If, But, Lie, Hope, Is – vs Deception

English is an interesting language in many ways. Often, the strongest words are the shortest. There is the infamous quote of Bill Clinton about “it depends on what ‘is’ is…”. A similarly strong tiny word is “if”. Then we have “but” and “lie” in the next scale up. Once you know what “is” and “if” are all about, you can move on to “but” and “lie” which come along shortly after. Every 3 year old knows this. “Is my toy!” “No!” “Not Me”. “But Mom…”

Sometime later we learn about “hope” and “fear”.

4 letters and higher concepts. We no longer are limited to “is” and “not”. We have hope it might be some day and fear it will not be.

Eventually we work our way up the ladder of length to words like “deception” where there is a deliberation before the lie and a planned anticipated outcome. Not a mere “Not Me!” but a “Johnny made me steal the cookies!”.

Eventually we work our way up to even longer words and sometimes whole phrases:

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
“Peace in our time!”
“Human Rights Commission” and “UN International Panel on Climate Change” where the deception is hidden in the void nature of the words actually used. A small cabal is usually in control, not the whole international world, and it is attempting to do anything BUT the implied charter of the name. Essentially the whole of the truth is hidden in the emptiness and the actual words contain nearly nothing, and what is there is largely a distraction. We have perfect deception.

In the end, we label this various ways internally, depending on the effectiveness of the deception employed by the counter-party. We divide into those who bought the lie and are “useful idiots” for the promoter of it, and those who did not buy the lie where we are a bit more limited on terse nouns.

From “reactionaries” in the Communist dialect, to “skeptics” in the world of “Climate Science” (where ‘climate science’ ought to be named “Climate Political Advocacy Fog Machine”). Or “subversives” or a hundred and one other terms for “you did not buy into my story” from the political class in charge.

We dearly need a single common shared word for those of us who are not “The Kings Men” and state that “The Emperor Has No Clothes!”. “Realist” has too much baggage from other lies employing it. Similarly “centered” and “unbiased” and even “honored opposition” have too much baggage as well. Perhaps it is just my failing in not already knowing just such a word. Or perhaps it is the worst lie of all: the complete LACK of a word for a commonly needed thought, the lie of omission from the language. (Many times there has been a perfectly fine word for a thing, that gets corrupted and trashed by those with a political agenda, leaving a void in the language. From “gay” that used to mean carefree and happy and now means entirely overburdened with sexual ‘cares’ and anything but happy in a non-PC world, to “Freedom of speech” that now means “only if PC enough and in keeping with Dear Leader’s latest rules”; the history of the language is awash in language corruption. So what are we, really, who stand against the Emperor and refuse to bend to the Language Police and the Thought Police? I style myself a “Surly Curmudgeon” as it evokes an emotional state I rather like, but what is the neutral term? I am it, yet I can not name “it”.

For now, I’ll use Missourians. (There is a historical phrase / stereotype in the American culture that was encapsulated in a phrase a half century ago. One I’ve not heard in decades: “I’m from Missouri. SHOW me.” The image was of a person who believed no words, only what they themselves had seen and touched.) Anyone with a better term, speak up!

So in my paradigm, the world divides into Deceivers, Useful-Idiots, and Missourians. Perhaps with honorable mention for “Clueless out of touch” for many… In normal life, outside TV Hucksters selling us miracle anti-blemish cream and spray on weather sealer, most of us are blissfully able to ignore deceivers. We buy our shirts and soaps and foods and watch fluff-TV and work doing something not too challenging and that’s about it. Deception often gets a rapid “put down” and we move on.

But two fields in particular stand out as spectacularly dependent on deception. Politics and the Military. I have a wonderful book on the “camoufleurs” of W.W.II that tells their story. It was a State Secret until not that long ago. In one case, an entire German Army was persuaded to retreat from a river by a few sound trucks. The British are experts at deception and in many ways the Allies won W.W.II because of the deception employed. Consider the audacity of being on one side of a river, with an army of opposition on the other, and your defense is sound trucks issuing the noises of a tank division moving into position, shutting down, and troops doing what they do; backed up only by some planned radio transmissions, a bit of creative theatre on the ground with some inflatable tanks, and ‘dispatches’ from HQ far far away. A single big recon party could have put the lie to the whole thing and then the entire front would have been lost – these folks were filling an ‘unfillable gap’ in the line of attack of a major operation. Instead, the Germans withdrew their vastly superior tanks and army…

The major lesson of such things is that deception works. Often spectacularly. Since politicians get to claim glory (they never accept the blame, though, that belongs to the next tier below them…) for such wins, they too come to love deception. So joined at the hip as they are, politicians and the military both share one fundamental truth: You have no idea what the truth really is in any action.


Which brings me to the actual topic that started all this. The bombing of a Syrian air base because “they used chemical weapons” and in particular, Sarin gas.

Now there are several problems with the line of causality for a Missourian. None of those problems mean Syria did NOT use chemical weapons, but it does mean it is important to state “I do not KNOW.”

Listening to the general news, more or less globally (mostly the USA, Arab / Sunni bundle, EU, UK, and some hangers on) you would think it was absolutely clear to everyone that “Syria did it” and that “Syria used Sarin”. Yet inspection of the known knowns yields only that “Syria dropped SOME KIND of bomb” and “Subsequently folks where injured by SOME kind of nerve agent”. What is the void? What are the missing links in this chain of reason? (Having learned this process of thought in Geometry Class where every single step had to be proven, perhaps “Geometers” would be a better term than Missourians, but few folks would understand it ‘upon casual inspection’…)

Well, Russia Today RT had clue. I’d already thought the same thing myself, but it was nice to see SOMEONE, ANYONE point it out. It is quite possible that the Rebels had a stockpile of some nerve agent and the Syrian bomb simply let it loose. We know the Rebels are gathering all the munitions they can. We know Syria bombed a ‘munitions dump’. We know that the Rebels have controlled large areas in the past, so had opportunity to collect munitions of all sorts. We know that Rebels (“insurgents”) in Iraq used a ‘binary gas shell’ in a roadside attack on US troops (though didn’t ‘get it’ about binary weapons so just blew it up likely preventing effective mixing to make the sarin – resulting in little real injury).


2004: Iraqi insurgents detonated a 155 mm shell containing binary precursors for sarin near a U.S. convoy in Iraq. The shell was designed to mix the chemicals as it spun during flight. The detonated shell released only a small amount of sarin gas, either because the explosion failed to mix the binary agents properly or because the chemicals inside the shell had degraded with age. Two United States soldiers were treated after displaying the early symptoms of exposure to sarin.

So there is precedent for rebels gathering and using such munitions. All in all, minus some evidence to the contrary, it is a plausible line of events that Syria might have just bombed, with a conventional bomb, somewhere with a stockpile of some gas weapons (or even just one such.)

Which leads us to “IF”.

IF the USA has some kind of inside information that this was absolutely a Syrian gas attack, then the bombing of the air base is a perfectly reasonable response.

But that “IF” is a mighty large word.

Which leads us to “BUT”.

BUT if there is no such information, then it is quite plausible that the USA just bombed a sovereign government attempting to regain control of their country from a violent rebel group who was gathering and likely planning to use chemical weapons in an attack.

Which leads us to “Lie”.

Who benefits? Who would want the lie? Gee, the USA just acted as the ISIS Air Force and took out the air base that was bombing them. They have a known behaviour of using civilians as political leverage. “Human Shields” (that really are not shields, they are political cost escalators.) It would be a pretty easy reach for them to think “Hey, let’s put some gas canisters where Syria might bomb, then shout ‘Chemical Attack From Damascus!!!’ if it happens!”. If they had not done that this time, they will certainly be looking now to gather all the chemicals they can to salt the rest of their depots…

Which leads us to “Hope”.

So now we are hoping our President did the “right thing” and was not mislead. We Hope he has accurate and complete intelligence well beyond what is in the public sphere that shows beyond any doubt the Syrian aircraft was carrying a chemical bomb.

“But hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith”

We also hope that POTUS Trump was not taken in by a deception campaign and we hope that he realizes the successful use of the USA as the ISIS Air Force (even if for Valid Reasons) will now be a strong inducement to ISIS to plant chemical tanks at every important target.

Which leads us to “Fear”.

But I fear neither of those is true. Yet “I don’t know”. As a simple citizen I have zero access to all the information needed to know what really happened. So the only thing I can say in truth is “I do not know”. Yet what I can know is about the nature of the problem.

Again, from the Wiki:

Sarin is an organophosphorus compound with the formula [(CH3)2CHO]CH3P(O)F.
Like all other nerve agents, sarin attacks the nervous system by interfering with the degradation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions. Death will usually occur as a result of asphyxia due to the inability to control the muscles involved in breathing function.

Specifically, sarin is a potent inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase,
Its mechanism of action resembles that of some commonly used insecticides, such as malathion. In terms of biological activity, it resembles carbamate insecticides, such as Sevin, and the medicines pyridostigmine, neostigmine, and physostigmine.
The most important chemical reactions of phosphoryl halides is the hydrolysis of the bond between phosphorus and the fluoride. This P-F bond is easily broken by nucleophilic agents, such as water and hydroxide. At high pH, sarin decomposes rapidly to nontoxic phosphonic acid derivatives. The initial breakdown of sarin is into isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA), a chemical that is not commonly found in nature except as a breakdown product of sarin (this is useful for detecting the recent deployment of sarin as a weapon). IMPA then degrades into methylphosphonic acid (MPA), which can also be produced by other organophosphates

The key point here is that there is a large family of things that act on that pathway and act as ‘nerve agents’. Sarin is but one of many.

“Organophosphates” are widely used as pesticides. It is hard to tell one from another by any simple observation as they act on the same pathways. It takes a chemical test of some kind to narrow things down.

Basically, anyone with some good chemical knowledge can make Sarin or things like it. Anyone who has worked in a technical capacity in a pesticide factory has the skills. The world is full of pesticide factories.

But, “is it Sarin?” really needs some proving too.

The images from the ground showed the victims being washed with running water. That breaks down sarin. Now you have started a timer as the breakdown products themselves break down. Who applied the testing kits to detect sarin and not some other organophosphate? How was this curated and what chain of custody got that information from ‘on the ground’ in rebel held territory into the hands of our POTUS?

Near as I can tell, no such tests were done, or even possible, and no pathway to communicate that information to the POTUS exists. Certainly not one that can work in a couple of days. Certainly not one with proper chain of custody from bombing site to POTUS.

So we are in the “fog of war”. Which leaves us back at “Hope” and “Fear” and “Deception”.

All we Missourians can do is Hope that the POTUS has enough information to have avoided a strong potential of a Deception, but I Fear we are not in possession of anywhere near enough information to have avoided that. Yet I Know that as of now, any reasonably aware Rebel / Insurgent / Jihadi will be thinking that all he needs to do to get a Great Air Force onside is collect a few drums of organophosphates and put them in likely target areas.


In the end, a Geometer Missourian often finds themselves in the “outside” group. The “in group” patting each other on the back, looking askance at the “loner” who isn’t “on the team”. It is one of the essential costs of keeping a tidy mind.

Why? (Another of those great short words, along with “when” and “where” and “how” and “who” and “what” and…)

Well, it seems that very few people are willing to do the work to keep a tidy mind. It IS a lot of work. Further, the Deceivers know this and attempt to levy a large social cost employing the Useful Idiots onto anyone who asks the wrong questions (or just asks any questions sometimes…). Between the Deceivers who often wield a lot of power and the Useful Idiots who happily do almost anything asked of them as long as they need not think about it, there isn’t a lot of space left for the Skeptics and nearly none for the Missourians. Less still for the Geometers where even seeing isn’t believing as we demand to go ‘behind the curtain’ on the magic show…

So once again I’m left with hope, fear, and perhaps my one solace;
the “Dig Here!”…

Over time it may be possible to get the truth out of this event in Syria. For now, everyone else is enjoying the “gone to war!” party. Democrats even heaping (with a baby spoon…) tepid praise on The Donald for finally doing something almost right per Assad. EUropeans joyful at the thought of overturning Assad and smacking lips over the tiff between POTUS Trump and Putin in the making. “Maybe we CAN maneuver this guy to where we want him!” dripping from every grin.

But when the truth comes out, will anyone notice?…

Not the Deceivers. Certainly not the Useful Idiots. Most of the Missourians will be on to something else. The few that notice will likely just cluck a tongue and say “Well, I thought so.” and move on.

When the truth is not knowable, the only thing a reasonable person can do is to say “I do not know”, and do nothing.

But politics is rarely about the reasonable.

Even now, there are folks touting this as “good to have done” in any case as it “shows the world” the USA is back, and it will “make the N. Koreans think twice” and so many more “ends justify the means” piles of steaming praise…

And perhaps it is.

I hope so.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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58 Responses to If, But, Lie, Hope, Is – vs Deception

  1. Zeke says:

    Kerry and McCain wanted these strikes so bad they wore out several pairs of shoes campaigning for it just a couple of years ago.

    Congress gave a blank check for this after Sep 1 1 and Obama used it plentifully. We need to get Congress to rescind the permission for the President to act in the Middle East. We need Congressional restraint back.

    Excellent analysis Chief.

  2. philjourdan says:

    I do not know. I have more questions than answers. While the logic of the situation says it was not the Syrian airforce, Logic does not rule the world. We are not Vulcan.

    I wish we could be shown. I doubt we will. The real story may already be known, or may never be believed. The kings men have a habit of making the truth into conspiracy theories.

    Politics does make strange bedfellows. Those heaping praise on Trump are those who are being proven liars if the current story is true. And that is the only thing that makes sense.

    Trump just made fools of the left in this country. But to believe that, you then have to believe Trump would use innocent lives as pawns in his chess game. Not reputations, lives. And that does not make sense.

    But I do not know.

  3. Zeke says:

    “So in my paradigm, the world divides into Deceivers, Useful-Idiots, and Missourians. Perhaps with honorable mention for “Clueless out of touch” for many…”

    It turns out Republicans have done their fair share in playing the useful idiots. I so deeply regret voting for John McCain I can barely look at myself in the mirror right now.

    I did draw the line after that tho. I want Pres Trump’s success in what is good — like getting out of TPP and removing regulations and environmental restrictions, bans and tax mazes. But Ryancare and Syria are not good.

  4. cdquarles says:

    There’s also the bit of “What happened to the stuff Saddam said he had and what was in those 400,000 sq. ft. bunkers, given that enough time had passed to move stuff out of there (provided there was stuff in there, in the first place)? [Remember that there were documents with details of this stuff.]

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    What is the antonym of gullible?

    Deception is especially effective if it points in the direction the target is naturally inclined to go.
    When Sun Tzu elaborates on deception, he begins:

    “Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable;
    When using our forces, we must seem inactive;
    When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away;
    When far away, we must make him believe we are near.”


    The deception plan for Operation Over Lord worked because Germany expected us to do what the deception plan encouraged. They could not imagine us leaving Patton in active so when we put him in charge or a make believe army they believed it.

    When “Garbo” the spy told them Normandy was the deception for the real attack at Pas de Calais the narrowest point in the channel, they believed it because that is where they would have attacked if positions were reversed.


    On Syria, there is substantial reason to doubt that the “Sarin attack” in Syria was per se an attack by the Syrian government. although that does not mean that they are blameless and perhaps it was just a good excuse to send a message.

    1. The doctor who reported the casualties is a known jihadist
    From twitter :
    Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 Retweeted
    Sarah Abdallah‏ @sahouraxo 4 hours ago
    So the guy who supplied “evidence” on the Idlib gas attack is a “committed jihadist” previously brought up on terror charges.
    VERY credible!
    Image of newspaper article

    2. We also have rock solid evidence that Al Qaeda, ISIS etc have attempted to manufacture war gases. We have videos of the testing them on dogs in Afghanistan. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/09/21/isis-may-have-attacked-us-base-in-iraq-with-chemical-agent.html

    3. Sarin is relatively easy to make and was used in 1995 by a Japanese group in a subway attack

    4. We have documented incidents of chemical weapons in Iraq being accidentally mixed with conventional weapons and causing casualties to US troops, so we know old Saddam era chemical weapons were in the field and likely could have been looted during the post attack chaos.

    5. We also have long standing rumors that Saddam shipped his modern chemical weapons to Syria and that when Syria turned over its own chemical weapons it might have kept some of these off the books weapons in reserve, either as a governmental decision or a decision by a local commander unknown to the formal Assad government.

    6. Russia has a long history of producing and doing research in chemical weapons, they are also well known for very amoral false flag operations by their FSB and GRU like their blowing up apartment buildings to provide the excuse to crush Chechen rebels. They could have intentionally planted some agent in a place they knew Syria would bomb (this is circumstantially supported by reports of a Syrian or Russian Drone monitoring the attack and re-appearing to monitor the hospital where the casualties were taken prior to a subsequent attack on that hospital).

    7. It could be just bad luck that a legitimate bombing mission hit something no one knew was there. There have been cases of accidentally loading aircraft with the wrong munitions even in peace time, so some group could have intentionally put an old chemical munition into the weapons load on that aircraft.

    8. There are questions about proper use of decontamination procedure at the site of the attack and lack of secondary casualties among aid workers which should have resulted from that (see Japanese incident above #3 and the folks unintentionally exposed on the subway landing when the package was kicked off the train.

    It will require a lot of post attack intelligence to sort this out (may never be totally sorted ), but given Obama’s red line and lack of action there are unusual political pressures to react sharply to this “attack”

    I tend to assign a moderate low likelihood that it was an intentional sarin attack by the Syrian Military (what would they have to gain by using it – without some very high value target it makes no sense). I consider it more likely it was an induced attack by one of the other players so that the Assad regime would catch the blame. (one of the down sides of ever using chemical weapons is you open your self to this sort of false flag action from then on)
    A slight chance it was staged by the Russians to give themselves an excuse to disengage from protecting Assad, and prepare the ground for combined actions with Turkey and the US and even Iran to snuff out ISIS as a militarily significant threat. You will never destroy it with bombs you can only make it so marginal that it loses its claim to the rightful leadership of the Caliphate (both Turkey and Iran would want this). Since Saudi Arabia is in the mix they could also be involved somewhere in the back ground.

    At this point I support the action because of all the secondary effects achieved (ie messages sent) but have doubts about the real story.

    Unknown of course is what the intelligence community might know about this, they might have a smoking gun pointing at some group that drove the decision.

    What I wonder about is that we sent 59 cruise missiles, Russia alleges that only 29 of them struck the air base. Propaganda to diminish the apparent success of the the attack or did 30 single precision strikes occur some place else we are not hearing about yet?

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    As much as Alex Jones of Info Wars drives me nuts his view and analysis helps nail down where the middle ground and possible truth is. As he posits here it is much more likely (and rational) for the source of the chemical weapons to have been one of the ISIS affiliated groups they have done this sort of thing several times before.

    But taken with the appropriate grain of salt.
    Alex Jones Info Wars on the Syria counter strike

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is down right funny!


    Arabs are congratulating Trump for his strike and are referring to him as Abu-Ivanka (ie father of Ivanka)

  8. Don McCollor says:

    …a favorite of mine is the WW2 account “The War Magician” (may not be completely factual)…when a German armored attack was stopped with mirrors (and dragging things behind their few jeeps to kick up dust)…sunlight flashing from mirrors look like reflections from multiple truck windshields…and with all the dust it looked like a strong British force was pulling up to oppose them…

  9. Jeff says:

    CNN steps up to the plate with a major fail, and Brooke Baldwin looks to have swallowed a lemon:

    (love to watch the Really Fake Media twist and spin)…

  10. Jeff says:

    Oops (again), Really Fake News…

  11. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting insight into how Trump makes decisions (good to see he was deeply interested in the details of how and why the mission would be executed, asked pointed questions then pulled the trigger).
    He also showed awareness of the many levels of impact the mission would have on several different constituencies. He also wanted to be sure how the military “knew” who was responsible.

    His style reminds me a bit of JFK and the October Missile Crisis. It was also interesting that his notice to Russia was not via Putin but direct to the military de-confliction channel and was intentionally short notice the decision was closely held so that it was not leaked all over the place.


  12. Larry Ledwick says:

    Been waiting for this CNN posts before and after satellite images with sliders so you can compare individual building damage.


  13. Ian W says:

    This is all just another act in ‘The Great Game’ ( http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1611 ).

  14. DonM says:

    First off … thanks for the Honorable Mention … I seldom get any recognition.

    WRT to “Assad gassed his own people”, I don’t understand how anyone could say this without being there to witness first hand.

    For perspective, how far off into the fringe would I appear to be if I kept saying “Bill Clinton burned his own people … he barricaded them in and burned them alive … women, children and all.”

    Well the fact is that U.S. citizens were burned alive as a result of Bill Clinton’s administrative actions, but nobody here says “Clinton burned his own people”. Nobody says that.

    I would have doubts that the Syrian government would be that stupid, corrupt, or evil to do gas in a manner that would intentionally kill innocents. Maybe they didn’t, maybe they did. But look at the administrative incompetence here, with the Guns for Drugs, the Waco debacle, the Oliver North arms for hostages, etc., etc..

    Do we think the Syrian government is more competent than our government, and Assad is in complete control of all aspects of everything?

  15. DonM says:

    Wow, 1:45 a.m.
    I need to go to bed.

  16. bruce says:

    IF you tally up all the positive political outcomes from the potus’s action there might be enough light to see the past.
    But, as you say who knows.

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    The message sent was much more important then the importance of the point of delivery.
    Trump was being visited by the Chinese government head about a mutual problem, North Korea and their threats towards their neighbors.
    “Oh, by the way, our couple of our Destroyers just destroyed an annoying Syrian air base that was involved in a chemical attack.”
    Regardless of the actual cause of the Gas release, the message is delivered. The BIG kid is back on the block and he is not afraid of bruised knuckles or hurt feelings.
    We will soon see if the local bullies got the message…pg

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @Don M.

    IIRC, I run the blog on GMT…. so adjust time stamps for your time zone….

  19. pearce m. schaudies says:

    Hi Chief. Thanks for pointing out the very slippery nature of words. Besides having a precise legal meaning, they have a connotative meaning in popular culture, and an emotional meaning that are often at odds with the legal meaning. Full Disclosure. My father was a lawyer and I learned about the meaning of words at an early age haha.

    How about this as substitute for skeptic …

    I am a Euclidean. Show me your proof.

    Here’s a solution to the mystery nerve gas. I’m no chemist although I had one or two classes. Suppose you had the 3 precursor chemicals for some nerve gas in a little concrete Hut in the Mid East. You have a 1 gallon bottle of precursor A, a one gallon bottle of hydrochloric acid, a one gallon bottle of precursor B, a 1 gallon bottle of sulfuric acid and a one gallon bottle of precursor C. Now Along Comes someone with a hand grenade and tosses it in the room. Or a small bomb breaks through the roof. All of the bottles are broken and the liquids mix on the floor. I would bet $10 that there is going to be a significant amount of nerve gas from this uncontrolled experiment.

    The moon of Alabama website said survivors indicated the bombs dropped first followed a little later by a cloud of bad rotten egg smelling gas that burned people’s eyes. He noted any professional made nerve gas is colorless and odorless, homemade not so much.

    I think Russia and Syria will tolerate this event because they need to have a strong looking Donald Trump in office rather than any alternative that comes to mind. Also the Russian Ministry of Defense reports there is little actual damage to the runway. This morning they had some flights taking off.

    You may have read recently about an internal Palace Coup between Bannon and Kushner. This has not shaken out completely yet. Stay tuned.

    Pearce M. Schaudies.
    Minister of Future

  20. omanuel says:

    Physicists are now in a very embarassing and difficult position today because:

    In 1920 Rutherford told them the neutron would be an electron-proton pair in close combination. Several other scientists endorsed that idea before, . . .

    Chadwick discovered the neutron in 1932 and agreed it is an electron-proton pair in close combination.

    But in 1935 Weizsacker reported and then Chadwick agreed, the neutron and the proton are fundamental particles, because the neutron as a compacted electron-proton pair would not fit the “quantum mechanical scheme.”

    Now eighty-two (82) years later,

    The energy every beta decay over the past 82?years has refuted the flawed 1935 conclusions of Chadwick and Weizsacker:

    1. If beta decay emits an electron, the decay energy is exactly 0.782 MeV greater than predicted by “nuclear binding energies” of the radioactive parent and its decay product.

    2. If beta decay emits a positron or captures an electron, the decay energy is exactly 0.782 MeV less than predicted by “nuclear binding energies” of the radioactive parent and its decay product.

    Click to access Nuclear_Energy_Error7.pdf

    That is how modern physics hid from the public powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction,” i.e.,” the power of God” that Aston had discovered and reported in rest masses of ordinary atoms in 1922:

    Click to access HIGHER-POWERZ.pdf

  21. R. de Haan says:

    1. The attack was a false flag, Rand Paul and several Republicans warned him about the fact that this was an Al Quada False Flag.

    2. Trumps consequent line always has been that he was against the Iraq war even though Saddam used chemical weapons against the Kurds. Why change positions now?

    3. Trump has not been elected to start another military other than the complete destruction of IS.
    Some looking for excuses say he did it to influence,even intimidate his Chinese guests over N. Korea.
    I seriously doubt he impressed them.

    4. Shortly after the election the Fake News Media including the NYT, WP and CNN were practically starved of viewers and more dead than alive.
    Trumps relentless attacks on these media however is what saved them. Yes, Trump saved the Fake News Media and today CNN reported that Trump with his attack on Syria finally has become a President. That is not a compliment but a curse and on the long term these Fake News Outlets will do him great damage.

    5. I am sure all those who have voted for Trump and did so with great expectations have been left empty handed, at least untill now.

    6. To make America great again will proof to be a hell of a job especially now they have convinced Trump to side line his most trusted srategist, a step which will make him more vulnerable to the traitors, back stabbers, war mongers and Globalists that surround him.

    Trump is in trouble.

  22. Eric Fithian says:

    In one of his works, Robert A Heinlein dropped the (made-up?) term **floccinaucinihilipilificator** , which he said meant “someone who refuses to believe anything he cannot sink his teeth into” !
    Unfortunately, that is quite far from being a Short & Simple word. . . .

  23. A C Osborn says:

    There are some analysts in the UK that think that the area covered by Gas Attack was too large to be from a dump hit by a bomb, especially as a lot of the material would have been vapourised when the bomb exploded as it is quite volatile.

    However I would not be the slightest bit surprised that a terrorist group used the bombing to release a quantity of gas to make it appear like a gas bombing attack, Satellite images should be able to demostrate the difference between “Bomb Explosives” and a “Gas bomb or release”.

    I do have one major concern about the photos of the “babies” however, the one in the Daily Mail looks extremely Staged, in fact they could almost be manikins as Rigor Mortice appears to have set in already.
    See this

  24. A C Osborn says:

    If it does turn out to have been terrorist action then the President should very publicly apologise and make reperation to repair the damage to the Air Base.

  25. Richard Ilfeld says:

    Some unequivocal things happened. A message was sent to a number of world leaders that a US regime that could be counted on not to use confrontational force had ended, and one with different interests has begun. A president chose an option unlikely to result in US POW’s or body bags. A claim of moral superiority was made, and a presumption that we might act again on moral grounds promulgated.

    I think the theatre details are less important.

    I’ve not seen speculated upon, but suspect, a kinship to Billy Mitchell’s raid on Japan.

    I suspect history will be uninterested in the details of Mr. Trump’s first song in the opera.

  26. Gary says:

    E.M., the most deceptive word in the English language consists of single letter: I

    You understand.

  27. Margaret Berger says:

    How about as a new word, nonon. It is from the combination of no nonsense. A no nonsense person will not believe what they can not know or what someone else can not know.This is a don’t “pee on my leg and tell me it is raining” person. Now, I disagree that that always means you don’t act if you don’t know all the facts. Weigh the action against the inaction. Sometimes you have to act, the trick is when is that sometime? Do a cost benifit analysis of the situation. Try to make a choice that does as little harm as possible if you choose wrong, own it .

  28. Larry Ledwick says:

    Just post this here – yet one more angle on Syria.
    Key point – who’s Sarin was it ?
    If Libya’s sarin was moved to Syria just who is in control of it now?


  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    Just out of curiosity EM what is the local perception of the LA Times, for credibility?
    It was interestingly enough one of the only media outlets that had polling numbers that were not horribly cooked during the election cycle as I recall.

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    I think it may depend on who’s “local” is doing the percepting …

    My impression of it is a typical left wing NY Times Wanna Be that’s a bit more into the whole Hollywood Glam thing but still tries to sell into Orange County a little…

    i.e. minus a lot of the East Coast Navel Gazing (being outside of BosWash on this coast) and aware that something exists “on the right” what with the California heritage of Reagan and with Orange County being hard to ignore; yet with the typical left wing bent of pretty much everyone with a journalism degree from the last 40 years.

    But Silicon Valley and Hollywood tend to take more mind share and pages than NY Centric stuff.

    Then again, I’m in the S.F. Bay Area and they tend to never ever admit to doing anything that involves L.A. unless it is visiting a Name Party or collecting an Award… so hardly ever have I seen an actual copy of their paper outside a library…

    Folks IN L.A. will have a very different POV, I’m certain.

  31. Zeke says:

    And for the symbolic interpretation we have this:

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 4h4 hours ago
    The reason you don’t generally hit runways is that they are easy and inexpensive to quickly fix (fill in and top)!


  32. Larry Ledwick says:

    From twitter : (for what it is worth current scuttlebutt)
    Bill Mitchell‏Verified account @mitchellvii 10 minutes ago
    I was speaking to my contact in Israel this morning. Israeli Intelligence is 100% SURE Assad gassed his people.

    Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 Retweeted
    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸‏ @JackPosobiec 16 minutes ago

    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 Retweeted Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸
    Can confirm, hearing the same from independent sources

    Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸‏Verified account

    “June 1st or sooner, boots on the ground.” – Multiple sources today, on Syria.

  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    From twitter:
    Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 Retweeted
    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸‏ @JackPosobiec 41 minutes ago

    Source: Trump and King of Jordan discussed Sunni and Kurd coalition force to stabilize Syria

    Asaad Hanna‏Verified account

    Some US troops on the Jordanian borders with Syria are standing by with Jordanian special forces, the reasons unknown yet.

    Partisangirl 🇸🇾‏Verified account

    Several Israeli Jets sighted breaking the noise barrier over Israel. #SyriaStrikes

    Sarah Abdallah‏ @sahourax 47 minutes ago

    BREAKING: US armored vehicles entered #Syria from Jordan. Whether this is a routine illegal incursion or something bigger remains to be seen

  34. beththeserf says:

    ‘Sometimes you have to act.’ Case of decisive and limited action.
    Hard diplomacy required. Say, what would Obama have done? .

  35. jim2 says:

    Password for NSA tool kit (if I’m reading this right!)

    View at Medium.com

  36. Jeff says:

    @E.M. and Gary: Makes me think of “The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo” (from my years in L.A.)…

  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well so far no validation of the above tweets about Jordan and troop movements so probably in the fake news category.

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, if it is real I’d expect it to show up on RT tonight. Either them or Al Jazeera are usually on one side of the line or the other; between the two I’ve had live video from both sides on the same day… I’ll watch them both for a cycle and holler here if anything “pops”…

  39. Larry Ledwick says:

    This might explain it but so far only scattered tidbits.

    From twitter:
    Bill Mitchell liked
    Frosty‏ @politicofaux 2 hours ago
    ISIS launched attack on FSA. FSA was surrounded. U.S. & Jordanian forces went into “safe zone” to de-escalate. No hoax @mitchellvii

  40. David A says:

    Larry, FYI, LA Times refuses to publish any comments skeptical of CAGW.

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    A quick tour of: ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, RT, Al Jazeera, France 24, Sky News, Newsmax and maybe one or two others I’ve forgotten ;-) has nothing about any new military action in Syria. There’s talk of the old cruise missile strike still going on.

    They also had a “bomb like device” found in Oslo Norway, the murder-by-truck driver in custody in Sweden, and the lady who fell off the bridge in the London Islamist Attack has died making 5.

    The only “big deal” in the news was that we have dispatched a Carrier Strike Force toward the Korean Peninsula… so looks like China didn’t say they would fix things and Trump is moving on to “We’ll take care of it”… Were a certain nutty dictator in North Korea I think I’d check that my life insurance was all paid up and maybe plan a nice vacation in a 200 foot deep cave somewhere… I’d also be ‘discovering’ my {spouse | child | parents} were deathly ill and taking some home leave were I a Rocket or Nuclear worker…

  42. Larry Ledwick says:

    If the sarin used in Syria was delivered by the Assad regime, this article outlines the structure of their command and control over those weapons. As has already been commented above that is not a certain thing at this time based on unclassed information sources although several intelligence sources assert they are sure it was the Syrian government of Assad who used the weapons.


  43. pearce m. schaudies says:

    Hi Chief. The snip below may be Emperor Trump’s problem … that and undiagnosed ADD, brought on by stress, heh.

    Let’s have milk an cookies. OK. then Halfway through, Let’s ride bikes. OK. then Halfway through, Let’s bomb Syria … not a comforting thought.

    Louis Napoleon was making the mistake that Lao Tzu described by saying that “tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” That was exactly what was to happen with the Crimean war.

    Here’s link to short story abt Crimean War 1853, looks like WW-0 …


    Pearce M. Schaudies.
    Minister of Future

  44. p.g.sharrow says:

    Unlike Obama, Trump can walk and chew gum at the same time. Follow 3 different conversations and keep a running inventory of the next months events. There is a value to ADD!
    When harnessed, it is a most valued tool…pg

  45. E.M.Smith says:


    Trump also knows how to effectively delegate. Find the best you can hire. Give them a clear domain, mandate, and direction, schedule report periods, and then get the hell out of their way. Obama was so afraid someone might screw up his schemes (and could not clearly state a subversive direction to many players) that he could not effectively delegate.


    Sorry, but that link lost me as soon as they began touting the Crimean War as the longest in world history. Clearly not clueful about things like:

    Yes, it was an important war. Yes, it set the direction of much that has followed. But…


    Don’t forget that one of the first things an attacker tries to do is cut the lines of “command and control”, so then we complain that “he used” sarin when by design we likely eliminated his command and control over much of it?

    I’ll be convinced when there is a clear close up video of the clearly gas bomb being dropped and the resultant cloud of gas from the clear area where it hit open ground. An added details mass spectrometer fingerprint of the resultant gas with chain of custody of the samples (multiple, please) also needed. Not possible? Then “THEY DO NOT KNOW” and are speculating…

  46. pearce m. schaudies says:

    Hi Chief. I re-read the article, and it says ‘LARGEST’, not longest.

    Yet, the Crimean war was the largest ever fought up to that time. It was a global engagement that involved practically all the major military powers of the time, nearly two million combatants, and a number of casualties that can be estimated as between half a million and a million. In many ways, the Crimean war prefigured the world wars that would take place during the 20th century, especially for the increasingly important role of propaganda. For this reason, we could rightly call it “world war 0”.

    @PG- I may have a touch of ADD, but can select and focus like OCD if something pops up, heh.

    Pearce M. Schaudies.
    Minister of Future

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    Sorry, my bad! The risk of reading small type and not searching out the readers…

    OK, I’ll find my glasses and try again! ;-)

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, I found the time (and my readers for the small type font) and re-read it. Or, rather, actually read the whole thing slowly and with full attention.

    It is a nice read. A bit overly dramatic, but does get a handle on the geopolitics angle. Too heavy on the necessity of waterways and native coal IMHO. (Things CAN travel over land, and one CAN buy coal from other places). But generally, yeah, has some clue.

    Don’t see where any of it has much to do with Trump.

    BTW, I then continued on to read several other articles there. First off, the guy is a clear “Peak Oiler”. Second, he has swallowed the EROEI Candard whole and unplucked. Down at the bottom you find out why:

    Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome and the author of “Extracted: how the quest for mineral resources is plundering the Planet” (Chelsea Green 2014)

    So completely convinced that mining will destroy the planet and we all ought to just up and die now while we return to a pristine past in Eden that never existed…

    Anyone who is a member of The Club Of Rome is de facto an uber-green who wants the destruction of western civilization and thinks humanity is a plague on the planet. Not the kind of person from whom I take any advice. BTW, they are the root of the Great Global Warming Scare and their earlier effort of the Great Running Out!!!! Scare in “The Limits To Growth by Meadows et. al.”

    “Always Wrong” chicken littles, the lot of them.

  49. pearce m. schaudies says:

    Hi Chief. The part related to Emperor Donald was quotes by Lao Tzu, ‘tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.’

    Louis Napoleon was making the mistake that Lao Tzu described by saying that “tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” That was exactly what was to happen with the Crimean war.

    And the Afghan War, Iraq War, Libya War …

    And regarding the limits to growth – being a cornucopian on a planet with finite resources doesn’t always end well haha.

    Pearce M. Schaudies.
    Minister of Future

  50. E.M.Smith says:


    Resources are only limited by human creativity, therefore they are unlimited.

    The fundamental thesis of “Limits” is broken. Then they make it worse by using forced exponential growth of demand (when real growth curves are S shaped), ignore resource substitution, ignore technological change, and ignore THE fundamental or resourse economics: supply increases with price and price rises with scarcity, so there is no running out as supply increases as needed for higher prices.

    BTW, as part of my degree I had an Econ class that was study of that book, and the criticisms of it. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in it since the 1970s… so I’m not coming to this with a lite understanding…

    So far, I’ve seen zero evidence that Trump is poor on strategy… ask the folks he’s rolled over already… His military strategies so far look stellar. Beats Obama (well, that one isn’t fair as just doing nothing would beat what Obama did…).

    Do note your list of wars was brought by The Clintons, The Bushes, and Obama. Not Trump. He’s the first one I think might actually fix some of that crap.

  51. pearce m. schaudies says:

    Hi Chief. You said – Resources are only limited by human creativity, …

    I would not disagree that humans are very creative. However they are also endowed with a healthy dose of hubris. For instance they will look at a problem and think, ‘i can solve that in just one quick moment of creativity.’

    And so they will wait until the last minute and not quite enough time to implement their oh so creative fix haha.

    There is also the likelihood extraction cost or replacement cost by some other physical or chemical process could not be sustained due to declining energy sources.

    Later on you say …

    and ignore THE fundamental or resourse economics: supply increases with price and price rises with scarcity, so there is no running out as supply increases as needed for higher prices.

    Supply indeed increases with price as demand increases … unless the Supply runs out unexpectedly, and a creative substitute can’t be found in time, heh.

    And towards the end you say …

    Do note your list of wars was brought by The Clintons, The Bushes, and Obama. Not Trump.

    I would claim those wars were not brought on by the administrations per se but by the neocon warmongers and military industrial complex. They are not controlled by public votes. In the last 24 hours I read that McMasters says we need 50000 to one hundred fifty thousand troops to go into Syria possibly to make safezone. There are other blog post saying the Trump Administration has been co-opted by the warmongers.

    Pearce M. Schaudies.
    Minister of Future

  52. p.g.sharrow says:

    The amount of energy and creativity available is limited only by Government bureaucratic Red Tape. A fact known by Intelligent people for thousands of years. limitations are put in place so Educated Sociopathic Elites can control others and bend their efforts for the aggrandizement of the Elite. Free people will always create more wealth then they consume or they and their children starve. Only the Elite and their minion bureaucrats that create nothing are in great danger of running out of stuff. Something that They always fear and Command that the producers consume less as there is a shortage perceived…pg

  53. Zeke says:

    Since the dust has settled from the action in Syria, I have several questions that were answered and several new questions.

    1. Since President Trump met with many ME leaders just prior to this one-day strike, I very seriously doubt it was impulsive or unilateral.
    2. Since only 9 people died it may have been a symbolic resistance to the use of Sarin gas, and will not be followed by any boots on the ground in Syria. I get the sense this is a great disappointment to the Kerry-McCain axis that wanted to bring down Assad.
    3. It may or may not be an operation for regime change, which the conservatives have had enough of; this policy has resulted in only failure, and President Trump clearly campaigned against it.

    Nevertheless, the videos of the victims of the gas attack was plainly part of the reason Pres. Trump took action. He labeled Assad as a “butcher.” So while the strikes were a limited and measured response to illegal use of Serin, at the same time anyone can see this will destabilize Syrian gov’t.
    It may also result in more and more migration, which is clearly a desired end for certain actors.

    Was he overly impacted and moved to action by the videos, and therefore the mainstream media? When will war powers be back in the hands of Congress? We cannot have war powers in the hands of the Executive any longer. Also, will this not result in a new flood of migration to Europe and the US?

  54. Larry Ledwick says:

    There was information released this morning that after the fact of the use of Sarin, US intelligence did a scrub of their surveillance intercepts and found cases where Assad military folks were captured talking about the attack before it occured.

    The US vacuums up so much data that it is impossible to track it in real time so this is common.

  55. Paul Hanlon says:

    Hmm, we also have the British PM, Theresa May, saying that chemical samples taken from the site show traces of a sarin or sarin-like substance, and we have the Pentagon releasing the radar tracks of the plane they say was the one that released the bomb. With the tweets in the comment above, and what Larry says about the intercepts, I’m giving him (PDT) the benefit of the doubt.

    And then there is the Syrian and Russian responses to it. If I was innocent, I would be immediately announcing that I had nothing to do with this, and that I would co-operate with any investigative agencies that wanted to look into it. I certainly wouldn’t have bombed the hospital or the site afterwards. I wouldn’t have waited for days before speaking up about it, and I wouldn’t have taken a defensive “blame it on everyone else” stance. But this is what we see from the Syrians and Russians.

    Is sarin heavier than air? I ask this because if it was, it would be very effective in underground tunnels, especially when you might not know where the tunnels actually are. Does the fact that there was a drone hovering above mean that a particular person or group of people were being targeted, and was that why the drone followed the ambulances to the hospital, along with the follow up bombing of the hospital, to make sure they got them. There is only one reason why the site was bombed the second time, and that was to try and cover up what had been done there.

    I think that when the US announced that they would not be seeking regime change in Syria the week before, Assad became emboldened, and reverted to type. He thought he would only be getting a slap on the wrist, and instead got a good spanking. Both he and Russia made a big miscalculation there.

    In that one strike, PTD (Prez The Donald) has destroyed the Russian puppet / colluder narrative, put Syria, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea on notice that No means No, captured the moral high ground on the world stage, gained significant political capital in Washington, and got the media off his back for a little while. At $60,000,000, he got a bit of a bargain there.

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