The Gifts of Grief In A Time of Endings

by Carolyn Baker

ap382838914497As with so many topics in this culture, near-term human extinction (NTHE) has become yet another issue for the debating society of the “cerebesphere”—a term I have coined for living only in the domain of the intellect while disconnected from the body and emotions. It seems that humans would much rather argue about whether they will become extinct in the near-term than actually understand and assimilate the terrifying scientific evidence that they are on precisely this trajectory. Similarly, many of those who firmly embrace near-term human extinction use it as a litmus test for everything they hear or read about catastrophic climate change, i.e, “I like what this guy says, but does he believe in near-term human extinction?” implying that only if the author embraces NTHE, are their words legitimate. Thus, true to the intellectual template of industrial civilization, a concept that should leave us shuddering or running screaming from the room as if our hair were on fire, is reduced to a quasi-theological debate.

As I have stated repeatedly, the issue for me is not what we do about near-term human extinction, but what we do with it. Our “belief” in it is trivial compared with our response to it.

The reader may wonder why I would suggest that there is anything beyond extinction. Extinction is the end—fine, la fin, das ende. What could possibly be “beyond” it? My answer: Everything. Yes, extinction means the end of this planet, your and my human body, and the human species, but the feeling, expression, memory, and impact of the sensibilities of living beings do not end. Where and how they endure or in what form, I do not know. What I will argue for is that some aspect of all life is eternal. Please bear with me.

In Extinction Dialogs: How To Live With Death In Mind, Guy McPherson and I adamantly emphasize that the real tragedy in terms of NTHE is not extinction but our failure to comprehend how valuable, precious, and urgent living our lives with passion and purpose in the meantime actually is. For this reason, we frequently ask the question of people we encounter: What do you love?

But what exactly is love? Despite our presence on this planet for some 13 billion years, have we really learned what love is? I have never claimed to be an expert in answering the question, but I do know some of the necessary elements without which none of us can give or receive it. I believe that empathy remains at the top of the list, closely followed by compassion. Most people reading these words would claim both traits in a heartbeat, and indeed they would be correct. Likewise most of the 7 billion human beings on the planet would insist that they too are empathic and compassionate.

Yet why do humans continue to obliterate this planet?

In my work with myself and countless human beings throughout my adult life, I have yet to discover anything that more quickly and more firmly embeds empathy and compassion in the human psyche than conscious grieving. Indigenous people everywhere know this, and so do numerous species of animals who often have their own rituals of grief or remain lying beside a fallen member of their pack for days or weeks.

In the cultures of industrial civilization, grief is viewed as a bothersome weakness displayed by people who must be carefully monitored so that they do not become pathological. In times of loss, the “grief police” are everywhere making sure that people “move on,” “put it behind them,” and realize that “life must go on.” However the Encyclopedia of Death and Dying notes that grief is an instinct resulting from human attachment to other beings. The Encyclopedia also notes that the issue of meaning is central to survivors: What does this death, loss, catastrophe, extinction event mean? What is more, people cannot make sense of losses in isolation:

… the process by which people make sense of their world is social interaction. When something important happens in individuals’ lives, they do not just think about it; they talk about it with others. Grief and mourning do not just happen inside a person; they happen in the interactions between people. In most cultures over human history, myth and ritual provide the intersubjective space in which one can construct the meaning of the deceased’s life, death, and influence over the survivors’ lives. In contemporary Western culture, in which rituals and myths from earlier times have fallen into disuse, intersubjective space is characterized by informal verbal and nonverbal interaction aimed largely at communicating shared meaning. Often people see contemporary communities constructing their narrative by inventing new rituals that allow community members to feel a sense of togetherness.

Industrially civilized cultures seem to be the only ones that have attempted to make grief a “private” affair. Don’t let other people see you being weak; don’t inflict your weakness on others; have the decency to fall apart behind closed doors; people don’t want to be bothered with your grief. Sound familiar?

For more than two decades, I have been passionate about the healing, empowering, joy-enhancing benefits of grieving. And since becoming familiar with NTHE, I am even more passionate and committed to assisting people in conscious grieving for the plethora of losses they have encountered, including the destruction of all life on earth. I do not hold a belief in NTHE as a litmus test for anything, especially with respect to grief. In fact, we could take NTHE completely off the table, and we would still be carrying an uncanny burden of sorrows simply as a result of growing up in industrial civilization. However, in the light of NTHE and the demise of the human and more than human life on earth, I have come to believe that there is now nothing more important than consciously attending to our grief. Why?

Some would argue that we should be doing, not grieving. To those folks I would ask: How can we possibly engage in one without the other? Engaging in the type of activism to which we feel drawn is essential, and the fires of activism must be tempered with the waters of grief. Otherwise, we burn out and risk compromising our empathy and compassion.

What is more, grief never has been nor will be a “private” matter. All traditions have known and taught that grief is a community matter and is best healed in the context of the village. Moreover, many traditions believe that unless the community grieves together regularly, its members become toxic to one another. In the Dagara Tribe of West Africa, a grief ritual happens approximately once a week so that people can discharge their sorrow so as not to put the village at risk.

Moreover, as noted above, it is not simply grief for our perishing planet that we are carrying. Most of us labor under the burden of an enormous backlog of grief—the deaths of loved ones, the loss of intimate relationships, the loss of careers, bankruptcies, foreclosures, debilitating illnesses, and even ancestral grief that has persisted across many generations. Quite often, people do not understand how much grief they are carrying or its ramifications until they begin the grieving process.

But might not people become “stuck” in grief and become depressed, morbid, or unmotivated? In fact, the opposite is true. What people become “stuck” in is unmetabolized grief which often becomes clinical depression. Since grieving is an extremely natural process, it arises and if allowed, is discharged and then subsides. Yes, it may return once again or many times, but by allowing ourselves to engage in the conscious grieving process, grief quite naturally shifts and finds its own place in the psyche. The result is actually the opening of space for other emotions, increased physical energy, a deepening of joy and the appreciation of beauty, and enhanced connection with the community and all living beings. “The deeper the sorrow, the greater the joy,” wrote William Blake. In fact, grief is a doorway—a corridor to unknown, disowned, or dormant parts of the psyche that may incite, even inflame our creativity and most precious human gifts. And finally, grief and love are interdependent. When one is enhanced, the other is enlivened.

To this end, much more of my work in the future will focus on conscious grieving, and I invite you to join me and a number of individuals who are aware of our planetary predicament as we come together for a weekend workshop June 12-14, 2015 entitled “The Gifts of Grief: Grief As Sacred Work.” The workshop is designed to create a beautiful, safe, and supportive space for grieving, followed by celebration of our deep work together. For further information and registration, please contact Hollie Galloway at: holliegal@verizon.net or carolyn@carolynbaker.net.

 

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Please visit the DONATIONS tab. I’m open to non-monetary donations, subject only to your creativity. For example, I would appreciate your generosity with respect to frequent-flyer miles.

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6-30 April 2015, western Europe (additional details forthcoming, and follow the tour at guymcpherson.net and also on Facebook)

European tour spring 2015

McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available. Electronic copy is available here from Amazon.

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Tech note, courtesy of mo flow: Random issues have been appearing with posting comments. Sometimes a “Submit Comment” click will return a 404 Page Not Found, or another error, for no apparent reason. To ensure you don’t lose a longer comment, you can right-click select all, and right-click copy, in the comment box before clicking “Submit.” If that hasn’t been done, the comment text will likely still be in the comment box when clicking the back button, or the forward button — depending on the error — on your browser.

Comments 51

  • One way or another, this darkness got to give

    New Speedway Boogie

    Please don’t dominate the rap, jack, if you’ve got nothing new to say.
    If you please, don’t back up the track this train’s got to run today.
    I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill
    I heard someone say “Better run away”, others say “better stand still”.

    Now I don’t know, but I’ve been told it’s hard to run with the weight of gold,
    Other hand I have heard it said, it’s just as hard with the weight of lead.

    Who can deny, who can deny, it’s not just a change in style?
    One step done and another begun and I wonder how many miles.
    I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill
    Things went down we don’t understand, but I think in time we will.

    Now, I don’t know but I was told in the heat of the sun a man died of cold.
    Keep on coming or stand and wait, with the sun so dark and the hour so late.
    You can’t overlook the lack, jack, of any other highway to ride.
    It’s got no signs or dividing lines and very few rule to guide.

    I spent a little time on the mountain, I spent a little time on the hill
    I saw things getting out of hand, I guess they always will.
    Now I don’t know but I’ve been told
    If the horse don’t pull you got to carry the load.
    I don’t know whose back’s that strong, maybe find out before too long.

    One way or another, one way or another,
    One way or another, this darkness got to give.
    One way or another, one way or another,
    One way or another, this darkness got to give.
    One way or another, one way or another,
    One way or another, this darkness got to give.

  • Is it better to cultivate grief than ataraxia: “a lucid state of robust tranquility, characterized by ongoing freedom from distress and worry”?My concern is that grief can become an egoic trap, in which we gain self-reinforcement by identifying ourselves as a griever. IMO this limits our personal development just as much as identifying ourselves with any other mental state or process.

    The coupling of clarity and equanimity I’m talking about can be harder to attain than conscious grief, largely because one has to go through grief first to get there. However, if one can move through the grieving stage and end up there, it leaves one less emotionally bound up and freer to move psychologically.

    It’s a goal state for most non-dual philosophies, as well as Pyrrhonism. I’ve found that it can work like a charm for resolving NTHE anxiety.

  • I usually feel a bit uneasy when various aspects of our cultural psychodrama start morphing into cottage industries. Given the current desperate socio-economic climate such structural segues almost seem inevitable, but still bring to mind one of Ralph Nader’s early observations about “the relentless commercialization of every aspect of life”. And this is not intended to disparage anyone individually, as we are all pretty much in the same trap, but just my own expression of grief about what appears to be yet another loss.

  • Guy
    The one point I go back and forth on is: DO “THEY” KNOW?
    Sometimes I think “They” must, I mean how could they not. Then I witness how STUPID “They” can be and I waiver—HELP!
    (of course “They are TPTB)

  • Carolyn, I cannot find the cost of your upcoming workshoppe about the Gifts of Grief.

  • Sen Ted Cruz graduated from Princeton & Hahvid Law.
    Does Teddy know … how to work the scam?
    You bet he does.

  • Regarding the essay, I ask: Why the need to believe that “…the feeling, expression, memory, and impact of the sensibilities of living beings do not end” and that “some aspect of all life is eternal”? Why can’t Earth’s becoming a hot, dead cinder, whether that happens within 30 years, 100 years, or 500 million years, really mean exactly that: the end of all life on Earth? These seem to me like demands some humans wish to make on life and on the universe: demands that “the universe should or must work as I wish it to”, yet made from an infinitely small, infinitely ignorant, infinitely low-power human perspective, in comparison with the universe itself, which produced us and of which we remain infinitely small “parts”. How do these ideas differ significantly from the religious ideas of “heaven” and “everlasting life”? And what do we have to grieve if we presumably do not really die? Does that become the end result of doing our grief work: ultimately to deny death and to bargain with the universe?

    I have copied below four paragraphs concerning the science of love based on attachment theory from near the end of Susan Johnson’s book, Hold Me Tight. In my opinion they relate in important ways to the near certainty of NTHE and how we might best behave during our few remaining days:

    “John Bowlby believed that we generalize from thousands of small interactions with those we’ve loved and from those interactions build models of love and loving in our minds. These models guide our expectations and reactions in the present. This is fine if our models from the past are clear, coherent, and positive, but not if they are negative, confusing, and chaotic. We always have a bias in favor of what we already know. If this bias is negative, it can trap us in the habits of the past and make it difficult to stay open to positive possibilities with loved ones. Negative models tell us that closeness is dangerous and that depending on someone is foolish, or that we are unworthy and cannot expect to be loved. Positive models tell us that others are basically trustworthy, that we are lovable and entitled to caring. When we learn to foster safe, loving interactions with our partners and can integrate new experiences into models that affirm our connections with others, we step into a new world. Old hurts and negative perceptions from past relationships can then be put away and not allowed to orchestrate our way of responding to those we love.”

    “If we look at research, like that of psychologist Mary Main at the University of California, on adults who have an inner sense of trust and security with others, the key quality of these people is not that they always had happy relationships with parents and caregivers in the past. It is that they can be emotionally open, lucidly describe past relationships, reflect on the good and bad experiences, and make sense of them. When I encourage partners to work on integrating their new dance into a view of what it means to love and be loved, I am encouraging them to positively reshape their unconscious blueprints for close connection with others. The new blueprint helps them to be truly present with their partner rather than fight echoes from past relationships.”

    “In a counseling session, I might say, ‘I know your amygdala, the emotional part of your brain, is listening to new messages and responding differently here, but would you please also take this new information and order, tabulate, and store it in your prefrontal cortex, the reasoning part of your brain, for future reference.’ New research in neuroscience tells us that I would not just be using metaphors here. Dan Siegel, a main proponent of incorporating the new findings in brain science into our understanding of relationships, reports in his book Parenting from the Inside Out that mental models are ingrained in our brains in patterns of neural firing. Neurons send messages to one another, and when messages are repeated over and over again, as Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb tells us, neurons fire together and then wire together. New experiences, if they are reflected on and assimilated, can actually reshape our brains.”

    […]

    “You have just taken a journey through the new science of love. This science tells us that love is even more important than the sappiest love songs insist. But love is not a mystical, mysterious force that sweeps us off our feet, as those love songs suggest. It is our survival code and contains an exquisite logic that we are now able to understand. This means that a resilient, deeply satisfying love relationship is not a dream, but an attainable goal for us all. And that changes everything.”

  • Horrendous grief on Vanuatu – some gift, alright.
    Grief is a gift … Ooohhh?

  • Continuing from the previous thread (so as not to exceed my 2 post limit there).

    “Dennis Says:
    March 23rd, 2015 at 12:40 pm
    You have to end the monetary system, that is the root cause.”

    I did list ending the monetary system, but I put it at the bottom(Freely acknowledging that neither I nor seemingly anyone else knows how any of this would unfold).

    You end the monetary economy. Billions of people out of the means to subsist. How can you do that first? No workers to shut down the nukes. The energy chain to do anything breaks. Chaos, repression.

    But almost every item on my list (from previous thread) can be addressed somewhat by increased local self-sufficiency. That will serve a bit as an alternative to the monetary system. But if you end the monetary system but have no local way to subsist, then what?

  • “This means that a resilient, deeply satisfying love relationship is not a dream, but an attainable goal for us all. And that changes everything.”

  • … The wise grieve not for those who live, and they grieve not for those who die – for life and death shall pass away.
    – Bhagavad Gita 2:11

    That, of course, requires a cessation of identification with the body-mind complex, realisation of the invalidity of the “I” and thereby the “not-I”.

    Regarding repeated TLDRs in the comment section, produced to practice one’s writing skills, they manifest a rank disregard for others. It would be much to be preferred if they are placed in a separate blog, as is done by Dredd. Dredd, of course, has quality outputs and references: thanks, Dredd.

  • @ Artleads Your still thinking of a private property system and ending the monetary system,you must end both.Then if this was explained though the current propaganda system as the only way possible to save whats left of the world.We would work on needs first food, water, shelter maintaining key systems necessary for survival. It could be done and it is the only chance that there is.It just real low probability because of all the sociopaths who control this current system. But hey it could be worth a shot.

  • Just imagine if everybody’s needs where met,and there no need to slave for stuff you do not need.But there is a bunch of voluntary work that needs to be done to help save the planet.I know I am going to signup,and I think most would also.Its just a huge value shift for the masses, but if whats on the line is explained its doable.

  • Dennis,

    This discussion sounds like another thread, maybe something for the forum. If thoughts keep coming and you decide you want to dig into this subject a lot more, you (or I) could start a new thread on the forum. If/when that happens, do let me know. For instance, researching what the Cuban revolution’s experience with private property was would be helpful. Getting into any subject thoroughly takes so much time and effort!

  • REVEREND BILLY’s FREAKSTORM: THE END OF THE WORLD. The Earth, the planet, the biosphere will end you and me!
    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152635011315974&pnref=story

    Climate Change is Violence
    http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/28933-climate-change-is-violence
    “Climate change is global-scale violence against places and species, as well as against human beings. Once we call it by name, we can start having a real conversation about our priorities and values. Because the revolt against brutality begins with a revolt against the language that hides that brutality.”

    File under total delusion: It’s now time indeed to “call in the cavalry” to protect the “interests” of ordinary Americans from climate change. Notice the need for “Weapons and other critical military equipment to cope with more severe weather.”
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/03/isnt-it-time-to-send-in-the-cavalry-for-the-coming-u-s-climate-catastrophies/

    Just what I need against a hyper-sonic methane fireball – more weapons. Maybe Texas law enforcement can taser it and put climate change in prison.

  • Interesting. I have noticed another pattern. Not only do most people here appear to support others using bullying, emotionally abusive, verbal violence in their writing, but they also prefer that people not write anything longer than a way over-simplified, short, vague, Tweet-like text. Anything else presumably amounts to “a waste of time”. I did not realize that, on one hand, no limits exist for verbal abuse, but on the other hand we supposedly DO have comment length limits, because long comments supposedly demonstrate a disregard for others while verbally abusive comments do not, don’t you see.

    Of course, I disagree. I would definitely prefer to read a few long, well thought out, respectful comments, any day, over a bunch of short, vague, essentially meaningless, often verbally violent, childish temper tantrum rants wherein adults reciprocally attack one another in an endless cycle. I find these attack-attack engagement patterns time-wasting and destructive. But it seems clear that I find myself quite weird concerning such things because most people have come to prefer the Jerry Springer style.

    Related to all of this, a question that Susan Johnson asks: “Where in the world can an adult man get touched, soothed, held, talked to in a soft voice, and responded to? There is only one place, and that’s bed.” We sure as SHIT don’t want to do any of that soft, emotion-related touching, soothing, holding, talking in a soft voice, or responding to each other here! As Real Men, we prefer a good fight any day! I AM the Lord of he flies! NTHE? Bring it ON! I’m a ten-foot-tall, bullet-proof survivor who has no trouble at all detaching from MY emotions! In fact, people often confuse me with Rambo. (Now, what the fuck is wrong with this Nye guy and all of his CRAP about emotion, attachment, and people actually engaging with and treating each other in loving ways?!)

  • “Susan Johnson asks: “Where in the world can an adult man get touched, soothed, held, talked to in a soft voice, and responded to? There is only one place, and that’s bed.””

    woah, SJ needs to get out in the real world with real people.

  • Bob S. said:
    “Thanks for the correction Satish – guess I just need to read a few more books so I too can wrap my head around whether monkeys commit adultery.”

    —-

    Why not join in on one of the conversations that are happening? Examples: between Paul Chefurka and me. Between Artleads and Dennis, Between Artleads and Jean Turcot, etc. If you don’t like any of the ongoing conversations, start your own as Caroline did recently about the environmental collapse getting more palpable? Just say out loud what’s on your mind. If no one responds, say something that might want to make people respond. If even that doesn’t work, join the conversation you can most relate to and take it in the direction you want to. That’s what I notice going on here: a bunch of people talking about the end of the world for humanity. Not everyone believes in NTHE 100%. Some hold out a hope that maybe, just maybe, a miracle might happen that would turn things around or at least diminish the chances of the worst case scenario happening. And then there are folks who post news related to NTHE, trends, forecasts, etc. There are people who are here to discuss the cultural, social, economic and other mechanisms that have been in place that have catapulted our species to the brink of extinction in less than 1% of our time on Earth. Oh, there are also some who believe that there is no Anthropogenic climate Change and it’s all a disinformation conspiracy by the elite. What do you think about that? There are also people who tell us exactly what the world looks like to them, how they see it, perceive it, experience it. etc. This they do by posting short or long or really long comments and telling everyone what books they like, the authors they read, what the authors say and why they think they are right. I put myself in that category. I think I can identify with a lot of folks here (even those who say identification leads to suffering) and many more who are here to be heard and listened to. I’m not trying to define what this blog is about. This is just a list of my observations over a couple of months. I think Anthropogenic Climate Change is for real. What’s on your mind?

    ======

    Paul Chefurka said:

    “That’s how I see the dynamics around here as well, which is why I don’t get into defensive fisticuffs any more. We all have belief systems that arise from our personal experience. If others’ beliefs don’t resonate with me, I can either battle against them (to our mutual detriment) or simply respond with my own views, without attempting to prove them wrong. I much prefer the latter approach.”

    I completely agree with the merits of the latter approach.

    “Becker’s position is that our awareness of our own mortality induces both conscious and unconscious distress, that we seek to discharge by various social and personal activities aimed at giving us a counterbalancing sense of immortality – or at least proving that others are more mortal than we are, as in sacrifice and warfare.”

    I still can’t get myself to see it the way Becker does. We all seem to be aware of our own mortality and yet we don’t think excessively of it. I think what he might be getting at is that death is a big deal in our culture. And the fear of not living forever makes people do things they would otherwise not do, like come up with stuff that outlasts them so something will remain, an imprint, a signature, on creation long after they’re gone. When we think of who among the 7.3 Billion people this preoccupation with “legacy” applies to, the elite come to mind. Billions of human beings don’t fear death. After a certain age, people in many cultures even welcome it. So perhaps, Becker is describing a small percentage of the population?

    In the video that Gerald Spezio posted above, the young indigenous person repeatedly emphasizes her people’s connection with the land. That’s the normal conditions under which humanity has long lived: in close connection to the land and in harmony with it. The fact that Billions of us do not have any connection with the land anymore (over 50% urban population) indicates the late stage of cancer the species is exhibiting. This separation from the source is a sort of death, albeit not physical. But in a sense, it’s physical too because we seldom touch the ground beneath our feet anymore. We’re insulated from the Mother. But “land” implies a lot more than the Earth’s surface. It’s not a physical construct but an extension of one’s psyche. Modern industrial civilization is basically choking the veins of livelihood and “co-existence with land” of millions of Indigenous people. We forget the fact that we are all descended from Indigenous peoples. Our ancestors had a connection to their land before we came along, severed from any sense of kinship with our source. Cancer cells do this too. They become de-differentiated after a certain stage. They begin to think and act alike, no longer unique in their long-fading traditions and culture, they rely on the city or town to feed them, clothe them, take their garbage away, etc. De-differentiated cancer cells proliferate rapidly. Perhaps Becker is right. Now that the connection with the source is severed, physical bodily death becomes a much-feared eventuality that must be dealt with. Unlike before when the tribe and the land continued after one dies, now, the world is thought to end when one dies. While endowing the Arts department at the local University is one way for the rich to live after death, today, we are seeing a quest to beat death and reverse aging through Technology. And in this quest, people will do the darndest things. I can relate to Becker there.

    ======

    Dennis said:

    “Bud Nye has to be a spam bot, no real person would waste time typing as much.”

    I wondered about that too. But then I thought: if they did build a machine that would be capable of pulling it off, I am sure they would have first figured out how to keep it from appearing too repetitive. The data didn’t approve of the model. At which point, I happily discarded the possibility that they have been able to fool us all along 🙂

    ======

    I hear you, Bud. But my guess is when people try to relate to you by talking about the attachment theories, they find you are too attached to them and defend them vehemently without trying to find common ground with them or trying to persuade them to see it through your eyes. Your passion comes across but the tone is a bit adversarial. Just my guess. Don’t fight with me about it. It will only prove the point.

  • Next time a climate skeptic asks you why Boston just broke it’s snowfall record and NYC had the coldest winter in 80+ years, show ’em this:

    >>>

    BERKELEY, CA—Offering an alternative explanation for the period of heavy glaciation and lower global temperatures, new evidence published Wednesday by scientists at the University of California suggests that Earth’s most recent ice age was caused by the planet drifting into a particularly chilly part of the Milky Way. “While past theories have posited that the last ice age was the result of factors ranging from changes in the planet’s atmosphere to the precession of its rotational axis to an ebb in solar activity, our research concludes that the epoch-long drop in surface temperatures can instead be attributed to Earth having floated through an extremely nippy corner of the galaxy,” said Dr. Gerard Weidl, explaining that the exceedingly brisk conditions prevailing in that particular region of outer space could be blamed for the growth of polar ice caps and the spread of glaciers across nearly a third of Earth’s total land area. “Luckily, about 11,000 years ago we coasted into a significantly balmier part of the Milky Way, which explains how much toastier everything’s been since then.” Weidl added that, should the planet float back into a chilly pocket of the universe, the few species that manage to survive would likely need to bundle up or else they would catch the shivers.

    http://onion.com/1FcOAyb

    >>>

    And Robin, in re your apparent annoyance at what you call tl;dr posts: just remember that it’s all part of the divine play – you know, LILA – kindly pointing out your own little points of dualistic attachment.

    Just ask yourself (or your SELF, or not your not self, or whatever)…WWKD?

    No need to thank me. I’m here to help!

  • Bud forgot to take his meds

  • Wester, perhaps this article about Ayn Rand will provide some clues in your research: How Ayn Rand Helped Turn the U.S. Into a Selfish, Greedy Nation

    ======

    izzy said:

    “I usually feel a bit uneasy when various aspects of our cultural psychodrama start morphing into cottage industries. Given the current desperate socio-economic climate such structural segues almost seem inevitable, but still bring to mind one of Ralph Nader’s early observations about “the relentless commercialization of every aspect of life”. And this is not intended to disparage anyone individually, as we are all pretty much in the same trap, but just my own expression of grief about what appears to be yet another loss.”

    —-

    Good point!

  • @Satish,

    Whether one can to accept Becker’s hypothesis depends in large part, IMO, on whether one accepts the concept of the collective unconscious. In Becker’s view the fear of death operates mostly at that level, and produces its effects without that emotional driver being consciously recognized for what it is. It’s also not solely the purview of the 1%. We plebes express it by our desire to have children, our need to make lasting contributions to our society, or our pride in becoming honorable soldiers (to make sure that “the other” dies first…)

    I had a very hard time accepting Becker’s ideas at first too – they seemed to go perhaps a bridge too far. But I kept reading, and found that by the time I was 50 pages into “Escape From Evil” I was putting it down after each page, closing my eyes and whispering “Holy shit!” to myself.

    YMMV of course.

  • @Satish,

    It’s also entirely possible that Becker made the same mistake I’ve been making for the last 10 years – that of over-reaching for root causes to explain the behavior of the world.

    The reasoning involved is inherently inductive, so it’s unwise to cling too tightly to the apparent truth of these propositions. I’m moving towards treating them simply as food for thought rather than all-illuminating core insights into the nature of our reality.

  • @Satish,

    When we are trying to explain non-rational behaviour (and I think we’d all agree that the world is behaving quite irrationally) it behooves us to look for non-rational drivers. Thus my willingness to consider Becker’s “collective unconscious” explanations.

    Apologies for the third post. It won’t happen again (very often).

  • I read Ms. Baker’s essay with interest and do not doubt for a moment her intelligence and sincerity (although I was a bit put off by the workshop plug at the end – can’t we just drive a stake into the heart of capitalism).

    I am no stranger to grief. I understand the emotional harm done by avoiding and suppressing deep sadness. I have seen friends apparently ‘breeze through’ the worst kind of emotional trauma – the suicide of a loved parent, for example – with a brave face, chin up, stiff upper lip, keeping it together…only to be hit some years later with a debilitating and prolonged depression. The link seemed clear.

    I once cried for two days straight (in a therapeutic setting) without knowing the source of the flood. But a damn had broken and a backlog of pent-up tears came pouring out – rivers and tributaries of grief. These days, I carry sadness (NOT depression) over the state and fate of this beautiful planet (as well as other matter, but that’s the big one) with me every day, and when infrequent cloud bursts of tears come, I let them flow, because I know there’ll be a nourishing and freshening aftermath, there’ll be growth and calm to follow.

    I like the concept of ‘bracketing’ strong feelings (hate the term ‘negative emotions’) as an aspect of emotional health. That is, taking a set-aside time to sit – or, for me, walk – with grief or hurt or anxiety or anger or resentment; giving these real and potent – and often instructive – emotions their (parenthetical) space, and then stepping lively into a calmer place. Until next time. Because, truth will out, and so will grief, in ways that are either conscious and salutary or hurtful, leaking this way and that like toxic effluent, poisoning emotional health and relationships. I say: Just feel it; don’t wallow.

    And because I love the resident rhyming jackass (who steered me to Massachusetts, home of the dirty limerick), here’s my effort.

    There was an old guy from Nantucket,
    whose grief was so close he could touch it.
    So he felt it and then
    felt it deeply again,
    ‘til he’d had quite enough and said ‘Fuck it!’

  • I’m confused about the 13 billion number in the article?

    Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Genus homo has been around 2.5 million years or so. The age of the universe is 13 billion years, but you do refer to “this planet” in the same sentence, and our planet was not here 13 billion years ago.

    Just clarifying.

  • @ kevin (and anyone else interested):

    https://robinwestenra.blogspot.ca/2015/03/911-truth.html

    Tuesday, 24 March 2015

    BBC Foreknowledge of 9/11 Collapse of WTC Building Seven: British Man Won Law Suit against BBC for 9/11 Cover Up

    [link to original article in Global Research]

    [the gist of it]

    Under Section 363 of the Communications Act, citizens of the UK are required to purchase an annual license in order to use a television receiver. Rooke refused to pay the license fee due to a section of the Terrorism Act that states:

    It is an offence for someone to invite another to provide money, intending that it should be used, or having reasonable cause to suspect that it may be used, for terrorism purposes.

    The fact that the BBC reported the collapse of WTC 7 twenty-three minutes before it actually fell indicates that the UK was aware of the attacks on 9/11 before they actually happened. The direct implication is that they were working with the “terrorists”, all arguments as to who the terrorists actually were aside.

    [He’s hiding behind a Bush.]

    Everyone:

    https://robertscribbler.com/2015/03/23/world-ocean-heartbeat-fading-nasty-signs-north-atlantic-thermohaline-circulation-is-weakening/

    World Ocean Heartbeat Fading? ‘Nasty’ Signs North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation is Weakening

    [quotes from Robert Scribbler]

    “Scientists call it Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). But we may as well think of it as the heartbeat of the world ocean system. And when that heartbeat begins to slow down, we’d best sit up and start paying attention”

    “(New video produced by climate hawk Peter Sinclair and featuring top scientists Stefan Rahmstorf, Michael Mann, and Jason Box, issues warnings about an observed disruption to ocean circulation due to water freshening in the North Atlantic. This is the kind of work I mentioned last week in my KPFA interview. The kind that should be showing on major network news every single night. Since that probably won’t happen, I urgently ask you to spread this video, together with its critical information, as far and as wide as possible.)”

    [quote from seemorerocks, below]

    “This morning it looks like a toss up between thermonuclear war or human extinction within a single lifetime due to rapid climate change.”

  • Thanks Tome. I’ve been ultra busy and missed that one.

    I don’t think any western mainstream media has mush credibility these days, and websites I used to regularly read now offer little or nothing of value.

    “It’s all bullshit. And it’s bad for you.” George Carlin.

    (The alternative media reports of Russia succeeding in blocking US-led attempts to smash-up/invade via clever [Russian} use of radar and anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles do seem to have a lot of credibility -otherwise kn0wn as ‘Russia saves the world’. Well, in the short term, at least.)

    Rather long but worth reading:

    The Saker interviews Paul Craig Roberts

    23 March, 2015

    I had been wanting to interview Paul Craig Roberts for a long time already. For many years I have been following his writings and interviews and every time I read what he had to say I was hoping that one day I would have the privilege do interview him about the nature of the US deep state and the Empire. Recently, I emailed him and asked for such an interview, and he very kindly agreed. I am very grateful to him for this opportunity.

    The Saker
    ——-
    The Saker: It has become rather obvious to many, if not most, people that the USA is not a democracy or a republic, but rather a plutocracy run by a small elite which some call “the 1%”. Others speak of the “deep state”. So my first question to you is the following. Could you please take the time to assess the influence and power of each of the following entities one by one. In particular, can you specify for each of the following whether it has a decision-making “top” position, or a decision-implementing “middle” position in the real structure of power (listed in no specific order)

    • Federal Reserve

    • Big Banking

    • Bilderberg

    • Council on Foreign Relations

    • Skull & Bones

    • CIA

    • Goldman Sachs and top banks

    • “Top 100 families” (Rothschild, Rockefeller, Dutch Royal Family, British Royal Family, etc.)

    • Israel Lobby

    • Freemasons and their lodges

    • Big Business: Big Oil, Military Industrial Complex, etc.

    •Other people or organizations not listed above?

    Who, which group, what entity would you consider is really at the apex of power in the current US polity?

    Paul Craig Roberts: The US is ruled by private interest groups and by the neoconservative ideology that History has chosen the US as the “exceptional and indispensable” country with the right and responsibility to impose its will on the world.

    In my opinion the most powerful of the private interest groups are:
    •The Military/security Complex
    •The 4 or 5 mega-sized “banks too big to fail” and Wall Street
    •The Israel Lobby
    •Agribusiness
    •The Extractive industries (oil, mining, timber).

    The interests of these interest groups coincide with those of the neoconservatives. The neoconservative ideology supports American financial and military-political imperialism or hegemony.

    There is no independent American print or TV media. In the last years of the Clinton regime, 90% of the print and TV media was concentrated in 6 mega-companies. During the Bush regime, National Public Radio lost its independence. So the media functions as a Ministry of Propaganda.

    Both political parties, Republicans and Democrats, are dependent on the same private interest groups for campaign funds, so both parties dance to the same masters. Jobs offshoring destroyed the manufacturing and industrial unions and deprived the Democrats of Labor Union political contributions. In those days, Democrats represented the working people and Republicans represented business.

    The Federal Reserve is there for the banks, mainly the large ones.The Federal Reserve was created as lender of last resort to prevent banks from failing because of runs on the bank or withdrawal of deposits. The New York Fed, which conducts the financial interventions, has a board that consists of the executives of the big banks. The last three Federal Reserve chairmen have been Jews, and the current vice chairman is the former head of the Israeli central bank. Jews are prominent in the financial sector, for example, Goldman Sachs. In recent years, the US Treasury Secretaries and heads of the financial regulatory agencies have mainly been the bank executives responsible for the fraud and excessive debt leverage that set off the last financial crisis.

    In the 21st century, the Federal Reserve and Treasury have served only the interests of the large banks. This has been at the expense of the economy and the population. For example, retired people have had no interest income for eight years in order that the financial institutions can borrow at zero costs and make money.

    No matter how rich some families are, they cannot compete with powerful interest groups such as the military/security complex or Wall Street and the banks. Long established wealth can look after its interests, and some, such as the Rockefellers, have activist foundations that most likely work hand in hand with the National Endowment for Democracy to fund and encourage various pro-American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in countries that the US wants to influence or overthrow, such as occurred in Ukraine. The NGOs are essentially US Fifth Columns and operate under such names as “human rights,”

    “democracy,” etc. A Chinese professor told me that the Rockefeller Foundation had created an American University in China and is used to organize various anti-regime Chinese. At one time, and perhaps still, there were hundreds of US and German financed NGOs in Russia, possibly as many as 1,000.

    I don’t know if the Bilderbergs do the same. Possibly they are just very rich people and have their proteges in governments who try to protect their interests. I have never seen any signs of Bilderbergs or Masons or Rothchilds affecting congressional or executive branch decisions.

    On the other hand, the Council for Foreign Relations is influential. The council consists of former government policy officials and academics involved in foreign policy and international relations. The council’s publication, Foreign Affairs, is the premier foreign policy forum. Some journalists are also members. When I was proposed for membership in the 1980s, I was blackтballed.

    Skull & Bones is a Yale University secret fraternity. A number of universities have such secret fraternities. For example, the University of Virginia has one, and the University of Georgia. These fraternities do not have secret governmental plots or ruling powers. Their influence would be limited to the personal influence of the members, who tend to be sons of elite families. In my opinion, these fraternities exist to convey elite status to members. They have no operational functions.

    The Saker: What about individuals? Who are, in your opinion, the most powerful people in the USA today? Who takes the final, top level, strategic decision?

    Paul Craig Roberts: There really are no people powerful in themselves. Powerful people are ones that powerful interest groups are behind. Ever since Secretary of Defense William Perry privatized so much of the military in 1991, the military/security complex has been extremely powerful, and its power is further amplified by its ability to finance political campaigns and by the fact that it is a source of employment in many states. Essentially Pentagon expenditures are controlled by defense contractors.

    The Saker: I have always believed that in international terms, organizations such as NATO, the EU or all the others are only a front, and that the real alliance which controls the planet are the ECHELON countries: US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand aka “AUSCANNZUKUS” (they are also referred to as the “Anglosphere” or the “Five Eyes”) with the US and the UK are the senior partners while Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the junior partners here. Is this model correct?

    Paul Craig Roberts: NATO was a US creation allegedly to protect Europe from a Soviet invasion. Its purpose expired in 1991. Today NATO provides cover for US aggression and provides mercenary forces for the American Empire. Britain, Canada, Australia, are simply US vassal states just as are Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the rest. There are no partners; just vassals. It is Washington’s empire, no one else’s.

    The US favors the EU, because it is easier to control than the individual countries.

    The Saker: It is often said that Israel controls the USA. Chomsky, and others, say that it is the USA which controls Israel. How would you characterize the relationship between Israel and the USA – does the dog wag the tail or does the tail wag the dog? Would you say that the Israel Lobby is in total control of the USA or are there still other forces capable of saying “no” to the Israel Lobby and impose their own agenda?

    Paul Craig Roberts: I have never seen any evidence that the US controls Israel. All the evidence is that Israel controls the US, but only its MidEast policy. In recent years, Israel or the Israel Lobby, has been able to control or block academic appointments in the US and tenure for professors considered to be critics of Israel. Israel has successfully reached into both Catholic and State universities to block tenure and appointments. Israel can also block some presidential appointments and has vast influence over the print and TV media.

    The Israel Lobby also has plenty of money for political campaign funds and never fails to unseat US Representatives and Senators considered critical of Israel. The Israel lobby was able to reach into the black congressional district of Cynthia McKinney, a black woman, and defeat her reelection. As Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “No American President can stand up to Israel.” Adm. Moorer could not even get an official investigation of Israel’s deadly attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.
    Anyone who criticizes Israeli policies even in a helpful way is labeled an “anti-Semite.”

    In American politics, media, and universities, this is a death-dealing blow. You might as well get hit with a hellfire missile.

    The Saker: Which of the 12 entities of power which I listed above have, in your opinion, played a key role in the planning and execution of the 9/11 “false flag” operation? After all, it is hard to imagine that this was planned and prepared between the inauguration of GW Bush and September 11th – it must have been prepared during the years of the Clinton Administration. Is it not true the the Oklahoma City bombing was a rehearsal for 9/11?

    Paul Craig Roberts: In my opinion 9/11 was the product of the neoconservatives, almost all of whom are Jewish, Dick Cheney, and Israel. Its purpose was to provide “the new Pearl Harbor” that the neoconservatives said was necessary to launch their wars of conquest in the Middle East. I don’t know how far back it was planned, but Silverstein was obviously part of it and he had not had the WTC for very long before 9/11.

    As for the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, US Air Force General Partin, the Air Force’s munitions expert, prepared an expert report proving beyond all doubt that the building blew up from the inside out and that the truck bomb was cover. Congress and the media ignored his report. The patsy, McVeigh, was already set up, and that was the only story allowed.

    The Saker: Do you think that the people who run the USA today realize that they are on a collision course with Russia which could lead to thermonuclear war? If yes, why would they take such a risk? Do they really believe that at the last moment Russian will “blink” and back down, or do they actually believe that they can win a nuclear war? Are they not afraid that in a nuclear conflagration with Russia they will lose everything they have, including their power and even their lives?

    Paul Craig Roberts: I am as puzzled as much as you. I think Washington is lost in hubris and arrogance and is more or less insane. Also, there is belief that the US can win a nuclear war with Russia. There was an article in Foreign Affairs around 2005 or 2006 in which this conclusion was reached. The belief in the winnability of nuclear war has been boosted by faith in ABM defenses. The argument is that the US can hit Russia so hard in a preemptive first strike that Russia would not retaliate in fear of a second blow.

    The Saker: How do you assess the current health of the Empire? For many years we have seen clear signs of decline, but there is still not visible collapse. Do you believe that such a collapse is inevitable and, if not, how could it be prevented? Will we see the day when the US Dollar suddenly become worthless or will another mechanism precipitate the collapse of this Empire?

    Paul Craig Roberts: The US economy is hollowed out. There has been no real median family income growth for decades. Alan Greenspan as Fed Chairman used an expansion of consumer credit to take the place of the missing growth in consumer income, but the population is now too indebted to take on more. So there is nothing to drive the economy. So many manufacturing and tradable professional service jobs such as software engineering have been moved offshore that the middle class has shrunk. University graduates cannot get jobs that support an independent existence. So they can’t form households, buy houses, appliances and home furnishings. The government produces low inflation measures by not measuring inflation and low unemployment rates by not measuring unemployment. The financial markets are rigged, and gold is driven down despite rising demand by selling uncovered shorts in the futures market. It is a house of cards that has stood longer than I thought possible. Apparently, the house of cards can stand until the rest of the world ceases to hold the US dollar as reserves.

    Possibly the empire has put too much stress on Europe by involving Europe in a conflict with Russia. If Germany, for example, were to pull out of NATO, the empire would collapse, or if Russia can find the wits to finance Greece, Italy, and Spain in exchange for them leaving the Euro and EU, the empire would suffer a fatal blow.

    Alternatively, Russia might tell Europe that Russia has no alternative but to target European capitals with nuclear weapons now that Europe has joined the US in conducting war against Russia.

    The Saker: Russia and China have done something unique in history and they have gone beyond the traditional model of forming an alliance: they have agreed to become interdependent – one could say that they have agreed to a symbiotic relationship. Do you believe that those in charge of the Empire have understood the tectonic change which has just happen or are they simply going into deep denial because reality scares them too much?

    Paul Craig Roberts: Stephen Cohen says that there is simply no foreign policy discussion. There is no debate. I think the empire thinks that it can destabilize Russia and China and that is one reason Washington has color revolutions working in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. As Washington is determined to prevent the rise of other powers and is lost in hubris and arrogance, Washington probably believes that it will succeed. After all, History chose Washington.

    The Saker: In your opinion, do presidential elections still matter and, if yes, what is your best hope for 2016? I am personally very afraid of Hillary Clinton whom I see as an exceptionally dangerous and outright evil person, but with the current Neocon influence inside the Republican, can we really hope for a non-Neocon candidate to win the GOP nomination?

    Paul Craig Roberts: The only way a presidential election could matter would be if the elected president had behind him a strong movement. Without a movement, the president has no independent power and no one to appoint who will do his bidding. Presidents are captives. Reagan had something of a movement, just enough that we were able to cure stagflation despite Wall Street’s opposition and we were able to end the cold war despite the opposition of the CIA and the military/security complex. Plus Reagan was very old and came from a long time ago. He assumed the office of the president was powerful and acted that way.

    The Saker: What about the armed forces? Can you imagine a Chairman of the JCS saying “no, Mr President, that is crazy, we will not do this” or do you expect the generals to obey any order, including one starting a nuclear war against Russia? Do you have any hope that the US military could step in and stop the “crazies” currently in power in the White House and Congress?

    Paul Craig Roberts: The US military is a creature of the armaments industries. The whole purpose of making general is to be qualified to be a consultant to the “defense” industry, or to become an executive or on the board of a “defense” contractor. The military serves as the source of retirement careers when the generals make the big money. The US military is totally corrupt. Read Andrew Cockburn’s book, Kill Chain.

    The Saker: If the USA is really deliberately going down the path towards war with Russia – what should Russia do? Should Russia back down and accept to be subjugated as a preferable option to a thermonuclear war, or should Russia resist and thereby accept the possibility of a thermonuclear war? Do you believe that a very deliberate and strong show of strength on the part of Russia could deter a US attack?

    Paul Craig Roberts: I have often wondered about this. I can’t say that I know. I think Putin is humane enough to surrender rather than to be part of the destruction of the world, but Putin has to answer to others inside Russia and I doubt the nationalists would stand for surrender.

    In my opinion, I think Putin should focus on Europe and make Europe aware that Russia expects an American attack and will have no choice except to wipe out Europe in response. Putin should encourage Europe to break off from NATO in order to prevent World War 3.

    Putin should also make sure China understands that China represents the same perceived threat to the US as Russia and that the two countries need to stand together. Perhaps if Russia and China were to maintain their forces on a nuclear alert, not the top one, but an elevated one that conveyed recognition of the American threat and conveyed this threat to the world, the US could be isolated.
    Perhaps if the Indian press, the Japanese Press, the French and German press, the UK press, the Chinese and Russian press began reporting that Russia and China wonder if they will receive a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington the result would be to prevent the attack.

    As far as I can tell from my many media interviews with the Russian media, there is no Russian awareness of the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Russians think that there is some kind of misunderstanding about Russian intentions. The Russian media does not understand that Russia is unacceptable, because Russia is not a US vassal. Russians believe all the Western bullshit about “freedom and democracy” and believe that they are short on both but making progress. In other words, Russians have no idea that they are targeted for destruction.

    The Saker: What are, in your opinion, the roots of the hatred of so many members of the US elites for Russia? Is that just a leftover from the Cold War, or is there another reason for the almost universal russophobia amongst US elites? Even during the Cold War, it was unclear whether the US was anti-Communist or anti-Russian? Is there something in the Russian culture, nation or civilization which triggers that hostility and, if yes, what is it?

    Paul Craig Roberts: The hostility toward Russia goes back to the Wolfowttz Doctrine:

    “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

    While the US was focused on its MidEast wars, Putin restored Russia and blocked Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran. The “first objective” of the neocon doctrine was breached. Russia had to be brought into line. That is the origin of Washington’s attack on Russia. The dependent and captive US and European media simply repeats “the Russian Threat” to the public, which is insouciant and otherwise uninformed.

    The offense of Russian culture is also there–Christian morals, respect for law and humanity, diplomacy in place of coercion, traditional social mores–but these are in the background. Russia is hated because Russia (and China) is a check on Washington’s unilateral uni-power. This check is what will lead to war.

    If the Russians and Chinese do not expect a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington, they will be destroyed.

  • Jim White is the big brains at the U. of Colorado Inst. for Arctic & Alpine Research.

    White has joined ranks with Gavin Schmidt & Archer advancing the gradualist thesis concerning both the shutdown of the Gulfstream/AMC & the probability of abrupt methane release from permafrost.

    He does NOT mention Arctic Sea bed clathrates.

    His short viddy openly asserts that because “there are thermodynamic constraints” … methane release …is “NOT GOING TO HAPPEN ABRUPTLY.”

    Weather and Climate Summit – Day 4, Dr. Jim White
    View on http://www.youtube.com

  • Dennis,

    March 23rd, 2015 at 11:25 pm you wrote “Bud forgot to take his meds.” Given that Guy, Carolyn Baker, and many others also advocate for people actually engaging with and treating each other in loving ways, just as I have, they must also have forgotten to take their meds? Indeed, anyone who does not advocate for a Jerry Springer style of argumentation, and does not support those who treat others in those ways, complete with participants freely using insults, bullying tactics, and verbally abusive language, should have their doctor prescribe some psychoactive medication? Obviously, I disagree with both your values and your reasoning regarding how we might best treat each other. Attack-attack, attack-defend, and withdraw-withdraw fight tactics simply do not pull people together into more rewarding, bonded relationships. Instead, these tactics tend strongly to destroy relationships of all kinds, psychoactive medications in use, or not. In making this statement, I do not just express my personal opinion; I summarize the results of huge amounts of extremely competent research done with about 2,000 couples over about 40 years in pointing to just John Gottman and colleague’s work alone. Many other researchers have reached similar conclusions from other perspectives.

    Satish Musunuru,

    I don’t recall writing anything that supposedly “defends” attachment theory “vehemently”. I have described some important aspects of attachment theory: quite a different frame on what you refer to. On the other hand, I would agree with you if you suggested that I have passionately, even “vehemently”, argued against a significant percentage of people, here, using and generally supporting commenters using bullying, emotionally abusive, verbally violent writing. It seems to me that you have confused these two quite different issues and my writing about them. Does my clarifying this point amount to my “fighting” with you, thus presumably proving your point? I suppose that someone could label it an example of an attack/defend fight, but I don’t see your comment and my response to it as any kind of “fight” at all. Why not? Because I don’t feel any strong primary or secondary emotions related to it—emotions in my view necessary to qualify as a “fight”. But frame it however you wish, and conclude whatever you wish. Perhaps you do feel a lot of emotion about it, and so it qualifies as a fight for you, in which case, for you, I will have indeed “proven” your “point”.

  • Kevin Moore, A CLEAN BREAK foretold it all in 1996.

    July 8, 1996: Neoconservative Think Tank Advocates Aggressive Israeli Foreign Policy

    Richard Perle. [Source: Public domain]The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, an Israeli think tank, publishes a paper titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” [Washington Times, 10/7/2002; Chicago Sun-Times, 3/6/2003] The paper, whose lead author is neoconservative Richard Perle, is meant to advise the new, right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Other authors include:

    bullet influential neoconservative academic and former Bush adviser Richard Perle, primarily responsible for the content of the paper;
    bullet Meyrav Wurmser, the future director of the neoconservative Hudson Institute’s Center for Middle East Policy;
    bullet her husband David Wurmser, the future chief adviser for Middle East policy for future vice-president Dick Cheney;
    bullet neoconservative Douglas Feith, who will be the prime architect of the Iraq war;

    bullet and a number of lesser-known neoconservatives, including James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Jeffrey T. Bergner, Jonathan Torop, and Robert Loewenberg.

    Rebuilding Zionism by Abandoning Past Policies – It advocates making a complete break with past policies by adopting a strategy “based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism.…” [Guardian, 9/3/2002]
    Aggressive, Militant Israeli Policy towards Arab Neighbors –

    Much along the lines of an earlier paper by Israeli Oded Yinon (see February 1982), the document urges the Israelis to aggressively seek the downfall of their Arab neighbors—especially Syria and Iraq—by exploiting the inherent tensions within and among the Arab States. The first step is to be the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. A war with Iraq will destabilize the entire Middle East, allowing governments in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and other countries to be replaced. “Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them,” the paper says. [Perle, 7/8/1996; Guardian, 9/3/2002; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 3/19/2003]

    Iraq is first on the list of nations to be transformed. Saddam Hussein must be overthrown, the authors say. But Iraq has long served as a counterweight to the Shi’ite theocracy of Iran; with the two at loggerheads, neither could pose as serious a threat to Israel as it could if not opposed by the other. To counter this, Perle and his co-authors propose restoring the Hashemites (an ancient Arab dynasty; King Faisal I of Iraq was a Hashemite) to power. Instead of the largely Shi’ite Iraqis aligning themselves with their fellow Shi’a in Iran after Hussein’s overthrow, the Hashemite government would align itself with the pro-Western Jordan, long a Hashemite regime. Unfortunately, the authors propose no plan to actually make such an extraordinary regime succession happen, nor do they seem concerned with some Iraqi Shi’ites’ alignment with Islamist terrorists or with many Shi’ites’ close ties to Iran. [Unger, 2007, pp. 145-148]

    Abandoning Oslo Accords, Militant Palestinian Policy – Other suggestions for Israel include abandoning the Oslo Accords, developing a foreign policy based on a traditional balance of power strategy, reserving its right to invade the West Bank and Gaza Strip as part of a strategy of “self-defense,” abandoning any notion of “land for peace,” reestablishing a policy of preemptive strikes, forging closer ties to the US while taking steps towards self-reliance, and seeking an alternative to Yasser Arafat as leader of the PLO. [Perle, 7/8/1996]
    ‘Seeds of a New Vision’ – All these questions need not be answered right away, according to co-author Meyrav Wurmser. The document is “the beginning of thought,” she says, “… the seeds of a new vision.”

    Similar to American Christian Right’s Vision – According to author Craig Unger, the ideology of “ACB” is, in essence, a secularized version of the theology of the American Christian Right. Christian Zionists insist that Jews were ordained by God to reclaim the Biblican land of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank; the paper asserts that claim as well. The paper echoes Christian fundamentalists by demanding “the unconditional acceptance of Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension.” Perle and his fellow neoconservatives want to push the boundaries even further: the Bible can be interpreted to countenance Jewish dominion over all or parts of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and even Saudi Arabia. Thusly, the authors claim that Israel and the US, by waging war against Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, would reshape the “strategic environment” in the Middle East and greatly expand Israel’s influence in the region.

    Influence in Upcoming Bush Administration – Perle will later become chairman of President Bush’s influential Defense Policy Board and will be instrumental is moving Bush’s US policy toward war with Iraq after the 9/11 attacks, as will Feith and the Wurmsers. [Unger, 2007, pp. 145-148]

  • How about placing TLDRs about PCR, the Middle East, &c. in the forum with a link and a pertinent paragraph in the comments?

  • Out of respect to Dr. McPherson asking: “Who would vote for the shut down of Industrial civilivation???” I DO !! Dr. McPherson also includes reactor meltdowns in the extinction chain of events.

    As a contractor, I admire what Ed Snowden did, but his action has caused the NSA to read at each of us more closely. Hate me all you want but a few of you might like a semi-Snowden tip on actual plans on my desk.

    Sorry proliferation since WW2 but I do not have a retroactive time machine. Just happy to work on any level of nuclear reduction NOW & on forward – even if it seems impossible.

    I even appreciate those that say it is too late. Probably is. Also true that insanely greedy corporate contractors look at Fairwinds piggyback decommissioning profits. But as a former park ranger working for lowest gvt scale I still care about long term effects on future evolution. Otherwise there is nothing I can do about the roots of endless past transgressions.

    Inconveniet truth that in 1990 all of us working on public outreach to reduce carbon failed. Yes of course blame and fuck me specifically for TPTB, other countries and everything ever invented. Still happy to move forward just in case NTE doesn’t happen the day after tomorrow.

    RED FOX – I hate all military nukes but here at the Dept of Energy the best I can attempt is to deal with is 298 USA plants. (At LANL & Oak Ridge labs they explain that if nuke warheads are not maintained they have a different decay process. The explosive pac of highly enriched plutonium is not in contact with trigger charge until orders go from standby to arm then ready to fire. none of this is my field so search info for more tech specifics.)

    Gallows Humor: Mo Flow is eating nukes like wheeties! problem solved. Carry on with a radiation free extinction. Art leads Sabine to sail off on a UFO to an Old Growth Forest.

  • Robin Datta Says:
    March 23rd, 2015 at 2:56 pm
    ============================
    You are, as always, welcome Robin.

    Wee the people can do big people stuff (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In Sea Level Rise?).

    Even better than the big people.

  • Sorry Tom: dunno where that e came from. 🙂

    Gerald Spezio:

    There is little doubt that (apart from all the ‘nature of humans’ aspects and money-lenders lurking in the background, it was the rise of people like Nixon, Wolfowitz, Bush 1 and Bush 2, Friedman, Greenspan, the Clintons etc. that set humanity on the recent, accelerating path to disaster.

    Wallich was a notable ‘Orc’ because he did his utmost to derail the Limits to Growth debate, and succeeded.

    Back to tree work, firewood, greenhouses and propagation etc.

  • Hey Bud It was a joke,Maybe I can figure out a way so your comments do not show, then I wont be tempted.

  • NTE Therapy

    >>>

    So this guy walks into the therapist’s office for a first appointment.

    As he sits down, the therapist notices that the guy has a strip of bacon wrapped around each ear, and a fried egg on his head.

    They sit looking at one another for a minute, and then the therapist says, in his best Dr. Phil voice, “So…what brings you here today”?

    The guy leans forward, and says intently, “Doc, I really need you to talk to my wife. She’s out of her ever-lovin’ mind”.

  • This is the site for Jim White’s video advancing his position that methane release from permafrost will not happpen “abruptly.”

  • Paul Chefurka said:

    “It’s also entirely possible that Becker made the same mistake I’ve been making for the last 10 years – that of over-reaching for root causes to explain the behavior of the world.

    The reasoning involved is inherently inductive, so it’s unwise to cling too tightly to the apparent truth of these propositions. I’m moving towards treating them simply as food for thought rather than all-illuminating core insights into the nature of our reality.”

    —-

    You have a clear mind, Paul. I aspire to that approach you described above.

    =======

    blueislandgirl, yes, I noticed that too about the age of the Earth and the Universe. My point in a previous comment was basically that: it doesn’t matter in normal human conversation how accurately we get these numbers because “how do we perceive a Billion years?” The brain must go: oh, a very large number! The same way we don’t understand what being in debt to the tune of a Trillion dollars is. Or the size of the Antarctic ice sheet. They are just “big”. These numbers mean anything only to a fraction of the human population.

  • Gerald Spezio said:

    “White has joined ranks with Gavin Schmidt & Archer advancing the gradualist thesis concerning both the shutdown of the Gulfstream/AMC & the probability of abrupt methane release from permafrost.”

    —-

    A good way to get a feel for the state of the planet is this:

    Take a dozen members of TPTB and stick them in an fMRI scanner. Say the word “Gulfstream”. If all they can come up with is this, we will have found the answer.

  • 200 years ago, Hume thoroughly excoriated inductive reasoning as a bit too theological, and all but nearly useless. At least for his purposes.

  • @Bud Nye shared: ” But love is not a mystical, mysterious force that sweeps us off our feet, as those love songs suggest. It is our survival code and contains an exquisite logic that we are now able to understand. This means that a resilient, deeply satisfying love relationship is not a dream, but an attainable goal for us all. And that changes everything.”

    <3 <3 <3

    As we gallop into the Abyss we could attempt to experiment with our last breaths with love, with compassion, with empathy, with deep listening to each other's pain, joy, grief.

    We could also experiment with breaking the chains of a patriarchal culture of double standards when it comes to love by not blaming victims, by not treating relationship partners as property, by not using shame as a motivator to maintain unhealthy relationships, but by opening our hearts to big love, experiencing love in all of its fullness (intellectual, emotional & physical), and seeing the world through the eyes of children (products of our love or violence) and how they experience the world we have created with our hate, anger and greed, or in some rare instances with love.

    With love
    Pauline

  • The latest essay in this space comes off the keyboard of Elisabeth Robson. You can catch it here.

  • Anyone ever hear of a *bliss ninny+ ??

  • first of two posts:

    quoting Marc Austin”Gallows Humor: Mo Flow is eating nukes like wheeties! problem solved. Carry on with a radiation free extinction. Art leads Sabine to sail off on a UFO to an Old Growth Forest.”

    love it, and just for that, unfuck you, lol. What would I tell the powers that be? How about this,just this. Stop the lies, stop all the damn lies, that’s all.Just stop lying to people. Then when all the dust has cleared and the air has settled, maybe then we will finally see what we are really working with. We will still be irrevocably fucked and facing extinction, but at least we will be able to see it honestly.

    and quoting Pauline: “As we gallop into the Abyss we could attempt to experiment with our last breaths with love, with compassion, with empathy, with deep listening to each other’s pain, joy, grief.

    We could also experiment with breaking the chains of a patriarchal culture of double standards when it comes to love by not blaming victims, by not treating relationship partners as property, by not using shame as a motivator to maintain unhealthy relationships, but by opening our hearts to big love, experiencing love in all of its fullness (intellectual, emotional & physical), and seeing the world through the eyes of children (products of our love or violence) and how they experience the world we have created with our hate, anger and greed, or in some rare instances with love.”

    I am definitely down with that.

  • Lilly Wood – Prayer In C [OFFICIAL]

  • @ Etyerepetyere Says:
    March 25th, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you, that took me back to a more tranquil time. In my youth (summer of ’76, I was 23) I knew a semi-professional theatrical make-up artist who I had paint a large butterfly on my face, ala Peter Gabriel (then, lead member of Genesis), the performers I went to see at the Allen Theater in CLE that night. I remember many people remarking to their friends as I passed them, “Did you see that guy’s face?! Wow!” I also remember the music was very, very good and the LSD was excellent. What a blast!! Again, thank you! 🙂