them, the society is said to be in the grip of "crony capitalism". The favors generally take the form of monopoly access to certain markets, preferred access to sales of government assets, and special access to those in power."

He dodged the question, of course, but that seems to be a precise description of the Bush administration and its relationship to its favorite corporations. Not exactly the free-market propaganda they've been selling around the world, is it?

(And later in the conversation…)

We've had Poppa Wayne (Reagan) and Baby Wayne (Bush). Ronald Reagan was the old John Wayne...when kindness comes. But the key to the old Wayne is that he was once a killer; you can see it in his eyes... beneath the kindness lingers that hard truth: he was once a killer. He tames the natural world, but he does it with a veneer of benevolence.

Bush is the young John Wayne -- Ethan from The Searchers. Obsessive. Merciless. Ethan is a deranged person. He will fight the battle no one has the guts to whatever it takes...kill whoever violates the natural law of the frontier (jungle). This cowboy is the great righter of wrongs. He is wrath incarnate. Part of the mythology is that he's wrong a lot and pig headed and stubborn, it's part of the package. But he is a force of nature and you can argue about it all you want, but you must respect a force of nature.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Republicans have an alternative: Ron Paul

I can't support him because he is a religious nut like the rest of them.
Paul Krugman is at his best this morning: Same Old Party

Excerpt: "People claim to be shocked that the Bush Justice Department, making a mockery of the Constitution, issued a secret opinion authorizing torture despite instructions by Congress and the courts that the practice should stop. But remember Iran-Contra? The Reagan administration secretly sold weapons to Iran, violating a legal embargo, and used the proceeds to support the Nicaraguan contras, defying an explicit Congressional ban on such support."
This is too good to be true: Haggard and Craig used the same escort?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

World Mountain Running Trophy 2007 (Senior Men - Part 1)

This is what I do. Others may take up bowling...

WaPost: An Exit Toward Soul-Searching: As Bush Staffers Leave, Questions About Legacy Abound

One former senior official said nearly everyone who has left the administration is angry in some way or another -- at the president for making bad decisions, at his staff for misguiding him, at events that have spiraled out of control.
WaPost: Dan Froomkin: Torture Continued, an excellent round-up of links and blog posts from lawyers on the tortured torture policy of the Bushevics.
LA Times: I survived Blackwater

A former U.S. official received the security company's services -- and witnessed its disregard for Iraqi lives.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Barcelona on DailyKos: Wake the Hell up! "Much of the Amazon basin is burning"

"The planet is shifting gears on us. And we, collectively, aren't paying attention. Those of us in the driver's seat are asleep at the wheel, and the rest are all squabbling over their toys in the back seat. While the vessel we're driving in is careening wildly. That vessel is indestructible, by the way. It can hit a wall, drive over a cliff, sink under water, even burn, and emerge unscathed. A massive orb of rock and iron, that will continue on its stately path, rotating across the field of stars, for all eternity (or what we humans conceive as such). We're the ones committing slow-motion suicide."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday, October 04, 2007

James Woolsey at Colorado College

Went to see James Woolsey speak this evening at Colorado College's Shove Chapel. Though at times when he was speaking of the"terrorist threat" I thought he looked and sounded just like Cheney on balance the talk was positive and constructive. The theme was energy. As in get off dependence on Middle East oil. Stop sending global warming gas into the atmosphere. How do we do this? The way is not easy and the answer lies in "wedges" of solutions not a single silver bullet. As a neo-con it is encouraging that he is forward thinking and recognizes the problem and is seeking solution sets. What is is troubling is that we still look to the neo-cons for anything that effects the public sphere after the disaster that is Iraq.
Boyhood friend of mine pioneers coal sequestration project in Pacific Northwest.

Andrew Sullivan: Bush War Criminal (based on today's explosive NYT article)

World Bank accused of destroying Congo forests

Five Million and Counting -- Iraqi Refugees Weigh on Our National Conscience

Iraq and Armageddon

On Dan Rather's law suit:

James Goodale

Sidney Blumenthal

Greg Palast

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Went to see "In the Valley of Elah" tonight. Very powerful film with Tommy Lee Jones playing an Iraqi soldier's father. The soldier came back from Iraq and was murdered a couple days later. Tommy Lee Jones trys to solve why his son was killed. Ebert gives it 4 stars. I agree.

As I sat in the theater I thought about Bruce Springsteen's new album, Magic and a piece by David Corn I had read on line from the Nation. Things are terribly wrong in America. It won't be getting better for a long time. Bruce Springsteen is in despair. So am I.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Right Wing Authoritarian (RWA) Followers and selective memory re: Viet Nam and Iraq: They just don't get it -- never will: The Best Wars of their lives