May 26, 2014
America and World War I
World War I was already nearly three years old by the time America entered in 1917. Wilson had been re-elected in 1916 under the slogan “he kept us out of war,” because, arguably, a different president would have asked for a declaration of war against Germany in 1915, after a U-Boat sunk the Lusitania off the Irish coast, incidentally killing more than 100 American passengers. Many decades later, pretty good evidence began to suggest that the British Admiralty, led by a young Winston Churchill, deliberately placed the Lusitania in harm’s way in hope that a U-Boat sinking would bring the United States into the war on the Allied side. Had it not been for Wilson’s determination to preserve his nation from becoming enmeshed in the war, it might have succeeded. His diplomatic notes to Germany, carrying with them the implied threat of American intervention, resulted in a German pledge to abandon unrestricted submarine warfare, which it honored until the beginning of 1917.
This is of unrestricted submarine warfare involved two issues, rarely disentangled and understood today.
The first, sinking commerce without prior warning, was mainly an emotional issue, and it was a logical result of the limitations of the submarine. Prior to the invention of the submarine, there were well understood rules for commerce raiders. One of those rules was that ships’ crews be allowed to put off in lifeboats, which of course involved warning them. But a few months of experience demonstrated that this was too dangerous for the lightly armed submarines, which, surfaced could be heavily outgunned by even freighters. Submarines began to attack with torpedoes while submerged, hence, without warning. Thirty years of warfare accustomed us to this state of affairs, but to a world accustomed to prewar standards of civility, it came as a shock. British propaganda maintained that sinking ships without warning was German barbarism. It wasn’t. It was what the technology dictated. Twenty-five years later, American submarines in the Pacific would do the same thing for the same reason.
The second issue, though, was less technological than political and strategic. That was the designation by the German high command of an extensive area around the British Isles within which any ship of any nation, Allied or neutral, was liable to being sunk. This was the logical counterpart to the British – the Allied – policy of total blockade of the Central Powers, which, in effect, meant Germany and the territory it had occupied. The British Navy ruled the oceans; it was able to restrict neutrals’ access to German territory by forcing all shipping to submit to search and, if ordered, proceed to London. The comparable German response was undersea warfare, which by its nature did not allow for searches or for redirection. The two alliances were trying to starve each other into submission, and Britain, which required vast amounts of imported food and other resources, was particularly vulnerable to being strangled by sinkings.
In 1915, President Wilson used his leverage to bring the Germans to abandon unrestricted submarine warfare rather than add the United States as another, and most formidable, adversary. But by 1917, the German Empire was forced to gamble that unrestricted submarine warfare could starve Britain out of the war before American military might could be developed and brought to bear. So, once again German U-Boats were sinking anything in sight, regardless of neutral status. So President Wilson, against his will and within a month of his second inauguration, asked Congress for a declaration of war. (That night, when he had returned to the White House, talking to someone about the Congressmen’s collective reaction, he said how strange it seemed to him that they should be cheering an action that must result in the death and mutilation of many thousands of young American boys. And then he began to weep.)
But now America was in the war, and rather than try to keep up the people’s morale by economic explanations (that is, what would have happened to the country if our commerce had been swept from the North Atlantic, and if the British and French should lose the war and default on so many debts they had contracted for war materials), Wilson explained that we were now fighting to defeat Prussian militarism. This, he said, was a “war to end war.”
May 29, 2012
This email stuff can take some funny bounces. A friend this morning emails me about an article that I had sent him more than a year ago, he says. I don’t remember it, but I thought, well, let’s see what a search turns up. Turned up these, which should be of general interest. Beyond these, there is Wikipedia on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baigong_Pipes
China Baffled By ‘Alien’ Pyramid, Pipes & Caves
BEIJING, China — A team of Chinese scientists is to head out to the far west of the country to investigate a mystery pyramid that local legend says is a launch tower left by aliens from space.
Nine scientists will travel this month to probe the origins of the 50-60 meter (165-198 ft) tall structure — dubbed “the ET relics” — in the western province of Qinghai, China’s state-run Xinhua agency said on Wednesday.
The mystery pyramid sits on Mount Baigong, has three caves with triangular openings on its facade and is filled with red-hued pipes leading into the mountain and a nearby salt water lake, Xinhua said.
Rusty iron scraps, pipes and unusually shaped stones are scattered around the inhospitable and largely uninhabited area, it said.
A research fellow at a nearby observatory of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Yang Ji, told Xinhua the theory the pyramid was created by extra terrestrials was “understandable and worth looking into.”
“But scientific means must be employed to prove whether or not it is true,” Yang said.
Xinhua has not given any details on the age of the structure, or any other possible explanations for it.
But a study carried out by a local smeltery suggests the pipes are very old, Liu Shaolin, the engineer who carried out the analysis, told Xinhua.
These findings have made the site more mysterious, says Qin Jianwen, a spokesman for the Delingha government.
“Nature is harsh here. There are no residents let alone modern industry in the area, only a few migrant herdsmen to the north of the mountain,” Qin said.
This will be the first time scientists are heading out to study the mysterious site near Delingha City in the depths of the Qaidam Basin, according to sources with the Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture.
From English People Daily
The widespread news of mysterious iron pipes at the foot of Mount Baigong, located in the depths of the Qaidam Basin, Qinghai Province of northwest China, has roused concern from related departments.
Some experts believe that these might be relics left behind by extraterrestrial beings (ET), for the site, with its high altitude and thin, crisp air, has long been held as an ideal place to practice astronomy.
Three caves are found at the foot of Mount Baigong. Two of them have collapsed and are inaccessible. The middle one is the biggest, with its floor standing two meters above the ground and its top eight meters above the ground.
This cave is about six meters in depth, a little like a cave dug out by human beings, with pure sand and rock inside.
What is astonishing is inside for there is a half-pipe about 40 centimeters in diameter tilting from the top to the inner end of the cave. Another pipe of the same diameter goes into the earth with only its top visible above the ground.
At the opening of the cave there are a dozen pipes at the diameter between 10 and 40 centimeters run into the mount straightly, showing high fixing technique.
About 80 meters away from the caves is the shimmering Toson Lake, on whose beach 40 meters away, many iron pipes can be found scattered on sands and rocks. They run in the east-west direction with a diameter between 2 and 4.5 centimeters. They are of various strange shapes and the thinnest is like a toothpick, but not blocked inside after years of sand movement.
More strange is that there are also some pipes in the lake, some reaching above water surface and some buried below, with similar shapes and thickness with those on the beach.
The Baigong Pipes- Nature or OOPart?
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The strange landscape near Mt. Baigong
by Ernie Diaz
We’re all familiar with the concept of modern technology having ancient Chinese analogues. But a 2002 discovery in remote Qinghai province is anachronistic enough to constitute an OOPart. Out-of-place-artifacts are so unusual, or found in such improbable contexts, that mainstream science has no plausible explanation for them.
The crystal skulls of Mexico referenced in the latest Indiana Jones movie, the iron pillar of Delhi, and the ancient Greek Antikythera mechanism are examples of OOPart yet to be explained. Like these, the pipes of Qinghai’s Mount Baigong suggest a level of technology simply inconceivable for the apparent era of their manufacture. Those open-minded enough to think “extraterrestrial” when searching for a theory, while often dismissed out-of-hand, have like-minded souls in some of the Chinese scientists investigating.
Locals, residing forty kilometers southeast of Qinghai’s Delingha city, have known of the pipes for centuries. They credit aliens for their construction, and even have legends of extraterrestrial visitors to Mt. Baigong. Although the stories are met with predictable skepticism, they become harder to laugh off when one takes in the sixty-meter pyramid near the mountain’s summit. Superficially, the pyramid could be shrugged off as having been shaped by natural forces. For some reason, however, the structure has not been conclusively studied, at least officially.
Near the foot of Mt. Baigong lie three caves, the largest and most accessible some eight meters high by six meters deep. Inside, spanning from the roof to the back end of the cave, runs a pipe 40 cm in diameter. Another one roughly the same size runs into the earth from the floor, with just the top protruding.
A piece of Baigong pipe
The pipes, according to tests carried out at a local smeltery, are made chiefly of iron, but with an unusual thirty percent silicon dioxide in their matrix. They are also centuries old, if Xinhua and its source, Liu Shaolin, the engineer who carried out preliminary tests, are to be believed. Strange, but easily written off as a bizarre metallurgical operation by some nomads with too much time on their hands, assuming geological origins of the eerily symmetrical pyramid.
However, dozens of pipe openings have been discovered in the mountains far above the caves. Now these nomads must be credited with some advanced system of drilling since forgotten, as there is no modern industry in the area nor record of such. Not far from the foot of Baigong sits Toson Lake, on whose beach run many more iron pipes in unlikely patterns and in a variety of diameters, toothpick-sized at the thinnest. More pipes are in the lake, some protruding above the water surface, others buried beneath the lake’s bed.
Although nine Chinese scientists were reportedly dispatched to make a detailed analysis of the pipes in 2002, there has been no further information. This hasn’t prevented local government from promoting the site as a tourist attraction. A CCTV crew went to Mt. Baigong soon after, accompanied by researchers from the Beijing UFO Research Association, but no record or footage of the expedition has come to our attention. If this is because such documentation would be widely laughed off, then they would at the expense of Yang Ji, a research fellow of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who told Xinhua that the extraterrestrial theory was “understandable and worth looking into”.
Then again, plain old terrestrial science has many mysteries left to be fully explained. Similar pipe-like structures have been found in the Jurassic sandstone of the Southwestern United States, as well as in Citronelle formations in Louisiana. No pyramids have been found close on, and researchers have concluded that they were formed through natural processes. But similar conclusions from scientists studying the Baigong pipes have yet to be announced, six years later.
March 15, 2012
Who knew there was such a thing as a forensic astronomer? This is fascinating new information about a 100-year-old disaster that never ceases to interest us.
October 26, 2011
This news story could be titled: “Working ourselves back from insanity.”
The oldest, biggest and most powerful nuclear bomb in the US arsenal has been dismantled, closing a chapter in Cold War history.
9:22AM BST 26 Oct 2011
The last B-53 bomb – built in 1962, the year of the Cuban missile crisis – was dismantled at the Pantex facility in Amarillo, the only place in the United States that still builds, maintains and dismantles nuclear weapons.
Grey in colour, weighing 10,000 pounds (4,500 kilograms) and as big as a small car, it had the power to wipe out an entire metropolitan area with its nine-megaton yield when dropped from a B-52 bomber.
October 8, 2011
October 3, 2011
The quotation below is from Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, in The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, which was copyrighted 1959. I don’t know when the specific paper “A Study in the Process of Individuation” was published., but the original paper from which it was developed goes back at least to 1933. It might as well have been written this morning.
“These psychic evolutions do not as a rule keep pace with the tempo of intellectual developments. Indeed, their very first goal is to bring a consciousness that has hurried too far ahead into contact again with the unconscious background with which it should be connected…. It is a task that today faces not only individuals but whole civilizations. What else is the meaning of the frightful regressions of our time? The tempo of the development of consciousness through science and technology was too rapid and left the unconscious, which could no longer keep up with it, far behind, thereby forcing it into a defensive position which expresses itself in a universal will to destruction. The political and social isms of our day preached every conceivable ideal, but, under this mask, they pursue the goal of lowering the level of our culture by restricting or altogether inhibiting the possibilities of individual development. They do this partly by creating a chaos controlled by terrorism ….
“The problem cannot be solved collectively, because the masses are not changed unless the individual changes. At the same time, even the best-looking solution cannot be forced upon him, since it is a good solution only when it is combined with the natural process of development. It is therefore a hopeless undertaking to stake everything on collective recipes and procedures. The bettering of a general ill begins with the individual, and then only when he makes himself and not others responsible. This is naturally only possible in freedom, but not under a rule of force, whether this be exercised by a self-elected tyrant or by one thrown up by the mob.”
Let me repeat what Jung said: “It is therefore a hopeless undertaking to stake everything on collective recipes and procedures. ” If this is not a description of politics in our time, I don’t know what it is. You see it on all sides: Only if “our” side can overcome “their” side, can we reverse this dread slide into [insert nightmare here] and bring about [insert panacea here].
You think it’s possible Jung may have something to say to our time?????
August 3, 2011
Since the idiots who pretend to govern us won’t hear it from economists or the common man in the street, perhaps they can hear it from their largest creditor. This is from http://en.mercopress.com/2011/08/03/china-says-there-s-no-way-of-escaping-dollar-dominance-in-the-short-term?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily
China says there’s no way of escaping dollar dominance… in the short term
United States’ debt woes still threaten the global economy despite the last-minute deal struck by the White House and political party leaders, China’s main official newspaper said on Tuesday, adding there was no short-term escape from the dominance of the dollar.
The comments were published by the People’s Daily, the chief paper of China’s ruling Communist Party.
“Although the United States has basically avoided default, its sovereign debt problems remain unresolved. They have merely been pushed off, and there is a tendency for them to grow,” a brief commentary in the paper said of the US debt deal.