Archive for March, 2006

Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon – the issue of Peak Oil

| March 23, 2006 | 4 Replies
Civilization as we know it is coming to an end soon – the issue of Peak Oil

No, this isn’t one of the many religious end-of-the-world warnings based on dusty books or personal revelations. It’s much worse. It is the story of “peak oil,” based on the sort of evidence that leaves both disciplined scientists and conservative bankers tossing in their sleep. Exhibit A is the refusal of oil companies to build […]

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Understanding a billion

| March 23, 2006 | Reply
Understanding a billion

A dollar bill is approximately 0.0035″ thick.  So, a stack of one billion dollar bills would be 55.24 miles high. A stack of 224 billion dollar bills (the approximate cost so far of invading Iraq) would be 12,373.76 miles high.  That’s halfway around the earth’s equator (the earth’s circumference is 24,900 miles).   A stack of nine […]

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Wasn’t the Iraq insurgency foreseeable?

| March 23, 2006 | 1 Reply
Wasn’t the Iraq insurgency foreseeable?

One thing I still don’t understand about Iraq is why nobody in the Bush Administration apparently anticipated this long-running insurgency.  Wasn’t it reasonably foreseeable that some of Iraq’s tens of thousands of Republican Guard troops, and hundreds of thousands of regulars, could simply hide their weapons and melt back into the population so they could live […]

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I Give Homage to God. I am Morally Superior.

| March 23, 2006 | 6 Replies
I Give Homage to God.  I am Morally Superior.

People who don’t believe in God are constantly disparaged as immoral by those who do.  Many conservatives believe that most of what they perceive to be wrong with the world can be traced to secular humanism, a phrase they can barely utter without spitting.  For them, secular humanism is a nasty weed that sprouts from […]

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Hell is Unconstitutional – Boycott Heaven

| March 22, 2006 | 6 Replies
Hell is Unconstitutional – Boycott Heaven

When my friend Doug wrote that “God loves us like an abusive parent,” it sounded so very harsh, but it then reminded me of that most troublesome of concepts:  hell. I was raised Catholic, where hell was portrayed to be a very bad place to go.  Many Catholics, however, and many liberal Christians, don’t believe […]

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Modern Heroes and Modern Politicians

| March 21, 2006 | Reply
Modern Heroes and Modern Politicians

When did careful planning and execution become un-cool in real life? Probably about the same time it became un-cool in Hollywood.  Think how the American hero has evolved. He used to be smart, principled and disciplined.  Not anymore.  Where we used to have student-of-the-game Ted Williams, we now have Barry Bonds.  Where we used to […]

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Earth is Turning into a Giant Slum

| March 21, 2006 | Reply
Earth is Turning into a Giant Slum

Salon.com offers a review of Mike Davis’ distressing new book:  “Planet of Slums.” According to Davis, most of Earth’s growth “is occurring in shantytowns and tenements stretching from Karachi, Pakistan, to Lima, Peru, where people live crowded together in densities that sometime dwarf those of such notorious 19th century human anthills . . .” Planet […]

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Sunk Costs and Iraq

| March 21, 2006 | 1 Reply
Sunk Costs and Iraq

Three years ago, my 96-year-old grandfather was dying and he was upset.  But he wasn’t upset about dying. He approached his own death with great inner strength.  What made him upset was that his government had needlessly invaded Iraq.  Because Iraq was not a threat, he said, we were squandering precious resources better used at […]

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Stop the War. Feed the People

| March 19, 2006 | 1 Reply
Stop the War.  Feed the People

On March 19, 2006, 900 demonstrators converged on Forest Park in St. Louis to make the following statement: “Stop the War-Feed the People.” The demonstrators set up a cemetery with 2000 tombstones honoring people killed in the Iraq war (each tombstone contained the name of one American and one Iraqi citizen):   This St. Louis demonstration […]

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