Saturday, September 01, 2007

Category Errors, II

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(From a debate many years ago)

Who Made God?

Another “category error” blog I did is called Can God Make a Rock So Big That He Can’t Lift It.

John, you are basically saying that,

“if everything needs a cause, then so does God, in which case he would not be God. And if God does not need a cause, then neither does the world. But if the world needs no cause then there is no God. Hence, whether everything needs a cause or does not need a cause, there is no God.”

Did I sum up the “gist” of the matter? (Who made God, in other words.)

The criticism, “if everything needs a cause, then there must be an infinite regress” is built on a misconception of the principle of causality. Or better, it is a confusion of the principle of existential causality and the principle of sufficient reason. The latter affirms that everything needs a cause. That it would seem, as atheists observe, leads to a contradiction of God being his own cause.

Aquinas dealt with this long ago. He held that only finite, changing, dependent beings need a cause. This does not lead to a contradictory self-caused being but to a non-contradictory un-caused Being. For if only finite beings need a cause then one arrives at a nonfinite (i.e. infinite) being that does not need a cause. Hence, from Aquinas’ principle of causality the series would legitimately stop at the first, un-caused Cause of all finite beings.

The following is excerpted from Philosophy for Dummies, by Tom Morris, p.253 (emphasis added).

The most prominent objection that is ever raised against a form of cosmological argument like this consists in asking, “Then what is the explanation for God’s existence?” This is most effective when done with a smugness of tone and deliberate emphasis of the word “God.”

The objection usually means to imply here that the cosmological argument will generate an infinite regress of explanations. To explain the existence of God, by the reasoning just used, it would seem that we need to postulate the existence of a Super-God. But then that being’s existence would need explaining by the activities of a Super-Duper-God, and so on, ad infinitum and absurdum (to infinity and absurdity).

This objection seems to just assume that God’s existence does not have a scientific or personal explanation, then it is unintelligible. But it should be by now what a defender of the argument will say to this.

The existence of God is intelligible not because it was caused by anything or anyone, but because it flows from his essence. This was the claim that the ontological argument made about God. God cannot fail to exist. God exists necessarily. It is God’s essential nature to exist. And in this regard, God is very different from anything in the universe. God’s existence logically follows from God’s essence. No other explanation for God is either necessary or possible. Thus, we don’t have to worry about postulating (theoretically supposing the existence of) other deities in an infinite regress (or infinite mess) of explanatory postulations.

God, as the ontological argument told us, is fundamentally different from the universe. The very concept of God, it contends, precludes God’s not existing. So we cannot even imagine God’s not existing and know with full detail what we are imagining, without contradiction. But we can with the universe. It does not seem to be at all the sort of thing whose essence is to exist. Its concept does not logically imply its reality in all sets of possible circumstances. And that is different from the concept of God as a greatest possible being.

Notice that the conclusion of this version of the cosmological argument is not “Therefore there is a God.” it is just that, if we are rational, we should believe that there is a God. But this in itself is a surprise to many people who associate religious belief not with rationality but instead with the irrational side of life. This argument contends not just that it is rational to believe, but that it is irrational not to believe.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Buddhism Very Hard

The historical Buddha taught 84,000 different methods for one to enter into the Dharma

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This is the real Buddha... forsaking family, relationships, and even sustenance all while following very hard rituals. Jesus said to follow Him and your "Yoke" will be light all while being in the Body of Christ, that is, having relationships with family, friends, and a community of believers.

(Sorry for the format... this is an old response to an old ex-acquaintance. I am posting this here for a "YouTuber... enjoy. I have two other blogs on this that one should read: Can Hinduism & Buddhism Explain – Philosophically & Experientially – “Personality”?; and the other blog is simply entitled: Reincarnation)

I wish to deepen this conversation by a letter I wrote to an acquaintance of mine many years ago to level the playing field a bit. It has to do with Buddhism being the hardest religion to attain salvation in (not using salvation in the Christian sense). She wrote about Buddhists not judging, and this being one reason she preferred it over Christianity. Then she mentioned how simple it was. As the quote above speaks volumes to this topic, it is NOT easy or simple.

Enjoy the following:

A) My mom was a Buddhist

A lot of people in all religions go to church because their parents did. Religion then, becomes a ritual and not one based on the o’ so important faith aspect. Enough said. Some will even reject rational discussion on what religion is closest to the truth (and mankind’s position in nature) for this ritualistic bond. Both religion A and B cannot be true at the same time.

B) It just seems very peaceful to me

Hindus are killing Buddhists and Buddhists are killing Hindus. Buddhists in the east are attacking, and killing men, women, and children. In Buddhist thought (their root philosophy), life is an illusion, therefore, killing is an illusion, or so these Buddhist killers contemplate. Christianity teaches that every life is special and that God even is sad when a baby sparrow falls from its nest. Let me explain it thus. Buddhism has a fundamental negative attitude toward life. All the schools (Theravada, Tendai, Pure Land, Zen, Vajrayana, Shingon) begin with a pessimistic approach to ordinary existence. Life lived on the level of the common, unenlightened individual, is frustrating, according to Buddhism. But then all religions (in fact, all people who have thought much about life) recognize the frustrations in life and are looking for some way out, whether it be technique, an attitude or the hope of a better world to come. What distinguishes the Buddhist understanding is that existence itself is the problem with life. As long as there is existence at all, there is suffering (the first noble truth). This creates a non-peaceful aspect of Buddhism that creates more pain about life than understanding.

C) not to judge others

Buddhism does judge others? They claim to be the purest way to salvation, or nirvana. (Actually, within Buddhism there are many schools of thought that battle with each other philosophically, as well as physically.) In fact, this is evident in B) above, they kill because of this (partly). When the three main statements of Buddhism are looked at:

  • (1) existence is suffering; (2) desire causes suffering; and (3) ridding all desire ends suffering, the Buddhist thus says, we have the truth on reality, any other religious belief or personal opinion contrary to this is wrong… or partially wrong.

Again, Buddhism cannot be true at the same time as Hinduism or Sikhism. The Dalai Lama makes moral judgements all the time when he walks by people needing food, clothing, shelter, and judges that they do not in fact need those things.

D) I like the simplicity of it all

To the Western eye, Buddhism seems very simple. However, the West tends to simplify everything. Buddhism is known as one of the most complex of all Oriental faiths. In addition to the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, the following practices and doctrines are considered essential to attaining Buddhahood:

1) The state of Arahatship (being worthy) contains thirty-seven precepts to be followed by the devout Buddhist. Twenty-nine of these are in addition to the requirements of the Eightfold Path;

2) Five obstacles hinder one’s approach to enlightenment – sloth, pride, malice, lust, and doubt;

3) Three refuges must be affirmed by all who belong to the Shangha (brotherhood of monks): refuge in Buddha, the dharma, and the Shangha (these are an impossible task). They [the Buddhist] also must adhere to 227 regulations that, among other things, forbid them to touch a woman (even their mother) or drink unstrained water (lest they kill a living thing);

4) Man has no soul but rather exists in Five Conditions: body, feeling, ideas, will, and pure consciousness;

5) Ten Commandments are propagated. These “shalt nots” include: killing, stealing, adultery, lying, drinking intoxicating liquids, eating after mid-day, being present at any dramatic or musical performance, applying personal adornment or perfume, sleeping on a comfortable bed, and owning silver and gold;

6) Three Principles guide the Buddhist in his search for nirvana. The first principle designates thirty-one planes of existence, from Higher Spiritual Beings on down through humans and lower Beings-in-Torment (who endure an existence in purgatory). The second principle teaches that one’s karma determines his spiritual plane, though progression and retrogression are constant throughout successive transmissions. Finally, the third principle promises complete awareness by practicing contemplation. The one who achieves this state is supposed to become immune to all feeling and emotion, including hate and love (parents who join Buddhism and try to make it to the top plane destroy their family by being uninvolved).

7) Four progressive stages of awareness await the seeker: Sotapatti Magga, Sakadagami Magga, Anagami Magga, and Arahatta Magga can no longer kill [this includes ants, roaches, etc.]… seduce… utter falsehood, take drugs… make evil utterances or have bad thoughts. (The people in B, above, haven’t progressed I suppose.)

These people who harp on Christianity for being so dogmatic are outlandish!


When a statement fails to satisfy itself (i.e., to conform to its own criteria of validity or acceptability), it is self-refuting…. Consider some examples. I cannot say a word in English is self-refuting when uttered in English. I do not exist is self-refuting, for one must exist to utter it. The claim there are no truths is self-refuting. If it is false, then it is false. But is it is true, then it is false as well, for in that case there would be no truths, including the statement itself.

Once the adherent of Theravada Buddhism has attained nirvana, he becomes an arahat (living enlightened one). His karma is considered extinct and at the time of his death he will cease to exist. However, from a Buddhist point of view, this perspective isnt horrifying at all, because it represents the cessation of an illusion. When human existence is blown out, nothing real disappears because life itself is an illusion. Nirvana is neither a re-absorption in an eternal Ultimate Reality, because such a thing isnt stated in the Scriptures, nor the annihilation of a self, because there is no self to annihilate. It is rather an annihilation of the illusion of an existing self.

But is an impersonal immortality truly meaningful when it extinguishes our personal existence forever? Is it even desirable? As Sri Lanken Ajith Fernando, who has spoken to hundreds of Buddhists and Hindus, illustrates:

When I asked a girl who converted from Buddhism to Christianity through our ministry what attracted her to Christianity, the first thing she told was, I did not want Nirvana. The prospect of having all her desires snuffed out after a long and dreary climb [toward liberation was not attractive to her.

(Ajith Fernando, The Supremacy of Christ, p. 241)

You see, I believe that when one compares all the worlds religions and cults, Christianity is the only philosophical construct that fits with what we actually experience. If one chooses Buddhism as a path, they have to spend a lifetime denying [this] reality, always desiring a desireless goal. That proposition (just stated) is self-refuting, and against our daily experiences and common intuitiveness.

Churches Summer Camp

Park-56 2007 Summer Camp

CAUTION… crazy kids having way too much fun!

The Science of the Sonic Boom

Posted for My Boys

Sonic Booms Explained

Some Sonic Booms

Some Damage To a Building from a Sonic Boom (by an F-111)...
These guys have some explaining to do to their sarge

Facts vs. Fiction

Jesus Divinity Decided at the Council of Nicea

I love the patience and humility shown here… I can learn from this.

Confused Priest = Confused Church

Catholic/Hindu – Priest Being Interviewed.

In a recent discussion I have had some of these same issues came up. It’s funny how I just found this. Awesome. The interviewer asks great questions and gets to the point. Even the mentioning of the Bible gets this “priest” frustrated. It is sad to see the Catholic Church is so washed of a core doctrine.



Thursday, August 30, 2007

Anthropogenic Global Warming Blues

Anthropogenic Global Warmers Having a Bad Few Days!

Between the founder of Green Peace and the father of meteorology, the eco-alarmists just can’t catch a break! The story below shows Al Gore “consensus” on this matter is a running joke. Really it is propaganda that people seem to swallow without factchecking.

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U.S. Senate - site

Breaking: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory

August 29, 2007

Posted by (4:45pm ET)

Last week in his blog post, New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears, on the Inhofe EPW Press Blog, Marc Morano cited a July 2007 review of 539 abstracts in peer-reviewed scientific journals from 2004 through 2007 that found that climate science continues to shift toward the views of global warming skeptics.

Today, Michael Asher provides more details about this new survey in his blog post, Survey: Less Than Half Of All Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory. Asher writes that the study has been submitted for publication in the journal Energy and Environment…

Dems and the War Stance

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Liberal Democrat vs. Liberal Democrat

You could have a voting record that is in 100% compliance with the democratic party, but if you misstep on the War, you are asking for it. is a George Soros creation, remember, he is the billionaire liberal that has connections to most everything, especially Marxist organizations. That aside, his main organization is attacking fellow Democrats on the issue of the Iraq war.

One such fellow actually went to Iraq and came back with a different opinion. But a different opinion on the war is not tolerated… Brian Baird didn’t have his “Surge Protector" on!

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MoveOn targets pro-surge Democrat

By Aaron Blake August 29, 2007

The Hill – article link

Rep. Brian Baird’s (D-Wash.) recent conversion on the Iraq war is beginning to affect more than the national dialogue. On Wednesday, liberal group announced an ad campaign against the congressman in his own district.

Baird recently returned from a trip to Iraq and reversed his position on a withdrawal timetable, citing military progress in the four-year-old war.

MoveOn is calling the move a “flip-flop” and says it goes against the views of his constituents.

The ad does not make specific reference to Baird’s conversion. Instead, it features a soldier who served in Iraq talking about the amount of resistance troops encountered and at the end asks viewers to tell Baird to bring the troops home.

The soldier in the ad served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 and describes a scene from that time, long before the current troop increase that Baird has cited as the reason for military progress.

Baird voted against the war in 2003 and had opposed it until last month. Republicans have been quick to key on his remarks as evidence of progress in Iraq.

MoveOn disagrees, calling the war “unwinnable.”

Jimmy Kimmel and Sentence Structure

Weekend Stupid, Redux

Okay guys and gals, I thought after two articles one could be lightened up a bit with a revisitation of the now “infamous” (in Three Amigos, this is “more than famous”) video of this poor girl bombing on a question that is a great example of why students do not know where the U.S. is on a map. If I were a geography teacher I would – on the very first day – get a map out and teach the kids where the U.S. was on the map.

Jimmy Kimmel Breaks Down Miss Teen South Carolina

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Eviro-Nuts Keep People Poor

Must Read Article!! ECO-TERROR

I heard John Fund being interviewed by Dennis Prager on Prager’s radio show. This is a damning interview. Environmentalists, take note.

The Radio Interview is here… it is about half-way through the show. Enjoy

Make Up Your Own Mine

An impoverished town strikes gold. George Soros and foreign environmentalists say, leave it in the ground.

August 21, 2007

The recent tragedy in Utah has brightened the spotlight on mining, already under assault by environmental and anti-globalization activists world-wide. These activists have produced several documentaries, and the anti-mining campaign has attracted the attention of billionaire George Soros and actress Vanessa Redgrave--and enough charges of greed or hypocrisy to fill a mine shaft.

Tonight, PBS will air "Gold Futures," a film by Hungary's Tibor Kocsis. The film focuses on residents in Romania's Rosia Montana, a rural Transylvanian town, who are divided over the benefits of a proposed gold mine. It also features Gabriel Resources, the Canadian mining company trying to convince them to relocate so it can dig for a huge gold deposit estimated at 14.6 million ounces, worth almost $10 billion. PBS describes the film as a "David-and-Goliath story."

While the film gives time to supporters and opponents of the mine, it leaves unsaid that half of the villagers voicing opposition have now either sold their homes or will not have to move, because they live in a protected area where the village's historic structures and churches will be preserved. Viewers who see pristine shots of the Rosia valley won't realize the hills hide a huge, abandoned communist-era mine, leaking toxic heavy metals into local streams--or that while the modern mining project will level four hills to create an open pit, it will also clean up the old mess at no cost to the Romanian treasury.

The other side to the controversy is told in a new film that will never be shown on PBS, but is nonetheless rattling the environmental community. "Mine Your Own Business" is a documentary by Irish filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney. They conclude that the biggest threat to the people of Rosia Montana "comes from upper-class Western environmentalism that seeks to keep them poor and unable to clean up the horrific pollution caused by Ceausescu's mining."

Mr. McAleer, a former Financial Times journalist who has followed the mine battle for seven years, says he "found that everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false." He produced his film on a shoestring $230,000 budget largely provided by Gabriel Resources, but says he was given complete editorial control.

The Gabriel funding caused environmental groups to label the film "propaganda" and demand the National Geographic Society cancel plans to rent its Washington, D.C., theater to the free-market Moving Picture Institute for a screening. The Institute notes opponents rarely challenge the film's facts. As for Mr. Kocsis's documentary, his Flora Film corporate Web site lists as its partners Greenpeace, the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and the George Soros-backed Energy Club of Hungary, all of which oppose the Romanian project on either environmental or nationalistic grounds (Transylvania used to be part of Hungary).

High-profile mine opponents such as Ms. Redgrave (who hasn't visited Rosia Montana), have declared undying opposition to the project: "Our planet is dying and we have no right to destroy an ecosystem." In April, Mr. Soros, the chairman of the Open Society Institute and a large funder of groups opposing Rosia Montana, wrote to Wayne Murdy, then CEO of Newmont Mining, the Denver company that owns 19% of Gabriel Resources. He urged him not to invest in "a dubious project such as Rosia Montana," citing "the social costs involved in involuntarily resettling hundreds of people" and "the potential for disastrous environmental impact." Mr. Soros did not respond to an interview request.

Opponents of the mine claim that Rosia Montana residents agree with their stance. "Local opposition to the mine is strong and organized" says a statement signed by 80 environmental groups in January. In his letter, Mr. Soros cites a recent poll organized by some members of Romania's parliament that "found 90% of respondents rejecting the project." But the poll turns out to be an unscientific Internet survey, and one of the environmental groups Mr. Soros funds urged people outside Romania to participate in it. What is clear: Two-thirds of Rosia Montana's people have accepted Gabriel's voluntary offer to buy their homes at above market rates. Most will move four miles away to a less polluted area.

On the other side, Rosia Montana Mayor Virgil Narita supports the mine because it will create 700 permanent local jobs. He was re-elected with 80% of the vote this year. And in late 2004, the Council of Europe sent Eddie O'Hara, a British Labour Party member of the European Parliament, to Rosia Montana to file an official report. Opposition to the mine, he said, was "substantial," but it was "very much fueled by outside bodies, presumably well-meaning but possibly counterproductively. It seems in part at least exaggerated." Mr. O'Hara concluded the opposition "do not take account of modern mining techniques and in fact the Rosia Montana project will help to clear up existing pollution." He also warned that not allowing the mine "would remove any chance of local development for some time."

And there's the rub. Rosia Montana needs a cleanup and development. Three-quarters of its 600 families lack indoor toilets, unemployment tops 70% and the only truly viable crop is potatoes. In "Mine Your Own Business," Andrei Jurca, the local dentist, tells Mr. McAleer "we don't need foreign advocates. We are smart enough to take our own fate in our own hands." Other villagers note that concerns about Gabriel's use of cyanide in gold mining are misplaced. Seven out of nine existing gold mines in European Union countries use cyanide and the allowable limits in Rosia Montana will be lower than all of them.

Perhaps local unemployed miner Gheorghe Lucian says it best: "People have no food to eat. . . . I know what I need--a job." Mr. Soros's Romanian Open Society Foundation is touting "alternative economic activities such as organic agriculture and eco-tourism," unrealistic at best. Stefania Simon, legal counsel for the anti-mine group Alburnus Maior, has no answer for Mr. Lucian. "Unemployment is a problem, but it will not be solved by mining," she told Britain's Guardian newspaper. Noting that Gabriel has only a 17-year lease to mine, she says, "This is a solution for the short term." But right now, even non-permanent jobs and any cleanup of the existing pollution looks like a good deal to people like Mr. Lucian.

"Mine Your Own Business" also contains interviews with leading environmentalists opposing other mining projects who display smug indifference to bettering the lives of poor people. In Madagascar, Mr. McAleer finds Mark Fenn, country director for the World Wide Fund for Nature, who argues that the poor are just as happy as the rich because they smile more and that if Madagascar locals (who now earn $100 a month) get more money "they'll buy cases of beer, invite their friends, they'll throw a party . . . three, four days the money's gone." He then shows off his new $35,000 catamaran.

Mr. McAleer tells me such encounters should wake up people "who, like myself, unquestionably believed environmentalists were a force for good in the world." He still considers himself a liberal but, "it's sad that my fellow left-wingers and environmentalists who often come from the most developed countries are now so opposed to development."

Grean Peace Founder say Cut More Trees!

Founder of Green Peace Goes Off On Leonardo DiCaprio

Another must read article!!

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Green Peace founder says “cut down more trees.” I agree! My favorite quote from Patrick Moore is this one:

“I now find that many environmental groups have drifted into self-serving cliques with narrow vision and rigid ideology…. many environmentalists are showing signs of elitism, left-wingism, and downright eco-fascism. The once politically centrist, science-based vision of environmentalism has been largely replaced with extremist rhetoric. Science and logic have been abandoned and the movement is often used to promote other causes such as class struggle and anti-corporatism. The public is left trying to figure out what is reasonable and what is not.”

Wall Street Opinion Journal - Article

An inconvenient fact

Despite the anti-forestry scare tactics of celebrity movies, trees are the most powerful concentrators of carbon on Earth Dr. Patrick Moore is a co-founder of Greenpeace and chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver.

Patrick Moore, Special to the Sun

August 29, 2007

It seems like there's a new doomsday documentary every month. But seldom does one receive the coverage that Hollywood activist Leonardo DiCaprio's latest climate-change rant, The 11th Hour, is getting.

When we're bombarded anew with theatrical images of our earth's ecosystems when the film opens across B.C. this Friday, I'm concerned that we're losing sight of some indisputable facts.

Here's a key piece of information DiCaprio, collaborator and long-time activist Tzeporah Berman and the leadership of my old organization Greenpeace are ignoring when it comes to forests and carbon: For British Columbians, living among the largest area of temperate rainforest in the world, managing our forests will be a key to reducing greenhouse gases.

As a lifelong environmentalist, I say trees can solve many of the world's sustainability challenges. Forestry is the most sustainable of all the primary industries that provide us with energy and materials. Rather than cutting fewer trees and using less wood, DiCaprio and Berman ought to promote the growth of more trees and the use of more wood.

Trees are the most powerful concentrators of carbon on Earth. Through photosynthesis, they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in their wood, which is nearly 50 per cent carbon by weight. Trees contain about 250 kilograms of carbon per cubic metre.

North Americans are the world's largest per-capita wood consumers and yet our forests cover approximately the same area of land as they did 100 years ago. According to the United Nations, our forests have expanded nearly 100 million acres over the past decade.

The relationship between trees and greenhouse gases is simple enough on the surface. Trees grow by taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, through photosynthesis, converting it into sugars. The sugars are then used as energy and materials to build cellulose and lignin, the main constituents of wood.

There is a misconception that cutting down an old tree will result in a net release of carbon. Yet wooden furniture made in the Elizabethan era still holds the carbon fixed hundreds of years ago.

Berman, a veteran of the forestry protest movement, should by now have learned that young forests outperform old growth in carbon sequestration.

Although old trees contain huge amounts of carbon, their rate of sequestration has slowed to a near halt. A young tree, although it contains little fixed carbon, pulls CO2 from the atmosphere at a much faster rate.

When a tree rots or burns, the carbon contained in the wood is released back to the atmosphere. Since combustion releases carbon, active forest management -- such as removing dead trees and clearing debris from the forest floor -- will be imperative in reducing the number and intensity of fires.

The role of forests in the global carbon cycle can be boiled down to these key points:

In Deforestation, primarily in tropical forests, is responsible for about 20 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. This is occurring where forests are permanently cleared and converted to agriculture and urban settlement.

In many countries with temperate forests, there has been an increase in carbon stored in trees in recent years. This includes the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Sweden.

The most important factors influencing the carbon cycle are deforestation on the negative side, and the use of wood, from sustainably managed forests, as a substitute for non-renewable materials and fuels, on the positive side.

To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic -- heavy carbon emitters through their production. Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource.

DiCaprio's movie, The 11th Hour, is another example of anti-forestry scare tactics, this time said to be "brilliant and terrifying" by James Christopher of the London Times.

Maybe so, but instead of surrendering to the terror, keep in mind that there are solutions to the challenges of climate, and our forests are among them.

This film should be a good, clear reminder for us to put the science before the Hollywood hype.

Dr. Patrick Moore is a co-founder of Greenpeace and chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver.

Clinton's No-Bid Contracts w/ Halliburton

Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton

Give it a Rest!

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The Halliburton mantra is getting to a fever pitch, again. This is merely the Left fear mongering about things it knows nothing about, that is, hard work and the companies and people behind that hard work. Another thing Democrats seem to know nothing about is that both President's Johnson and Clinton used Halliburton via no-bid contracts:

Dallas, Texas - Brown & Root Services (BRS), a business unit of Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL), has been selected to continue its services as the premier logistics support provider to U.S. forces deployed in the Balkans region. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Transatlantic Programs Center announced today that it awarded the logistics support services contract, which becomes effective on May 28, 1999, to Brown & Root Services for a period of up to five years. Contract value is estimated up to $180 million per year, with a maximum value of $900 million if all four option periods are exercised. The one-year contract has four one-year options that can be awarded at the government's discretion.

My question is this, "could any other company have bid on the no-bid contracts?" Edwards is always parroting about allowing others to bid for contracts! This is similar in thinking that anyone but Red Adaire could put out the oil well fires after the First Gulf War. They were a no-bid contract.

An L.A. Times op-ed of April 22 said, “Halliburton Received No-Bid Contracts During Clinton Administration For Work In Bosnia And Kosovo.” An October 2003 article in the (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer quoted Bill Clinton's Undersecretary Of Commerce William Reinsch as saying “‘Halliburton has a distinguished track record,’ he said. ‘They do business in some 120 countries. This is a group of people who know what they're doing in a difficult business. It's a particularly difficult business when people are shooting at you.’”

There are two very large companies that could have done a lot of what Halliburton could do, one company is Brown and Root, and the other is Bechtel. Brown and Root was bought by Halliburton a long while back, and Bechtel is just an engineering firm as is Black and Vetch. In fact, the GAO came out and stated that only Haliburton could do the job… and get it done on time. No other company could have done this. Again, this same scenario happened in Bosnia with Clinton. All this is politicking by the Democrats to try and confuse the electorate.

The Facts on Halliburton

By Michael P. Tremoglie 10/8/2004

To partisans of a liberal, radical, and Democratic Party background, Halliburton is synonymous with evil, the symbol of cloven-footed, corrupt capitalism.

According to the these activists, Halliburton is the treasonous corporation of which VP Cheney was formerly CEO -- treasonous because the company is reaping profits from the war in Iraq as our bravest young men are dying.

Both John Kerry and John Edwards have picked up on this. Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry recently said, "the only people George Bush's policies are working for are the people he chooses to help…They're working for drug companies. They're working for oil companies...and they're certainly working for Halliburton." Edwards likewise inserted this issue into this week's vice presidential debate.

It has been a reigning motif of the conspiracist Left that has slowly gained the mainstream acceptance of the man who could be the next president -- and the man who could be the frontrunner in the 2008 presidential race.

The Left has been on this theme for quite some time. According to an article by Carl Hiassen, in the April 25 edition of the Miami Herald, "Dick Cheney had gotten the war he wanted. One year later, it's costing us a staggering $4.7 billion a month, or about $157 million per day. A hefty chunk of that is being spent on support services provided in Iraq by Halliburton, the Texas company that Cheney ran before joining the Bush ticket in 2000. Cheney says he has severed his ties to Halliburton and had nothing to do with the lucrative no-bid contracts awarded to the firm. Not everyone is persuaded that the connection is merely coincidental."

All this rhetoric echoes the words of the revolutionary Marxist journal International Socialist Review (ISO), which has made reference to the "corporate invasion of Iraq by large U.S. corporations like Halliburton."[1]

Why do leftists demonize Halliburton? What proof exists of their claims of corruption? What exactly has Halliburton done to profit from American military casualties? Indeed, have they profited from military casualties? Is there a special relationship between the Bush administration and Halliburton so that the company receives contracts without observing the normal bidding process?

It is certainly true that during a two year period Halliburton’s revenue from Defense Department contracts doubled. However, that increase in revenue occurred from 1998 to 2000 - during the Clinton administration.

In 1998, Halliburton's total revenue was $14.5 billion, which included $284 million of Pentagon contracts. Two years later, Halliburton’s DoD contracts more than doubled.

Regarding the Iraq contracts, Halliburton was accused by Democrats of receiving special "no-bid" contracts because of Cheney’s influence. One advertisement by the Democrats charged, "Bush gave contracts to Halliburton instead of fighting corporate corruption." an organization which ascertains the validity of political campaign advertisements researched this accusation. According to FactCheck, "The Bush administration is doing a fair amount to fight corporate corruption, convicting or indicting executives of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco International, Worldcom, Adelphia Communications Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston, HealthSouth Corporation and others, including Martha Stewart. The Department of Justice says it has brought charges against 20 executives of Enron alone, and its Corporate Fraud Task Force says it has won convictions of more than 250 persons to date. Bush also signed the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002, imposing stringent new accounting rules in the wake of the Arthur Andersen scandal."

When checked the facts about allegations by Democrats that there was a scandal because of the "no-bid" contracts awarded to Halliburton they stated, "It is false to imply that Bush personally awarded a contract to Halliburton. The ‘no-bid contract’ in question is actually an extension of an earlier contract to support U.S. troops overseas that Halliburton won under open bidding. In fact, the notion that Halliburton benefited from any cronyism has been poo-poohed by a Harvard University professor, Steven Kelman, who was administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Clinton administration. ‘One would be hard-pressed to discover anyone with a working knowledge of how federal contracts are awarded...who doesn't regard these allegations as being somewhere between highly improbable and utterly absurd,’ Kelman wrote in the Washington Post last November." (Emphasis added.)

The Center for Public Integrity another public interest group also investigated the purported scandal of the Halliburton "no-bid" contracts. They wrote:

  • In Iraq, Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) has been awarded five contracts worth at least $10.8 billion, including more than $5.6 billion under the U.S. Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) contract, an omnibus contract that allows the Army to call on KBR for support in all of its field operations. When the Army needs a service performed, it issues a "task order," which lays out specific work requirements under the contract…From 1992 to 1997, KBR held the first LOGCAP contract awarded by the Army, but when it was time to renew the contract, the company lost in the competitive bidding process to DynCorp after the General Accounting Office reported in February 1997 that KBR had overrun its estimated costs in the Balkans by 32 percent (some of which was attributed to an increase in the Army's demands). KBR (obtained) the third LOGCAP contract in December 2001…[I]n November 2002 the Army Corps of Engineers tasked KBR to develop a contingency plan for extinguishing oil well fires in Iraq…[O]n March 24, 2003, the Army Corps announced publicly that KBR had been awarded a contract to restore oil-infrastructure in Iraq, potentially worth $7 billion. The contract KBR received…would eventually include 10 distinct task orders. KBR did not come close to reaching the contract ceiling, billing just over $2.5 billion…The contract was awarded without submission for public bids or congressional notification. In their response to congressional inquiries, Army officials said they determined that extinguishing oil fires fell under the range of services provided under LOGCAP, meaning that KBR could deploy quickly and without additional security clearances.

Neither the Center for Public Integrity nor determined anything sinister about Halliburton’s no-bid" contracts for the Iraq war. Two nonpartisan, nonaligned, public interest organizations have investigated the Halliburton allegations and found them to be specious allegations made for purely political purposes.

An L.A. Times op-ed of April 22 said, "Halliburton Received No-Bid Contracts During Clinton Administration For Work In Bosnia And Kosovo." An October 2003 article in the (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer quoted Bill Clinton's Undersecretary Of Commerce William Reinsch as saying "'Halliburton has a distinguished track record,' he said. 'They do business in some 120 countries. This is a group of people who know what they're doing in a difficult business. It's a particularly difficult business when people are shooting at you.'"

If Democrats want to investigate a scandal involving Iraq they should devote their efforts to the UN "Oil-for-Food" program instead of Halliburton. However, they will not because Saddam Hussein is not a candidate in this presidential election.



A former police officer, Michael P. Tremoglie recently published his first novel, A Sense of Duty. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Human Events, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has a Master of Science degree from Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia.