Thursday, July 30, 2009


From Murph

To start off with todays post, here are some pictures of our gardening efforts in central Oregon.

Squash taking over part of the garden. So far, beautiful plants

Murph doing the retired gardener thing

coconut peanut sauce with garden vegies and shrimp

Egg bagels, new recipe

Close up of artichokes and fennel

Todays post is from Belgium, who has been doing some examining of the abiotic oil controversy that has yet to heat up. This is for your consideration and discussion. We have talked about this a bit before, but this is a more in depth examination. Interesting stuff.



We have read in the comments of a recent post that “Carbon Capping” will be the next artificially created financial bubble. I am not altogether sure what Carbon Capping actually is, it sounds to me like the public is being ‘invited to participate’ in financing carbon emission reducing technology however I am not going to speculate any further on this. A few years ago Al Gore was the Olympic torch bearer of carbon emissions related to climate change awareness. Today, with alternative theories circulating which have gone largely unchallenged, rather ignored, his message, which still has a noteworthy following, is looking increasingly jaded.

This post is not primarily concerned with the climate change issue, as important as that is but goes back over old ground, at least eight years to my knowledge, probably longer, to examine whether the holy cow of peak oil is real or not.

I found an internet article dealing with this a couple of years ago but for whatever reason the link became lost before I read it out. I recently found it back again and this is the main source of what follows. Some embedded links in the article have been included in the ‘sources’ to validate supporting evidence. I am of course referring to abiotic oil. This is oil claimed to be formed deep within the earth’s magma which then finds its way into the near surface layers of the crust through deep fissures and is then trapped beneath mainly sedimentary rock.

I first became aware of this as a result of a most unseemly and petulant spat between Mike Rupert and Dave McGowan. At least it was unseemly and petulant on Mike Rupert’s part. There had obviously been a history between these two before the contretemps came over my horizon. I do not wish to dwell on bad feelings but it is important you should know the background to each parties stand. In his blog CIA (Centre for an Informed America) Dave McGowan writes so:

“On February 29, 2004, I received the following e-mail message from Michael Rupert of From the Wilderness:”

“I challenge you to an open, public debate on the subject of Peak Oil; any time, any place after March 13th 2004. I challenge you to bring scientific material, production data and academic references and citations for your conclusions like I have. I suggest a mutually acceptable panel of judges and I will put up $1,000 towards a purse to go to the winner of that debate. I expect you to do the same. And you made a dishonest and borderline libellous statement when you suggested that I am somehow pleased that these wars of aggression have taken place to secure oil. My message all along has been, “Not in my name!”
Put your money where your mouth is. But first I suggest you do some homework. Ad hominem attacks using the word “bullshit”, unsupported by scientific data are a sign of intellectual weakness (at best). I will throw more than 500 footnoted citations at you from unimpeachable sources. Be prepared to eat them or rebut them with something more than you have offered”.

“Wow! How does high noon sound?”

I think Mike Rupert’s arguments are fairly well known to many of the readers here. His first blog From the Wilderness was a subscription journal. For those who are not familiar with him his current blog “Act 2 From the Wilderness” can be found here:

Rupert’s argument is that since oil is a fossil fuel derived from plant and animal degradation it can be found only near the earth’s surface and since its quantity is finite then someday it will run out. This will result in loss of transport; loss of agriculture; loss of water purification and pumping, in fact the whole infrastructure of modern society. Since this society is dependent on oil, when it finally runs out society will collapse with it and there is no real alternative.

Dave McGowan called his post, the first paragraph of which is reproduced above, his ‘opening statement’ and if Mike Rupert wished to pursue matters further he was agreed to a debate without a purse but with both parties publishing the substance of the debate and its results in their respective blogs. So far as I am aware this is where the matter ended although Mike Rupert is still making the claims which he reneged to debate after his challenge above. Mike Rupert in my view should either accept his own challenge or, if he has experienced a peripatetic moment, quit himself like a man and say he now believes he got it wrong, has changed his former point of view and now believes something else. Maybe the pull of the lecture circuit is too addictive?

What follows is a little one sided however my purpose here is to summarize McGowan’s arguments in order for the still relatively unknown abiotic oil question to reach a wider audience. The decision of who has the stronger argument I will leave to the individual reader.

Firstly to deal with the libelous / semi-libelous statement that Mike Rupert is promoting a war agenda, the argument runs as follows. Since those calling the shots are following a war agenda against largely Muslim states, the pro war lobby does not need convincing, it is only the anti war following that needs to be brought on board. If they become convinced that their whole way of life is about to collapse with no alternative, no way out and the (Muslim) nations that still have oil will then effectively rule the world, then they will reluctantly be persuaded to give their support to wars against those countries which do have oil. That these oil producing countries are aware of the peak oil argument and are still willing to sell it to the west does not seem to cross their horizon. Thus Peak Oil is being marketed to those who want to bring the troops home.

One of Mike Rupert’s arguments is "One of the biggest signs of the reality of Peak Oil over the last two decades has been a continual pattern of merger-acquisition-downsizing throughout the (oil) industry." To which McGowan replies: “Really? And is that pattern somehow unique to the petroleum industry? Or is it a pattern that has been followed by just about every major industry? Is the consolidation of the supermarket industry a sign of the reality of Peak Groceries? And with consolidation of the media industry, should we be concerned about Peak News?”

Rupert’s arguments are persuasive -- a non-renewable resource consumed with a vengeance obviously can't last for long. The only flaw in the argument, I suppose, would be if oil wasn't really a 'fossil fuel,' and if it wasn't really a non-renewable resource.

Before 9/11 (or 11/9 if you are reading this outside USA) peak oil was a known but sidelined subject. After then nearly every major newspaper has been beating the drum and a plethora of books on the subject have hit the shelves. It seems the train was shunted out of the sidings and onto the express line. Most of us know how the established media works and nothing gets onto the main line unless a bill of goods is to be left under Joe Public’s nose.

Coming back to the origin of the black gold itself, we have previously been skeptical of the dead dinosaur theory. If we concentrate only on the Middle East’s estimated 660 billion barrels of oil and assume each individual dinosaur yields a very unlikely 5 barrels then that means that in excess of 130 billion dinosaurs in one of the worlds most arid areas got snuffed and buried before they decomposed or got eaten by scavengers and we are panicking about six billion humans spread over the whole planet. Apart from Nigeria and Venezuela the other areas are just as unlikely, Alaska north slope, north eastern Russia etc. Trying to fathom the real origins of oil, a paragraph in the Encyclopedia Britannica ends thusly: "In spite of the great amount of scientific research ... there remain many unresolved questions regarding its origins.”


This is not an island at all but rather an area of sea bed in the Gulf of Mexico about 80 miles from the Louisiana coast. Compared to other oil fields it is described as ‘postage stamp size’. It was discovered in 1972 at a depth of about 6,000 feet (1 mile) below Eugene Island 330 and shortly thereafter peaked at a production level of 15,000 barrels /day. Following the normal depletion pattern this declined to 4,000 barrels / day by 1989 but then a remarkable thing happened. Suddenly and inexplicably fortunes reversed and the field is now continuously pumping at 13,000 barrels / day. Geologists have established that it is not seeping sideways from adjacent oil fields so there is only one direction it can come from, upwards from deep below in the magma. That was quite a feat for all those dinosaurs to accomplish. Estimated reserves from this tiny field have been revised from 60 million barrels to a finger in the wind figure of 400 million barrels. Not only that, geologists say that the oil that is being presently pumped is hotter and from quite a different geological age than that pumped ten years ago. This has led scientists to consider the possibility that Eugene Island 330 is refilling itself and moreover that oil may not be the limited resource we have always assumed it to be.

Here is a snippet that is going to upset the environmentalists amongst us so if you would prefer you can jump to the next paragraph now. The seabed in the region of Eugene Island 330 is described as ‘unworldly’ consisting of deep fissures and crevasses in the earth’s crust. These fissures continuously belch out crude oil and gas and this has been going on since before humans knew about the existence of oil. The quantity is estimated to be greater than all of the oil corporation’s spills combined; more than the Exxon Valdez, Tory Canyon and the others whose names do not immediately spring to mind. Larry Cathles, a chemical geologist at Cornell University conducted a survey of 9,600 miles of seabed off the coast of Louisiana including Eugene Island 330 and reported that rocks at an average depth of seven miles down have already generated approximately 184 billion tons of crude and gas; that is about 100 billion barrels. If any of you are like me and have trouble visualizing big numbers, we are talking about this relatively small area of seabed generating about 30% in excess of all the oil humans have consumed over the whole petroleum era. Cathes says “If this is going on worldwide then that’s an awful lot of hydrocarbons.”

The obvious question is how can any of this be explained by a theory that insists that oil is a fossil fuel created in finite quantities by a unique geological process that occurred millions of years ago?


In August 2002, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study authored by J.F. Kenney, V.A. Kutchenov, N.A. Bendeliani and V.A. Alekseev. The authors argued, quite compellingly, that oil is not created from organic compounds at the temperatures and pressures found close to the surface of the earth, but rather is created from inorganic compounds at the extreme temperatures and pressures present only nearer the core of the earth.

It would seem then that we can safely conclude that what Kenney, et. al. have presented is valid science, since it definitely was published in a peer-reviewed journal. And what that valid science says, quite clearly, is that petroleum is not by any stretch of the imagination a finite resource, or a 'fossil fuel,' but is in fact a resource that is continuously generated by natural processes deep within the planet.

Geotimes also noted that the research paper "examined thermodynamic arguments that say methane is the only organic hydrocarbon capable of being formed within Earth's crust." Indeed, utilizing the laws of modern thermodynamics, the authors constructed a mathematical model that proves that oil can not form under the conditions dictated by the 'fossil fuel' theory.

The team led by J.F. Kenney of the Gas Resources Corporation in Houston, Texas, mimicked conditions more than 100 kilometers below the earth's surface by heating marble, iron oxide and water to around 1500° C and 50,000 times atmospheric pressure.
They produced traces of methane, the main constituent of natural gas, and octane, the hydrocarbon molecule that makes petrol. A mathematical model of the process suggests that, apart from methane, none of the ingredients of petroleum could form at depths less than 100 kilometers. By now some of the non chemists reading this may be wondering where the carbon for the hydrocarbons comes from and the answer is from the marble. Marble and limestone are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate which on heating breaks down to form calcium oxide and carbon dioxide. Most chemistry teachers tell their students that nearly all chemical reactions are reversible; all you have to do is bang enough energy into the system to make the reaction work backwards. I know one teacher who didn’t appreciate the smart assed kid who asked how you go about un-boiling an egg. I think he said something about it being a complex system and us not yet having enough knowledge to comprehend the intricacies properly. At least that’s probably what I would have said if it had happened to me. The hydrogen obviously comes from the water. At the extreme temperatures and pressures involved the science says that hydrocarbons can form. We all know that a fine spray of gasoline; a bit of compression from a piston in an engine cylinder and (usually) a bit of energy in the form of an electric spark and bingo – the process is reversed – back to carbon dioxide and water.


A year or so after the end of WW ll, Stalin recognized that the possession of oil was the precursor to military strength. Since he had to defend the greatest land mass with the longest border in the world, the USSR needed more oil than it appeared to have. He was smart enough to recognize that it was not enough to send teams of geologists into remote areas to search for it. He needed to know everything about it, from how it was formed, how reserves are generated and how best to explore and extract it, in fact the total knowledge of every aspect of oil that mankind was capable of discovering. To this end he assembled the largest number of geologists; chemists; physicists and thermodynamic experts the world has ever seen working on this topic. The project ran from 1946 and is still in existence today. What resulted became known as the Modern Russian - Ukrainian Theory of Deep Abiotic Petroleum Origins. This theory has been accepted as established fact by virtually the entire scientific community of the (former) Soviet Union. It is backed up by literally thousands of published studies in prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals together with as many books as the peak oil subject has generated. But not one has ever appeared in the English language. Not that is, until J F Kenny, an American who works for the Russian Academy of Sciences and is CEO of Gas Resources Corporation of Huston Texas, the only westerner ever to take up the abiotic cause, published a report in 2002.

As a result of this massive project Russia has pursued exploration not only in sedimentary rock areas but also in areas where geologists predict deep crystalline deposits of marble and iron (ferric) oxide. Eighty out of ninety fields in western Siberia have been discovered in this way and eleven major and one giant field have been discovered in this way in the Dneiper – Donits basin. Exploration is currently underway in Azerbaijan; Tartarstan and Asian Siberia.


The petroleum corporations and the geochemists that rely on them for their pay checks were out and out pissed. The usual parade of experts were trotted out but try as they might, they could not refute the validity of the research, so they resorted to an unusual tactic. They admitted that oil could be formed in the lab by such techniques but took the view that just as common salt can be formed in the lab by reacting caustic soda with hydrochloric acid and saying this has nothing to do with the salt that is found in the sea, similarly this oil formed in the lab has nothing to do with the fuel we put in the tank of our car. Showing that oil can form without a biological origin does not disprove or discredit anything about the fossil fuel hypothesis. They did "concede," however, that oil "that forms inorganically at the high temperatures and massive pressures close to the Earth's mantle layer could be forced upwards towards the surface by water, which is denser than oil and will therefore sink. It can then be trapped by sedimentary rocks that are impermeable to oil."

What they were acknowledging, lest anyone misunderstand, is that the oil that we pump out of reservoirs near the surface of the earth, and the oil that is spontaneously and continuously generated deep within the earth, could very well be the same oil. But even so, they insist, that is certainly no reason to abandon, or even question, our perfectly ridiculous 'fossil fuel' theory.

One article in the Economist gave the abiotic question a fair and reasonable airing but most of the others in the western MSM who pick up the subject every year or two run it like an “is it real or not” Loch Ness Monster story.


This post is essentially a summary of Dave McGowan’s reply to Mike Rupert. A link to the original article is included in the sources. Space did not allow me to discuss in any sort of detail J F Kenny’s report so for those wishing to follow the science I have included that link also.

You can judge for yourself. You can choose for the dead dinosaur squashed fish and cabbage theory which, apart from methane is alleged not to be thermodynamically feasible at the temperatures and depths involved or you can choose for sixty years of peer reviewed research which has resulted in the discovery of many major oil fields together with a single giant one.

Even those who are mystified by economic arguments can appreciate the simple concept of supply and demand, the less there is of something that is desirable the higher the price goes in order to eliminate some people from the market. Peak oil produces the illusion of resource depletion but it only slight of hand on the part of the oil corporations so that they can price gouge you at the pumps and swell their already obscene profits. It certainly seems as tough the intent is to run the dwindling supply story well past the point when the last drop should have dripped from the nodding donkey’s mouth, always grabbed at any price by an unquestioning public. And then like the rabbit in the magician’s hat, the suppliers will produce this recently discovered ‘new oil’. But we may have to drill sixty miles down for it - and we will do it for you but it does bear a cost.

If oil is always and readily available then it follows that wars of aggression in the Middle East which result in hundreds of thousands of deaths are fought for greed and not need. To put this another way, if oil supply does not have a peak then those who would wage such wars on your behalf against the largely Muslim world for their own purposes, would have to find a totally different excuse.

There are two final points I would like to make. Firstly there is a truism that just because you have managed to silence someone, it doesn’t mean that you have got them to agree with you however you may wish to question Mike Rupert’s current stand.

Lastly, if we really are off the hook so far as oil is concerned, its continued accelerated use will have an increasing knock on effect on world-wide pollution and on other resources.


Main article from Dave McGowan:

Further reading:

A link to scientific; economic and political considerations regarding abiotic oil:

Friday, July 24, 2009


I will begin this new post with some photos of Rockpicker's garden and a couple of how we are doing.

The Spanish onions

Raspberry plants and scarecrow

Garlic bed in the summer, about 600 plants

Our Squash bed is looking good so far. Having to hand pollinate them

One day of early produce

On to todays post.
from murph

You know, it is very often a distinct advantage to be living with someone that pretty much shares your perceptions when looking about at the world outside of ourselves. Freeacre laid on me a term that is being bounced around a lot that somehow I completely didn’t pick up on: JOBLESS RECOVERY.

Now you want to talk about an oxymoron, this is an excellent example. So, as an exercise to show this economic idiocy, put ‘jobless recovery’ into your search browser and see what come up. You should show around 3 million possible sites to go to. I was just a bit astounded, oh hell, I was enraged. What in hell are these moronic economists talking about? Do you realize that according to these Bozos, every recession we have had ended up as a ‘jobless recovery’? I also remember back a bunch of years reading a transcript of a Greenspan’s talk somewhere that we must have at least 4 ½% unemployment to have a healthy economy. Translated that means that you must have at least 4 ½% unemployment to keep wages down to keep funneling money to the top of the pyramid, and, you must have, at least in this country, in the neighborhood of 15-16 million hungry people out there in the greater society to make enough money to justify the sharks existence.

These mental midgets of the economic realm want to treat the economy as a discrete entity that has only equations, mathematical analysis and stats to describe where the money goes rather than what is happening to real humans in the society. I’m not sure whether I should accuse them of ignorance or treat them with utter disdain. Of course if your being paid a 6 figure (or more) income to put out such propaganda, I guess there is no incentive to look at it differently.

And now, the Obama administration is hyping the idea that we tax the wealthy a rather hefty sum (those over the 250 grand a year income) to pay a massive health care reform (that isn’t a real reform but further channeling more profits into insurance companies and the medical establishment) and pay for no less than 2 running wars, and pay for the real probability of another or even a world war, and pay for the massive government intrusion into the citizens lives, and to pay for a really meaningless green technology bubble. Those folks of that income bracket and higher couldn’t generate enough revenue to pay for all of this, even if the administration is successful in implementing it. Alas, remember, DEBT DOESN’T MATTER. Or, at least that is what we are told. According to the information I have been seeing, the national debt will soon exceed over 50% of the GDP. That is insane policy.

I read about the fix that California is in. Notice that there is lots of talk about cutting services to the residences of California but no cutting of the exorbitant pay of the legislators. Same thing at the Federal level. The top dogs don’t want to give up anything and at the expense of the middle class and below.

But I digress.

Through manipulation of the economy, this country, and for that matter almost all of the worlds economies, are now consumer economies, that is, if the people aren’t buying, Oh God in heaven help us, the top dogs (and I am using dogs as a pejorative) will have to take a cut in profits. So, since we have almost no manufacturing ability in this country anymore, resources are becoming more expensive, energy is becoming more expensive, and disposable income for the majority of people in this country is decreasing, just what in hell does it mean to have a jobless recovery? I have to conclude that in essence it means that we have a nation of jobless slaves to the corporate entities. Although that has its contradiction also, for if we have over a 20% mass unemployment, just how do they plan to keep everyone alive? Soilent Green revisited?

So, I have to conclude that there is no desire to keep most of the population alive and healthy. What the PTB need is just enough population world wide to keep them in power and wealth. This has been tried before by other empires. In the long run, unsuccessfully I might add. Revolution, die off, poverty and empire dissolution is always the end result. Whatever knowledge and study these power insane groups have in their mind about history seems to have bypassed them. Not content with being at the top of the power pyramid, they keep grabbing for more, ever more power and entitlement, and always with the caveat that it is in our best interests.

Thus, I return to my often and perhaps overused theme, STOP HONORING THOSE WITH POWER AND WEALTH. Stop giving them support at any level you can possible cut out of your lives. Stop supporting the Frankenfood industry, stop supporting the professional politicians of any school of thought. Stop supporting the corporations that are eating you alive (Wal Mart and McDonalds sure come to mind) and stock up for a siege that is surely to come in some form, and get community organizations going for mutual support. Maybe even befriend your local crack head. You don’t want him rampaging your assets when the shit comes down.

I think deep in my heat that the Obama campaign to create jobs at least realizes that a ‘jobless recovery’ is an impossibility, but is going to be doomed from the opening bell. It is true that a massive federal spending of money (they don’t have) could result in a lot of jobs, but simply not enough of them. The private job sector simply can’t absorb enough that the feds can’t create. It seems obvious now that all the money that is being thrown at the financial markets in an attempt to create jobs is failing miserably, as we should have known it would. Those recipients of this federal largess are only being used to further the power and wealth at the top, not create more income for the ‘useless eaters’ down below.

It is somewhat troubling and amazing to me that the general population goes blithely along ignoring how the gaping mouth of the top sharks are about to swallow them whole.
It further amazes me that the minions supporting this do not realize that they also will be thrown under the bus, and with no golden parachute either. But, when you have a society that is dependent on government largess (in one form or another) to stay alive, what can I expect? If your lively hood is dependent on this largess, are you really going to oppose any policies that threaten your largess? Probably not. To do so demands a personal ethics that is not very prevalent today. I remember a story about Daniel Boone that was running for congress and doing some campaigning in the country side. He stopped at a farmer’s place that was out tilling his fields to ask for his vote. The farmer asked if it was true that he had voted for the government to donate money to a widow that had her place burn down and Boone answered yes. The farmer then told him that he couldn’t vote for him then as the government had no business allotting other peoples money for that use. He further emphasized that it was up to the civilian population for such charity, not the government. My how attitudes change over time. A society of entitlements has some real problems. Even Freeacre and I depend on Social Security to stay comfortable. An example of a government enforcing a non sustainable dependency that is in practice a pyramid scheme. Remember when it was widely circulated that no democracy could last more than 150 years because when the population realized that they could dip into the public treasury the democracy was doomed? Who was it that wrote that? I can’t remember. Maybe some Greek philosopher? I remember so much stuff these days but not where it came from.

Hmmm I guess I’ve worked off my anger again. Time to cut up some more firewood for the fall greenhouse.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


by Freeacre

Freeacre contribution to pie. Rhubarb, strawberry Meringue.

Currently 9 hens, 7 pullets and one protector.

New batch of baby rabbits from Thursday.

Young rabbits. Now have 10 of these. Just finally rounded up 5 of them that managed to escape. Live traps and a fish net did the job.

Garden is getting really flush, finally. Warmer weather has helped a lot. Having to cover the garden tonight because of threat of hail.

Greenhouse doing good also. Pole bean climbing to the stars.

Freeacre post;

Let me state for the record that so far, I am not impressed with the congressional plan to extend medical coverage to those without insurance. It is looking to me that it will funnel even more money into the greedy bastard insurance companies and do little to limit the outrageous costs of corporate medical care in this country. Personally, if it were up to me, I would work to eliminate all but catastrophic medical insurance. I would encourage the creation of simple, non-profit neighborhood health clinics, perhaps like the ones in Cuba. It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to go to a doctor for a checkup or in response to a minor mishap. I would also study the health care delivery systems of Canada and France, and even Ecuador and take the best elements and combine them to extend basic medical care to everyone in the country. Expensive equipment like MRI and CAT scans would be shared regionally among several clinics. And, yes, I would limit the services to something that the society can afford.

WHAT?? Put us on a budget that would be sustainable?? I can hear it now. The WWII generation (who like to think of themselves as “the greatest generation”) will strike back at any thought of limitation like a snarling ball of venomous cobras with all kinds of vindictive threats and accusations. It has already started. Get a load of this self-absorbed grey-haired nutter ranting about Obama holding a “Nazi revival” and attempting to institute “Hitler’s eugenics movement” because the plan might entail some reasonable cost/benefit concept. This is the kind of thing that I get frustrated by the “late night” sites like Truthseeker and Rense over.

I am so sick of these paranoid, navel-gazing miscreants. I’ve heard their warped shit all my life. They’ve been wrong about everything, and their “never enough” generation has pretty much ruined the world for life on earth.

These are the ones who came home from the war and got the GI Bill, which paid for their schooling and gave them access to low interest, fixed rate mortgages for their homes. They weren’t put into debt servitude for the foreseeable future in order to get a professional degree like the kids are now. Their parents somehow just disappeared and let them take over the government and corporations and run the world practically from the day they took off their uniforms. The same guys are STILL there! The sons of bitches like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Kissinger, Bush, etc. held on to power until they are well into their 80’s. Look at the Senate. The worse they are, the longer they seem to live. They are the ones who created the military/industrial complex and our nuclear based empire. They are the ones who presided over the chemical companies that have poisoned the planet, the banks that have sucked up most of the money, the corporations that have off-shored the jobs and hidden their profits so they can’t be taxed. They are the ones who raised the rents to ten times what they paid in the past, and killed the unions so the working class could not make a living wage. While they were working, the employers paid for their medical insurance. My son, on the other hand, never had any.

So now, when it is suggested that maybe an open-heart surgery procedure on an 80 year old or a feeding tube installed on a 90 year old so she can suffer an additional 3 months in a nursing home, these nattering nutcases spit and fume about how “unfair” it all is. They should be told to sit down and shut the fuck up.

This is a quote from the AMA Ethics publication: “ … Thirty or 40 years ago it was taken for granted that the elderly were not good candidates for organ transplantation, dialysis, or advanced surgical procedures. That has changed. Age alone is no longer considered a reason to deny necessary care. It is widely assumed that equity demands that the elderly be treated like everyone else; that is, age has become irrelevant in treatment decisions.”

Yeah, and it’s likely to stay that way until the very last one of them is finally dead. By then, there won’t be anything left for the rest of us (as usual).

The irony is that this shameful inability to have any sense of “enough” is not helping the majority of them either. More than once, I have gone into nursing homes and been besieged with elderly patients begging me to take them out of there and let them go home to die. It was horrifying.

Murph’s own mother, finally was allowed to die this week by the nursing home that pretty much held her hostage in Texas for the last two years. It’s funny how the timing coincided with the depletion of her annuity funds. Oh, the money’s gone? Time to call hospice. Until then, her daughter was told that if Melba died under her watch, she’d be held responsible. Melba had been a member of the Hemlock Society for years and years. She had never wanted to be put in a nursing home and languish in pitiful ill health. But, once she had a stroke and made the mistake of telling a nursing home staff person that she planned on going out with some dignity, it became impossible. They had her, and any intervention by the family would have been labeled “murder.” Sort of like “eugenics,” the meaning of words are changed to suit the ends of those in power.

The population of this country is pathologically unable to come to terms with the concept of “enough.” There’s never enough money, enough profits, enough people, enough time, enough stuff. Therefore, we are destroying the quality of life on this earth. We are incarcerating ourselves in this country which is becoming a vast prison plantation.

Monday, July 6, 2009


from murph

Before I get into the post, here are some pics of the current garden produce and a cooking try from Freeacre.

English Muffins -
Umm-umm! Here's my first attempt at making homemade English muffins. Turns out they are neither "English" nor, really, "muffins." But, they are delicious! After you make the dough and let it rise (a bread machine is fine), you roll it out, cut into rounds, and cook on a cast iron skillet for ten minutes on a side.

A days produce from the garden -
It's been about a month since we planted outside and we're just starting to be able to pick some things. I plan to make pasta prima vera from kale, chard, shallots, garlic, snap peas, and some asparagus I had on hand. See that rhubarb? I'm going to make a vanilla pudding and rhubarb pie for Dave when he gets here. Also got eight eggs today. Not too shabby for a "post collapse" meal.


I wrote this post some time ago and just never put it up. With the expanded news currently coming out of Afghanistan, the Taliban and Pakistan concerning the opium trade, and its use by bankers and the state, I thought this might be timely. LATOC had two references about it today. Since it is much more lucrative to keep the population in fear of illegal drugs and the immense profits involved that goes to fuel even more wars, like the war on drugs, there sure doesn’t appear much of a chance of it ending anytime soon. It is another of those manufactured wars, like the war on terrorism that the neocon believers so love to buy into. Russia is starting to complain about the importing of opium into its country now. As if they haven’t got enough problems as it is.

I recently read an interesting and well documented book “The Opium Wars, The Addiction of one Empire and the Corruption of Another” by W. Travis Hanes III and Frank Sanello. I am writing a post concerning the book because of modern day parallels. I knew of the opium wars but had few details concerning it.

There were actually two wars, the first from 1839 to 1842, and the second 1856 to 1860. Eventually the French Empire along with the British were pitted against the Qing Empire

The book starts out with this image;

“Imagine this scenario; the Medellin cocaine cartel of Colombia mounts successful military offensive against the United States, then forces the U.S. to legalize cocaine and allow the cartel to import the drug into five major American cities, unsupervised and untaxed by the U.S, The American government also agrees to let the drug lords govern all Colombian citizens who operate in these cities, plus the U.S. has to pay war reparations of $100 billion to the Colombians’ cost of waging the war to import cocaine into America”.

According to this book; Britain was importing opium from India and selling it in China. A very small amount was taken to Britain for medicinal uses. The Chinese government was very much against the opium trade in its country for a variety of reasons and outlawed its use, which angered the traders from Britain and the government in Britain. Since at this time the British were themselves becoming slaves to the Chinese tea, they had to pay for it in some way, and that was by selling opium to China. Other products manufactured in Britain for trade were rejected by the Chinese in that they felt they made better quality than the British. So opium was the way the tea could be paid for.

To make things worse, the Chinese considered themselves the pinnacle of civilization having been around for 4000 years, and considered the British barbarians. Although, the literal translation of the Chinese term meant ‘not speaking Chinese’, the term barbarian was used to defame the Chinese. The Chinese also demanded all payment for tea and silk in silver.

In 1839, Lin Zexu, high commissioner of Canton sent a letter to Queen Victoria that said; “Suppose there were people from another country who carried opium for sale to England and seduced your people into buying and smoking it; certainly you would deeply hate it and be bitterly aroused…Formerly the number of opium smugglers was small; but now the vice has spread far and wide and the poison penetrated deeper”.

While there was bitter fighting within the government over the trade, the British citizens pressured to keep the tea rolling in and eventually the hawks won out and the wars started, in effect to force the Chinese to allow the importation of opium to pay for the tea. When the Chinese resisted, the complaining by the opium and tea traders finally forced the government to send military to the importation points and force compliance by the Chinese.

At this time in history, Britain’s empire was huge and enforced by might of arms. The Chinese were still in the 14th century in warfare and completely outclassed. Even at odds of 20 to 1, there was no contest. Throughout those 20 years, the causalities were mostly Chinese, with very few French or British being killed.

In modern terms you don’t take a knife to a gun fight, which was exactly what was happening. The Chinese primary weapons were bows and swords, the English with Enfield rifles and cannons. The Chinese armies didn’t stand a chance.

Anything sounding familiar here in American history?

For those of you who have read Michael Rupperts book, “Crossing the Rubicon”, and still have a copy, turn to chapter 3 that describes the involvement of the CIA in drugs and money laundering through shady banks. The drugs have to end up somewhere, and most of them ended up in U.S. cities, and the cash used to prop up the stock and commodities markets. It is literally the opium wars all over again, forced trade in an addictive substance to finance shaky deals elsewhere, including the political corruption that must take place for its implementation. In the case of the opium wars, not only was the opium facilitating the supply of tea that the country demanded, but made the elite fabulously wealthy.

During the opium wars, China was literally looted of its historic treasures and many of them destroyed by the looting troops.

Anything sounding familiar here in U.S. occupation of Iraq and the looting of the former Soviet state? For that matter, Germany and Japan also. I guess we just got to accept the idea that ‘to the victor belong the spoils’.

One of the subjects covered in this book is how this trade in opium and the wars and looting of China corrupted Britain.

Again, anything sounding familiar here?

While America mostly stayed away from the opium trade in China, the British intervention did make it easier for the Americans to do their trade thing.

The Chinese have always been very aware of history, and their role in it, and their civilization in the 18th and 19th centuries was truly an empire. Their complete humiliating defeat at the hands of the British and French was a very bitter pill. That is one group of people with very long term memories. In 1888, the Times of London overestimated, probably, that 70% of adult males in China took opium. Whatever the case in total addiction, it was huge, and it affected the entire society.

Within a year of taking over the country in 1949, Mao’s government outlawed all narcotics and their cultivation, use and sale, thus eradicating by dictatorial power 150 years of social devastation to the Chinese people, and he did it in half a generation, about 20 years. All it demanded back was a complete loss of social freedom.

So much for a war on drugs.

Last thing, a neat pic from Montana. "This little honey was standing on the crest behind the village to the west. Showed no fear of me or the little wheeler i was riding. Some days are just so glorious that you just know that you are standing in
the hand of our creator.