Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

How to fix a flat tire with an axe, or why I didn’t post yesterday

with 4 comments

McClure’s beach, Point Reyes.

No, Berkeley didn’t slide into the sea with a low grunt. I’m not ignoring the recent comments with intriguing links I need to check out. I was merely trapped in the wilderness near Point Reyes, not only out of wireless range…even my cell phone didn’t work! How did this dire situation come about? A huge pothole swerved into the middle of the road and my brother was unable to avoid hitting it with his new car, two tires blown in one fell swoop. We are able to flag down the last passing motorist who graciously consented to give my brother a ride into the nearest village, some leagues away. I was left in the gathering darkness to protect the car, although as the temperature plummeted and the circling coyotes grew closer I began to question the wisdom of staying with the car. On the plus side, as darkness fell I noticed that the sky was filled with myriad points of light, some sort of strange astronomical or atmospheric phenomenon I had never seen in my urban existence, clearly a topic for research and future blog posts.

Fortunately as I huddled in the car, down to my last lime chip and contemplating my imminent demise, my brother showed up in a tow truck like the cavalry of old. They of course couldn’t see the lights in the sky due to the massive illumination of the tow truck, and must have thought I was babbling. The tow truck driver assured us that this particular pothole had stranded many a traveller, and using his trusty hand axe, he quickly hammered the least damaged of our tire rims into serviceable condition and we resumed our journey homeward. My cats as is their wont feigned happiness and joy upon my return, and as usual they had begun the process of having me declared legally dead as soon as I was two hours overdue. Genuine simulated affection, where would I be without it?

Back in the real world, or probably more accurately, back from the real world, here is the latest on Iraq:

Withdrawal from Iraq? There is a report out that the USA is looking at strategies for withdrawing from Iraq should the “surge” fail. On the one hand, I guess this is encouraging, even Eisenhower had the foresight to pre-write his press release should the D-Day invasion of France failed. At least it means that some in the Bush Administration have grasped that reality sometimes trumps ideology and spin. A cynic might say that this is another indication that Bush and company are carefully planning on withdrawing from Iraq in such a way and time so that they can heap all the blame on the Democrats for the “failure” of the mission. Whatever the case, the sooner our soldiers aren’t being maimed and killed in a land were they clearly aren’t welcome, the better for them as far as I am concerned.

Worst Blunder in History? A panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone has an extremely grim assessment of the war in Iraq. I have studied war obsessively since I was old enough to read, and I can only agree. I sill think exactly what I thought when the invasion was first proposed…this is the dumbest idea to come down the pike in decades if not centuries. This war was based on wishful thinking of the first order, and the ways it could horribly go wrong were too numerous to count. Welcome to the virtually inevitable world where the invasion of Iraq went horribly wrong. As for the pro war crowd who would ask “well, what’s your idea for winning the war?” I say: Once you make enough bad moves in a chess game, Boris Spassky and Big Blue can’t help you. All of our pieces are pinned, there are no good options. The sooner we resign the game, the sooner we will have new options. I just hope Bush and Congress don’t weasel out of responsibility for the mess they have made in the Middle East, yeah, I’m an optimist.

Army sending injured soldiers to Iraq. Just what the title says, because Bush doesn’t have the stones to declare a draft or pull out, the Army has been bled white in Iraq and is sending people back into combat with serious medical conditions. This speaks for itself.

War to cost trillions. A message worth repeating, this war is going to cost us trillions of dollars before it is over. Again, more news in the “Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?” column.

Maybe I should have stayed at the beach. I’m beginning to see similarities between the people who still think invading Iraq was a good idea, and people who still deny humans are causing global warming. Interesting that for the most part they seem to be one and the same, nu? Have a good day everyone, I have to go cancel the credit cards my cats fraudulently acquired during the four hours I was officially “missing.”

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. It also illustrates a big part of the reason I love living in the Bay Area: natural splendour abounds.)


Written by unitedcats

March 12, 2007 at 10:43 am

4 Responses

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  1. Let us hope, the withdrawal will start soon enough!


    March 12, 2007 at 2:59 pm

  2. It’s good you got a timeout in the wilderness. People wonder why I go there on purpose. Those weird points of light in the sky are one reason. Being out of cell range is another.

    As for the rest of this, it only serves to remind me that I don’t have a very good imagination because I am continually surprised at what the administration thinks is a good idea.

    Maybe after they push the button we’ll all be living in the wilderness. Well, those that are left. cheery, huh?


    March 13, 2007 at 6:45 am

  3. Hi Doug,

    You know I always have to hop on the statements about man-made global warming. I think the graph you posted gives the man-made global warming theory a complete thrashing. (Vostok or the Greenland Ice Core)

    Think about it. Over 400,000 years we have seen rises in CO2 levels, notice the spike at about 400,000, between 350,000 and 300,000, 250,000 to 200,000, 150,000 to 100,000 and 50,000 and 0. Notice the cyclical nature of these rises and also the shape of the spikes. Looks like they happen ever 50,000 or so, and of course we are right in the path of the latest spike.

    Now, a quick question. What man-made anomalies caused the rest of those spikes? Peat fires? In all reality, this is the elephant in the man-made global warming theorists living room, and the reason that most of the “scientists” promoting mm gw avoid it like the plague. I have used the Greenland Ice Core for years to debunk the theory of man-made global warming.

    What do you think? Is it possible that those people who think the Iraq war was a good proposition could actually be right on the global warming issue? Or are they a related subset of each other?



    March 13, 2007 at 8:14 am

  4. Doug,

    Forgive me one last link, but I know that you have an honest interest in the topic of global warming and I have found few people that articulate the position I maintain like Dr. Michael Crichton. His speech, titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming” is about as close to what I believe as I have seen so far:

    I found it when I was doing google searches on the concept of “consensus in science”

    No more links for at least a day or two! I promise!


    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. ” Dr. Michael Crichton


    March 13, 2007 at 12:40 pm

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