August 14, 2008

The Democratic Party's email attacking Jerome Corsi (author of the #1 selling anti-Obama book).

Yesterday, we were talking about the Jerome Corsi book on Barack Obama. Looking at a NYT article that seemed critical of the book without providing much evidence of anything wrong with it, I wondered what happened to Obama's idea that he'd respond very quickly to criticisms. So here is the Democratic Party's email attacking Corsi. It's too long to print in its entirety as a blog post, so I'll pick out some things that seem most destructive to Corsi. The email isn't a systematic response to the Obama book. It's effort to discredit Corsi for various things he's written over the years — mostly not about Obama.

From a 2004 AP story:
"Anti-Kerry Book Author Apologizes for Slurs." "One of the authors of a new anti-John Kerry book frequently posted comments on a conservative Web site describing Muslims and Catholics as pedophiles and Pope John Paul II as senile. In chat room entry last year on freerepublic.com, Corsi writes: 'Islam is a peaceful religion - just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed.' In another entry, he says: 'So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the lawyers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it'." [AP, 8/10/04]
If that is a reason not to read Corsi's book, we shouldn't be reading Christopher Hitchens either. What exactly is wrong with being outraged at the scandal of child molesting priests?

From the Washington Times, evidence that Corsi believes a wacko conspiracy theory:
"The real reason behind President Bush's push for immigration reform, says author Jerome R. Corsi, is to unite the United States, Mexico and Canada by erasing borders and creating a 'North American Union.'... Government officials say the idea is no more than an unjustified conspiracy theory spread through the Internet.
Corsi also wrote a book that rejects "the fossil fuel theory--that oil comes from dead plants and dinosaurs. He believes it comes out of the ground naturally, and that there's more coming up all the time." Weird. I've never even heard of that theory. What does he think creates it? Eh. I don't want to know.

There are also a lot of Corsi quotes — taken from his Free Republic postings. The worst ones are about Islam. Example: "Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. A throwback, Medieval, anti-modern, anti-science, anti-knowledge doctrine."

So, has Corsi been thoroughly discredited, or will anyone defend him?

136 comments:

Simon said...

If he's a 9/11 truther, as he is alleged to be, I'd want independent verification if he claimed that the sky was blue. Just because I don't like Obama doesn't mean that any criticism of him is valid, or that anyone bringing a critique has standing to do so.

XWL said...

the hypothesis of abiogenic petroleum origin is a decidedly minority position, but it isn't an entirely crackpot theory, either.

AllenS said...

"Corsi also wrote a book that rejects "the fossil fuel theory--that oil comes from dead plants and dinosaurs. He believes it comes out of the ground naturally, and that there's more coming up all the time."

I also believe that. Biogenic vs. abiogenic. Oil is abiogenic. Coal is biogenic.

Windbag said...

So, has Corsi been thoroughly discredited, or will anyone defend him?

The National Enquirer was right about Edwards, but few paid any attention to the facts. Conservatives generally will instantly ignore anything that comes from Air America, the same as liberals do with Rush.

The polarization of America is destroying the nation. Facts can't be facts, we only accept them based on who reports them. We have to be sure our source is pre-approved.

P. Rich said...

I don't want to know.

The guiding liberal principle.


Today's quote:

"'Progressive' is a one word oxymoron."

MadisonMan said...

Not Jerome Corsi. Jerome Corsi, Ph.D.

I have many rules about buying books. One of them is never buy a book from an author that mentions the Ph.D.

Sincerely, MadisonMan, Ph.D. (Doesn't that make you believe me more!)

bleeper said...

I mentioned this earlier - there is a theory that oil is being produced all the time by geologic means. I cannot take a stand one way or the other, but I read an article years ago in the WSJ that spoke to that very fact. It's worth looking into.

XWL said...

The main truth about Corsi seems to be that nothing (so far) in his anti-Obama book has been directly refuted or challenged (as far as I've seen, haven't really looked too hard into it, but then, I don't take his book seriously to begin with).

If he's an idiot and a crackpot otherwise, what difference does it make to the case he made against Obama?

An analogy, Rage Against the Machine displayed pure idiocy with regards to their political stances, but their music still rocked.

(and apparently will rock again, as they've reformed, at least long enough to do dumb agitprop performances opposite both conventions)

Simon said...

Windbag said...
"The polarization of America is destroying the nation. Facts can't be facts, we only accept them based on who reports them. We have to be sure our source is pre-approved."

That misses the mark. Facts are still facts, but what polarization has done is made us more aware that a lot of what is pushed by partisans is not factual - or at least, is incomplete or decontextualized. Thus, we look for confirmation of the facts from any credible, disinterested source, or failing that, a source we trust.

In some ways, Youtube makes the problem both more and less acute. If ThinkProgress tells me that John McCain said something asinine, I'm going to doubt it, because they have an obvious vested interest in misrepresenting him. But if they show me him saying something asinine, the credibility of the source doesn't matter. On the other hand, it is easy as pie to take a few seconds out of context that totally distorts the point being made by the speaker, throw it on youtube, and rely on this "show me don't tell me" credibility to say "look! he's caught on camera saying X, the evil rat!" Search Youtube for "Scalia" and you'll see plenty examples of that.

Henry said...

Simon, unless I misread the email, it doesn't claim that Corsi is a truther, it quotes John Hawkins as sying his conspiracy theories about North American union are like "the 'Truthers' who think President Bush is responsible for 9/11."

It's interesting (and smart) that the Democrats don't attempt to rebut Corsi on Obama point by point but instead attack his integrity (and sanity) using conservative sources as much as possible.

Oddly, one point which the email specifically rebuts is Corsi's rather pointless assertion that Obama could have dual Kenyan citizenship if he wanted. I wonder if they picked a few simple, innocuous claims to rebut so as not to repeat the more scurrilous stuff. As I said -- a smart tactic.

One final point -- when you follow the link, the bulk of the destination web page is a form for forwarding the email. The actual diarrheic text of the email (it must have had many authors, none with a word limit) is in a small scrollable text box that is actually smaller than the "to" box used to forward the thing to "your friends."

Chances are good, I think, that most people who send it won't actually have read it.

Roger J. said...

Who knew--the DNC would mount an ad hom attack againsst Corsi (who, in fact, may have a few screws loose about oil; but not necessarily about Obama).

Simon said...

Henry - see http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/2008/08/9-11-truthers-book-debuts-at-1-on-ny.html

1jpb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doyle said...


So, has Corsi been thoroughly discredited, or will anyone defend him?


It's not either/or. Yes he's been thoroughly discredited but of course for the same reason there's a market for his B.S. there will be people defending him.

The video of his appearance on Larry King with a Media Matters guy was almost painful to watch. I had imagined him an evil genius, but not only is he not a genius, I think he lacks the mental faculty to even be considered evil.

The catharsis of watching Waldman call his book "slime" was almost ruined by the look on his face like his feelings were genuinely hurt. I had to keep reminding myself how many people were reading and discussing his book as if it were legitimate, to keep the pity reflex at bay.

garage mahal said...

I don't know what the big deal is, Corsi sounds like your garden variety Republican to me. Kerry is a Communist, HELLary Fat Hog Lesbian Clinton, Chubby Chelsea. He hates Catholics, Islam, ragheads and gays. Most important he hates liberals.

What's new here? I haven't heard any Republicans disavow him so I assume we are all in agreement.

1jpb said...

This Chem. E. is voting for abiogenic petroleum as "certified crackpot," with respect to the earth's large petroleum reserves.

The rest of you are free to continue with your beliefs--unhindered by knowledge in this situation, and/or so many others too.

Y'all must be very blissful.

glen said...

I'm so tired of all this. You fine people keep fighting. I'm going to have a sno-cone and a walk by the river.

Kirby Olson said...

Yes, the ad hominem attack doesn't seem to be relevant to the book itself, which they seemingly don't attack. Therefore, they can't find anything factually wrong with it. Therefore, it must be right on the mark.

One of the questions about ad hominem attacks is: is it relevant to the argument at hand?

A prolific writer is certain to say something that's a bit off, especially in chatrooms.

But, like you, I can't see why Corsi's rage against pedophile priests is something that the Democratic party has decided isn't kosher.

What he says about Islam is also in line with what Hirsi Ali has said, and many other apostates from Islam would concur.

Why would the Democratic party seek to back a religion which has blown the heads off of little girls for the crime of learning to read, and which seemingly requires clitorectomies, and in no way offers freedom of speech in any one of the countries in which it is dominant?

The truth hurts: and Corsi's book is full of truths that the Democratic party is very wise to not want the public to hear. It's odd therefore that they focus on some obscure theory about how oil is made in order to discredit him.

It's also odd that everyone is weighing in on this book without having even read it. It's the NYT #1 bestseller, and it's quite fun to read. I think I'm the only person who's commented on the book who's read it. Buy it and read it, and then comment.

Without at least that much effort, the comments seem a little under-informed. Besides, it's a charming little read, and Ann wants the Amazon points for having bought it through her. Help Ann, help America.

Henry said...

garage -- you mean like Michael Medved? You need to read the email.

Simon -- point taken. I'm not exactly following this cretin.

rhhardin said...

The worst ones are about Islam. Example: "Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. A throwback, Medieval, anti-modern, anti-science, anti-knowledge doctrine."

He doesn't mention thuggishness, which seems to be the chief mechanism keeping any who are sane on the sidelines.

Spread Eagle said...

The theories about deep abiotic petroleum originated with the Russians, and it was putting these theories into production that made Russia the largest non-Opec oil producer, and second biggest in the world after Saudi Arabia.

It is these nutball theories Corsi alludes to.

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

I read any and all books not because I believe what is written in them, but because using my native intelligence, and educational background, I can ascertain almost immediately the author's quality.

You have to have on your scepticism cap on at all times, in any reading format. That is the number one thing that is taught to you, at university, especially at the graduate level.

This is what allowed me to read Kitty Kelly's biographies on such people as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Frank Sinatra, and others, without so much as giving what she wrote any credence whatsoever.

(She's worse than a hack. She gives "historians" a bad name)

It remains to be seen, because I haven't read Corsi's Kindle book yet, what I'll think of Corsi.

Cheers,
Victoria

Chip Ahoy said...

^^^ Kirby O. +++ 100%

Reviews on Amazon are an excellent feature. They're good for everything except books having a critical look at anything falling to the Left. Then false reviewers come flying out of the woodwork. It's clear none of them have bothered to read the book, it's the sort of thing they hate, so would should they? But it's important to appear as if they're speaking from authority so occasionally they'll trouble themselves to read the jacket and extrapolate from there. They're getting more clever. To fool readers of the reviews, they'll post a positive rating then deliver scathing review. Which is an odd tactic because it would tend to increase sales by improving the overall rating along with the number of ratings and give the impression the book is worth buying.

For any given object on Amazon, save for political books on Leftist subjects, I like to go directly to the 1 ratings. They're usually the most elucidating. They come up with some snag you might not think of, or they expose the user as a complete hapless dolt, which is always entertaining.

YouTube is good for reviews of objects too. I used both of them Amazon and YouTube before buying Reynolds Handi Vac, a hand-held battery-operated
air-sucking-out-of-a-plastic-bag food saver. It's fun as hell and really works but several users had difficulty with it. Ha ha ha ha. They're such ultra maroons. It makes me laugh all over again thinking about the problems they had with a thing so clever and useful.

Middle Class Guy said...

“'Islam is a peaceful religion - just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed.'”

TRUE

'So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the lawyers rip the gold off the Vatican altars.

TRUE- The Archdiocese of Chicago just approved a 12 million dollar settlement for various child molestation cases.

AA responds: What exactly is wrong with being outraged at the scandal of child molesting priests?

NOT A DAMN THING

"Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects. A throwback, Medieval, anti-modern, anti-science, anti-knowledge doctrine."

TRUE. It is a medieval religion that is anti-everything.


His only crime is vituperative language. When you tell the truth people will attack you. The Dems especially are bending over forwards and grabbing their ankles to mollify Moslems and Islamists. They do vote, you see and hopefully they will vote Democrat.

If you are a published author, thus a public figure, you should phrase things in a more palatable manner; especially if you have a Phd. from Harvard. Better yet, you should stay out of chat rooms. Of course the Democrats are practicing their normal hypocrisy here. They only believe in free speech and free expression as long as it is expressing hatred of the Right. I would bet that there are several Democrats who hope that their musings on the internet never get exposed.

Eli Blake said...

Well, one thing that Corsi says in his book is that Obama was a muslim until he met Michelle.

That is absolutely false. Obama has never been a muslim. His father was a non-practicing muslim, but his father left his mother and young Obama when he was two, so it's likely he didn't have time to indoctrinate him. The closest you can come is that when he lived in Indonesia for four years as a child, he went to a Catholic-run school in which the majority of the students were muslim (as is the majority in Indonesia) but that doesn't make him a muslim anymore than it makes a Jewish kid going to school in Utah a Mormon.

carly said...

I've got the book but haven't read it yet so I can't comment on content but I'd guess there must be nothing in the book that isn't accurate/supported by checkable facts. If there were provable untruths, surely those would be trumpeted by the Obama campaign, Democrats and all their media enablers. Trashing Corsi seems like the default position of people with no way to refute the claims made in the book.

I have no idea if Corsi is personally someone I'd admire or agree with; and I don't care because I'm intellectually competent to read a book and judge its content and the info/facts supporting its assertions. Even a total wack job can do research and produce an informative, fact-based book that's worth reading.... remains to be seen if this one is.

Middle Class Guy said...

Kirby Olson said...
But, like you, I can't see why Corsi's rage against pedophile priests is something that the Democratic party has decided isn't kosher.

The Democratic Party has never condemned pedophilia. Many of the judges who enable pedophiles by refusing to incarcerate them are liberal Democrats. Remember, the only reason that the laws protect pedophiles is that kids don’t vote.

Oh, and I know where of I speak; almost thirty years as a cop, walking out of court rooms in disgust when judges let these guys walk with treatment and probation.

vbspurs said...

Well, one thing that Corsi says in his book is that Obama was a muslim until he met Michelle.

Eli, don't take this as an attack, or anything, but can you give me the page number for this claim?

Since Carly and I both have the book, we can check immediately the reference IN CONTEXT.

For the record, the son of a Muslim man is automatically a Muslim. When he changes his faith or becomes agnostic, he is STILL considered a Muslim, but is now deemed an apostate. Similarly, a Jewish person is Jewish because he was born to a Jewish mother, not because he practises his religion.

If that is what Corsi meant, then he was right.

Please note, I don't think Obama is/was ever a real Muslim, even if he could recite Qu'ranic prayers in perfect Arabic in Indonesia.

In my Sacred Heart Catholic pre-school we had Jewish girls who were taught the Apostle's Creed ("I believe in the Holy Roman Catholic Church") alongside us. Their parents I presume chose that school because it had a great elite reputation.

They were still Jewish.

Cheers,
Victoria

The Exalted said...

Victoria,

For the record, who cares.

Best.

Randy said...

Victoria, perhaps you missed this quote from Mr. Corsi:

'So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the lawyers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it'.

If this comment came from someone you disagreed with politically, you'd be all over them for it.

Simon said...

garage mahal said...
"I haven't heard any Republicans disavow him so I assume we are all in agreement."

Presumably you just ignored my comments above, although I suppose they dismiss rather than disavow.

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Jerome Corsi went on Hannity's America that Sen. Barack Obama said, "Even if a child was born ... the woman still had the right to kill the child in an abortion."

Jerome Corsi is a hack and a liar... I feel sorry for the conservatives who shell out to buy his crap books filled with demonstrable falsehoods. The few things reported to be in it are already obviously lies (like Obama never stopped using drugs). If you really think Obama is a druggie, then I have no time for you. Vote like the idiot you are.

Really it's sad that parasites like Corsi are able to make a living taking advantage of people's stupidity.

JSU said...

Corsi is, in fact, a "Truther".

I do think the abiogenic theory may have merit.

garage mahal said...

Simon
Sorry, my comment took on a life of it's own. You disavowed this crackpot on the first comment. Noted.

bearbee said...

A couple Corsi youtubes. Nothing new being said.

Part 1
Part 2

I was wondering when the Ron Suskind book about forged WH documents would start hitting the blogging curcuit:

Suskind Interview

vbspurs said...

If this comment came from someone you disagreed with politically, you'd be all over them for it.

Randy, I detest paedophiles, especially men who use my religion as their cover. What I don't like is over-florid words and ridiculous conclusion about my Church.

Please note that I don't JUST buy books from people whose viewpoints I agree with.

I bought The Audacity of Hope, too. I also bought Scott McLellan's book.

I have read Das Kapital and Mein Kampf.

People don't really need to say these things to justify our reading, do we? I mean, maybe on Main Street World, but not on Althouse.

Cheers,
Victoria

Doyle said...

But it's important to appear as if they're speaking from authority so occasionally they'll trouble themselves to read the jacket and extrapolate from there.

What actually happens is that certain brave souls put on their hazmat suits, open the Corsi's screed and document a slew of outright factual errors.

An example:

Corsi writes "Obama devotes the entire second chapter of his autobiography to his time in Indonesia, but remarkably, he makes no reference to Maya's birth [Page 48]."

In fact, on Page 47 of Dreams, in the chapter discussing his time in Indonesia, Obama writes that "my mother and Lolo would remain cordial through the birth of my sister, Maya."

What, is Media Matters lying? If I were to acquire those books and turn to those pages in them, would I not find the passages as they reproduce them? That would be pretty brazen of them.

Randy said...

Victoria, you missed my point.

Duscany said...

There's no reason to think that the process that created oil in the first place have suddenly stopped. The important queston is, how fast are they creating oil?

vbspurs said...

The full extract [Location 975-81] in the Kindle book, Obama Nation:

"Obama devotes [...]

By 1971, Stanley Ann's marriage with Lolo began falling apart and Obama junior was sent back to Hawaii, ultimately to be raised by his grandparents. Yet there is a discrepancy. Maya Soetero has consistently said that Obama lived in Indonesia for five years, putting the dates of Obama's stay from 1968 to 1973, not for three or four years, as Obama has maintained, from 1968 to 1971.

The autobiography, as we have repeatedly noted, is not written in strict chronological order and cannot be relied upon to provide dates and documentation."


Using the search function on the Kindle is fantastic. I can use Search for "Maya" and since I have Dreams of My Father in the Kindle too, it'll search every word inside that book, for a match.

Hence, "Maya" turns up 10 times in The Obama Nation, and 13 times in Dreams of My Father.

Here's the "would remain cordial" [Location 724-29] passage in context:

"Such arguments were rare, though; my mother and Lolo would remain cordial through the birth of my sister, Maya, though the separation and eventual divorce, up until the last time I saw Lolo, ten years later, when my mother helped him to travel to Los Angeles to treat a liver ailment that would killl him at the age of fifty-one.

What tension I noticed had mainly to do with the gradual shift in my mother's attitude towards me. She had alays encouraged my rapid acculturation in Indonesia: It had made me relatively self-sufficient, undemanding on a tight budget, and extremely well-mannered when compared to other American children. She had taught me to disdain the blend of ignorance and arrogance that too often characterised Americans abroad.

But now she had learned, just as Lolo learned, the chasm that separated life chances of an American from those of an Indonesian. She knew which side of the divide she wanted her child to be on. I was an American, she decided, and my true life lay elsewhere."


Thoughts to follow.

vbspurs said...

My very first thoughts are not of any discrepancies in the book (I think those were negated by Corsi's avowal that Obama's autobio isn't chronological), but his tone.

The usage of "Stanley Ann" is to reinforce the idea in the mind of the reader that she has a very strange first name for a woman -- for those who don't know, her father named her after himself, because he desperately wanted a boy.

Corsi's inference is two-fold:

(1)What kind of an egomaniac sexist pig would do that?

(2) Can you imagine how mentally messed up a woman like that would grow up to be?

More insiduously, he also reinforces the idea that two generations of rather strange people are inside the body of Obama, genetically. (Inference: "Could he be odd too?")

His claim that Obama has gotten his dates wrong, and that his sister corrected him is interesting.

If it is true, is he trying to minimise the impact of his sum total years abroad, especially at such a critical impressionable age?

Or is just a normal misremembering that any one of us has, which sometimes conflicts even with our family's memories?

Lastly, Corsi notes repeatedly apparently that Obama doesn't follow a strict timeline. It's loose. I noticed that too, when I read it some years ago. It's almost as if he didn't want to be pinned down at any stage. Literarily-speaking, it is a very elegant writing device to stray all over, and not be bound by conventions (therefore, it also is Leftist by definition, it goes without saying).

What if this tendency of Obama is because he genuinely wants to obfuscate certain periods of his life, that it is better the reader (and potential voter) not know?

On to Dreams of My Father:

When speaking of his mother, he has a very distant tone (quite the opposite of his longing for daddy). It's almost as if he blames her by explaining her motivation at the same time.

His anti-Americanism, which he got from her, is also present. It's not that Americans are not frequently arrogant abroad, but so are Frenchmen, so are Argentinians, so are many people.

It BOTHERED her and later him, that Americans were too, almost as if Americans were guilty of being incredibly lucky, and had to constantly be humble and sorry for it with others.

That is typical Leftist mindset, right there.

Just before the paragraph I quoted, Obama had written about his mother and Lolo having had an argument about her refusal to attend company dinners. He had to frequently entertain businessmen from Texas and Louisiana, and they were bumptious about their having to bribe Indonesians to get stuff done.

Lolo reproved Obama's mum saying, "these were her own people, and my mother's voice would rise to almost a shout, 'These are not my people.'".

Wow.

That reminded me of the ubiqutious bumpersticker after the 2004 election, "He's still not my President."

Very interesting, to compare these two passages.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

A photo of Obama's sister, Maya Soetero-Ng, as she styles herself.

A shout-out to Ruth Anne:

Is it me, or do you also see an eerie resemblence to Michelle Obama in Maya's face?

Montagne Mointaigne said...

Victoria says, "It BOTHERED her and later him, that Americans were too, almost as if Americans were guilty of being incredibly lucky, and had to constantly be humble and sorry for it with others. That is typical Leftist mindset, right there."

It's also a typical Christian mindset. You know, the underpinning of western civilization. Can you not even tolerate other people acknowledging that Americans are privileged? What kind of person could you possibly be?

SteveR said...

I must say this is one of the most rambling comment threads I've read on Althouse, not taking into account those to which Titus contributes.

So whatthehell:

this M.S. Geology...voting biogenic

Corsi... will the Democrats and the media repeat the Swift Boat effect? I can't believe anyone could blame the republican establishment for that.

I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull yet I was still able to get a clearance.

I read a book by Leo Buscalgia and was accused of sexual harrasment by a coworker.

AlphaLiberal said...

You can know the smear artists by their defense of the bum Corsi (apologies to bums).

Here's Corsi getting a drudging on Larry King.

Corsi coverage from Media Matters.

Jerome Corsi is a well-documented liar. Seeing all the Althouse backers here who carry his water, spread his innuendo and support him is disappointing.

I will continue elsewhere my search for intelligent conservatives with whom to discuss issues.

Quote a crowd you draw, Althouse.

Henry said...

I read any and all books...

Victoria, where do you find the time?

vbspurs said...

Henry, I'm not married, and have no kids (yet). I'm also a speed-reader and have had a voracious reading/writing appetite since childhood.. Hope that assuages some of your curiosity. :)

SGT Ted said...

Quoting Media Matters for truth and accuracy is pretty silly, considering their whole operation is a Soro's leftwing propaganda front and chock full of former DNC operatives and hacks, run by Davis Brock, self admitted liar. Media Matters employees have alot of chutzpah calling anyones work "slime". M.M. ARE a slime machine, pure and simple, just like their predecessor, F.A.I.R. and they work solely for leftwing Democrats.

Just like with Unfit to Command, there will be little refutation of what is claimed, but plenty of claims of "GOP operatives, blah blah" and lots of inuendo, smear and outright lies. It is the typical leftwing play: destroy the messenger in order to discredit the message.

vbspurs said...

destroy the messenger in order to discredit the message.

All sides do that. But Leftists stand for ideals, and claim to be above that. Unfortunately, you don't have to go far to see it in action.

It's present in this very thread itself.

John said...

Even crazies or nasty people can stumble onto the truth sometimes. The first comment by simon in this thread is really disturbing. He says "has standing to do so" meaning standing to critique. Since when did the messanger matter more than the facts? If Adolf Hitler told you Stalin was a killer, would the fact that Hitler said it make it any less true?

So what if Corsi has some crazy views. The question is whether what he says in this book is true or not. The fact that the Demorcrats are attacking the messanger and saying nothing about the message tells me that it is probably true.

dr kill said...

Dear Eli Blake,

FYI- Islam considers itself the one true religion. In Islamic thought, we are all born Muslim. If sometime later we are baptised, circumcised, Hinduized or Travolta-ized we have converted. If someone later says 'there is no god but...... (and means it) they have reverted to Islam. Muslim men are free to marry non-Muslim women. (no v-v) The children of such a union are certainly Muslim, no ceremony required.
In a patriarchal religion and resulting society such as Islam, both Barry's biological father and step-father would have certainly and rightly seen Barry as Muslim. If he has not been officially recorded as baptised into Christianity, he is still Muslim by default. Does he have a certificate of baptism? I don't know.
How he currently chooses to describe himself is his business, but religions do have their rules.

vbspurs said...

Since when did the messanger matter more than the facts?

Credibility is everything in life, John.

JSU linked to evidence that Corsi is a "Truther". Everyone of us has a trigger which goes off inside one about people. In fact, I am used to attacks on my Church, and sometimes I respond to them rather passively (and therefore, surprisingly to some people).

But Trutherism affects me a lot.

A conspiracy theorist who leans Right is a Paulian -- his followers, or those who share his views have zero intellectual standing with me.

I'll still read his book, of course. And then research the hell out of his claims.

Cheers,
Victoria

John said...

"Credibility is everything in life, John."


No it is not. Not on matters of facts. It certainly relevent on matters of opinion, but not matters of fact. Are the facts correct or not? That is the only relevent issue here. I don't really care about Corsi's opinion of Obama. I care if he points to any relevent facts.

Also, do you have any idea how annoying ending every post with "cheers Victoria is"?

Henry said...

The problem, John, was that at one point Hitler was telling you that Stalin was a friendly trading partner.

When do you decide that the nontrustworthy source is actually telling you the truth?

Given that what Corsi has produced is a hastily-written polemic, why bother with it at all (that's my question for you, Victoria).

No matter how many truthy bits of truth it contains, you're still reading hackwork -- and for no good reason, since there's plenty of alternative reading available.

Kirby Olson said...

Henry, have you read the book, so that you can verify that it's hack work?

Or is that a hack comment?

vbspurs said...

Given that what Corsi has produced is a hastily-written polemic, why bother with it at all (that's my question for you, Victoria).

That's YOUR opinion, Henry. It could very well be true. But one can't come to that conclusion until one reads it.

Isn't that what the Left always say about polemical books and films?

I often feel that the Left doesn't trust others to come to the "right" conclusions. This is why they often preach freedom and self-determination, and have produced some of the most oppressive regimes and dictators known to man.

Cheers,
Victoria

Paddy O. said...

"It's loose. I noticed that too, when I read it some years ago. It's almost as if he didn't want to be pinned down at any stage. Literarily-speaking, it is a very elegant writing device to stray all over, and not be bound by conventions (therefore, it also is Leftist by definition, it goes without saying)."

Very much like the Gospels too. Chronology isn't as important when there are points to be made.

I don't know if it's Leftist as much as suggesting a particular perspective on history writing. Though, maybe it's Leftists now who best reflect a view of history in which the message is vital, and the exact order, wording, etc. isn't as much.

cheers,
Patrick

vbspurs said...

John, if I pointed out all the irritations I felt on blogs, the comments section would suffer. I only pipe up about this since I feel you're not a troll.

Henry said...

Kirby -- 1) It was written very rapidly. Scholarly biographies take years of research. Corsi did not have the time. 2) It is inarguably a polemic. Corsi says that himself. 3) With a minimum of effort, Obama's defenders have spotted a bunch of simple blunders, suggesting a low budget on fact-checking.

By definition it is hackwork.

You might respond that a lot of books, by these definitions, are hackwork. And I would agree. Most books are.

AJ Lynch said...

Re Truthers.

Being one does not discredit and invalidate every other opinion they hold.

I was very surprised to learn Jesse Ventura (a former Navy Seal) may be a so-called Truther. He had always struck me as a populist and not easily fooled.

EnigmatiCore said...

"So what if Corsi has some crazy views. The question is whether what he says in this book is true or not."

Similar to the National Enquirer, no?

I think it was good that the press did not pass on the National Enquirer stuff without doing some verification or refutation.

It was reprehensible that they didn't attempt to do some meaningful verification or refutation.

The same coupling seems apt for me in this situation. Corsi should not be taken seriously, for similar reasons that the NE should not either-- both are kooky at times.

However, the kookiness does not mean that no verification or refutation should be made. It would be good if the media does not report on Corsi's charges without doing their homework. But they should do their homework.

And if conservatives want to point to assertions Corsi makes, they should find themselves some credible sources to verify the information beyond Corsi, or else they should expect to be considered kooky as well.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Re Truthers.

Being one does not discredit and invalidate every other opinion they hold."

When I find out someone is a 'Truther', I won't entertain a single other argument that person makes on any topic at all.

They may be right about something else in a blind squirrel nut finding sort of way, but if they happen to have a cogent thought then certainly there will be someone else, sane, who is making the same insight. I'll wait for that person.

Pat said...

Corsi is a Truther; last year he was leading the charge against the North American Union, claiming that the US, Canada and Mexico were going to be merged by 2010. I'm amused by the person who read Kitty Kelly's biographies of people without believing a word; what's the point? Just exercising your eyes?

I've listened to Corsi list his points against Obama on radio shows, and it's either stuff we've all read--his communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, his relationship with Rezko and Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn--or it's the BS stuff from the fever swamps, like that he was a Muslim in grade school. Which even if it was true wouldn't mean anything.

If people are going to push any anti-Obama book, it should be Freddoso's.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

Who uses the word buggery today?

That's so 19th century.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

He likes the word buggery.

What is the definition of buggery?

Is it just any boring homo sex?

My sense is it means ass fucking (by two men of course).

Anyone know?

Simon said...

John said...
"'Credibility is everything in life, John.' No it is not. Not on matters of facts. It certainly relevent on matters of opinion, but not matters of fact. Are the facts correct or not?"

Without credibility, there is no reason to suppose that any "fact" that Corsi claims is accurate, which makes the book worthless.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

Is oral sex, between two men of course, buggery?

Where did the word buggery come from.

Let's talk about buggery.

What an interesting word.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

* Buggery *- Sodomy. The detestable crime of having commerce contrary to the order of nature by mankind with mankind, or with brute beasts, or by womankind with brute beasts (i.e. the 'pony-shows' allegedly formerly? available in Tijiuana or Baltimore's 'Block'), or by mankind with womankind through anal intercourse [aka 'pumping the poop-chute,' 'entering the back door,' 'going down the dirt road,' 'butt bumping,' 'ass-f**king,' etc. - Note: These are generally not considered proper or acceptable legal terms and therefore it may be wise to avoid their inclusion in most formal court filings whenever possible.]

Depending on the specifics, this often was, and can still be, a highly penal (and usually penile) offense.

The origins of the term are unclear but, according to the Library's Head Librarian's research, may derive from supposed, all-but-forgotten, religious sexual intercourse rituals involving humans and insects [aka 'bugs' - hence the term] allegedly practiced and/or encouraged by some rather peculiar early Catholic Popes and other church officials. Despite no evidence that such practices continue to the present, this has not yet been substantiated or denied by reliable church sources, a fact our Head Librarian considers highly suspicious.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

I am guilty of buggery and I like it. I am so ashamed.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

I want to be clear though I have never actually done it with a bug.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

Some butterflies turn me on though every now and then.

But bugs, no.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

Also, I am guilty of looking longingly at a mouse...only once though.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

And some lobsters are kind of cute.

Middle Class Guy said...

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...
He likes the word buggery.

What is the definition of buggery?

Is it just any boring homo sex?


You are close, Titus. It is homosexual boring.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

And the occassional white tailed deer, when they are in "felt season". Love the felt on the horns. It turns me on.

But no fawns though that would be unseemly.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Okay, I'll bite.

Buggery is said to derive from a Bulgarian Gnostic sect of homosexuals, called Bogomils. Yeah, I know -- too Smurf for words.

It implies penetration of the anus by another man, which is a more modern interpretation.

According to Wiki, we British had a law on the books called the Buggery Act of 1533.

Which honestly sounds like a year-long celebration of anal sex. Which of course is fabulous!

Anyway, buggery in that sense is sex with animals. Lame.

Cheers,
Victoria

Michael McNeil said...

There's very good reason to believe that oil is biogenic — among which is the fact that the enormous quantities of “shale oil” around the world (the United States is the Saudi Arabia of shale oil) are still locked into the same heavily organic sediments (the principal organic constituent of which is kerogen) in which they were formed.

As Joseph P. Riva, Jr. (Specialist in Earth Sciences [geologist], Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; author of World Petroleum Resources and Reserves and others) writes in Encyclop√¶dia Britannica's article “Fossil Fuels”:

“Some oil shale kerogens are composed almost entirely of algal remains, whereas others are a mixture of amorphous organic matter with a variable content of identifiable organic remnants. The main algal types are Botryococcus and Tasmanites.

Botryococcus is a fresh- or brackish-water alga that forms colonies. Permian kerogens from Autun, Fr., and Carboniferous and Permian torbanite from Scotland, Australia, and South Africa appear to consist almost exclusively of Botryococcus colonies, as does Recent (post-Pleistocene) coorongite from
Australia.

Tasmanites is a marine alga the remains of which make up nearly all the kerogen of such oil shales as the Permian tasmanite of Australia and the
Jurassic-Cretaceous tasmanite of Alaska. The remains of Tasmanites also are present in many other shales, such as the Lower Toarcian shales (those about 190,000,000 years in age) of the Paris Basin in France and the Lower Silurian shales (those about 423,000,000 years in age) of Algeria.”

The close integration of such obviously organic remains in their original sediments makes it very hard to argue, I think — at least with a straight face — for a non-biological origin for it all.

“Regular” crude oil apparently had similar origins but in its case the more mobile elements (oil) of the original organic sediments seeped over eons into more permeable adjacent sediments (e.g., sandstones), once liberated into which it may have migrated further, and from which it can be quickly and easily pumped out. Shale oil, left in its original relatively impermeable sediments, isn't so accommodating, though tremendous in quantity.

vbspurs said...

Enigmatic Core:

The same coupling seems apt for me in this situation. Corsi should not be taken seriously, for similar reasons that the NE should not either-- both are kooky at times.

However, the kookiness does not mean that no verification or refutation should be made. It would be good if the media does not report on Corsi's charges without doing their homework. But they should do their homework.


Engimatic nailed it.

In response to the poster who questioned why anyone would read Kitty Kelly's books, the answer is multiple; curiosity being one.

But sometimes, these disreputable people's claims about their subjects become mainstream.

Kelly claimed that Jacqueline Kennedy had been paid off by Joe Kennedy to stay with her husband, and also that she had electroshock therapy to cope with JFK's infidelities.

I found some evidence of the former, but none of my research turned up info on the latter.

In history, what is hearsay sometimes becomes part of the historical character's narrative. It behooves a historian to know exactly what is claimed, and to be able to refute it credibly when called upon.

vbspurs said...

XWL wrote:

the hypothesis of abiogenic petroleum origin is a decidedly minority position, but it isn't an entirely crackpot theory, either.

Can someone, perhaps you XWL, explain what exactly prevents people from thinking that abiogenic petroleum is controversial as a belief?

Since he's a "Truther", I'm already wary of the theory (see why in Enigmatic 5:21 response).

Like Intelligent Design/Creationism versus Evolution, I automatically sense this has some of these controversial implications.

(As a Catholic, I have no problems reconciling Evolution with my religion. But I also don't get why some people are so threatened by either side)

Simon said...

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...
"Is oral sex, between two men of course, buggery? ... Let's talk about [the word] buggery. What an interesting word."

I had thought that buggery referred specifically to anal sex whereas sodomy was the broader term for deviant, quasi-deviant and formerly deviant sexual behaviors, encompassing both oral sex and buggery.

blake said...

I have no opinion on Corsi (and little enough on Obama), but this is wrong:

1) It was written very rapidly. Scholarly biographies take years of research. Corsi did not have the time.

You've conflated research and writing. The claim was made yesterday that he started research in 2002. That gives him five years of research before needing to put pen to paper.

I've written longer books in 10 weeks with only 3-4 years of research behind them. And that was with considerable editing.

Point not being that it isn't hack, only that isn't necessarily hack.

vbspurs said...

Simon, isn't the latter the correct legal usage? I think Marv Albert was charged with sodomy, though there was no anal sex involved on his part.

The Marquess of Queensberry famously left a calling card at Oscar Wilde's hotel, with these words:

"For Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite"

He might've known about boxing, but he was barely literate.

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

Can someone, perhaps you XWL, explain what exactly prevents people from thinking that abiogenic petroleum is controversial as a belief?

Prevents people? Are there people who don't think it's controversial?

I find the theory plausible (likely, even) but I recognize I'm in the minority position. Lord knows it was drummed into me growing up that oil is a "fossil fuel". But I think we've already pumped more barrels than dinosaurs can account for. :-) (The idea that it's ex-dinosaurs seems particularly absurd.)

I can only assume that someone who thinks it's not controversial is not aware of the conventional wisdom, or completely dismissive of it.

But then, I've also believed that ulcers were bacterial while medicine scoffed at that.

vbspurs said...

Oops, bad syntax in my question, Blake. I am asking what you presume:

Why is it controversial?

And yes, like Ann intimated in her own words about this, I had never heard of an opposing theory about "fossil fuels". So it's all new to me. :)

Simon said...

Victoria, I'm not sure; Coke's Institutes tell a tall story illustrating the principle that women, too can violate the statute: we are told by that eminent jurist "that somewhat before the making of this Act, a great Lady had committed buggery with a Baboon, and conceived by it...." That suggests a broader usage of buggery synonymous with sodomy. Coke also says, in the same section, "[i]f the party buggered be within the age of discretion, it is no felony in him, but in the agent only." Unfortunate turn of phrase, that use of "in"!

To what peculiar places we are lead this evening!

vbspurs said...

Kinky! Thanks though, Simon. ;)

This is one odd thread.

Verso said...

Ann,
You are a revolting slug. Perfect for the Rush Limbaugh audience. Perfect for the Republican Party. Perfect for Jerome Corsi.

Simon said...

Verso, I wish you'd take Bill Hicks' life advice for people in marketing. Go away and do the decent thing.

Simon said...

Victoria, it's worth noting that politicians tend to leave themselves an out, so I guess we can infer from it being illegal to bugger but not to be buggered that all the MPs at that time were bottoms. :o

Sorry, titus, that doesn't help you. ;)

Henry said...

Blake, are you serious? Corsi first started researching Obama in 2002? How perspicacious of him.

In the meantime, he managed to author or co-author:

Unfit for command (2004)
Atomic Iran (2005)
Black Gold Stranglehold (2005)
Rebuilding America (2006)
The Late Great U.S.A (2007)

I guess he must have gathered a lot of notes about Obama in 2002-2003.

Call me skeptical.

* * *

Regarding the Enquirer, the bloggers, and the major media, my feeling is that the arc of the Edwards adultery story went exactly as it should. The major media avoided the story as outside of their scope, which I think is correct. (Note that in the case both of Clinton and Spitzer, the story of private sexual mischief sprang from a story of public criminal behaviour.)

In the meantime, while the major media outlets avoided the Edwards story, it continued to be pushed by opinion writers and scandal sheets (Mickey Kaus / Enquirer).

When the Enquirer got the goods on Edwards, major media followed up.

This seems fine to me. I don't want the major media outlets directing their investigative energy toward people's private lives, even those of public figures.

Michael McNeil said...

blake says:
I find the theory plausible (likely, even) but I recognize I'm in the minority position. Lord knows it was drummed into me growing up that oil is a "fossil fuel". But I think we've already pumped more barrels than dinosaurs can account for. :-) (The idea that it's ex-dinosaurs seems particularly absurd.)

Straw man alert! Nobody knowledgeable thinks that “dinosaurs” (the bodies of prehistoric animals — at least animals larger than protozoa) are the origin of petroleum. Rather it is forests (of trees) that are the origin of coal, and things like algae (growing on water) that is the source of oil.

Concerning shale oil, whose formative sediments we can go out and see, wel'll let Joseph P. Riva, Jr. (previously mentioned) provide us with further illustrations from the world of how (shale) oil forms:

“A characteristic typical of the various types of oil shale is a very fine lamination of thin alternating layers of minerals and organic matter. This lamination results from sedimentation in quiet waters in which either carbonates are precipitated from solution or clay minerals are transported as extremely fine detritus. Also, a succession of seasonal or other periodic events is suggested by the layering.

“A common geologic environment in which oil shales, often of considerable thickness, are deposited is large lake basins, particularly those of tectonic origin. Mineralogically, these oil shales are marls or argillaceous limestones, which may be associated with volcanic tuffs and evaporites. The major oil shale deposits of this type are the Green River shales of Eocene age in the western United States, along with the oil shales of Triassic age (about 208,000,000 to 245,000,000 years old) in Zaire and the Albert shales of Mississippian origin (roughly 320,000,000 to 360,000,000 years old) in New Brunswick, Can.

“Oil shales deposited in shallow marine environments are thinner but of greater areal extent. The mineral phase is mostly clay and silica minerals, though carbonates also may occur. Extensive deposits of black shales of this variety were formed during the Cambrian Period (from about 505,000,000 to 540,000,000 years ago) in northern Europe and Siberia; the Silurian (about 408,000,000 to 438,000,000 years ago) in North America; the Permian (about 245,000,000 to 286,000,000 years ago) in southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina; the Jurassic (about 144,000,000 to 208,000,000 years ago) in western Europe; and the Miocene Epoch of the Tertiary (about 5,300,000 to 23,700,000 years ago) in Italy, Sicily, and California.

“Oil shales also have been deposited in small lakes, bogs, and lagoons where they are associated with coal seams. Deposits of this type occur in the Permian sequence of western Europe and in the Tertiary beds of Manchuria (Northeast), China.”

blake says:
But then, I've also believed that ulcers were bacterial while medicine scoffed at that.

Good for you, but one can't always be intuitively right. It's best to observe the world (a process known as science) and see what's going on — and I believe, in the case of oil, we can view that process.

blake said...

Why is it controversial?

Because everything must be these days?

If the earth creates oil through natural processes, it's possible (but not necessarily so) that we'll never run out. We could reach the point, presumably, where we're consuming more than the earth can produce, but that would probably be a long, long, long way off. (Hell, we might even be able to stimulate production!)

But oil is evil, see? That's our addiction, it's our drug, it's our deal with the Devil gone bad.

For it to be around forever would only compound our sin.

If the earth makes oil, we can, in fact, drill our way out of any shortage, at least for the foreseeable future. It's milkshakes for everyone.

But that's political controversy. I presume 1jpb has scientific reasons for believing otherwise. Personally, I don't see why many of the arguments for biogenesis don't work for abiogenesis. I'm not sure what magical construction organisms give to carbon that can't occur in other ways.

(Well, actually, we know life isn't necessary, unless someone's arguing for life on Titan. But whether those conditions there apply to anything going on in the ground is a separate issue.)

My only suspicion is that I keep seeing the same name (not Corsi but Thomas Gold) associated with the theory, who I think is an astronomer (which makes sense in light of the Titan discovery, I suppose).

The question is Gold a Semmelweiss or a Reich?

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

Thanks for all the information on buggery. Enlightening.

Let's summarize:

Males ass fucking=buggery

Females or Males getting it from an animal=buggery

Males and Females performing oral sex=sodomy.

Is sodomy just sucking the hog or is it also eating the vage?

blake said...

Michael--

Oh, I don't mean to imply that scientists ever thought oil was exclusively the province of dinosaurs. That's strictly a pop-media image. (Chevron used to run commercials with dinosaurs being more clever about where they were hiding.) But it's a misunderstanding on which other misunderstandings are easily built.

As for observing the process that creates oil, don't you mean you're observing a process? Are you suggesting it's the only one possible? (Or the only one possible on Earth, since Titan clearly demonstrates other possibilities.)

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

What about beaver bumping is that sodomy?

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

My mom used to call me a little bugger when I was little.

She knew what was up at an early age.

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...

Jerome Corsi looks physically how you would expect him to look.

Totally doughy, very unattractive, christionists hair, no chin or neck, really hot, bad glasses, etc.

Not that I care much about any of this. I just like the fact that he used the word buggery quite a bit.

blake said...

Henry,

The reasonable point made about his perspicacity is that he probably researched Hillary, Edwards, Kerry, etc., as well.

In my brief time as a pro, I'd often be researching a dozen books at once, because I knew most of them weren't going to fly. That's how you keep the pump primed: Have a bunch of topics ready, and be ready to go on the one that hits.

In other words, you don't know which books he didn't write.

N.B. this doesn't mean he's not a hack. (Even some people who agree with him see hackery.) Corsi just hit the jackpot.

The guy who managed to get his book on Fred Thompson out during the narrow window of his relevancy, on the other hand, not so lucky.

EnigmatiCore said...

"The major media avoided the story as outside of their scope, which I think is correct. (Note that in the case both of Clinton and Spitzer, the story of private sexual mischief sprang from a story of public criminal behaviour.)"

I can't agree with this.

Edwards was running for President, and he was having an affair with a woman who he almost certainly had diverted anti-poverty funds to in the tune of $115K.

If you think that was something the press should not have been all over, you are nuts. If it wasn't illegal (and I suspect it was) it was dirty as hell.

The Exalted said...

this dude went on larry king live and immediately (i) noted the number of his footnoes, (ii) alleged that obama was a muslim at age 5, and (iii) discussed michelle obama's college thesis.

these were his goto points. footnotes, childhood, scholarly college writing of wife.

enough said, case closed on mssr. corsi.

The Exalted said...

he also, similar to ann's pal goldberg, admits to knowingly citing to a disreputable source. and entirely unapologetically. how more hacktacular can you get. kirby olson, you read this masterpiece citing to blogs in all seriousness and found it insightful? god bless.

(why not source to "wasted guy on street")

Simon said...

Titus What's that on your Head A Wig? said...
"Thanks for all the information on buggery. Enlightening. Let's summarize: Males ass fucking=buggery"

Homosexual or heterosexual anal sex = buggery and sodomy. I'm lead to believe that "'[t]he rule at common law was that "[a]ll unnatural carnal copulation whether with man or beast seems to come under the notion of sodomy." In the order of nature the nourishment of the human body is accomplished by the operation of the alimentary canal, beginning with the mouth and ending with the rectum. ... The natural functions of the organs for the reproduction of the species are entirely different from those of the nutritive system. It is self-evident that the use of either opening of the alimentary canal for the purpose of sexual copulation is against the natural design of the human body." Ex parte De Ford, 168 P. 58, 14 Okl.Cr. 133, 135 (1917) (quoting State v. Start, 132 P. 512, 165 Or. 178, 266 (citation omitted) (quoting in turn 1 Hawkins, Pleas of the Crown 357)).

"Females or Males getting it from an animal=buggery"

Certainly sodomy, certainly buggery if it involves anal sex, and possibly buggery generally if Coke is correctly-read as using the term broadly.

"Is sodomy just sucking the hog or is it also eating the vage?"

It seems likely to be both, although the latter seems much more appealing.

Michael McNeil said...

blake says:
As for observing the process that creates oil, don't you mean you're observing a process? Are you suggesting it's the only one possible? (Or the only one possible on Earth, since Titan clearly demonstrates other possibilities.)

Recall that folks in this very thread have asserted stuff like “I believe that oil is… abiogenic” — without qualification. I would suggest that information concerning shale oil and the like that I've pointed to demolishes that absolutist point of view.

Now, if folks want to apply a little more nuance than all one or t'other, then this can be looked at too — but one way or another, there's an awful lot of shale oil in the world — and so a major portion of whatever oil there is is just about assured of being biotic.

To divert to the outer planets for a moment, Titan, one might note (together with giant bodies like Jupiter and Saturn to boot), is in a wholly unoxygenating (or “reducing”) environment (no oxygen, nor any other reactive gas such as fluorine or chlorine anywhere around). As a result, vast quantities of what to us seem to be fuel, there exist totally inert.

We, on the other hand, keep stupendous quantities of the massively corrosive gas oxygen just floating around in the planetary atmosphere. Ignoring the temperature difference between Titan and Earth, that's why there are no “ethane” lakes on Earth, and why entire forests burn up wholesale from time to time.

So, if there is (as the biogenic theory holds) methane wafting up out of the depths of the Earth's mantle on a continual basis, my suspicion is that most or all of it gets converted to carbon dioxide at some point in its ascent, and joins the 65 million metric tons of CO2 that we see emerge from volcanoes every year.

It's also not clear to me (though I'm no specialist in this area) how (simple) methane according to the abiogenic theory readily gets converted into (complex) crude oil. Kerogen, the principal organic constituent of shale oils, is already primed to become petroleum, all it needs is to be heated a bit.

EnigmatiCore said...

Buggery is something that happens in my backyard, despite the citronella.

Although I'll admit this summer has been less buggery than usual.

Michael McNeil said...

Uh, oh — Titan, Titus, giant bodies, Jupiter, Saturn, etc., et al. — we have two parallel threads here that are only a pun away from a spectacular collision, that I'm not sure I want to see….

vbspurs said...

Blake wrote:

But oil is evil, see? That's our addiction, it's our drug, it's our deal with the Devil gone bad.

Ah, there we go. The political angle is revealed.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, the abiogenic supporters would naturally fall under the Conservative side, since they believe in continuing oil exploration, whereas the biogenic ones believe in the inherent limits of petroleum, and are more more likely to be "eco-friendly" / Liberal.

Either way, it's an interesting topic, and one I will research personally. Thanks! :)

Middle Class Guy said...

EnigmatiCore said...
Buggery is something that happens in my backyard, despite the citronella.

Although I'll admit this summer has been less buggery than usual.


Enigmatic,
Citronella will keep away bugs. It does nothing for buggerers or sodomites. The citrus odor may actually draw them in.

EnigmatiCore said...

Wow. There is a difference between buggy and buggery? Whodathunk.

Next thing you know, you'll be telling me niggardly doesn't mean what I think.

vbspurs said...

Titus, your remarks remind me of a book I read the other day:

Boys At Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in Nelson's Navy

(Told you I read any and all books)

It's a scholarly book which probably only the historian grapevine is aware of. But the reason I thought of you is that they mention that HMS Africaine was called the "manf*cking" ship.

Guess what it was famous for?

Middle Class Guy said...

EnigmatiCore said...
Wow. There is a difference between buggy and buggery? Whodathunk.

Next thing you know, you'll be telling me niggardly doesn't mean what I think.



Nah, we all know it means cheap, miserly, and parsimonious; in effect deep pockets and short arms.

Only died in the wool over PC far far out lefties and McCarthyite Blacks who see racists everywhere think it means something else.

Sloanasaurus said...

Corsi also wrote a book that rejects "the fossil fuel theory--that oil comes from dead plants and dinosaurs. He believes it comes out of the ground naturally, and that there's more coming up all the time." Weird. I've never even heard of that theory. What does he think creates it? Eh. I don't want to know.

This is actually a fairly plausible theory that was contemplated when drillers starting discovering that previously dry oil wells had partially "refilled." Also the recent discovery of microbes that live off sulpher without sunlight etc.. could mean that such microbes exist deep in the ground as well constantly producing oil as a byproduct. Who knows.

Simon said...

Victoria, you've got to share your speedreading secret with me. I feel as though I'm a painfully slow reader, even though I'm aware that that's something of a conceit.

Sloanasaurus said...
"[D]rillers starting discovering that previously dry oil wells had partially 'refilled.'"

Citation for this?

blake said...

Simon,

Here's one.

I make no claims as to its quality; I've heard the same thing about refilling wells.

former law student said...

He believes it comes out of the ground naturally, and that there's more coming up all the time." Weird. I've never even heard of that theory.

Ann obviously missed Conspiracy Con 2008. My mechanic told me back in June that his brother had learned there that "fossil fuels" were not produced by fossils, but naturally by the earth. He also learned about Morgellons, that 9/11 was an Inside Job, the 2012 Conspiracy, and the history of US Govt Coverups, from Area 51 to 9/11.


http://conspiracycon.com/

Daryl said...

Corsi also wrote a book that rejects "the fossil fuel theory--that oil comes from dead plants and dinosaurs. He believes it comes out of the ground naturally, and that there's more coming up all the time." Weird. I've never even heard of that theory. What does he think creates it? Eh. I don't want to know.

I like the "bacteria-make-oil" theory, for the same reason that I like Panspermia (that life on Earth originated in space, and that life-bearing asteroids/comets/whatever hit all sorts of planets in the universe, and that therefore life could be almost everywhere).

That is to say, wishful thinking. I like it, but that doesn't mean I believe it. I certainly don't have the scientific credentials to evaluate any of that. I have a layman's image in my mind of a dead body decomposing and turning into oil, but reflecting on that image, I have no reason for believing that it's true. It's just something that I was taught and came to accept. If you believe something for long enough, you might come to believe it must be true even if you have no real basis.

Oh well, can't learn everything. I've got to pick and choose. Right now, just about the only thing that matters is state civil procedure.

blake said...

Panspermia is gaining credibility these days, too.

Rich B said...

Interesting discussion. Three comments: First, reading the email attacking Corsi, almost all of the arguments are ad hominem. There's not much of substance taking issue with his book. Second, the abiogenic theory was promoted by Thomas Gold, a scientist who taught at Cornell. A bit speculative, but not a perpetual motion proof. Third, I was skeptical about panspermia, but after reading Fred Hoyle's book, Evolution from Space, I got more respect for the theory.

I saw Corsi's book prominently displayed at Borders down near Wall Street (thinking that must really piss off liberal NYers) and decided against buying it. I think I will buy it now, just to judge for myself.

paul a'barge said...

"Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind

You don't agree with this?

A religion founded by a child molester? A religion that has never had a reformation or a renaissance? A religion that hates dogs and that officially endorses the abuse of and enslavement of women?

Please. The guy is spot on.

Henry said...

Engimatic Core wrote: Edwards was running for President, and he was having an affair with a woman who he almost certainly had diverted anti-poverty funds to in the tune of $115K.

Oh, absolutely that would have been worth following up, but I don't remember anyone floating that idea at the time.

If someone at the New York Times said, "Hey where's the anti-poverty money going" that would have been legitimate. That's my point. What belongs to the Enquirer is the investigation that starts with "Hey, the guy's got a girlfriend! Let's get some pictures!"

Blake wrote: The guy who managed to get his book on Fred Thompson out during the narrow window of his relevancy, on the other hand, not so lucky.

Funny!

MadisonMan said...

Also the recent discovery of microbes that live off sulpher without sunlight etc.. could mean that such microbes exist deep in the ground as well constantly producing oil as a byproduct.

As far as I know, no petroleum-ish byproducts have been found near the vent colonies of those deep-sea giant worms that get some of their energy from the sulfur-munching bacteria.

MadisonMan said...

Boys At Sea: Sodomy, Indecency, and Courts Martial in Nelson's Navy

My looking at amazon -- and therefore my browsing history -- is controlled by things people post here. I don't shop at Amazon.

So at the bottom of the amazon page I see when I look at Victoria's link: Customers Who Bought Items in Your Recent History Also Bought The Love Boat DVDs!

Middle Class Guy said...

I have a question for all you far lefties out there. From my reading there are as many truthers on the left as there are on the right. Why are only the truthers on the right villified?

former law student said...

First, reading the email attacking Corsi, almost all of the arguments are ad hominem. There's not much of substance taking issue with his book.

Was the email a pdf? Because there's an 41 page pdf running around that is supposedly a point-by-point refutation.

I confess that only adherence to the blind pig theory would persuade me to open this book. (Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.)


A religion founded by a child molester?

You mean the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Only two of the Prophet's 33 wives were as young as 14. The rest were at least 17. Despite the sexual practices of founder Joseph Smith, the sect has become fairly respectable today.

MadisonMan said...

Why are only the truthers on the right villified?

Who knew Kevin Barrett was right-wing!

Joan said...

FLS, historical context matters, you know. For most of history, girls who had reached menarche were eligible for marriage. While it's not uncommon to apply to today's standards to long past events, it's rather foolish to do so.

I still remember how surprised Laura Ingalls and her cousin were in By the Shores of Silver Lake to find out that the washer woman's daughter had married. She was 13, the same age as Laura at the time. Both girls were glad they weren't married yet, but both knew that they could be. Lena was married not too long after, at 14 or 15.

AllenS said...

"I have a question for all you far lefties out there. From my reading there are as many truthers on the left as there are on the right. Why are only the truthers on the right villified?"

I'm no lefty, but I think that there isn't a straight line on politics: to far left of the line, resides the lefities, and to the far right of the line, live the righties. But rather there is a circle: from the top of the circle, go far enough to the left or the right, you'll end up at the bottom of the circle. That's where the far lefties and righties live.

I know two friends that consider Kucinich and Ron Paul to best represent their interests.

Simon said...

AllenS,
Hayek posited an alternative political scale running from Authoritarianism (including what we normally think of as socialism and fascism) at the one pole to what we could think of as purist Libertarianism at the other. That's quite satisfying in that it fleshes out Robert Heinlein's observation that the world is divided between those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

LonewackoDotCom said...

I continue to be amazed that Althouse is a professor of anything, much less the law. As for Corsi's "wacko conspiracy theory", see this.

And, the BHO campaign creatively edited a Corsi quote in order to bolster their cliam that he's a "truther".

I'd suggest not trusting anything Althouse says, except I don't think anyone does that now.

blake said...

You mean the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? Only two of the Prophet's 33 wives were as young as 14. The rest were at least 17. Despite the sexual practices of founder Joseph Smith, the sect has become fairly respectable today.

And the refs call a foul on that equivalency:

Aisha--the subject of the novel that was recently canceled by the publisher for fear of reprisals--was nine.

That five year difference would seem to be important.

Besides, LDSes came from an already reformed Christian tradition, and Joseph Smith didn't sweep his armies across the country, converting people at swordpoint.

That's a 0.8 point deduction from a 16.5 difficulty moral equivalency.

Try to stick your landing next time.

Kirby Olson said...

Henry said at 4:20 pm yesterday that the book has to be hack work since it was done quickly.

This is to argue that nothing done quickly can be a masterpiece.

However, Mozart wrote quickly.

Shakespeare never blotted a line.

The song, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," was written in 15 minutes in a motel in Delaware by some Philly rocker whose name I forget, but his memes will no doubt outlast most songs written with much more intensive labor.

Corsi's book holds up. You have to read it. It's not Shakespeare, but it's not a chatroom diatribe, either. He thought it through carefully. It's well-planned and argued, and is deservedly #1.

Everybody wants to know who B.O really is, and so far, Corsi has done the best job connecting the dots.

The book is the must-read of the presidential season for anyone who's on the fence, or who would like to know more about the Obama Nation that is presently on the fast-track to the presidency.

Simon said...

LonewackoDotCom - your comments above are DOA. I posted a link above (ante, 12:45 PM) with audio of Corsi expressly buying into the theory. Pay closer attention; the fact that the DNC didn't choose the best evidence proves that they're incompetent, not that they're (in this instance) wrong.

The Exalted said...

Kirby,

Please elaborate with some choice examples from Corsi's book.

I'm most interested in the well-sourced* data.

*anonymous right wing bloggerhacks

LonewackoDotCom said...

Simon:

Unless there's something else on the SLC video, the BHO campaign and the NYT have already provided quotes from that same radio show. And, I have no doubt they selected the worst they could find.

And, their "worst" doesn't show that Corsi's a "truther". It shows that he has enough sense not to completely buy everything he's told.

Not only that, but, as pointed out above, the BHO campaign omitted a whole sentence from his quote in order to make him look bad.

Simon said...

LoneWacko, you're stuck with the fact that he said what he said, on tape.