Wednesday, January 29, 2014

An Instantly Forgettable State of the Union Address

(1) The president asserted that the US economy is roaring back, a message that won't sit well with many Americans. The public has little confidence in the president or his party on handling economic matters. But after all the happy talk -- which ignored a terrible workforce participation rate -- Obama moved on to decrying income inequality. Obama sounded alternatingly triumphal and deeply dissatisfied with the state of the economy, creating a strange tension within his own speech.

(2) Obama pretended that Republicans are opposed to extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. Although economic evidence suggests that extended benefits reduce recipients' incentive to find and accept jobs, Republicans are open to re-upping them, so long as they're paid for. Obama also called on Congress to pass patent reform, which they've done. He called for expanded government pre-K programs, which gold-plated studies undertaken by his own administration have determined do not work. And like a broken record, he called for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, home to some of the world's most dangerous terrorists:

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Illinois vs. Oklahoma - You Gotta Read This

  Subject: Illinois vs. Oklahoma - You  Gotta Read This

I thought  these  two e-mails, the first about Illinois and the second
about Oklahoma   , made an interesting contrast .   .

PART 1 —  Illinois

"A State  with No  Republicans!"

Some interesting data on the 'state' of   Illinois ... There are more
people on welfare in  Illinois than  there are people  working.  Chicago pays the
highest wages  to  teachers than anywhere else in the U.S.     averaging
$110,000/year.  Their pensions average 80-90%  of  their income.  Wow, are Illinois and  Chicago   great or what?  Be sure to  read till the end.  I've 
never heard it explained better.   Perhaps the U.S. should  pull out of Chicago
?  Body count: In the last  six  months, 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago .
221 killed in   Iraq ; AND Chicago has one  of the strictest gun laws in
the  entire US.

Here's the Chicago chain of command:  President: Barack  Hussein Obama ·
Senator: Dick Durbin · House  Representative: Jesse  Jackson Jr. · Governor:
Pat Quinn ·  House leader: Mike Madigan ·  Atty. Gen.: Lisa Madigan 
(daughter of Mike) ·  Mayor: Rahm  Emanuel ·  The  leadership in Illinois - all
Democrats. · Thank you for the   combat zone in Chicago . · Of course, they're
all blaming each  other. · Can't blame Republicans; there  aren't any! · 

Let us get ALL the facts  out while we are at it:

Chicago school system  rated one  of the worst in the  country.  Can't
blame Republicans;  there aren't any!

State pension fund $78 Billion  in  debt, worst in country.  Can't blame
Republicans; there   aren't any!

Cook   County ( Chicago ) sales  tax  10.25% highest in country.  Can't
blame Republicans;  there  aren't any!

This is the  political culture  that Obama comes from in  Illinois ..  And
he is going to  'fix'  Washington politics for  us?

George Ryan is  no longer Governor, he is in  prison.

He was replaced  by  Rob Blagojevich who is,  that's right, also in  prison.

And Representative Jesse  Jackson Jr. resigned,  .. and that's right, he
and his  wife both are in prison  also.

The  Land of Lincoln , where our  Governors  and Representatives make our
license plates.  What?

As  long as they keep providing  entitlements to the population  of 
Chicago , nothing is going to change,  except the  state will go broke before the
country  does.

"Anybody  who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by  letting the 
Government take care of him better take a closer look at  the  American Indian."

Don’t forget Detroit , another  great  example of a Democratic empire…

With all the bad news, there is hope, so  let’s go to:

PART  2— Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA    - may soon  have plenty of new residents!


Oklahoma    is the only state that Obama did  not win even one county in the
last  election...  While  everyone is focusing on  Arizona ’s new law, look
what   Oklahoma has been  doing!!!

An  update  from  Oklahoma :

Oklahoma    law passed, 37  to 9 an amendment to place the Ten Commandments
on the front  entrance to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., along  with 
the ACLU,said it would be a mistake. Hey this is a  conservative  state,
based on Christian values... HB   1330

Guess  what... Oklahoma did it   anyway.

Oklahoma    recently passed a law in the  state to incarcerate all illegal
immigrants, and ship them back to  where they came from unless they  want to
get a green card and  become an American citizen. They  all scattered.   HB
1804. This was  against the advice of the  Federal Government, and the ACLU,
they said it would be a  mistake.

Guess   what... Oklahoma did it  anyway.

Recently  we  passed a law to include DNA samples from any and all
illegal's  to  the Oklahoma database, for criminal  investigative  purposes. Pelosi
said it was unconstitutional SB   1102

Guess  what... Oklahoma did it   anyway.

Several  weeks ago, we passed a law,  declaring  Oklahoma as a Sovereign
state, not under  the  Federal Government directives. Joining Texas ,  Montana
and  Utah as the  only states to do so.

More  states  are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia,
Carolina's,  Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi  and  Florida.
Save your confederate money, it appears the South is   about to rise up once
again. HJR  1003

The   federal Government has made bold steps to take away our  guns. 
Oklahoma , a week ago, passed a law confirming people in  this  state have the
right to bear arms and transport them in their   vehicles.  I'm sure that was
a setback for the criminals  The  Liberals didn't like it --   But....

Guess  what... Oklahoma did it   anyway.

Just  this month, the state has voted and  passed a law that ALL drivers’
license exams will be printed in  English, and only English, and no  other
language. They have  been called racist for doing this, but the  fact is that
ALL of  the road signs are in English only. If you  want to drive in 
Oklahoma , you must read  and write English. Really  simple.

By  the way, the Liberals don't like any of  this  either

Guess  what... who cares...   Oklahoma is  doing it anyway.

If you like it, pass  it  on, if you don't then delete it...    Thanks

Guess  what: the people I'm sending this  to, will send it on. Well, at
least the ones who love and believe in  freedom  will.

In  God We  Trust

Monday, January 20, 2014

Truth about the Seralini rat-tumor-GMO study explodes

by Jon Rappoport
January 19, 2014

Remember a researcher named Gilles-Eric Seralini, his 2012 GMO study, and the controversy that swirled around it?

He fed rats GMOs, in the form of Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn, and they developed tumors. Some died. The study was published in the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology. Pictures of the rats were published.

A wave of biotech-industry criticism ensued. Pressure built. "Experts" said the study was grossly unscientific, its methods were unprofessional, and Seralini was biased against GMOs from the get-go. Monsanto didn't like Seralini at all.

The journal which published the Seralini study caved in and retracted it.

Why? Not because Seralini did anything unethical, not because he plagiarized material, not because he was dishonest in any way, but because:

He used rats which (supposedly) had an inherent tendency to develop tumors (the Sprague-Dawley strain), and because he used too few rats (10). That's it. Those were Seralini's errors.

Well, guess what? Eight years prior to Seralini, Monsanto also did a rat-tumor-GMO study and published it in the very same journal. Monsanto's study showed there were no tumor problems in the rats. But here's the explosive kicker. Monsanto used the same strain of rats that Seralini did and same number of rats (10). And nobody complained about it.

Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumer's Union, explains in an interview with Steve Curwood at

"Well, basically what Dr. Séralini did was he did the same feeding study that Monsanto did and published in the same journal eight years prior, and in that study, they [Monsanto] used the same number of rats, and the same strain of rats, and came to a conclusion there was no [tumor] problem. So all of a sudden, eight years later, when somebody [Seralini] does that same experiment, only runs it for two years rather than just 90 days, and their data suggests there are problems, [then] all of a sudden the number of rats is too small? Well, if it's too small to show that there's a [tumor] problem, wouldn't it be too small to show there's no problem? They already said there should be a larger study, and it turns out the European Commission is spending 3 million Euros to actually do that Séralini study again, run it for two years, use 50 or more rats and look at the carcinogenicity. So they're actually going to do the full-blown cancer study, which suggests that Séralini's work was important, because you wouldn't follow it up with a 3 million Euro study if it was a completely worthless study."


I can just hear Monsanto felons gibbering: "Well, we the biotech industry people published our study. We used 10 rats and we used the Sprague-Dawley strain. And that was fine. It was especially fine because our study showed GMOs were safe. But then this guy Seralini comes along and does the same study with the same kind of rat and same number of rats, and he discovers tumors. That's not fine. That's very bad. He...he...used the wrong rats...yeah...and he didn't use enough rats. He's a faker. Well, I mean, we used the same kind of rat and same number of rats, but when we did the experiment, we were Good, and Seralini was Bad. Do you see?"

Yes, the mists are clearing and things are coming into focus.

Any comments, Monsanto? I'd be happy to pass them along to Michael Hansen.

Jon Rappoport
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

A Plea From A Former USSR Citizen

After recalling some of his childhood and youth experiences growing up in the Soviet Union this former Soviet citizen wraps up his article addressed to his fellow Americans this way:

"Now, most American news sources are no different than Pravda and Izvestia. Now, the government used the IRS to stifle political opposition. Now, ObamaCare is a wealth redistribution platform disguised as a common good. Now, Obama is being portrayed in academia and the media alike as a charismatic, messianic, "progressive" figure, fighting for the "underdog." He would feel right at home as the General Secretary of the Communist Party. Now, Obama Youths are me, from decades ago. Leninist academia has had its way with them. Now, just like Soviet leaders, American leaders give lip-service to "social justice" while stocking up on personal wealth for their families.
There's nothing new under the sun. I'm hardly the only ex-Soviet to point out the parallels. But some things matter enough to bear repeating.
Dear beautiful America, please, stop moving Forward."

Read and then let us all heed his plea.    Pass along his message.

George Burns

A Message About Martin Luther King's Message To His Fellow Americans

The reverend Martin Luther King's (MLK) message to Americans has been distorted, misrepresented and abused by a large swath of people who like to recreate him into a hero of their making.  They deny or refuse to accept his real message.  As the article notes " Christianity teaches that people must love one another, and even before he began his crusade for civil rights, King frequently preached that people must love their enemies and forgive those who attempt to harm them. The marches, rallies, and boycotts he organized all featured non-violence, because they were born in Christian love and hope."  I have to ask who and why do so many across the political and cultural spectrum, left and right, deny/avoid the truth of his Christian message.  On MLK day they will preen before microphones and television camera's offering words of praise for him, pretending that his words/ideals represent theirs and are embodied in everything they do.  They lie.  The truth is that if they did believe and act on MLK's message our nation would be in a far better place than it now is.  Indeed, the corrosive progressive/liberal message which since his death has so permeated our culture and political system undercuts almost the entirety of MLK's message.  Please folks lets relearn MLK's Christian message and reject the progressive's corrosive/corruptive/destructive secular humanist message.  Maybe then we as a nation will have a chance... It will surely be a far better place for "everyone".

George Burns

Thoughts on Tolerance/Intolerance

This item illustrates what liberals/progressives really think about tolerance/intolerance.

When a progressive governor tells those who disagree with him that they do not belong in his state he shows how intolerant he and his liberal/democrat colleagues really are.  As I have said many times before progressives/liberals are elitists who think they are smarter than the rest of us and therefore we should all heel to their self-appointed superiority and forget what we know and embrace their socialistic/fascistic political, social and economic policies/philosophy which have been branded by history as failures.  Is that something we should willingly tolerate?

If someone tries to coerce another to adopt his/her point of view can that be considered intolerance?

Programming/propagandizing the minds of those seeking an education ultimately produces people just as intolerant as their instructors.  We are expected to follow their "elitist" way or hit the highway.  Here is a telling quote:  " Almost the entire agenda of the radical left is touched upon somewhere in the internationalization campaign: wealth redistribution, diminishing the importance of the West, tearing students away from traditional allegiances and beliefs, multiculturalism, diversity, environmental extremism -- even animal rights.  At times, it even subordinates the objective pursuit of knowledge to political concerns -- the hallmark of totalitarian regimes.  And it is stealthily moving forward even as we sleep."

This illustrates Hollywood elite's intolerance of anyone who does not overtly support their extreme leftist agenda.   Another example from the intolerant progressive Hollywood enclave.

George Burns

Military Industrial Complex

On 17 January 1961 in his farewell speech to the nation President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered these remarks about the dangers of an overly powerful Military Industrial Complex.

"A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present
  • and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society."

In short, Eisenhower warned us that if allowed by the government, the Military Industrial Complex in coordination with an academic and scientific elite would assume control of our nation's public policy.  Today that is the reality.  The difference is that Eisenhower's admonition that "the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces" was long ago cast aside.  Indeed, to our detriment, the government is now an integral part of the Military Industrial Complex.  

Now read this link.  

George Burns

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ten outrageous ways the U.S. government is killing its own citizens

From James Altucher of The Altucher Confidential:

This is not a political rant. I have to say that up front before everyone pulls out their guns. This is not about Obama or Bush or Clinton or anyone.

Nor is this about voting. I don't vote. You know why? Because nothing can change. You can argue with me, but don't bother. Nothing will change. And I still won't vote.

The reasons the government is killing people is systemic and not political. The reason I'm writing this article is not to complain but to protect.

If you don't want to die and if you want to help people who are dying then just try to avoid the following situations...

A) The government is starving senior citizens to death. 

The baby boomers are now retiring en masse. Unless they are wealthy, retirees live off of social security and interest on savings, plus they cut back on expenses.

Social security is going up 1.5% this year. Savings rates are about 0.1%.

Guess what: Food inflation will go up 3-4% this year. Like it goes up every year.

So how will senior citizens be able to afford their food?

One answer: They can start eating dog food.

Or they can die.

Solution: No tariffs with any country on any food. Set up free trade agreements everywhere. Truly move to a global economy.

B) The Student Loan Debt Suicides

Because the government is the last resource backing and insuring student loans, banks and colleges have freely raised loans and tuitions faster than inflation for 40 straight years.

Student loans are now over a trillion dollars. That means young people, kids really, who are 22 years old, are more in debt than many of their parents.

Has it helped them? You tell me. More than 50% of the unemployed have college degrees. So the old excuse of: "You need a degree to get a job" no longer works.

There's a lot of reasons to not go to college. This article won't cover them. But perhaps the most important reason not to send your kids to college is to help them avoid suicide.

Why suicide?

According to the American Society of Suicidology: "Economic strain and personal financial crises have been well documented as precipitating events in individual deaths by suicide." This is sort of obvious, but it's interesting to note that over $2.7 billion student loans were forgiven because of death.

Young people are in more financial stress than ever.

More loans + less jobs + less income = more death.

Solution: Stop backing student loans to make a quick buck. What will happen? Colleges will get less applicants and tuitions will go down. Simple.

C) Guns don't kill people. But drones do. 

Ok, the U.S. has finally admitted it. Between 2009 and May, 2013 4 U.S. citizens have been killed in drone attacks in the Middle East. A couple of points on this:

1) When someone in a bomb shelter in Kansas can impassively control drone killings in the Middle East, it's more like a video game than an actual war. It emotionally distances the joystick user from the victims.

2) The U.S. admitted 4. Which means the actual number is probably a lot higher. This is not cynical but common sense. If you disagree, then fine. 4 deaths of U.S. citizens by drones. But I think the number is much higher.

3) This is just U.S. citizens. How many innocent bystanders who were not U.S. citizens have been killed? I don't know. This is just about U.S. citizens being killed by the U.S..

Solution: Stop drone killings – everywhere. Do we really want missile-armed, hackable robots in the sky placing targets on anyone's heads?  Think anything could go wrong there?

D) The Death of the Middle Class is more than symbolic: 

Since 1970, inflation has gone up higher than median income. In other words, the rich don't care and the poor (those whose basic needs are protected) don't care. But the middle 90% care.

The number of full-time workers in the U.S. is about 6 million less than it was in 2007.

Meanwhile, more homes than ever are still valued less than their mortgage. I see this from my vantage point on the board of one of the largest employment agencies in the world. Basically, things are sad.

76% of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. And if you want a job, good luck: the second largest employer in the U.S. (Kelly Services) is a temp agency.

The demographic with the highest suicide rate? Men, age 45-65. The latest data is hard to collect but 2010 was the record year on suicides. 2011 and 2012 data not available yet.

I wish this weren't true but it is. I'm 45. Here goes!

Solution: Don't raise taxes on this middle 90%. Reset mortgage rates to reflect current interest rates and have the government pay the difference. In other words, bail out the people killing themselves instead of the banks who are killing people.

E) The FDA is killing people, part I. 

I'm not going to draw a direct line here from the FDA to actual deaths. In part, because I don't want the FDA to kill me.

But the reality is this: It costs $2 billion to get a lifesaving drug through the FDA.

There's four different tests that a drug has to go through and it's very expensive, lobbying is involved, and the FDA takes their time.

The reason for this is that the FDA doesn't want people to take bad drugs that will kill themselves. A couple of points on this:

1) The FDA recalls about 2000 drugs a year for being too harmful for human consumption. So what was the good of those initial trials anyway?

2) People who are close to dying don't give a shit if a drug is being tested. They would be more than happy to take their chances rather than just die. It takes a drug up to ten years to get through the FDA. During that time, many drugs could've saved lives.

3) According to the Center for Disease Control: prescription drugs now kill more than heroin and cocaine combined. The War on Drugs needs to be aimed at the U.S. government.

Solution: End the FDA. Make every drug available to people. The drugs that will be successful in the marketplace will be ones where the marketing is backed by independent tests and, yes, the successful drugs will be the ones that actually save lives.

Will there be an increase in deaths also? Maybe. But the FDA-approved drugs also kill people, so who knows if it will be more or less? My guess is the lives saved will be much greater.

F) The FDA is killing people, part II

Here are the most expensive drugs in the United States:

•   Soliris, $409,500 per year
•   Elaprase, $375,000 per year
•   Naglazyme, $365,000 per year
•   Cinryze, $350,000 per year
•   ACTH, $300,000 for two courses of treatment
•   Folotyn, $30,000 per month
•   Myozyme, $100,000 per year for children, $300,000 for adults
•   Arcalyst, $250,000 per year
•   Ceredase/Cerezyme, $200,000 per year
•   Fabrazyme, $200,000 per year
•   Aldurazyme, $200,000

Why are they so expensive? Because they save lives AND because of the costs it took to get through the FDA. Whether your market is a million people or 1000 people the costs to get through the FDA are the same. So if you are in a small market (Soliris saves about 6000 people a year - a small market - from Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria) then you have to charge a lot for your drug.

Doesn't insurance cover it? Maybe, maybe not. But let's say insurance does. That means those costs have to be passed on to everyone else who isn't sick. That's not good either.

Solution: Same as above.

G) Doctors are killing people

According to the law, you can't be a doctor until you get into massive debt by going to umpteen years of medical school.


Most people make the argument, "Would you rather have a janitor or a Harvard trained brain surgeon operating on your brain"?

When someone asks me that I usually punch them.

All that matters to me is if someone has a lot of experience. They don't get that in school.

Or a laboratory. They get that by DOING. Apprenticeship, to me, works better than medical school. Then people start getting experience early on.

But back to doctors killing people.

According to Johns Hopkins, 98,000 people a year die from doctor mistakes… either mistake in surgery or mistake in prescription. So what good was medical school?

And if you randomly pull 100 charts, 40% of them will have basic errors on it.
By the way, the doctors are not happy about it either. On average, one doctor a day kills himself.

Solution: This is drastic, but get rid of the requirement of a medical degree. Let's get back to an apprenticeship system and then use social proof to validate the good from the bad.

By the way, google, "Get a Medical Degree." Approximately 5,000 practicing doctors in the U.S. have fake medical degrees. Including me. But I don't practice any more.

H) The Food Pyramid

Good luck if you eat like the USDA approved food pyramid.

Chances are you will get obese, diabetic, get Alzheimer's, have strokes, and all sorts of other good things.

It's been obvious for decades that food and agricultural associations, dominated by the big food lobbyists, control what makes up the food pyramid.

It's also been obvious for years that the recommendations cause problems for your health. The food pyramid was introduced in the U.S. in 1992.

68% of the U.S. is now obese.  I don't have to list the diseases and unhappiness caused by obesity. Put it this way… I'm sure you would rather be not-obese than obese.  There are 3,000,000 obesity related deaths per year in the U.S.

Eat 6-11 servings of bread and pasta and see how you look and feel a year later. This is not an article about diets or how you can lose weight.

This particular section is an argument against lobbyists. The lobbyists that influence the decision makers on the food pyramid have interests that are not in line with your health.

That should be clear.

Solution: Do away with the food pyramid and stop teaching it in schools around the country so our ADHD kids get even more brain damaged and unhealthy.

I) Marijuana is Illegal and Cigarettes are legal

This is such an obvious one that if an alien race were to land on Earth and study our laws they would slap Congress right in the face and say, "What the f*ck were you thinking?"

That's what's in a cigarette. Not to mention Polonium-210, a radioactive element. You can basically pull apart a cigarette and make a nuclear bomb.

Cigarettes are linked to cancer, heart attacks, strokes, Parkinson's, dementia, and every other fun disease you can think of.

Meanwhile, how many people have died of a marijuana overdose? ZERO.

And what diseases does marijuana help alleviate the symptoms of? Many… ranging from glaucoma to cancer to anxiety.

Solution: Obvious

Again, this has nothing to do with politics. Nor am I just trying to complain. I'd just rather let individuals decide the best ways to live and die.  Not the government.

P.S.  I also think trying to do MORE things to avoid death (e.g. the entire anti-aging industry) is probably no good for people.

So as an added bonus, here is an idea...

List the top 10 killers in the U.S. I'll do it for you.

From the Center for Disease Control:

•   Heart disease: 616,067 deaths last year
•   Cancer: 562,875
•   Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
•   Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
•   Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
•   Alzheimer's disease: 74,632
•   Diabetes: 71,382
•   Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
•   Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
•   Septicemia: 34,828

Now do things which reduce the likelihood of having any of the above be the cause of your death.

Live long and prosper.

Crux note: If you haven't heard James' new radio show yet... you're missing out.  The former Wall Street "ultra-preneur" shares his addictive mix of business insight, common sense wisdom, and hilarious wit.  You'll learn more useful knowledge in 30 minutes with James than in four years of college. In his latest show, James interviews New York Timesbestselling author Robert Greene. Greene has written The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War. His newest book is called Mastery. You can listen to this eye-opening episode right here.

More from James:

Must-read: Here are the little known secrets to selling anything

James Altucher: These are the two most important words in the English language

Must-read: The "ultimate cheat sheet" for reinventing yourself

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars

For a time now a good friend and I have been exchanging notes dealing with the ongoing climate change debate.  He supports the UN IPCC position that human activity is at the heart of global warming.  I take the opposite view.  During the course of our exchanges he provided me Dr. Michael E. Mann's book The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars.  Dr. Mann is a central player on the global warming side of the debate.  My friend wanted me to read Mann's book since it represents his point of view.  This is my response to him slightly altered by the removal of personal comments meant for him.


I found Mann to be a bit too full of himself.  His self defensive approach in laying out the book gave me a sense that he was not being completely forthright.  He cited much scientific data that was hard for me to follow and consequently to challenge.  Not being a scientist I wouldn't anyway.  His self assured presentation was in my mind, however, far too overdone.  His sarcasm bites.  He seems intent on making sure the reader does not question anything he says - he is the expert so keep any doubts to yourself.  His attitude seems to be "if he says it, it is so".  That to me exposes his considerable arrogance and perhaps his own deep rooted doubts.  This tone carried throughout the book.

He portrays himself as a victim at the hands of those mean old "deniers".  He routinely uses demeaning terms when talking about his detractors but obviously feels that it is okay for him to denigrate them.  Many of those scientists have just as many academic credentials as he.  He was really upbeat throughout Chapter 15 as he recited all the apparent vindications he and his side have enjoyed.  His attitude came across as "boy, did we put those guys in their place".  In short he seems to believe he is always right while his detractors are not only wrong but dishonest and incompetent to boot.  Without doing extensive research I cannot challenge the veracity of his claims in this chapter or for that matter throughout the entire book.  But I harbor doubts as to his forthrightness.  Not saying he is out-and-out lying just that given his personality when dealing with himself and his cause he likely paints the best possible picture and ignores the parts he does not like. 

Another notable flaw in my view is Mann's constant recitation of the "deniers" association with big oil and their money.  The implication being that their scientific findings are clearly tainted - and they may well be.  The obverse is that "alarmist" findings are free of such contamination.  That however is false (more later).  Note the findings at this link:  Here is a short quote derived from a 2009 Climate Money study by Joanne Nova that reveals "that the federal Government has a near-monopoly on climate science funding."  Another quote:  "The Congressional Research Service estimates that since 2008 the federal government has spent nearly $70 billion on 'climate change activities.'”  The obvious question is why is the government handing over so much of taxpayer's money to climate alarmists?  The government has an agenda and the alarmists scientists know that their funds will slow to a trickle if they do not meet the government's "alarmist" expectations.  

While the extent of the matter can be debated there is no question that governments seek to exploit "climate change" for political and wealth redistribution purposes.  I cannot vouch for the validity of all the information provided by this obvious "denier" (below linked document dated 12/28/13)  but this quote presents affirmable information.  It provides a sense of the UN's approach to climate change notwithstanding recurring challenges to its veracity. "Have they decided to reevaluate their conclusions in response to all this new information? The answer is no. And the reason is that concern over preserving the environment is merely a smokescreen intended to hide the real agenda. As FOX news reported on September 8, 2010, the UN's Secretary General and his staff met to discuss ways of reasserting the UN's influence on the world stage, including:
    "how to restore 'climate change' as a top global priority after the fiasco of last year's Copenhagen summit"
    "how to continue to try to make global redistribution of wealth the real basis of that climate agenda, and widen
    the discussion further to encompass the idea of 'global public goods'"
So 'climate change' is simply seen as a convenient tool to be used to extract wealth from producer countries and redistribute it to the non-producers. And since that goal remains unaffected by any revelations of the anti-scientific foundations underlying climate research, there is no need to change course."

The full  document can be found here:

In addition to above thoughts I noted that an assumption the "alarmist" seem to make, and not developed in the book, is that since the earth's slight warming trend coincides with the onset of the industrial revolution human activity is the most obvious cause.  So it seems that their science starts with that assumption.  Is their scientific data conclusive or simply coincidental?  Scientific data supporting warming is quite possibly a natural outcome of natural climate events outside man's control.  Were that the case maybe the warming trend just happened to align with the onset of the industrial revolution.  It may be but it could just as easily not be.  I certainly don't know but Mann does not really deal with that potentiality...seems odd to me, it may be a convenient oversight.  To me that suggests that the alarmists' assumption that man-made CO2 pollution is the cause or at least a major contributor to global warming is neither provable nor unprovable.  I have read many accounts written by those he calls deniers that acknowledge human activity is a contributor but the question alarmist don't want to answer is "how much".  They cannot recreate events that do so - their conclusions are therefore inferential at best.  They are certainly not conclusive.

To my way of thinking scientists too sure of themselves are to be viewed with skepticism.  The basis of that remark is derived from an interesting booklet entitled On Being A Scientist:  Responsible Conduct in Research, National Academy Press, 1995.  Some time ago I was in the midst of researching an entirely different subject when I ran across it.  Here is a quote:  "Scientific results are inherently provisional. Scientists can never prove conclusively that they have described some aspect of the natural or physical world with complete accuracy. In that sense all scientific results must be treated as susceptible to error."  The on-line booklet can be found at:   I did note that in several places in his book and in the Epilogue Mann alludes to this fact.  His characterization of his work, however, seems to vacate the point.  His attitude suggests that there can be no doubt that he and his like minded colleagues are right in their determinations.

Another quote in this vein I found interesting (on yet another research effort) comes from the book The Limitations of Scientific Truth by Dr. Nigel Brush.  Chapter 5 opens with this sentence:  "The primary obstacle to harmonizing religious truth with scientific truth is that scientific truth is constantly changing.  Addressing why scientific truth changes he writes that:  "An answer can be found by examining the logical limitations of the modern scientific method."  The chapter develops this point and ends with this question: "Indeed, if all scientific theories are equally unprovable, what distinguishes scientific truth from metaphysical truth...or even religious truth?"

To add to rationale that supports my own man-made global warming skepticism I found a most interesting article published in the 13 Dec 2014 edition of the Weekly Standard.  The article, written by Ethan Epstein, reports on his interaction with Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan emeritus professor of meteorology at MIT.  Lindzen is a climate change denier.  Here is what Epstein says of him:  "Lindzen is no shrinking violet. A pioneering climate scientist with decades at Harvard and MIT, Lindzen sees his discipline as being deeply compromised by political pressure, data fudging, out-and-out guesswork, and wholly unwarranted alarmism. In a shot across the bow of what many insist is indisputable scientific truth, Lindzen characterizes global warming as 'small and .  .  . nothing to be alarmed about.'”

Here are a few more quotes I found interesting.  This one regards the UN IPCC Report.  "'For one thing, he says that the Summary for Policymakers is an inherently problematic document. The IPCC report itself, weighing in at thousands of pages, is 'not terrible. It’s not unbiased, but the bias [is] more or less to limit your criticism of models,' he says. The Summary for Policymakers, on the other hand—the only part of the report that the media and the politicians pay any attention to—'rips out doubts to a large extent. .  .  . [Furthermore], government representatives have the final say on the summary.' Thus, while the full IPPC report demonstrates a significant amount of doubt among scientists, the essentially political Summary for Policymakers filters it out." 

"If Lindzen is right about this and global warming is nothing to worry about, why do so many climate scientists, many with résumés just as impressive as his, preach imminent doom? He says it mostly comes down to the money—to the incentive structure of academic research funded by government grants. Almost all funding for climate research comes from the government, which, he says, makes scientists essentially vassals of the state. And generating fear, Lindzen contends, is now the best way to ensure that policymakers keep the spigot open." 

"Lindzen also says that the 'consensus'—the oft-heard contention that 'virtually all' climate scientists believe in catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming—is overblown, primarily for structural reasons. 'When you have an issue that is somewhat bogus, the opposition is always scattered and without resources,' he explains. 'But the environmental movement is highly organized. There are hundreds of NGOs. To coordinate these hundreds, they quickly organized the Climate Action Network, the central body on climate. There would be, I think, actual meetings to tell them what the party line is for the year, and so on.' Skeptics, on the other hand, are more scattered across disciplines and continents. As such, they have a much harder time getting their message across."

"Lindzen,...can’t be dismissed. Nor, of course, is he the only skeptic with serious scientific credentials. Judith Curry, the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, William Happer, professor of physics at Princeton, John Christy, a climate scientist honored by NASA, now at the University of Alabama, and the famed physicist Freeman Dyson are among dozens of scientists who have gone on record questioning various aspects of the IPCC’s line on climate change. Lindzen, for his part, has said that scientists have called him privately to thank him for the work he’s doing." 

Here is the full Lindzen article:

After I completed my above remarks I went on and scanned the reviews of the book rendered by others.  Most supported Mann and his work.  A large percentage did not provide substantive reasons justifying their support but did offer derogatory remarks directed towards his detractors.  Most of those that obviously critiqued Mann's work provided cogent thoughts.  A few did not.  One reviewer, Dr. Stephen A. Short, provided this remark:  "As a practicising earth scientist of 35 years with over 100 mainstream peer reviewed papers and book chapters I can say that there is strictly no need for conspiracy theories in a context where this new book by (Dr) Michael Mann of Hockey Stick fame is one [of] the worst pieces of devious, lying, dissembling re-writing of modern events I have read in a very long time."

Below are some other items which, in my mind, present credible counter-points to those presented by Mann and his fellow scientists.

George Burns

Global Warming: The Science and the Pseudoscience