Sunday, February 25, 2007


Baby Mackie here. I can't figure out how to post pictures at my own blog, so Snave is letting me put up a few photos here. Every time I go to the Blogger button on my blog, it takes me to Snave's "dashboard". Oh well, once I get that all figured out, I will have to get Snave to remove that humiliating picture of me from his blog's masthead.


Congratulations to Academy Award winners Al Gore for "An Inconvenient Truth" and singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge for her song from that film ("I Need To Wake Up")!

While on stage with Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio tried in vain to get Gore to announce he would run for president. When it looked like Gore might be ready to actually announce, the music was cued up and he had to stop speaking! It was quite amusing.

I saw Gore's film, and I believe the award for Best Documentary is well-deserved. I can't wait to hear all the conservative radio talkers moan and whine about Hollywood while trying to make jokes that don't make them sound jealous. It will be fun hearing them try to diss him as they continue their unsuccessful attempts to sell their corporate Kool-Aid!

This has been a good year so far re. the arts! The Dixie Chicks clean up at the Grammy Awards, and Al Gore wins for Best Documentary. The Best Song Oscar goes to Melissa Etheridge, from Gore's movie. The Bush-lovers must be grinding the enamel off of their teeth right about now... heh heh heh!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


The following is from
Global Warming Skeptics: A Primer

Guess who's funding the global warming doubt shops?
Posted on: 12/19/2006

In 1998, Exxon devised a plan to stall action on global warming. The plan was outlined in an internal memo that promised, "Victory will be achieved when uncertainties in climate science become part of the conventional wisdom" for "average citizens" and "the media." (Read the memo [PDF].)

The company would recruit and train new scientists who lack a "history of visibility in the climate debate" and develop materials depicting supporters of action to cut greenhouse gas emissions as "out of touch with reality."
While there is no indication that ExxonMobil paid the climate skeptics directly and the scientists may have their own motivations for participating, the company poured millions of dollars into spreading its message worldwide. Here's where some of that money went.

The following information is from Exxon documents and the organizations' web sites. (Specific sources and links are listed below the table.)

Organization Receiving ExxonMobil Funding 2002-2003 2004 2005
Competitive Enterprise Institute $870,000 $270,000 $270,000
American Enterprise Institute $485,000 $230,000 $240,000
American Council for Capital Formation $444,523 $255,000 $360,000
Frontiers of Freedom $282,000 $250,000 $140,000
George C. Marshall Institute $185,000 $170,000 $115,000
National Center for Policy Analysis $105,000 $75,000 $75,000
Tech Central Station Science Foundation $95,000*
Heartland Institute $92,500* $100,000 $119,000
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow $72,000* $125,000 $90,000
Fraser Institute $60,000* $60,000
International Policy Network $50,000* $115,000 $130,000
Center for Study of Carbon Dioxide & Global Change $40,000* $25,000
American Council on Science and Health $35,000 $15,000 $25,000
Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy $27,500* $75,000 $30,000
Cato Institute $25,000* $15,000
Consumer Alert $25,000 $25,000
Independent Institute $20,000 $30,000
Advancement of Sound Science $20,000 $10,000
*These numbers are for the year 2003 alone.

The information above is from Exxon documents and the organizations' Web sites: Exxon's 2002 contributions [PDF], Exxon's 2003 contributions [PDF], Exxon's 2004 contributions [PDF] and Exxon's 2005 contributions [PDF].

Find Out More

They're taking their act on the road: Global warming skeptics shower their climate denials onto the U.K., according to the Guardian (1/27/05) There is more on this at,,2004399,00.html

For more information on the science of global warming and the politics of combating climate change, go to our Global Warming issue page

You may find further information on ExxonMobil's funding of global warming skeptics by visiting the database web site.

For details on the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, the most effective bipartisan legislation to reduce America's emissions of greenhouse gases, visit

SNAVE'S NOTES: While I don't find any of this surprising at all, I still find it disgusting. How many other oil companies are funding these right-wing "think tanks"? I have heard some of my co-workers saying things like "I don't know about this global warming stuff. Some people are saying it isn't real." Well, congratulations to ExxonMobil and their buddies for planting the seeds of doubt.

What can we do to stem the damage from this?

Saturday, February 10, 2007


I had the pleasure of watching Eddie Feigner play baseball when I was in fourth or fifth grade. It was in the late 1960's, anyway. My dad and I drove the 45 miles to Baker City to watch Feigner and his four-man team play a group of Baker locals. It was amazing, and easily one of the more memorable sports moments I have ever experienced. I know that watching Feigner and his team is a big part of what helped me on my way to becoming a sports fanatic! Rest in peace, Eddie. You were an inspiration to sports fans everywhere.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


(picture found at )

I have done a LOT of reading during the last four months or so. Here are some of the books I have finished. I sometimes read three or four books during a period of a few weeks. Some of these are ones I have been working on for the last six months and have just recently finished, and others are ones I have devoured in a few days.

STATE OF DENIAL by Bob Woodward - This book would be funny like a sitcom if the idiotic characters weren't running our country and trying to run the rest of the world at the same time. Woodward was late getting to the Bush-bashing party, but this isn't really Bush-bashing... it is a sad chapter in our history, and Woodward reveals much of what has made it that way.

UNCLE TUNGSTEN by Oliver Sacks - Memoirs of the childhood of the prominent neurologist. It is mostly about chemistry and physics, but Sacks is able to write about these scientific topics in very human terms that are mostly understandable to non-comprehending minds such as mine. Wonderful book.

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE by Philip K. Dick - PKD has become my new favorite author. This book is considered his crowning achievement by many sci-fi readers. The story is about the lives of several people during a time after World War II... when Germany and Japan were the victors. The story takes place in San Francisco and in the western U.S., areas mostly controlled by Japan. Jews must hide or be taken to the German-controlled eastern North America. The title character is the author of an alternative history book about what it might be like... if the U.S. had won the second world war! Fascinating, with good character development.

COUNTER-CLOCK WORLD by Philip K. Dick - Time has stopped and has gone into reverse. People are now living from grave to cradle, getting younger as life goes on. Businesses that resurrect the dead from their graves are becoming profitable. A couple of these outfits are vying to resurrect a highly-influential religious cult leader who will be coming to life just about any day. There are some who don't want the guy to live. Good social commentary, excellent story line.

LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION by Sam Harris - This is kind of a screed, but if you have had it with the narrowness of fundamentalist religion and with what it has done to our country, this little book makes for a satisfying read. It may not pack the insights of another longer, similar book I'm currently working on, Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion", but it carries a punch and does cause one to consider the ramifications of allowing evangelicals to have too much influence in our country.

WORSE THAN WATERGATE by John W. Dean - Former member of the Nixon administration tells about how the current Bush administration is indeed worse that Nixon's was, in a number of ways. The quest for power is described and analyzed. This is a quick read, and I found it very enjoyable.

THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH by Philip K. Dick - This one describes a world where people can get deported to colonize alien planets. Using the drug Can-D is the only way many of the colonists can survive the dismal existence. Palmer Eldritch is basically the leader and protector of the free universe, and he's a fascinating character. When a new drug, Chew-Z is introduced to the characters in the book, they discover that the worlds they find themselves in are designed by Eldritch and that he is often present and controlling things. Scary and funny at the same time.

NOW WAIT FOR LAST YEAR by Philip K. Dick - Dr. Eric Sweetscent is hired to be personal physician to the most important (and maybe the sickest) person on Earth, Secretary Gino Molinari. Is the illness being used as a manipulative political tool? Meanwhile, Eric's wife is addicted to a drug that causes the user to experience shifts in the fabric of time. Eric ends up taking the drug in order to find ways to help his wife and to help Earth in what appears to be an unwinnable war.

HANNIBAL RISING by Thomas Harris - This book has all the usual demented gore and tragedy that one would expect from Harris. The prose is good. I'm not surprised there is already a movie coming out based on this book... Anyway, if you like his books, you will enjoy this one.

THE SHAPE SHIFTER by Tony Hillerman - Another nice mystery that takes place in the Navajo lands of Arizona and New Mexico, once again with Officer Jim Chee and retired police lieutenant Joe Leaphorn the main characters. It kind of plods along, but that's fine. There is plenty of mystery, some action, some great dialog between characters, and a good feel for life in the Navajo culture. I have read all of Hillerman's books, and I can give a "thumbs up" to all of them. Check him out!

THE LAST TEMPLAR by Raymond Khoury - This is another Dan Brown type thriller about a religious secret the Catholic Church is desperate to protect. Khoury is a screenwriter and producer for TV and film, and he has done a nice job writing this novel. Suspend your disbelief, and enjoy. It's a thick book, but a fast read.

THE CAMEL CLUB by David Baldacci - Bestseller about a group of conspiracy-theorist friends who get involved in something serious. It turns out one member of the group has a checkered past, in which he had something to do with intelligence. Well-plotted, doesn't take long to read, and has likeable if slightly underdeveloped characters.

THE DIVINE INVASION by Philip K. Dick - The world is a technologically-advanced police state. God is actually a being named Yah, living on another world. A "second coming" is underway, and some people are trying to sneak the prospective mother to Earth. Fun, fascinating, contains some spiritual insights. This one was written toward the end of Dick's life, when he had an intense spiritual experience that colored his last few books.

VALIS by Philip K. Dick - The first in his final trio of novels after his "awakening". One review describes this book as one in which God is not only a missing person, but also the perpetrator of the ultimate crime. There are some very dense philosophical passages here, but it thoughtful material, and worth a read. Plus, the main character's name is Horselover Fat!

THE MAN WHO MISTOOK HIS WIFE FOR A HAT by Oliver Sacks - This is a collection of writings on some of the oddest mental conditions I have ever heard of. In the title piece, a man can't recognize faces or objects... parts do not combine to make an understandable whole. Sacks describes twin math savants who have otherwise low IQs... There's one about a guy who kept falling out of bed because he thought his leg was detached and falling out of bed, so he kept having to try and catch it! These are simply amazing stories, told with great heart and with as much empathy as anyone could have for people with such odd conditions.

Next up on my stack of books there is a good-looking sci-fi book called "Century Rain" by Allistair Reynolds, sent to me by J. Marquis of "Major Conflict"! I also have more to read in Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion" and in "Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism" by Daniel Pinchbeck. There are probably a few other books I'm reading in that I can't remember at the moment.

From the above list of books, one might surmise that I can't seem to get enough Dick. Or that I am a Dickhead. I'm not that kind of guy, really! But I do love Philip K. Dick's mindbending books.

There are definitely too many books to read, and not enough eyes or time to read them all!