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Requiem for a Truth Teller…

One of the last surviving heroes from my youth died today.

All of us knew George Carlin as a side-splitting comedian who always seemed to hit whatever he spoke about dead on. One of my other heroes, Robert Anton Wilson who passed away two years ago used to call him “America’s greatest philosopher”.

That’s more than a joke.

All of us learned deep truths about ourselves and our society from the man.  It wasn’t only the words he used, but the effect of those words on our own thought processes and reality tunnels.

Socrates was a teacher and an iconoclast; he dared to question the status quo. He taught by asking questions, building one question upon another until the truth emerged.   He never “taught” a class or wrote a book either.

WEBSTER‘S Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines Iconoclast as:

1. A breaker or destroyer of images or idols; a determined enemy of idol worship.

2. One who exposes or destroys impositions or shams; one who attacks cherished beliefs; a radical.

That was Carlin’s approach.  By using humor he gained the widest possible audience to sew his doubts about conventional wisdom on just about every subject.

He kept doing it, too.  His last HBO special entitled “It’s Bad For You” aired a few months ago. I can think of no one, other than Timothy Leary, who had a bigger effect on an entire generation’s perception of reality.

John Stewart and Bill Maher are today’s “Truth Tellers” and we are lucky to have them.  They are the only ones who have been shouting about the Emperor’s clothes while the MSM looked the other way.

But Carlin barely bothered with politics.  Too easy.  He went after the big ones like religion and our own ridiculous, self-serving patterns of behavior.

Here’s a clip of my favorite of his “religion routines”.

Those who want more can watch his last one hour HBO special, complete at the link below.

Watch George Carlin… It’s Bad for Ya! (2008) Online Here!

June 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Not Just irresponsible… It’s OUTRAGEOUS !”

Barack speaking about McCain’s economic policy. Great 2 minute clip….

GOBAMA!

June 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Barack talks to all of us who made it happen…

A thirteen minute vid really worth seeing. This is an “inside” speech. Gentle and thoughtful.

Thank you Barack. That’s why I started this blog.

GOBAMA 08

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

$45 trillion needed to combat warming

$45 trillion needed to combat warming

By JOSEPH COLEMAN, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 6, 7:06 AM ET

TOKYO – The world needs to invest $45 trillion in energy in coming decades, build some 1,400 nuclear power plants and vastly expand wind power in order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to an energy study released Friday.

The report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency envisions a “energy revolution” that would greatly reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining steady economic growth.

“Meeting this target of 50 percent cut in emissions represents a formidable challenge, and we would require immediate policy action and technological transition on an unprecedented scale,” IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said.

A U.N.-network of scientists concluded last year that emissions have to be cut by at least half by 2050 to avoid an increase in world temperatures of between 3.6 and 4.2 degrees above pre-18th century levels.

Scientists say temperature increases beyond that could trigger devastating effects, such as widespread loss of species, famines and droughts, and swamping of heavily populated coastal areas by rising oceans.

Environment ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized countries and Russia backed the 50 percent target in a meeting in Japan last month and called for it to be officially endorsed at the G-8 summit in July.

The IEA report mapped out two main scenarios: one in which emissions are reduced to 2005 levels by 2050, and a second that would bring them to half of 2005 levels by mid-century.

The scenario for deeper cuts would require massive investment in energy technology development and deployment, a wide-ranging campaign to dramatically increase energy efficiency, and a wholesale shift to renewable sources of energy.

Assuming an average 3.3 percent global economic growth over the 2010-2050 period, governments and the private sector would have to make additional investments of $45 trillion in energy, or 1.1 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, the report said.

That would be an investment more than three times the current size of the entire U.S. economy.

The second scenario also calls for an accelerated ramping up of development of so-called “carbon capture and storage” technology allowing coal-powered power plants to catch emissions and inject them underground.

The study said that an average of 35 coal-powered plants and 20 gas-powered power plants would have to be fitted with carbon capture and storage equipment each year between 2010 and 2050.

In addition, the world would have to construct 32 new nuclear power plants each year, and wind-power turbines would have to be increased by 17,000 units annually. Nations would have to achieve an eight-fold reduction in carbon intensity — the amount of carbon needed to produce a unit of energy — in the transport sector.

Such action would drastically reduce oil demand to 27 percent of 2005 demand. Failure to act would lead to a doubling of energy demand and a 130 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, IEA officials said.

“This development is clearly not sustainable,” said Dolf Gielen, an IEA energy analyst and leader for the project.

Gielen said most of the $45 trillion forecast investment — about $27 trillion — would be borne by developing countries, which will be responsible for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Most of the money would be in the commercialization of energy technologies developed by governments and the private sector.

“If industry is convinced there will be policy for serious, deep CO2 emission cuts, then these investments will be made by the private sector,” Gielen said.

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mofaz: Israel attack on Iran ‘unavoidable’ if nuclear program continued

Mofaz: Israel attack on Iran ‘unavoidable’ if nuclear program continued

By Reuters
Tags: Shaul Mofaz
An Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites looks “unavoidable” given the apparent failure of Western sanctions to deny Tehran technology with bomb-making potential, Transportation Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz said Friday.

“If Iran continues with its program for developing nuclear weapons, we will attack it. The sanctions are ineffective,” Mofaz told the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

“Attacking Iran, in order to stop its nuclear plans, will be unavoidable,” said the former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff who later served as defense minister.

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It was the most explicit threat yet against Iran from a member of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government, which, like the Bush administration, has preferred to hint at force as a last resort should United Nations Security Council sanctions fail to achieve the desired abandonment of nuclear development by Tehran.

Iran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons, has defied Western pressure to abandon its uranium enrichment projects. The leadership in Tehran has also threatened to retaliate against Israel – believed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal – and U.S. targets in the Gulf for any attack on Iranian turf.

Mofaz also said in the interview that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, “would disappear before Israel does.”

Mofaz’s remarks came as he and several other senior members of Olmert’s Kadima Party prepare for a possible run for top office should a corruption scandal force the Israeli prime minister to step down.

Iranian-born Mofaz has been a main party rival of the Israeli prime minister, particularly following the 2006 elections when Olmert was forced to hand the defence portfolio to Labor, his main coalition partner, at Mofaz’s expense.

Mofaz, who is also designated as a deputy prime minister, has remained privy to Israel’s defense planning. He is a member of Olmert’s security cabinet and leads regular strategic coordination talks with the U.S. State Department.

Israel sent warplanes to destroy Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981.

A similar Israeli sortie over Syria last September razed what the U.S. administration said was a nascent nuclear reactor built with North Korean help. Syria denied having any such facility.

Independent analysts have questioned, however, whether Israel’s armed forces can take on Iran alone, as its nuclear sites are numerous, distant and well-fortified

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Limited US attack on Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases in sight

June 2, 2008, 11:31 AM (GMT+02:00)

US

Our Washington sources report that president George W. Bush is closer than ever before to ordering a limited missile-air bombardment of the IRGC-al Qods Brigade’s installations in Iran. It is planned to target training camps and the munitions factories pumping fighters, missiles and roadside bombs to the Iraqi insurgency, Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.

Iran is geared up for counteraction.

US intelligence estimates that Tehran’s counteraction will likewise be on a limited scale and therefore any US-Iranian military encounter will not be allowed to explode into a major confrontation. Because this US assault is not planned to extend to Iran’s nuclear installations, Tehran is not expected to hit back at distant American targets in the Persian Gulf or at Israel.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report, however, that Iran’s military preparations for countering an American attack are far broader than envisaged in Washington. Tehran would view a US attack on the IRGC bases as a casus belli and might react in ways and on a scale unanticipated in Washington.

Two days ago, Iran’s defense minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar warned: “Iran’s Armed Forces are fully prepared to counter any military attack with any intensity and to make the enemy regret initiating any such incursions.”

According to DEBKAfile’s Iranian and military sources, the IRGC had by mid-May completed their preparations for a US missile, air or commando assault on their command centers and bases in reprisal for Iranian intervention in Iraq.

These preparations encompass al Qods’ arms, most of them undercover, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Sudan. At home, the Revolutionary Guards have evacuated their key bases together with manpower and equipment to regular army sites or temporary quarters in villages located in remote corners of eastern and northern Iran. Their main headquarters and central training center at the Imam Ali University in northern Tehran are deserted except for sentries on the gates.

Indoctrination seminaries and dormitories hosting fighting strength in the holy town of Qom are empty, as is the Manzariyah training center east of the capital.

Deserted too is the main training camp near Isfahan for insurgents and terrorists from Iraq, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. It is here that they take courses from friendly al Qods training staff on how to sabotage strategic targets such as routes, bridges and military installations, and the activation of the extra-powerful roadside bombs (EFPs) which have had such a deadly effect on American troops in Iraq.

Debka

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment