Letters, We Get Mail, CCCLXXXVIII

[The previous letter from Paul_R is here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters388.html#Paul_R2 ]

Date: Thu, January 23, 2014 9:54 am     (answered 26 January 2014)
From: "paul r."
Subject: Sceintific opinions


Found this in 2 seconds on internet. This is a very partial list of notable scientific believers. Maybe you are smarter than these guys, but I notice a common thread they have that is essential to all of us regardless of intellect and gifts and opinions...humility. I believe science is a lens to see God's glory more clearly, not an argument to attempt to disprove it.


1. Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)
Copernicus was the Polish astronomer who put forward the first mathematically based system of planets going around the sun. He attended various European universities, and became a Canon in the Catholic church in 1497. His new system was actually first presented in the Vatican gardens in 1533 before Pope Clement VII who approved, and urged Copernicus to publish it around this time. Copernicus was never under any threat of religious persecution — and was urged to publish both by Catholic Bishop Guise, Cardinal Schonberg, and the Protestant Professor George Rheticus. Copernicus referred sometimes to God in his works, and did not see his system as in conflict with the Bible.

2. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning. In De Interpretatione Naturae Prooemium, Bacon established his goals as being the discovery of truth, service to his country, and service to the church. Although his work was based upon experimentation and reasoning, he rejected atheism as being the result of insufficient depth of philosophy, stating, "It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity." (Of Atheism)

3. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)
Kepler was a brilliant mathematician and astronomer. He did early work on light, and established the laws of planetary motion about the sun. He also came close to reaching the Newtonian concept of universal gravity — well before Newton was born! His introduction of the idea of force in astronomy changed it radically in a modern direction. Kepler was an extremely sincere and pious Lutheran, whose works on astronomy contain writings about how space and the heavenly bodies represent the Trinity. Kepler suffered no persecution for his open avowal of the sun-centered system, and, indeed, was allowed as a Protestant to stay in Catholic Graz as a Professor (1595-1600) when other Protestants had been expelled!

4. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)
Galileo is often remembered for his conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. His controversial work on the solar system was published in 1633. It had no proofs of a sun-centered system (Galileo's telescope discoveries did not indicate a moving earth) and his one "proof" based upon the tides was invalid. It ignored the correct elliptical orbits of planets published twenty five years earlier by Kepler. Since his work finished by putting the Pope's favorite argument in the mouth of the simpleton in the dialogue, the Pope (an old friend of Galileo's) was very offended. After the "trial" and being forbidden to teach the sun-centered system, Galileo did his most useful theoretical work, which was on dynamics. Galileo expressly said that the Bible cannot err, and saw his system as an alternate interpretation of the biblical texts.

5. Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Descartes was a French mathematician, scientist and philosopher who has been called the father of modern philosophy. His school studies made him dissatisfied with previous philosophy: He had a deep religious faith as a Roman Catholic, which he retained to his dying day, along with a resolute, passionate desire to discover the truth. At the age of 24 he had a dream, and felt the vocational call to seek to bring knowledge together in one system of thought. His system began by asking what could be known if all else were doubted — suggesting the famous "I think therefore I am". Actually, it is often forgotten that the next step for Descartes was to establish the near certainty of the existence of God — for only if God both exists and would not want us to be deceived by our experiences — can we trust our senses and logical thought processes. God is, therefore, central to his whole philosophy. What he really wanted to see was that his philosophy be adopted as standard Roman Catholic teaching. Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon (1561-1626) are generally regarded as the key figures in the development of scientific methodology. Both had systems in which God was important, and both seem more devout than the average for their era.

6. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and theologian. In mathematics, he published a treatise on the subject of projective geometry and established the foundation for probability theory. Pascal invented a mechanical calculator, and established the principles of vacuums and the pressure of air. He was raised a Roman Catholic, but in 1654 had a religious vision of God, which turned the direction of his study from science to theology. Pascal began publishing a theological work, Lettres provinciales, in 1656. His most influential theological work, the Pensées ("Thoughts"), was a defense of Christianity, which was published after his death. The most famous concept from Pensées was Pascal's Wager. Pascal's last words were, "May God never abandon me."

7. Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
In optics, mechanics, and mathematics, Newton was a figure of undisputed genius and innovation. In all his science (including chemistry) he saw mathematics and numbers as central. What is less well known is that he was devoutly religious and saw numbers as involved in understanding God's plan for history from the Bible. He did a considerable work on biblical numerology, and, though aspects of his beliefs were not orthodox, he thought theology was very important. In his system of physics, God was essential to the nature and absoluteness of space. In Principia he stated, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."

8. Robert Boyle (1791-1867)
One of the founders and key early members of the Royal Society, Boyle gave his name to "Boyle's Law" for gases, and also wrote an important work on chemistry. Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "By his will he endowed a series of Boyle lectures, or sermons, which still continue, 'for proving the Christian religion against notorious infidels...' As a devout Protestant, Boyle took a special interest in promoting the Christian religion abroad, giving money to translate and publish the New Testament into Irish and Turkish. In 1690 he developed his theological views in The Christian Virtuoso, which he wrote to show that the study of nature was a central religious duty." Boyle wrote against atheists in his day (the notion that atheism is a modern invention is a myth), and was clearly much more devoutly Christian than the average in his era.

9. Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
Michael Faraday was the son of a blacksmith who became one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. His work on electricity and magnetism not only revolutionized physics, but led to much of our lifestyles today, which depends on them (including computers and telephone lines and, so, web sites). Faraday was a devoutly Christian member of the Sandemanians, which significantly influenced him and strongly affected the way in which he approached and interpreted nature. Originating from Presbyterians, the Sandemanians rejected the idea of state churches, and tried to go back to a New Testament type of Christianity.

10. Gregor Mendel (1822-1884)
Mendel was the first to lay the mathematical foundations of genetics, in what came to be called "Mendelianism". He began his research in 1856 (three years before Darwin published his Origin of Species) in the garden of the Monastery in which he was a monk. Mendel was elected Abbot of his Monastery in 1868. His work remained comparatively unknown until the turn of the century, when a new generation of botanists began finding similar results and "rediscovered" him (though their ideas were not identical to his). An interesting point is that the 1860's was notable for formation of the X-Club, which was dedicated to lessening religious influences and propagating an image of "conflict" between science and religion. One sympathizer was Darwin's cousin Francis Galton, whose scientific interest was in genetics (a proponent of eugenics — selective breeding among humans to "improve" the stock). He was writing how the "priestly mind" was not conducive to science while, at around the same time, an Austrian monk was making the breakthrough in genetics. The rediscovery of the work of Mendel came too late to affect Galton's contribution.

11. William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907)
Kelvin was foremost among the small group of British scientists who helped to lay the foundations of modern physics. His work covered many areas of physics, and he was said to have more letters after his name than anyone else in the Commonwealth, since he received numerous honorary degrees from European Universities, which recognized the value of his work. He was a very committed Christian, who was certainly more religious than the average for his era. Interestingly, his fellow physicists George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) were also men of deep Christian commitment, in an era when many were nominal, apathetic, or anti-Christian. The Encyclopedia Britannica says "Maxwell is regarded by most modern physicists as the scientist of the 19th century who had the greatest influence on 20th century physics; he is ranked with Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for the fundamental nature of his contributions." Lord Kelvin was an Old Earth creationist, who estimated the Earth's age to be somewhere between 20 million and 100 million years, with an upper limit at 500 million years based on cooling rates (a low estimate due to his lack of knowledge about radiogenic heating).

12. Max Planck (1858-1947)
Planck made many contributions to physics, but is best known for quantum theory, which revolutionized our understanding of the atomic and sub-atomic worlds. In his 1937 lecture "Religion and Naturwissenschaft," Planck expressed the view that God is everywhere present, and held that "the holiness of the unintelligible Godhead is conveyed by the holiness of symbols." Atheists, he thought, attach too much importance to what are merely symbols. Planck was a churchwarden from 1920 until his death, and believed in an almighty, all-knowing, beneficent God (though not necessarily a personal one). Both science and religion wage a "tireless battle against skepticism and dogmatism, against unbelief and superstition" with the goal "toward God!"

13. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" — and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Paul R.

Hello Rob,

Thanks for the letter. That is a good demonstration of the propaganda trick of Appeal to Authorities (Argumentum ad Verecundiam).

Those dead white men are all quite irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether they believed in God or the Devil or Santa Claus. They don't change what the Bible actually says.

In the previous letter, I pointed out that the Bible tells you to kill all of the non-Jewish people with the sharp edge of the sword. Why aren't you following the commands that Moses wrote in the Bible, if you really believe that the Bible is the Word of God?

  • "Whenever you capture towns in the land the LORD your God is giving you, be sure to kill all the people and animals. ... If you allow them to live, they will persuade you to worship their disgusting gods, and you will be unfaithful to the LORD." (Deuteronomy 20:16-18)
    Now that is downright lunacy. The livestock will persuade you to worship false gods, so you must kill the livestock? Somebody is insane.

  • "The LORD your God will help you capture the land, and He will give you peace. But when that day comes, you must wipe out Amalek so completely that no one remembers they ever lived." (Deuteronomy 25:19)

  • "... you must destroy them without mercy." (Deuteronomy 7:3)

  • "... you must stone them to death. ... Don't show any pity." (Deuteronomy 13:8-10)

  • "You may hear that some worthless people there have talked everyone there into worshipping other gods... ... you must take your swords and kill every one of them..." (Deuteronomy 13:13-15)

  • If you hear it said ... that wicked men have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, "Let us go worship other gods" (gods you have not known), then you must inquire, probe, and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true... you must put to the sword all who live in that town. Destroy it completely, both its people and its livestock. Gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God. It is to remain a ruin forever, and never be rebuilt.
    (Deuteronomy 13:13-16, New International Version)

    Kill them all, even the children and babies. Burn everything.

    Jesus Christ was not a "god" whom Moses knew or recognized. Nor do the Jews recognize Him today. Moses would kill you for leading people away from Judaism and Jahweh, the one and only true religion.

I also pointed out that the Biblical description of a flat Earth covered by the Firmament was untrue. You ignored that.

Citing Galileo is a laugh. Galileo got into trouble with the Church precisely because he looked through his telescope and found moons orbiting Jupiter, and the Bible makes no mention of any moons around Jupiter, so Galileo was proving that the Bible was inaccurate and less than complete and perfect. And the Pope could not tolerate that. So the Church threatened to burn Galileo at the stake unless he recanted. So of course Galileo said that the Bible was correct. He didn't want to burn. Claiming that his work was "an alternative interpretation of the Bible" is a cute piece of double-talk, isn't it? And quite meaningless.

And Einstein's desire for there to be a God-created Universe doesn't suddenly make the Bible correct. You are mixing up irrelevant things. And Einstein was stuck in his own mind-set. After the General Theory of Relativity he hit a wall and got no further. He never made any progress on Quantum Mechanics because he could not accept the idea that God plays with dice. Einstein had very specific ideas about the nature of God and they held him back, and he never solved the puzzle of the Grand Unified Theory. Never even got close. Perhaps if he had believed a little less he might have been a better physicist.

Likewise, all of the other guys whom you cited believed different things. Very different things. And so what? They don't have any bearing on whether the Bible is the Word of God like you asserted.

Nor do they prove whether there is a God. The collected opinions of 13 dead old men are the collected opinions of 13 dead old men, not an unquestionable truth.

Now I'm not saying that there is no "God" or "Higher Power" or "Universal Superconsciousness" or whatever. I'm simply saying that your arguments don't hold water. You will have to do better than that.

Should I cite 13 famous atheists (dead or alive) who refute the idea of a God running this world? Wouldn't they be equally valid evidence to prove that there is no God? Well why not?

By the way, I told you before that I am not an atheist. You seem to keep missing that point and trying to convert me to belief in your version of "God", which is pointless. What I do not believe is preposterous claims like that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. The Old Testament is the collected fairy tales of some Israeli goatherders who lived in the Sinai Desert 3000 or 4000 years ago, and the New Testament is the collected fairy tales and legends of Jesus Christ (and the Roman Sun God Ra who was born of virgin birth and died and returned to life three days later 200 years before Christ). And it's all about as reliable a historical document as The Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales. If you want a really infallible book of truths, pick up a book of mathematics. Two plus two equals four is about the most infallible truth you will find in this world.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**    "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very
**    short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.'
**    And God granted it."
**       ==  Voltaire (1694—1778) 
**    Decartes' famous line is, of course, "I think, therefore I am."
**    Only a rather foolish young man who was putting on airs of being an
**    intellectual could have written such high-falutin' drivel. A wiser,
**    older, man would have written, "I ache, therefore I exist." 

Date: Thursday, 30 January 2014 08:41     (answered 3 February 2014)
Subject: Re: reply to scientific figures
From: "paul r."

Call me if you want to as per my last email. 520-xxx-xxxx

Not doing these emails.

God bless

Paul R.

Hello Paul,

And as I explained in a previous email, I don't carry on private telephone debates because it's a waste of time. No one else can listen in and learn or be entertained.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Remember that every telephone call you make is a conference call.
**     The NSA is also connected and listening in.  

January 19, 2014, Sunday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Snow Geese
A flock of Snow Geese is down from Canada.

Snow Geese
Snow Geese

[More gosling photos below, here.]

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters388.html#ILR ]

Date: Thu, January 23, 2014 1:22 pm     (answered 26 January 2014)
From: "ILR"
Subject: A few points
To: [email protected],"Orange" <[email protected]>

[This is a copy of a letter to "Agent Green".]


You are struggling with Agent Orange through a combination of stupidity and ineptitude.

First, you have read very little of his site. That is because you are lazy. It took me a few days to read it all.

This is interesting because you fault agent O for sampling the data — reading books but not citing them in full. You are worse: sampling a small pool. That is fine, btw, but not robust.

Your junky grammar and writing are no big deal, but they show you read little and are fearful of reading. Not a deal breaker but it makes your critical task harder.

And your desire to see O quote sources in full and not tease out the data that is germane speaks to a flaw in your thinking: that all disagreements are resolved in a happy middle — no matter how far apart. That is "relatavism".

Opinions on measurable phenomena are right or wrong and can be evaluated.

O is making, on my read, three key points and secondary points that I may touch on.

1. AA is ineffective. This is evaluated on wide data. His point is that the cure rate is meaningless. One may like AA and not be cured by it. Pleasure in the company of AA is not the same as effective treatment. AAs own data, cited by O, show a cure rate, 5per cent, that is no better than the natural remission rate.

2. Since AA is ineffective it is harmful. Why so? Because an ineffective treatment crowds out effective treatment. It is like giving sugar water in place of antibiotics.

3. The culture of AA erodes critical thinking.

The theme you object to is Os distaste for the culture of AA. That is the rich emotional theme of his site. But it is not the main thing.

I submit that O has elaborated on the culture of AA to support an obvious (but superfluous) question. Why has an organization that fails its goal (treating alcoholism) grown so popular and "successful"?

I think his answer would be that cults spread regardless of their intended benefit. They spread because they have been designed to. And, in my view, because man is fallen and fallible.

This is a curious facet of AA. It purportedly treats the ill of alcholism but devotes most of its weight toward the incalculation of religious ideology and guru worship.

My own question? If AA is curative where is the data in support?

I submit that if AA had this data they would promulgate. But, on their own researching their is no cure rate. Their own executive sanhadrin describes this as "appalling". You may find this on Os site, if you read it.

I invite you to provide data to the contrary.

Recall: it is not a question of your liking AA but of its curative benefit.

All the stuff about bill w being a scumbag counts for nothing here.

I cc O here because I am speaking in support and he should have a say on if this gloss finds the mark. It may not. My four days of reading his site is our sole bond.

But I found you, Green, dear fellow. That is because I can read. A useful bit of kit.


Hello again, ILR,

Thanks for the letter. Ah yes, Agent Green. So she is still around? I had not looked at her web page in ages.


Readers: The previous letters from Green or about Green are here:

  1. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters90.html#Green
  2. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters181.html#Green
  3. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters274.html#Green
  4. http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters358.html#Mari_H

What you have said is pretty right on. I just want to clarify one thing:

1. AA is ineffective. This is evaluated on wide data. His point is that the cure rate is meaningless. One may like AA and not be cured by it. Pleasure in the company of AA is not the same as effective treatment. AAs own data, cited by O, show a cure rate, 5per cent, that is no better than the natural remission rate.

Just to clarify, I don't consider the cure rate meaningless. I think that you meant to type "the retention rate is meaningless", because then, in the following sentence, you correctly stated that the cure rate was only 5%, which is just the same as the recovery rate of people who quit alone, on their own. That is, the normal rate of spontaneous remission.

(And on the bright side, remember that the spontaneous recovery rate is 5% per year, so next year we get another 5%, and then another 5% the following year, and then another, and another... until about half of the alcoholics have recovered all on their own).

Another factor that makes the retention rate meaningless is the fact that many A.A. members are not even alcoholics. Some of the most sober A.A. members are people who just like the cult lifestyle. For example, see this letter: "I know that in all probability, Dale drank only once in his entire life."

Your statement about the A.A. headquarters not having any positive information about the A.A. cure rate is totally true. If they had anything good, they would be publicizing it loudly. But they don't. They have nothing, and they try to ignore the question. I am reminded of this jewel that Michael G. sent in a few years ago. He searched the official A.A. web site, and got:

No results

One fascinating fact about Agent Green that was not mentioned there is the fact that she is not even a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. She has never had to quit drinking. She is a true believer in Al-Anon, who just likes to believe that A.A. is the best cure for "alcoholism". The terrible irony is that A.A. members are quick to say, "You aren't an alcoholic. You don't know anything about alcoholism." (I've gotten that a lot, in spite of the fact that I am a fully-qualified alcoholic.) But when Agent Green speaks in praise of A.A., none of the A.A. members complain, "Hey! You aren't an alcoholic. You don't know what you are talking about." Funny how that works.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision
**     to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a
**     disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to
**     do it, it is a social error, a life-style. In this particular
**     life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are
**     dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is
**     a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the
**     ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style,
**     it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months
**     instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon
**     said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the
**     credit a whole lifetime.
**       ==  Philip K Dick

February 2, 2014, Sunday, my back yard in Forest Grove:
Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove waking up
It's dawn again, and the Mourning Doves who are sleeping in the trees in my back yard are waking up and watching me right through my bedroom window. They are funny that way — they are so timid that they flee in fright when I walk into the back yard, and yet they still sleep in my back yard and warily watch me while I sleep and wake up. I got this photograph while still in bed. I just picked up the camera and shot through the window and snapped this dove looking at me.

"Little brother is watching you."

It's actually true. I'm never quite alone. I have whole flocks of birds, and a couple of squirrels, who are always watching me.

And it isn't just a fear thing. They aren't all afraid. Some of the birds, like the Dark-Eyed Junkos, twitter in joy when they see me come out and sprinkle birdseed around.

[The story of the goslings continues here.]

BLOG NOTE: 2014.01.27:

This is the Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz. Sixty-nine years ago today, the Russian Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland and saved the remaining survivors. Over 1.5 million people died there, mostly Jews. Auschwitz is infamous for having an efficient assembly line of death: railroad tracks bring the victims into the selection area, which leads to the disrobing areas, and gas chambers disguised as showers, which were followed by downhill slides for the dead bodies going down to the crematoria with banks of ovens for burning the bodies.

The end of the line.

Curiously, the philosophical father of Alcoholics Anonymous, the founder of the Oxford Group, Dr. Frank Nathan Daniel Buchman, had nothing to say against the Nazis, and he even thanked Heaven for giving us Adolf Hitler, and praised the Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler as a wonderful lad. It was Heinrich Himmler who planned, oversaw, and commanded the program of extermination of the Jews.

(See: Partying with the Nazi Party.)

The A.A. founders Bill Wilson, Dr. Robert Smith, and Clarence Snyder got their religious training in Dr. Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult religion:

"Early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Groups and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and nowhere else."
== William G. Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, page 39.

(Bill Wilson mentioned the name of Rev. Sam Shoemaker, the number two man in the Oxford Group, because the leader Dr. Frank Buchman was so unpopular for his praise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.)

Where did the early AAs find the material for the remaining ten Steps? Where did we learn about moral inventory, amends for harm done, turning our wills and lives over to God? Where did we learn about meditation and prayer and all the rest of it? The spiritual substance of our remaining ten Steps came straight from Dr. Bob's and my own earlier association with the Oxford Groups, as they were then led in America by that Episcopal rector, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker.
== William G. Wilson, The Language of the Heart, page 298, published posthumously

In fact, Bill Wilson even praised dictatorships himself, and later bragged that Alcoholics Anonymous had "all of the advantages of the modern dictatorship".

"Then, too we have a dictatorship — and how! God constantly says to us, 'I trust you will find and do my will.' John Barleycorn, always at our elbow, says, 'If you don't conform, I'll kill you or drive you mad.' So we have all the advantages and more, of the modern dictatorship."
Bill Wilson, quoted by his secretary in Grateful To Have Been There, Nell Wing, page 22.

Therefore we [AA] have the full benefits of the murderous political dictatorships of today but none of their liabilities.
Alcoholics Anonymous Comes Of Age, William G. Wilson, pages 105—106.
The full benefits of murderous dictatorships? What benefits? Benefits for whom? And what liabilities of murderous dictatorships does Alcoholics Anonymous not have?

BLOG NOTE: 2014.01.28:

Pete Seeger passed away today. He was a national treasure.

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters388.html#Ian_R ]

On Wednesday, 22 January 2014, Orange <[email protected]> wrote:

> Okay Ian,
> You are in. Welcome.
> By the way, did you know that "Takumar" is the name that Pentax gave
> to their lenses?
> Is that a photographic allusion?
> Have a good day now.
> == Orange


Yep. I collect pentax scremount lenses. Your gosling shots look like canon?


Yes, now. Although I also collect Pentax takumar lenses and use them with adapters. I have four of the 50mm F1.4 lenses, which I love.

I think I have the largest collection of super takumar lenses outside of japan and hong kong.

Ready spares in 55mm f1.8 and 28mm f3.5. I am happy to send you both if you like. I have enjoyed your site and it would be my pleasure.

I love the 50mm f1.4 but find it a difficult lens to shoot on the cropped platform, in my case the samsung nx. You can see my pedestrian efforts on flkr under "rikkitakka".



Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 15:08:46 -0800
Subject: Re: super tak spares
From: "Orange" <[email protected]>

Hi again. thanks for the offer, but I've also already got spares of the F1.8. I just didn't mention them because they aren't as sexy as the F1.4.

I have a couple of beautiful 28mm F2.5 Vivitar lenses that were really made by Kino Precision Optical Ltd. of Japan, so I have that covered. But thanks for the offer.

I can't brag about having the largest collection outside of Japan, but I think I might have one of the largest collections in Forest Grove. I love those old manual focus lenses, and love the cheap prices too. I don't know of any other way to get such good glass so cheap. So I have a lot of them.

Have a good day now.
== Orange

*          [email protected]       *
*      AA and Recovery Cult Debunking     *
*      http://www.orange-papers.info/      *
*    http://www.orange-papers.info/forum   *
** "Now I know what it's like to be high on life.
** It isn't as good, but my driving has improved."
** == Nina, on "Just Shoot Me", 13 Jan 2006.

Date: Sat, January 25, 2014 3:34 pm     (answered 27 January 2014)
From: "Ian R."
Subject: Re: super tak spares

If your viv is the 67mm filter viv that is my day to day shooter.

You can see a very small slice of my work on flkr "rikkitakka".

The 55mm is not as sexy as the 50mm, but it is sharper. It is the older of the two lenses and a possibly more mature design.

Since my go to shooter is the samsung nx I can mount just about any manual focus lens.

These days I am shooting the 50mm f1.4 (as a portrait lens) and walking around with the big viv 28mm, the auto yashinon f2.5 28mm or the fantastic zukio 24mm f2. One day I will have a full frame and be able to shoot 50mm more regularly.

I can not say enough good about the pentacon 30mm preset. Nothing in my collection has color rendition anything like it.

I would be interested to know what you are shooting.

You are a little fast and loose on your hebrew cosmology. It is more complicated than you credit and takes a fair bit of textual analysis.

This does not excuse the excess. It just means the numbers are wrong.


Hello again, Ian,

I just looked, and the Vivitar 28mm F2.5 lens looks like the filter is smaller than 67mm. But the Kiron version has a larger filter. Actually, both are made by Kino Precision Optical Ltd of Japan. They are very similar, but the Kiron version has a larger metal body. I'll have to find the Kiron version to see how large the filter is. (I have boxes and boxes of lenses in the closet.)

I see that I have a Takumar 28mm F3.5 lens handy. I'm pretty sure that I have a couple of the 50 or 55mm F1.8 Takumar lenses in the closet somewhere. I shall have to experiment and double-check to see if the 55mm F1.8 lens is sharper than the 50mm F1.4. Good thing to check. I'm very into sharpness too.

Speaking of which, I lucked out at Goodwill last month. They had a G.Zuiko 50mm F1.4 lens in an Olympus 35mm-70mm F3.5-4.5 case, so maybe the guy who was pricing the stuff didn't look it up right. They like to search on ebay to find the going price for stuff. And there is a huge difference in the price between those two lenses. On top of that, it looked awful, dirty, and looked like the coating on the glass was messed up. I almost didn't buy it, until I noticed that it was actually an Olympus F1.4 lens. They priced it at $13. So I got it. Luck-out big time. The dirt cleaned right off and the glass is flawless. I've been doing a bunch of shooting with it, testing it, and it looks good.

Yes, I like to also collect old Olympus lenses. They are sharp. The new ones are sharp too, but that 4/3 format is a big problem. They are "fly-by-wire" — no manual control of iris or focus — and only work on 4/3 Olympus bodies, and I don't plan to ever buy another new Olympus body.

But since you mentioned that the F1.8 Takumar was sharper than the F1.4, I looked in a web page about testing Zuikos, and it said the same thing about Zuikos. So I pulled out an F.Zuiko 50mm F1.8 lens that I have handy, and I'm testing it now.

Thanks for the tip about Pentacon. I've been seeing that stuff on ebay, and avoiding it because I thought it was cheap junk. I'll have to give that stuff a second look.

Some of those old lenses are funny that way. I have an old J.C.Penney 80-200mm F2.9 PK-mount lens that produces wonderful shots of a rusty steel railroad bridge. There is just something about it that brings out the rust and age. You can just feel the smoke and oil of old locomotives. Some lenses produce very sweet pictures, and seem suited to women and children and flowers. But such a lens is wrong for a rusty old steel railroad bridge. It won't bring out the grit. The J.C.Penney lens is perfect for that. Yes, lenses really have personalities.

You asked what I'm shooting with. My main squeeze is a Canon 5D full-frame DSLR.

I was using an Olympus E-510 — almost all of the earlier photographs were shot with it — but it rattled apart and I'm going to have to take it apart and fix it. The function switch (Auto/P/A/S, etc.) is loose and the camera won't work unless I jiggle and hold the switch just right. Olympus was a big disappointment. "Olympus build quality" is a pathetic joke. Then, to add insult to injury, Olympus deliberately sabotaged the camera and made functions like the internal image stabilization and focus confirmation turn off if you dared to mount a legacy lens on the camera with an adapter. Just pressuring you to buy new Olympus lenses. That was after they advertised internal image stabilization that would work with any existing lens. It took me 6 months of posting complaints and derogatory messages all over the Internet for them to relent and turn on the image stabilization. But they still never turned on the focus confirmation. They could do it easily with a firmware update, but they won't. It's corporate policy to not do favors for their customers.

I still like the Olympus glass — the lenses are sharp — but the Olympus Board of Directors is a bunch of crooks who cheat everybody, especially their customers, and even their own stockholders and their own president. Olympus President Michael Woodford got fired for telling the truth about how Olympus had engaged in financial fraud for the previous 20 years.)

I also have over 4 dozen old point-and-shoot digital cameras in all sizes. I get them used at Goodwill. Actually, several are pretty new. I carry around the Canon SD780IS, Samsung TL105, and Polaroid t1031 cameras slung from my belt. The Polaroid was a pleasant surprise. I got it at Goodwill cheap, not expecting much, and it turned out to be far better than I expected.

Then, for saving books, I use a Fujifilm E-510 5.2 megapixels camera. Say what? Well, it's much faster and cheaper to photograph all of the pages of a book than to Xerox it. The cost is near zero. Maybe a penny or two for electricity. And the storage space is near zero. I get all kinds of books from the library that I want to add to my own library for reference — some of them are very rare old books that I cannot buy — so I photograph them and then I can reread them whenever I wish, and look up quotes, and double-check facts, and whatnot. That Fujifilm E-510 turns out to be the best tool that I've found. The autofocus just locks on book pages very well, and the resolution is just right. I don't need to be using a 10- or 12- megapixel camera to photograph each page. That just takes up more disk space. Five megapixels is perfectly readable.

I also have about 15 or 20 film cameras that I rarely use. My favorites are the Nikon N8008 bodies, which feel so good in my hands that I wish there was a solid-state insert or camera back that would convert those cameras to digital.

I have a Sigma 70-300mm autofocus lens that I use a lot, for wildlife, on the 5D. I also have a Panagor 500mm mirror lens that is good for wildlife. Panagor is another brand name for Kino Precision Optical. (I also have a couple of Vivitar 500mm mirror lenses that are nearly worthless — not sharp.) I am leaning more and more towards the telephoto lenses because I need them to get the wildlife. Some of those birds won't let you get near them. Like hummingbirds are very shy.

I've even gone so far as to get a Meade 4.5-inch reflecting astronomical telescope with a T2 adapter. It functions as a 900mm lens, I understand. I got it at Goodwill too, with photographing those Eagle parents and their chick in mind.

And I have the usual 28-80mm or 35-80mm Canon autofocus kit lenses for short- to medium-range work.

For low light, I use a variety of F1.4 lenses: Asahi Pentax Takumar, Olympus Zuiko, Sears, Nikon, all 50 or 55mm. All of them would fit on the Olympus E-510, but only about half fit on the Canon 5D because that large full-frame mirror hits the back of the lenses. I am looking at getting another camera, like a Canon 60D, with an APS-C-sized sensor and smaller mirror, so that I can use all of them. Also, the smaller sensor automatically magnifies all of the telephoto lenses by about 1.6.

I also really like the Kiron 70-210mm F4.0 or F3.8 lenses. They also made one version of the Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm lens. I have a couple of them too. One by Kino, and one by Tokina, I think.

I also like the Vivitar 200mm and 135mm prime lenses made by Komine (serial number 28xxxxxxx.) They are sharp and clear.

By the way, you probably know about the secret coding system in Vivitar serial numbers, don't you? Numbers beginning with 28 were made by Komine, 22=Kino/Kiron, 37=Tokina. (Vivitar never made a single lens themselves.) There were lots of other subcontractors, but most of them weren't as good. Although I'll bet that the Olympus-made lenses were good, but I've never seen an Olympus-made Vivitar. (Number 06 or 6x.)

Strangely, Vivitar seems to have never subcontracted out lens-making to Pentax. But Sears and J.C.Penney did.

Another favorite is the Asanuma 100-300mm F5 M42 telephoto lens. They are quite sharp. Also very big and heavy. Which is why I'm using the Panagor mirror lens more lately. There is a sample shot from that lens here (along with commentary from an Olympus fan who thinks that all non-Olympus lenses are bad):

And you can also see:


Dirty Martini Trio
The Dirty Martini Trio

(Click on image for larger version.)


Stephanie Snyderman
Stephanie Snyderman

By the way, I'm "terrance13" on DPReview. But I never get in there any more. The backbiting from the Olympus fan-boys got to be too vicious. (Personally, I'm convinced that Olympus was paying fans and shills to praise Olympus cameras and attack anyone who dared to mention a flaw or shortcoming of an Olympus camera. Since Olympus stopped making DSLR cameras, things sure quieted down in there. No more paychecks for the shills, so there are far fewer worshippers at the Temple of Mount Olympus.)

I tried to see your pictures on Flickr, but couldn't find your gallery. They wouldn't let me search for just one person. They kept insisting that I should register, which I don't care to do because they seem to be associated with Yahoo. Yahoo erased my entire web site without explanation years ago, hinting that I had offended someone. So I don't have anything to do with Yahoo or its properties now.

I'm curious about the Hebrew cosmology. What are you referring to?

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     As with all creative work, the craft must be adequate for the
**     demands of expression. I am disturbed when I find craft relegated
**     to inferior consideration; I believe that the euphoric involvement
**     with subject or self is not sufficient to justify the making and
**     display of photographic images.
**       —Ansel Adams 

[The next letter from Ian_R is here.]

BLOG NOTE: 2014.02.01:

Some misguided people in New York State have decided that they want to kill all of the Mute Swans in New York State. There are only about 2200 such swans in the whole of the state, but the would-be killers claim that the swans are doing all kinds of damage to the environment, and they want them gone. They are labeling the swans "an invasive species", and making all kinds of inaccurate claims, like that the swans take away food and territory from the Canada Geese.

But they also want to wipe out the Canada Geese because they get sucked into jet engines. Remember Capt. Sully Sullenberger's great landing of his jet airliner in the Hudson River? His plane suffered a "double bird strike" — both engines sucked in Canada Geese at the same time and were wrecked. So the nuts with the guns when on a killing spree to wipe out Canada Geese. And killed a lot of them.

Now the same nuts want to wipe out the Mute Swans, and actually have the nerve to cite the welfare of the Canada Geese as one of the reasons why they want to wipe out the swans.

Mute Swans are beautiful creatures. This web page give some heart-warming pictures of a mother Mute Swan caring for her babies:

You can sign a petition against the slaughter here:

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters388.html#Bob_O ]

Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 12:13:12 -0500 (EST)     (answered 3 February 2014)
Subject: NRL is spreading
From: Bob O.

Mister T,

Today at an aa meeting a 40ish woman shared she is visiting Long Island from Massachusetts and aa saved her life. I waited for the meeting to end and I offered her a meeting list with your address on it. She refused the list saying "This has been working for me". I am encouraged that the truth is spreading and even a new member knows of your work.

Gandhi said "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Thank you for all you do.
Long Island Bob O.

Hi again, Bob,

Thanks again for all that you do too. I've been hearing that from other people too. It seems that a lot of Steppers know about the Orange Papers, and most of them are hostile to the information contained therein. Well, since I've been writing this stuff for almost 13 years now, I guess that is time enough for the word to get out.

Now the people whom we really need to educate are the politicians who control the purse strings for funding for rehab and who also write the regulations for rehabs, and the judges who still sentence people to A.A., as well as the general populace who elect those politicians and judges.

Upwards and onwards.

Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
**     Said a clever quack to an educated physician: "How many of the passing multitude,
**     do you suppose, appreciate the value of science, or understand the impositions
**     of quackery?"
**        "Not more than one in ten," was the answer.
**        "Well," said the quack, "you may have that one, and I'll have the other nine."
**            ==  author unknown

[ Link here = http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters388.html#JH ]

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 01:02:33 +0000     (answered 3 February 2014)
Subject: Error trying to upload avatar
From: JH


Something is weird. I re-uploaded my avatar as soon as it was lost and brought it back. Strange thing is that many other people did so also. Now for some reason the people that lost them in the move that did not re-upload have the avatars back and the people that fixed it don't anymore. The system won't allow access to the temporary directory on an upload now. Here is the error-

"The specified file temporary://scale.jpeg could not be copied, because the destination directory is not properly configured. This may be caused by a problem with file or directory permissions. More information is available in the system log."

Take care,


Hello JH,

Thanks for the heads-up. I know that part of the problem is that when the system owner installed the Drupal and MySQL systems for me, he used a fresh clean installation of Drupal. That wiped out all past customizations and modules installed, like the anti-spam stuff, and apparently, also the avatars.

I had to get that back so I carefully imported my backup copy of the one Drupal subdirectory that contains all local changes, which got back the CAPTCHA and anti-spam stuff, while also carefully preserving his customizations to adapt the system to its new environment (like names of locations of files). And that had something to do with getting back some of the avatar pictures too. I think that people who had just re-uploaded their pictures got them erased in the process, while some other people got their old pictures back.

Still, I'm puzzled by the result that some subdirectory is misconfigured. I'll have to sleuth and investigate and see what is going on.

Thanks again for the tip. Have a good day now.

== Orange

*             [email protected]        *
*         AA and Recovery Cult Debunking      *
*          http://www.Orange-Papers.org/      *
** The beauty of computers is that they amplify your power immensely.
** It takes only a small slip of the finger to cause a major disaster.

February 05, 2014, Wednesday, Fernhill Wetlands:

Icy Pondscape
Icy Pondscape
That odd line across the pond is wind-blown ice. The wind has pushed all of the forming floating ice crystals towards the right, so the left-hand side of the pond is clear, and the right is freezing.

Frozen Pondscape
Frozen Pondscape
Most of the pond is frozen. You can see some clear water in the background, and Mallard Ducks in it.

Mongrel Ducks
The Mongrel Ducks and a Mallard Drake, dabbling and eating rolled oats
That Mallard has taken to hanging out with the three remaining mongrel drakes. The fourth mongrel drake seems to have disappeared. I haven't seen him in a while. The Mallard is increasingly tame. He seems to have simply taken up with the tame domestic ducks and comes and gets food with them and he has less fear of humans with each passing week.

Mongrel+Mallard Drakes
The Mallard Drake and one of the Mongrel Drakes
That Mongrel still has the irridescent head feathers of his Mallard ancestor.


[The story of the goslings continues here.]

BLOG NOTE: 2014.01.03:

The move to the new host has gone well, with only a few gotchas, but the email is still a big problem. The new host doesn't run cpanel or anything that lets me run one of the standard email programs like Squirrel. So right now all of my email is going to just one account. I normally use about 20 accounts to separate things out. Just the forum registrations alone generate a few hundred bogus registrations from spammers each day. (And without the anti-spam software installed, it got up into the thousands per day.)

So what I'm doing right now, until I get something better installed, is just downloading the email file and reading it with a text editor brute force. What that means is, there is a 2- or 3-megabyte text file that is in MIME email format that contains all email files concatenated into just one huge mess. I'm looking for the important stuff and then copy and paste it into another file.

The possibily of errors and overlooking emails are enormous. So if your email seems to be ignored for a week or more, please resend it.

I'm working on some programs (fetchmail and procmail) that will solve the problem locally. I'll just download the giant email file daily and let some smart computer programs sort everything out.

Have a good day.

== Orange

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Last updated 17 July 2014.
The most recent version of this file can be found at http://www.orange-papers.info/orange-letters388.html