March 31, 2024

You Can't Trust ChatGPT

Carlos Velazquez

Quoting: "Can this technology ever be truly trustworthy? For starters, suggests one AI expert, ChatGPT should admit when it's not sure."

I agree. ChatGPT will most of the time give superficial or just plain wrong answers initially. I'm pretty sure the algorithm is set to give the easiest and least resource intensive response. So the initial answers should not be trusted even in technical and scientific domains.

In politics and controversial topics, such as "global warming", it should not be trusted at all because it gives orthodox leftist answers. I've had several interactions with it regarding technical and scientific issues where I kept challenging its responses and ChatGPT had to correct its immediate previous answer and then eventually it admitted its initial response was wrong or misleading.

Reminder: ChatGPT is like a Google search that provides conversational answers with English text to prompts or questions. It behaves like a human in that it "remembers" everything in the ongoing "conversation".

Bottom line: one should have a good understanding of the topic one is going to ask ChatGPT about so one can ferret out wrong answers.

Just because AI recommends a cliff doesn't mean you have to jump
zdnet.com

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The Empty Tomb

The Gospel of Matthew Chapter 28:

1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.
4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you."
8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."
11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.
12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
13 saying, "Tell them, 'His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.'
14 And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will appease him and make you secure."
15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.
17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Mark 16

1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3 And they said among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away--for it was very large.
5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
7 But go, tell His disciples--and Peter--that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."
8 So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.
10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept.
11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

Luke 24

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?
6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:
7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
8 Then they remembered his words.
9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.

John 20

The Empty Tomb
1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.
6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,
7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.
8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb
12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?” "They have taken my Lord away,” she said, "and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!” (which means "Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!”
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a] ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!”
27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.




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The Gnostic Church Redux

From the archives:

The Gnostic Church

Fay Voshell

One main reason the church is failing is that by and large, its leaders have not seen the revival and implementation of the ancient gnostic heresy. Gnosticism separates the spiritual and material worlds, believing the soul transcends material existence by means of esoteric, spiritual knowledge.

We currently see its most vivid manifestation in the denial of the reality of the human body. Sexuality is freed from embodiment. Desire, freed from any restrictions can be expressed toward anyone and anything.

Gnostic assumptions are behind the green movement's revulsion toward the materials of oil, coal and natural gas—sunshine and wind as close to the immaterial as one can hope.

Money is detached from real economic activity of goods and services in the form of crypto currencies backed only by the ontology of mathematics--de rived from the mind only.

Every area of life has been invaded by gnostic assumptions, including art, literature and music. For example, for a least a century, abstract art such as a black on black "painting" represents the mind of the artist without regard to the realities of nature. The viewer is expected to discover the artist's inner light.

The Church universal generally has not recognized the heresy and thus has failed to confront it. The result is that even the Church itself has accepted core gnostic beliefs such as attempting to separate the abstract spoken Word from any earthly or even heavenly symbols based on created realities. The Kingdom of God and material creation are seen as separated. This is why so many churches have embraced the untenable idea that the church can and must separate itself from entanglement with the "world."

Tim adds:

Brilliant observation Fay! I think you are spot on with this. It seems so many old heresies have returned in our modern times. The ancient heresy of dualism is another. example, and several heresies were dualistic (such as Manicheanism, one of the roots of Islam.) We see dualism today in the Conservative/Liberal split. Liberals hate conservatives as they see only good or evil and believe they are on the side of the good so we are simply evil. That is the embodiment of dualism. It also explains the Lefts love of Islam and all those who are opposed to anything that can be considered "on the right" even if it be brutish or violent. The modern Church is full of dualism, of Gnosticism, of so very many isms without centering Christ. Liberation Theology is a kind of dualistic Gnosticism, for example. And Pope Francis is bringing it back.

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March 30, 2024

Of Mice and Women

Carlos Velazquez

Scientists playing God again. This does not portend well for the future of society and/or humanity in general.

Japanese researchers have been able to change the DNA of a male mouse skin stem cells by altering the sex chromosome from XY (male) to XX (female) and placing them in artificial mouse wombs and later fertilized the cells with male mouse sperm and implanted the fertilized cells into female mouse surrogates and 7 mice pups were successfully created.

Quoting: "Process of reprogramming male DNA: The announcement elucidates that the pathway to producing the two-fathered rodents commenced with reprogramming skin cells from male mice into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Through a complex process, the XY sex chromosomes within the cells were transformed into XX chromosomes. Subsequently, the cells were nurtured within an organoid created to imitate the environment of a mouse ovary. Following this, sperm from male mice was used for fertilization, and out of 630 embryos implanted into surrogates, seven mouse pups were successfully delivered."

Scientists craft healthy mouse pups from two male DNA, not female
interestingengineering.com

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The Day Jesus Died

Timothy Birdnow

Here are a few interesting points on the crucifixion of Jesus:

First, It was an equal opportunity thing. A few interesting points:

1.Pilate did more to save Jesus than most people realize. He acted as defense counsel per Roman law in his repeated questioning of the legal reasoning employed against Jesus. And that because his wife send him a note to not condemn Him.

Interestingly enough Pilate's wife Procula is a saint in the Catholic Church and there used to be a feast day - the feast of Procula and Pilate. Pilate is a saint in a couple of Orthodox churches. Procula was a Christian convert and one of the Early Church leaders.

It still doesn't excuse him for being a coward in my book, but it's understandable because...

Pilate was the protege' of Gaius Sejanus, who had been head of the Praetorian Guard. Sejanus secured Pilate the position as Procurator. Sejanus had risen very high and was working as a regent for Tiberius and expected to be named his successor when Tiberius turned on him, executing Sejanus and his whole family and all of his allies. This was about the same time as the trial of Jesus. Pilate was in very hot water. So when the rent-a-mob said "we have no king but Caesar" it was a not so veiled threat. Pilate dared not rock the boat.

(BTW Pilate would not take any heat for the incident with Jesus but three years later would quell an uprising in Samaria and be recalled for using "excessive force". To his great good fortune Tiberius died while he was en route to Rome and Caligula offered a general amnesty as his first imperial act.)

2. Judas was the only educated Apostle, and he probably did what he did not for money so much as because he was growing increasingly worried about the mesage of Jesus and hoped to temper His message. It seems fairly clear to me that Judas didn't think Jesus was going to be crucified so much as taken in, questioned, and perhaps punished mildly. Judas committing suicide suggests he felt horrible guilt over what he did.

It was still a terrible thing; Jesus was his friend and mentor and he betrayed Him.

3.Caiaphas always struck me as a guy who was jealous for his own power. Remember, Israel was a theocracy, or had been. Rome ruled politically but usually let provinces run their own affairs and the High Priest was basically a politician, the guy who had the power. Jesus was an existential threat to that power.

Of course Caiaphas also probably believed he was protecting the nation. They were occupied by the Romans, and Rome was not known for high tolerance of possible rebellion. He and the rest of the Sanhedren no doubt were very afraid of what was happening - especially after Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It was clear Jesus had a very large following and if He proclaimed a rebellion they would follow, Caiaphas probably thought. It was a sticky situation.

4. Jesus WAS a Pharisee, insofar as philosophy and belief. But He openly opposed them for being far too legalistic and also corrupt. He called them vipers and hypocrites and they didn't like it at all. They were powerful in Israelite society, powerful enough to present a real danger to Him. Like going after the CIA.

5.Yeah; the Roman soldiers had little choice but to follow orders; Rome executed those who didn't. Of course they needn't have had so much relish. That crown of thorns business was just sadistic, plain and simple.

Interestingly enough, I've read that it was rare to scourge a prisoner in the fashion Jesus was scourged; they died quickly on the crucifix if you did. Pilate probably wanted to elicit sympathy, bring out a half-dead Jesus and hoped the crowd, which clearly was a rental like Black Lives Matter rioters, would cool it. So the Roman soldiers were no doubt following orders even in this.

6. Herod Antipas presents an interesting twist to the story. Pilate tried to palm off his problem with Jesus by sending Him to Herod. Herod ruled as a puppet in Galilea and Jesus was his subject so Pilate hoped to wriggle off the hook. Of course Herod was too smart for that, although the courtesy of a Roman deferring to a Jew helped mend some political fences. In the end Herod wouldn't do anything; he was already facing a backlash for kille John the Baptist. So, like a boomerang, the matter of Jesus just flew right back to Pilate.

I can only imagine the swear words from Pilate when he heard Herod had sent Jesus back to him!

In the end everyone was guilty in this matter, and also everyone had an excuse. Everyone pointed the finger at everyone else, but at the end of the day it was a mutual matter of abuse, by the system and by the individuals involved.

As to the manner of His death, it was indeed horrible. Nailing Jesus rather than just tying Him meant his tendons would spasm, making it very hard for Him to raise up to catch a breath. Crucifixion kills by suffocation; you can't breath except by pulling yourself up. There is a little seat for you butt on a crucifix so you can get a little rest; it helps stretch out the process, which is what hte Roman wanted. They would usually tie a convict so he would last long. But they werein a hurry with Jesus so they nailed Him. They also nailed His feet, one on top of the other, to make it harder for Him to push upward to breath. He had to arch His back for every breath, adding to the suffering.

Pilate was surprised that Jesus died so quickly; he didn't realize how badly his troops had abused Jesus. And Jesus was so terrified the night before He was sweating blood - Hematohidrosis - a rare medical condition caused by excessive stress. And then He was put through the ringer, beatings and abuse and a crowning with thorns. He was up all night too.

So when Jesus died He is said to have shuddered and died and when a spear was stuck in His side he bled "water". That is a sign of heart failure. It is believe Jesus' heart actually burst open, and the blood all drained out. His side was full of fluid because the heart wasn't working any longer.

Jesus was also buck naked, an indelicate fact often ignored. It was humiliating, especially in the Israelite culture of the day. You could see Jesus lose control of His bowels and his urine. And everyone would stand there watching that and laugh at Him.

If it had been me I would have come down from that cross with might and fury and an army of angels and EVERYONE would have been sorry. I'd have made a poor redeemer.

One last word, the Shroud of Turin shows a man who is six feet tall, so Jesus was quite tall for His day, assuming the Shroud is correct. The Shroud was a disappointment when it was first dated in the eighties as it did not comport with the time frame, but newer, better carbon dating techniques show it is indeed from the era of Christ. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/03/30/shroud-turin-display/2038295/

It also shows the nail holes in Jesus' wrists and not hands, which is exactly what you would do if you wanted to support His weight; the hands would simply tear. The word used in the Bible means hands but also the wrists, and was traditionally mistranslated as hands.

One more thing about the Shroud; it's a photographic negative. You can't see much unless you take a picture of it and do not develop the film.

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March 29, 2024

Trolling for Votes

Timothy Birdnow

Biden is trolling for votes in prisons and other places.

Behind Massive Mail-in Ballot Push Is a Little-Noticed Executive Order

This will be history's dirtiest election. It's going to make Putin look like a paragon of electoral virtue.

FTA:

"Although the Biden administration has refused to disclose which nonprofit organizations will partner with federal agencies, groups that support the effort include the ACLU, teachers unions, public employee unions, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP, the Black Voters Matter Fund, Public Citizen, Planned Parenthood, the League of Women Voters, and the Sierra Club."

" The allegation relates to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14019, which states, "The head of each agency shall evaluate ways in which the agency can, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, promote voter registration and voter participation.”

Among other things, this order has forced U.S. Marshals to modify more than 900 contracts with prisons and jails to provide voter registration documents and facilitate mail-in voting for inmates, Mr. Watson wrote.

"We have worked extremely hard to restore the confidence of Mississippi voters in our election process,” Mr. Watson told The Epoch Times. "To have the Biden administration and the DOJ purposefully undermine these efforts and jeopardize the integrity of Mississippi’s

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The Children's Hour

Timothy Birdnow

It occurs to me that America has hit the point where, like a family when the kids suddenly realize their parents don't have any real power over them, the adolescents are now running amok because they figured out there was nobody to stop them. The American people are trying to rein them in but they are just ignoring us and doing as they please, and in the process destroying everything.

It's become perfedtly clear there is no actual power to compel proper behavior. The Democrats and the Left have just realized they are unsupervised children and daddy forgot to lock up the liquor cabinet.

The courts tell them to stop and they just ignore them.Just look at how Joe Biden was told he couldn't simply forgive student debt and he did it anyway as a prime example. Congress tries to get them to stop and they just ignore subpoenas and refuse to testify.

Now only the People stand in their way and they will just bankrupt us via inflation and replace us via open borders.

When children start acting like this the only way to get them under control is through harsh, draconian parental discipline. But since they control the means of such discipline (and actually use it against US) America is being forced to a very dangerous place.

When a country reaches this point it's usually in big trouble.

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The Passion of Jesus Christ

A reding from the Book of John:

Jn 18:1—19:42
Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.

So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, "I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, "I AM, "
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
"Whom are you looking for?”
They said, "Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
"I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said,
"I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
"Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
"You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, "I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
"I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
"Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
"If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
"You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
"I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
"Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
"What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
"If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him,
"We do not have the right to execute anyone, "
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
"Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
"Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
"I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
"My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
"Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
"You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, "What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
"I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
"Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
"Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
"Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, "Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
"Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
"We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
"Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
"Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
"You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
"If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge’s bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
"Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
"Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
"Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
"We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
"Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
"Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
"What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
"Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, "
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, "I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
"It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:46 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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All that Glitters - and Doesn't

Chester McAteer

Today it takes $$31,015.25 (when Trump left office that amount was $26,142.53) Federal Reserve Notes to buy what $1,000.00 U.S.Gold-Backed

Dollars bought in 1913. Now this goes back to every Administration for the last 50 years, except now with the Biden Administration, the rate of inflation is rising more rapidly than ever before because the expansion of the money supply has been extraordinarily fast. Inflation is always a monetary phenomenon.

The value of the Federal Reserve Notes in terms of currency markets is very different from the purchase value the currency holds and that seems to be confusing to some when comparing the Dollar against other fiat currencies, rather than the Fiat Dollar against this historic Dollar prior to 1913, with the exclusion of the Lincoln Greenback era.

A U.S. Gold-Backed Dollar had the purchase value of 100 Cents, today each of those Federal Reserve Notes, or money substitutes, which are each a double liability on both sides of the ledger, has a purchase value of approximately 0.0378501135503 40651022 Cents each, that purchase value is decreasing with the expansion of the Money supply, it's called inflationary depreciation.

Today, over 50% of American workers earn less than $33,000 per year. That equates to about 17 ounces of gold per year, before taxes. Over 100 years ago, without any government mandates, minimum wage laws, or labor unions, Henry Ford paid his factory line workers 65 ounces of gold per year, tax-free!

So, if the average salary is $33,000 per year equates to $1,068.73 in 1913 US Dollar purchase power. Think about that for a moment. Think about this, people are clamoring for $15.00 an hour, that equates to $0.50 cents an hour in 1913 purchase power.

What the people of this Country need is real money that maintains its purchasing power despite Government actions.

Thus, since 1913 the currency inflation rate has been about 2765.8%, that is the amount of wealth that has been effectively stolen from the people of this country. The question is what happens when the purchase value falls close to 1 Cent per Federal Reserve Note? When the confidence of the people for these Federal Reserve Notes is abandoned, what does history show?

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:36 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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March 28, 2024

Ingrates

Timothy Birdnow

Amen. Back during the Cold War the Soviets send in sleepers to undermine America. They were trained in USA Town, a community as American as apple pie and Marx.

They had it drilled into them that they would live well but the REAL America was an impoverished hellhole,,oppressive and despicable. These folks then came here and labored to undermine America despite the evidence of their own eyess. They were AMERICAN in no small way yet they still didn't believe it. That is the power of brain washing. And now our younger generation is as brainwashed, if not more so, than the old Soviet sleeper agents.

The ingratitude to this land of plenty is astonishing.

A Greg Delany

PERSPECTIVE!
My wife and I have been fortunate enough to have lived in and traveled to many countries.
My wife endured Socialism in the USSR for the first 25 years of her life.
I worked in the USSR and former Soviet Republics for more than six years and in Iraq for three years.
I have been blessed to have traveled to over 40 other countries as well. I have seen the long lines of people praying to Emigrate to America.
Because, America is the envy of the whole world.
It breaks my heart to see the luckiest people on earth, complain about their conditions, while living in a country of such great prosperity and opportunity.
Every citizen of this great land, has the same opportunities and anyone can achieve their dreams.
We can all change our condition with a little work and self determination.
The sad part is that those born into this paradise, believe they are entitled to the riches of paradise without any investment. We all must use our talents, knowledge and labors.
There are countless millions, living outside of America, willing to change places with anyone who does not love America.
I am willing to trade immigrants who want a better life to get rid of Leftists who hate America and everything she stands for..
We must stand up for our ideals and teach our children how blessed we are to be American!
We must teach the Proud History of America instead of the apologetic history they teach today.
We must stop the Left from emphasizing the negatives as they continue turning people into victims and multi gender perverts and pedophiles.
If you don't like your life.
Don't blame anyone but yourself. You live in the greatest country on earth .
A country that will help you, encourage you, and support your dreams while you work for a life of self reliance and self determination.
President Trump is showing the world the benefits of Free, Fair Trade and Open Markets, Capitalism at its best.
The world is fighting back, because we have supported unfair trade in the past and helped bolster their socialist policy failures, with the US paying the cost to keep them safe, through NATO and the UN.
Support OUR Constitution!
Stop waiting for Government to give you anything or waiting for Government to solve every social issue.
Go out and give of yourself, and bless your neighbors. We are the most generous nation on earth.
We can solve our own issues as soon as Government stops getting in the way. As JFK said, "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,”

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The Real Inflation Rate

Diane Kimura

We are not comparing apples to apples. The BLS changed the CPI calculation method - was it politically motivated to deceive Americans about the real impact of the failed economic policies?

Why does everything feel so unaffordable?

According to the pre-1983 CPI calculation method, inflation is nearly TRIPLE what current CPI data says.

If you used pre-1983 CPI, inflation peaked at 18% in November 2022 and currently stands at a whopping 8%.

Under this method, housing inflation more than DOUBLED since 2020 alone.

Even in August 2023, this CPI inflation method would've put inflation at 12%.

Perhaps this is why there is such a large gap between headlines and reality.

Are our inflation formulas off?

May be an image of text that says 'Official and Estimated CPI using pre-1983 housing methods, 1974-2023 Year-over-Year Change in the Price Index 20 16 12 Official CPI Estimated CPI using pre-1983 Housing Concepts Nov-23 Nov-23 Apr-74 Apr-84 Apr-94 Apr-04 Note: 1983 is excluded during the transition, see text for imputation procedure. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Authors' Calculations. @KOBEISSILETTER Apr-14 Apr-24'

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:31 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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All in the Family

Diame Kimura

The daughter of the judge who issued a GAG ORDER on Trump who is also handling his hush money case has KAMALA HARRIS LISTED AS A CLIENT at a firm that has a focus on elections and campaigns.

Judge Merchan, a New York State Supreme Court Judge who enacted a gag order against President Trump today, has a daughter, Loren Merchan.

Loren holds the position of President and Partner at Authentic Campaigns, a firm that lists Kamala Harris among its clientele. Additionally, Adam Schiff is also a client of the company.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:14 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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March 27, 2024

America Deserves Better

Timothy Birdnow

After the election of 2000 Jimmy Carter and Jim Baker ran a commission to avoid vote problems in future. They strongly recommended that mail-in voting be illegal as it is ripe for fraud. The Democrats took the report and used it as a blueprint to steal 2020.

Most nations have learned mail-in voting is a dreadful idea more suited to banana republics.

Why Do Most Countries Ban Mail-In Ballots?: They Have Seen Massive Vote Fraud Problems
papers.ssrn.com



Diane Kimura adds:

Most developed countries, especially in Europe, ban mail-in voting to fight vast fraud and vote buying that had threatened the integrity of their elections, according to an exhaustive review of voting rules and histories in over 30 major nations.

In the European Union, 63% have put a ban on mailing in ballots except for citizens living overseas. Another 22% have imposed a ban even for those overseas. And most of those that allow mail-in ballots require some form of photo ID to get one, according to the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shared with Secrets.

"These countries have learned the hard way about what happens when mail-in ballots aren’t secured. They have also discovered how hard it is to detect vote buying when both those buying and selling the votes have an incentive to hide the exchange,” said author John R. Lott, the center’s president.

While politicians in the United States have been debating the pros and cons of mail-in voting due to concerns of spreading COVID-19 at the polls and new reports of postal service and vote counting issues, Lott, whose center is known for its gun research, built a voting database of the European Union and the larger Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

Those countries, said Lott, are typically held up by Democrats as a model to follow.

"Liberals and progressives often try to model the U.S. on Western European countries in many ways, but you never hear them arguing that we should adopt their voting rules. There is a reason for that. Banning mail-in voting or requiring people to use photo IDs to obtain a mail-in ballot is quite common in developed countries, especially in Europe,” he said in the report.

The report, titled Why Do Most Countries Ban Mail-in Ballots? They Have Seen Massive Vote Fraud Problems, listed the rules for voting and widespread cases of fraud and vote buying. His report also listed notable cases of fraud in U.S. voting.

He ended up calling mail-in voting a "throwback to the dark old days of vote-buying and fraud. Like most of the rest of the world, Americans deserve a more trustworthy system.”

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 12:08 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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X Marks the Spot

Timothy Birdnow

There is a hippie colony just south of Carbondale so I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of moonbat types show up to be beamed aboard! Especially since this is on the Shawnee Hills wine trail and most will be liquored up...

BTW That is beautiful country; the Illinois Ozarks. Most of Illinois is flat prairie and farms but down here it's beautiful hills, nice lakes, the Little Grand Canyon, giant bolders and the like. There is the Bald Knob Cross of Peace; a hundred foot tall porcelein crucifix on top of one of the highest peaks in the state, and it's lit at nnight. Visible for 600 square miles. A wine trail featuring 14 wineries. And it's the northern part of Little Egypt the delta-like area at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Oh, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a major university there. The wife and I have been going there for years, long before anyone knew about it.

Roy W. Spencer

"X" marks the spot... the end-of-days/extraterrestrial-visitation folks are missing a great opportunity with the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8. There is an open field 6.3 miles SW of Carbondale, IL where the 2024 solar eclipse path passes exactly over the path of the August, 2017 solar eclipse path. This forms an "X", which is obviously ET's way of telling us this is where we should gather to be transported, Styx-style, into the sky! Come sail away, lads! Be there at 2 pm (CDT), or be square!

Tim adds:

Maybe it's a big X to tell other aliens to stay away as we are obviously not an intelligent of hospitable species?

AnthonyWatts theorizes it denotes the hideout of the X men. As SIU Carbondale is just six miles away perhaps Professor  X lives there and commutes to his classes.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:33 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The Trojan Hearse

Timothy Birdnow

Here is an analysis of the unlamented dead border bill. It was clearly a Trojan Hearse.

That any Republicans signed on with it is disgraceful. Every last one of them needs to be primaried and removed from office.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:10 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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A Big Bag of Wind

Timothy Birdnow

Offshore wind power is great! It now costs twice what everyone thought it would and chews up birds in the process.

Offshore Wind Now Costs More Than Double the Original Estimates in New York
instituteforenergyresearch.org


Here are the takeaways:

1

Despite Biden’s belief that renewable energy such as wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity, New Yorkers are about to receive higher bills for offshore wind that will raise their rates by more than twice what was originally agreed to in earlier canceled contracts.

2

New York’s solicitations to cover the higher cost for offshore wind is also being used in other Northeastern states, allowing wind developers to rebid for higher prices and receive new contracts.

3

Offshore wind is much more expensive than most other forms of electricity and these states are committing their residents to markedly higher rates well into the future.


Gee,what a bargain!

Hat tip; Willis Eschenbach

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 11:07 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Climate Nihilism and Science Millenialism

Timothy Birdnow

Stephen Heinz posted this bit about climate nihilism:

If you look at the growing government programs, they are a means to launder money and enrich the elites. Al Gore knew this as did other charlatans who cherry picked data, ignored others, and became wealthy by fear mongering to sheep who bow at the altar of big government.

All of these so called climate alarmists preach climate nihilism and severe solutions (no beef, curtail agriculture, EV mandates, end fossil fuels, eat bugs) while they fly in private jets or sail on yachts dining on the finest cuisine while taking in millions. They are the today’s snake oil salesmen who you are not allowed to question.

What kind of science censors or cancels anyone who dares to question the nihilistic rantings and fear mongering? Science is questioning and constant discovery.
Edited · 1 · Like · Reply · Delete · Yesterday at 2:38 PM
Timothy Birdnow replied · 1 reply
Timothy Birdnow
Anthony Watts
Like · React · Reply · Edit · Yesterday at 1:03 PM
Diane M. Kimura
An example of climate nihilism:

"Scientists Warn 1 Billion People on Track to Die From Climate Change.

The fossil fuels that humanity burns today will be a death sentence for many lives tomorrow.

A recent review of 180 articles on the human death rate of climate change has settled on a deeply distressing number. Over the next century or so, conservative estimates suggest a billion people could die from climate catastrophes, possibly more.

As with most predictions for the future, this one is based on several assumptions.

Technically, the 1000-ton rule does not take into account possible climate feedback loops, which could make future environmental fallout from carbon emissions even worse, even faster.

This rule is actually "an order of magnitude best estimate", which means it's more of a range, somewhere between 0.1 to 10 deaths per 1000 tons of carbon burned.

That leaves a lot of room for scenarios even more dire than the one outlined here.

"When climate scientists run their models and then report on them, everybody leans toward being conservative, because no one wants to sound like Doctor Doom," explains Pierce.

"We've done that here too and it still doesn't look good."

One is a rough rule of thumb called the '1000-ton rule'. Under this framework, every thousand tons of carbon that humanity burns is said to indirectly condemn a future person to death.

If the world reaches temperatures 2°C above the average global preindustrial temperature, which is what we are on track for in the coming decades, then that's a lot of lives lost. For every 0.1 °C degree of warming from now on, the world could suffer roughly 100 million deaths.

●●●●●》"If you take the scientific consensus of the 1,000-ton rule seriously, and run the numbers, anthropogenic global warming equates to a billion premature dead bodies over the next century," explains energy specialist Joshua Pierce from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

... ●●●●●●●》"Global warming is a matter of life or death for a billion people," says Pierce. ...

Tim responds:

Yikes! How can anyone write such tripe with a straight face? We have had periods where it has been both MUCH warmer and higher carbon dioxide levels and not had this apocalypse they are predicting.

I would add that warming periods generally accompany increases in population, not huge loses. Cold kills; warm heals.

"Technically, the 1000-ton rule does not take into account possible climate feedback loops, which could make future environmental fallout from carbon emissions even worse, even faster."

Or make them better. The whole climate change debate is over climate sensitivity; are feedbacks positive or negative? There are many reasons to believe they are negative,that warming tamps down more warming (clouds, for instance, block the sun and form when it is warmer.) This fool assumes they are all positive - something for which we have little evidence.

Essentially what folks like this are doing is taking Christian belief in an Apocalypse and sucking religion out of it. This is End Time Theology sans God. Nothing more. They would do better to read the Book of Revelations.

And they just pull numbers out of thin air, like that "for every 0.1 degree warming a hundred million will die" nonsense. It was warmer during the Medieval Warming Period and population increased. During the Roman Warming Period probably too.

For example England's population grew during the MWP - from 1.4 million to 5 million by 1300 . Why? They had more food and fewer winter deaths. The population in Germany and Scandinavia rose from 4 million in 1000, to 11.5 million by the 1340 . By 1320 France's population surged to between 15 and 20 million.In fact all of Europe saw a population surge during the MWP.

By contrast the population drops during cold periods.

In the Americas during the Little Ice Age it has been estimated that 50 MILLION deaths occurred. I rather doubt that, or that the dying caused cooling, but certainly there was a big dropoff of population. The Mound builder culture in the Midwest, for instance, died out midway through the LIA. Their capital - Cahokia - was abandoned about the time Columbus discovered the New World. And we saw similar things happen to cultures in central and South America, notably the Mayans and Incans.

The population of Europe shrank with the sinking mercury.

Anyone who claims warming is going to kill all these people has not studied history.

They just made up the "thousand ton rule"; there is no scientific basis for this. As Mark Twain put it "there are lies, damned lies, and statistics". This is the third kind of lie.

This is Millenialism without Christianity, the Apocalypse sans God. It's an attempt to manipulate imagery from the Book of Revelations to get people to panic and stampede into the New World Order. It's the most vile sort of lie.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 09:20 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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March 26, 2024

The Folly of the Return to Paganism

Selwyn Duke

To modern ears, using the term "pagan” pejoratively may smack of a supposed medieval intolerance, conjuring up images of a robed monk praying in candlelight or, maybe, of a Bible-thumping 19th-century missionary. In fact, pagan status may be considered hip and edgy today, embraced by people who rarely if ever know that the ancient pagans never did or would’ve called themselves "pagans” (the word derives from a Latin term meaning, in part, "incompetent soldier”). But fashions often don’t collide with facts.

And here’s a fact....

A 1955 Letter Reveals the Folly of the Left’s Civilization-ending Return to Paganism
thenewamerican.com

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 01:42 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 108 words, total size 1 kb.

Francis Scott Key Bridge Destroyed by Freighter

Timothy Birdnow

Many people are theorizing that the ship which hit the bridge in Baltimore did not do so by accident.

A cargo ship hit the Francis Scott Key bridge and it collapsed, killing a number of people.

The ship apparently lost power prior to the accident, for instance.

Coincidence? Probably. But if it was not we'll know based on how this is treated. If it disappears from the news cycle we'll know it was terrorism/an act of war. If not it will be beaten to death and probably blamed on Donald Trump and the GOP House.

If it was terrorism they aren't going to tell us. The Biden Administration can ill-afford a terrorist attack against the U.S. not with the election coming.

Granted, foreign wars sometimes help the incumbent, provided he rises to the challenge, but not always. The Gulf War certainly did little to help George H.W. Bush, despite immediate enormous popularity among the voters just after the war.

IF Biden is going to war he either needs to win it or start it just before the election,but either way he can't stumble his way through it.

So his people won't allow any leaks of information on this and the media will happily spike the story.

But if it is an accident they will try to turn it to their advantage. Blame it on deregulation or poor training for maritime officers or whatnot.

I find it interesting it hit the Francis Scott Key bridge - the bridge named after the author of our national anthem and the man who witnessed the American flag still flying after a fierce British assault.

It may turn out to be an accident but were I a terrorist I would probably target this bridge solely based on the symbolism.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 01:05 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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Arguing with Idiots Consensus Edition

Timothy Birdnow

An argument on Facebook with a polite True Believer in climate change.

Lonnie Knaub, in response to my post about carbon 14, had this to say:

I understand that you are presenting an alternative perspective on climate change and the carbon cycle. However, it's important to note that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, are significantly contributing to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming. While nuclear testing and other natural factors may have played a role, the primary driver is human-induced emissions. Additionally, the science on carbon dating and the Suess Effect is well-established and widely accepted in the scientific community. It's important to consider the cumulative evidence from multiple lines of research and not rely on individual studies or perspectives that may not represent the broader scientific understanding.

I’ve got a pertinent question I’d like to ask you please don’t hesitate to send me a DM ??

I retort:

more...

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 12:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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