Monday, February 28, 2011

The Illusion of Objectivity

From The Interstellar Housewife:
Ufology:  Live at Budokan
"I do have sympathy for abductees who have placed their faith in things like the alien hybridization program, because questioning hypnosis questions the result of hypnosis. Those who have spent years believing they have had certain experiences would surely have a difficult time considering those experiences may not have existed at all -- or at least occurred anything like they thought or were led to believe."
Sympathy is very much in order, as it always is when a person's belief system - any belief system - collapses.

An example.  Politics, as I once knew it (the two-party model to which politically active Americans subscribe), was a civic responsibility.  After three or four decades - yeah, you read that right - of discovering one lie after another, I reached a different conclusion: politics is theater.  Left and Right are an illusion crafted by The Have's against The Don't Have's

Now *that* is missing time.

Painful, too.  I grew up on Watergate and believed The Law, in the anachronistic Constitutional sense, was noble.  Journalism was one of the few high school courses I  enjoyed.  Woodward and Bernstein, to people who read newpapers, were damn near everybody's heroes.  This was right around the time it became difficult to hear anyone admitting they voted for Nixon.  Twice.

That I ever thought well of Bob Woodward is enough to give me diarrhea and an intractable headache.  So what if I was eleven years old.   Who's got the Lortab?

The essence of a paradigm shift - not to be confused with the new paradigm itself - is this:  It fucking hurts.  No pain, no gain.  There is no smooth transition to a new reality.  There is only a sprawling, pitch black Abyss with steep drop-offs and hard ground.  Rolling tumult.  Quaking chaos.  If you possess the courage, tenacity and masochistic willingness to crawl in the dark over shards of glass and bone, over the killing fields of rotting myth and willful delusion, you will eventually reach more hospitable terrain.  Good luck getting there without a little faith and a great deal of humility.

We Won't Get Fooled Again?  Sure, whatever you say.  Over the course of a lifetime, it happens enough that anyone with two neurons can figure out they will get fooled again.  Eventually, you come to understand you're being fooled right now.  The most any of us can hope for is we don't get fooled in perpetuity.  This, in my more lucid moments, seems like an unreasonable expectation.  But it's a hard way to go through Life.
If you have an experience that is based purely on so-called retrieved memories, the reliability of those memories is often at the mercy of the regression hypnotist and what an individual might think have happened to them, which in many cases could be based on pop culture and their own research and interest in ufology and abduction. 
When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. 

Less mentioned is this:  If you've ever been a nail, everything looks like a hammer.

The abduction paradigm models all interactions between human and other cosmological intelligences, be they extraterrestrial or intraterrestrial, in terms of power dynamics.   Victimhood. 

The nails run are still running the show.

The Interstellar Housewife continues:
"As Kevin Randle put it in his recent piece 'A Response to Budd Hopkins:
'If these people, and their clients, aren't already "programmed" to believe in an abduction, then why search out Hopkins for assistance? Wouldn't anyone versed in hypnosis be able to help them learn what happened during this supposed missing time? Aren't each of them "primed" for an abduction, just as those who go to a reincarnation specialist are "primed" for learning about a past life.'
An excellent point -- one that is pretty fucking obvious, but needed to be said. If abductions are happening as frequently as some believe, or happening at all, shouldn’t the same results come from non-biased therapists and hypnosis specialists?
It would be easier to prove the existence of highly advanced non-human, trans-human or non-corporeal intelligent lifeforms than prove the existence of non-biased therapists or hypnosis specialists.

Is there an Association of Non-Biased Therapists and Hypnosis Specialists?  I suppose I could just ask one. Hey, before plunking down my $130 for this regression - and, please be honest with me:  Are you biased or non-biased?

I'd bet everything on the answer.

There is a term for people who are non-biased: anthropomorphic robots. 

Kevin Randle does, indeed, make some very good points, and they all illustrate how people seek out experiences likely to confirm their biases.  It isn't clear whether Randle and The Interstellar Housewife appreciate that no one gets to claim an honest exemption from the dynamic.

Randle's use of the term "supposed missing time" appears to signify one thing:  He's never missed any.  Nor have I, although I'll cop to having stumbled over the tripwire of crude language.  (I didn't create ufology's errant lexicon; if I had, there would be no ufology in it.)

What I experienced was one incident involving a peculiar episode of unambiguous amnesia which did not involve traumatic brain injury, tequila, scotch, wine, kamikazes, benzodiazepines, narcotics, sedative-hypnotics, bad-ass indica or any combination thereof. 

Despite having considered myself a contactee for nearly a year prior to that experience, I had remained ambivalent about whether or not reports of missing time represented a valid phenomenon. Although I remain skeptical of missing time reports, I am absolutely, unequivocally, uncharacteristically certain amnesia does, in fact, occur during at least some close encounters.  Experience has a way of winning over doubters.

But it's late - 4:24am, to be exact - and I have a long week ahead.

Let's do this again soon, though, and I'll tell you about it.

UPDATE:  Deirdre of Interstellar Housewife was kind enough to leave a comment citing a follow-up post, Clarification on a Statement.  Thanks, Deirdre.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THE OUTSIDER: Born 2 Observe

I'm a congenital outsider. My three half-siblings - brothers seven, eight and nine years older than me - shared many bonds I was fortunately not privy to, including each having their childhood scarred by an abusive father, my mother's first husband.  They perceived my life as charmed.  Compared to theirs, maybe it was.  Everything is relative.

The only things I felt fairly confident doing were writing, drawing and, in small groups, anyway, making people laugh.  Comedy was very useful in my family.

Mrs. Collins, a bitter old hag whose objective was to destroy the scholastic potential of the eight-year olds she made miserable daily, accused me of cheating because the dolphins I drew didn't look a Rorschach test. "I said no tracing.  You traced this!" she hissed.  I was mortified.  Being utterly convinced of my own virtue, and shocked that any adult - especially a teacher - thought so little of me as to make such an unfounded and hurtful accusation, it was the first time I felt compelled to challenge a person in an absolute position of authority.  She wouldn't listen.  The other children, having some awareness of my moral character and prowess with crayons, were terrified.  I elicited testimony from a quiet, traumatized but resolute little girl who sat next to me.  It was an airtight defense.  "He didn't trace.  I saw him draw it."  Mrs. Collins took her time, but had little choice except to relent, sans apology.  I'm still surprised the old lady didn't snuff my star witness.  It was the trial of 1970.

Had it not been for dyscalculia, I would have excelled academically.  I performed very well in other subjects, and, as a result, over and over, despite my protests, I was placed in math classes which exceeded my ability.  I'd been set up to fail by an indifferent school system.  Worse, I knew it.  Learning disability?  Not in the early 70s.  Administrators and perplexed teachers said I was lazy.  They could not conceive of any reason why an otherwise intelligent, artistic, well-behaved child had begun to flounder in the shallow waters of multiplication tables.  But I could see the sharks, and they delivered.

I wasn't smart enough for the geniuses.  Asthama-on-exertion and unimpressive eye-hand coordination doomed me in athletics.  Shyness assured my failure as a ladies man.   My empathy, curiosity and general intelligence disqualified me from being a thug

How I hated school.  By thirteen or fourteen, I knew college wasn't going to happen.  Authority fucked me over, and I decided to hate Authority until the day I became plant food, one of the few commitments firmly intact today.  What came to be known as The Math Thing was my tortured undoing, and, as undoings often are, it was also my salvation; one that delivered me from - well, not Evil, exactly - but the selective blindness required by the all-too-human need to settle down with the right mob.

I've worked as a dishwasher, busboy, drugstore clerk and delivery driver, classified ad sales rep, cement truck loader, aircraft mechanic, medical management field rep, loss control transcriptionist, claims adjuster, legal support clerk, tape jockey, IT support technician, programmer, medical transcriptionist, reinsurance accountant, copy writer, typesetter, business writer, graphic artist and branding consultant.  I probably wouldn't have made it past the first two if I hadn't been (a.) born white, and (b.) developed an unnatural early fondness for polysyllabic language.

I try to stick with graphic arts, including, increasingly, photography.  

The whole problem with trying to earn a living in the creative arts in 2011 is the expectation by entrepeneurs and corporations that creative expression is intrinsically worthless except in the form of free labor.  Writing goes largely unappreciated monetarily, as content providers are all the rage.  Many of the people who appreciate photography enough to actually pay for a unique artistic perspective are, like me, taking up the art themselves.  Capital no longer translates into income or investment. "Thousands of people will see your work, for which you will be paid nothing, PLUS you get to put it on your résumé!"  That's capital, 21st Century style.

I can't eat my résumé, much less make a house payment with it.

A few days ago, a writer for a local news and entertainment weekly approached me at a live music performance by Beth Orton trying to wrangle some photographs "for credit."  I folded the piece of paper with his contact information and tucked it in my pocket, barely concealing my seething contempt for every self-inflated goon who works in "media" - you know, the ones who actually get paid for writing insipid bullshit, sometimes for mannequins who regurgitate it for teevee and film audiences.  Had he paid my door cover and paltry bar tab, there would have been quite a bargain to be had.  Credit, my ass. I do hope your iPhone pics give you a lifetime of pleasure, Andy.

Employers want it all.  Credentials.  Experience.  Ability.  Complete subservience.  A few months ago, my wife interviewed for a position at a local university seeking, among other things, a marketing professional who could work independently and rapidly assimilate.  Thank God, she didn't get the gig.  The things people are willing to do for health care. I fantasized about how amusing it would be to apply for the job myself, and, during the interview, emphasize my chameleon-like ability to rapidly assimilate.  "Rapid assimilation is my specialty.  It's what I do best.  I've done it a million times."  Like my brother "quitting" cigarettes.

If you have not yet located the point on this pencil, please forgive me for stabbing you in the eye with it.  It hurts me more than it hurts you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Brain Eaters

From the prolific Regan Lee:

Octopus Confessional: Fascism, Mind Control in Cyberspace
From this story that appeared on February 18th, 2011 about government contracts involving the creation of fake identities on-line. This isn't about sock puppets or trolls, but focused, targeted manipulations by the government with very specific intents.

Revealed: Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people | The Raw Story
In the continuing saga of data security firm HBGary, a new caveat has come to light: not only did they plot to help destroy secrets outlet WikiLeaks and discredit progressive bloggers, they also crafted detailed proposals for software that manages online "personas," allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake people as they'd like.

The revelation was among those contained in the company's emails, which were dumped onto bittorrent networks after hackers with cyber protest group "Anonymous" broke into their systems.

In another document unearthed by "Anonymous," one of HBGary's employees also mentioned gaming geolocation services to make it appear as though selected fake persons were at actual events.

"There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas," it said.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Allow me to state for the record: I am not a National Security State persona.  If you're up for an LSD interrogation, I'm game, but only if you pay for the LSD.

Were I bettin' man, I'd bet the farm on Glenn Greenwald's notorious commenter, "bernbart" - a "Democrat" who - with bot-like frequency, speed of light reflexes and spooky (no pun intended) consistency - defends each and every police state action perpetrated by the lawless U.S. government. Surveillance, murder, torture, war crimes. No atrocity too large or small! Granted, these things are also routinely supported by a broad swath of people - voters - who choose party loyalty over conscience or informed consent.   There is a lot of this kind of activity at, which, apart from Greenwald's incisive tenacity, is beyond pathetic considering that publication's shameless role as a empire fluffer.  Whatever It Takes to maintain the illusion of democracy.  I don't visit Daily KOS, but the sheer size of that particular sycophantic playground is undoubtedly irresistible to U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence operatives. 

This is what Poindexter's "Total Information Awareness" looks like.

As for UFO sites with a proliferation of disinfo types, I ain't goin' there.  Pardon me for saving the death threat material for later. 

Those who pay close attention to patterns of language, context and timing can discern the professionals from the dimwitted stooges and breadcrumb-peckin' ducks who do the elites' work for free.  "Who benefits?" is always a good starting place. It doesn't take a genius to figure who they are, nor genius required to maintain a deeply sick authoritarian culture.

By the way, is it e•Propaganda or i•Propagandae•Prop or i•PropYouProp would be my choice.  Hard to keep the brands straight.  I say, Let The People Decide!  Oh, how I love freedom and democracy.  Don't you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It's rare to find anything worthy of a good laugh in the comments of any UFO websites but I got a charge out of this.  Forgot I'd even posted there until just a day or two ago.  When I looked again, it was apparent one haughty commenter bit off more than he could chew.  You'll have to take the link to find out why I thought it was amusing.

Scientists say Earth Should Prepare for Alien Encounters

Thanks to Bob Idaho

for your spirited defense of dissent,
commitment to fine entertainment
and interesting commentary.
Give me a holler sometime, Bob.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Surprising, isn't it, that Open Minds Magazine receives so few comments?  It's one of the few sites out there - relatively speaking - that features interesting work that actually rises to the level of professionalism and lives up to its name.  Come to think of it, I just answered my own question.  Also, the name Nick Redfern doesn't appear every freakin' time I visit there. Not that I have anything against Nick, who, if he ever went outside, would see much of the same patch of sky as myself; not at night, however (I'm in a somewhat more rural setting).  It's fairly risky subscribing to print magazines, the dying media dinosaurs of our time, but this one is worth supporting.

Unfortunately,  Open Minds Magazine is sometimes confused with Open Minds Online Forums where cliques, tribalism, celebrity wankfests, obsessive self-congratulation, nationalism, militarism, douche-ism and admin smarm converge into one big booga-booga! stewBut I'm not really a forum person, so what do I know.

Comments aren't activated at SKYWARD because I don't have the time, energy or inclination to deal with 'em.  (I'm too busy leavin' 'em on everyone else's.  Not that I feel bad about it, as hardly anyone engages me anyway.)  Maybe later.  Maybe never.  Beats me.  However, I'm very easy to reach by email - and, now, on Twitter, which, given my benevolent misanthropy, is probably the stupidest move ever.  If you're compelled to respond to anything I've written here (or anywhere), feel free.  And, if not, that's perfectly fine, too, as it's hard to imagine why anyone would.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Dark Art of Mundane Propaganda

When CBS needed an authority to declare the Jerusalem UFO videos a hoax, the network turned to Benjamin Radford, Research Fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
If you were one of the first people in the world to capture some of the most amazing video footage of a UFO taken in the past decade, why would you post it anonymously on YouTube instead of either submitting it to professional analysis, or making money by selling it to CNN or MSNBC?
Radford's analysis is a stunning piece of work; one which must be read in its entirety to  appreciate the degree to which self-serving foolishness and mind-numbing illogic comprises The Scientific Mind.  It is so bloody awful, parsing it out to break it down would be redundant. 

Interesting, too, how CBS does not identify Radford as a Research Fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.  Instead, at the beginning of the story, following Radford's byline, CBS informs its curious readers: This story originally appeared on  Neither CBS nor Radford make any mention of his debunker street cred.  He describes himself only as "a veteran investigator of many UFO photos and videos."  Well, who the hell isn't.

Bear in mind that CBS and other networks possess the resources to conduct an independent investigation of the event.  That this never occurs is neither an oversight nor a reflection of the governing elite's casual disregard of UFO phenomena.

Obfuscations such as these are the very essence of propaganda.  Usually, it's slightly more polished than this, but lying by omission is the modus operandi of the billion-dollar corporations producing news & entertainment.  Brian Williams or Katie Couric or Charlie Gibson won't be telling viewers the high profile "experts" networks often use to "shape public opinion" (when enemies of the United States do this, it's called "brainwashing") also happen to be millionaires funded by billionaires who are anything but objective, dispassionate observers committed to public service, much less social justice - the latter two words having long ago been expunged from public discourse.

Corporate monoliths like CBS and its ostensible competitors exist for the singular purpose of keeping dollars flowing in one direction: up. If anyone reading this actually believes in the myth of The Fourth Estate - and, frankly, most people do believe this - it is because the ugly truth of mass media is simply too horrible to contemplate.  Indoctrination into authoritarianism begins at an early age - typically, the day The Baby comes home from the hospital - and disengaging from it is, to put it lightly, exceptionally challenging.  A life's work.  The Media doesn't work for the people it claims to represent.  People are the product, not the customer.  Barely anyone understands this, and it isn't difficult to see why.  This is not a pleasant part of awakening

I wasn't in Jerusalem in the early morning hours of January 28th, nor do I possess the technical expertise to render a judgment as to the validity of the videos.  Those are the two primary reasons why I remain open, however slightly, to the possibility the Jerusalem videos may represent a hoax.  I know all too well how predisposed human beings are to seeing only what we choose to see.   This has been a prominent theme in my contact experiences. 

Benjamin Radford's arguments for a hoax are a glaring example of how fear and prejudice are systematically exploited and rewarded by those who gain the most from keeping an easily manipulated public in a state of perpetual ignorance.

Rest assured, my friends, we haven't heard the last of this story.  Well, you haven't, anyway.  Because I'm not finished writing about it.  Hell, I'm just getting warmed up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Validation At Any Cost

The UFO hordes were thrilled at validation by The Powers That Be:
The Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF), the only event of its kind, is an annual meeting of global business leaders, international political leaders, and selected intellectuals and journalists brought together to create a dialogue with respect to the positive impact organizational and national competitiveness can have on local, regional and global economic and social development. It was founded in 2006 by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), and is held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under the patronage of HM King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

It is interesting that the 5th Annual Global Competitiveness Forum to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 23-26 has the courage to have a panel “Contact: Learning from Outer Space.” Featuring Dr. Jacques Vallee, Nick Pope, Dr. Michio Kaku, myself and an Egyptian Scientist Dr. Zaghloul El Naggar”, a member of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.
Global Competitiveness Conference?


Blood money (and, really, is there any other kind?) doesn't come any bloodier than that.

Apparently, no one of any importance was the least bit concerned by the stomach-turning truth:  Global Competitiveness is the fundamental paradigm which spawns the most horrific atrocities facing down every human being on this planet.

Exopolitics is a grotesquely corrupt sham populated by self-aggrandizing elitists who use populist rhetoric to advance their appetites for power, influence and social advantage. They condemn The Powers That Be one moment, then brag, at every opportunity, of their proximity to those same powers.  By what authority do these people claim to represent anyone?  Dolla dolla bill, yo.

They sure as hell don't represent me.  What the exopolitics crowd understands of human nature, much less politics - which is nothing more than human nature manifest in institutional form - would not fill a thimble. Their spectacular ignorance is the very thing  accounting for their utility; not to me, but most assuredly to the sponsors of the corporate wankfest that is The Global Competitive Conference: CNN, Boeing, Financial Times, Audi, and so on.

I wonder if Raytheon chipped in for the party, and, if so, did it at all matter to the participants?  That's a rhetorical question.

The purpose of this annual conference is to strengthen the very institutions most responsible for strangling the life out of this planet before our very eyes.  Those institutions will be among the first to crumble when it becomes apparent to all of humanity that justice is a universal value.

As is typical of what passes for "debate" among UFO aficionados, someone rather closely affiliated with exopolitics obliquely referred to
me a "false prophet" for saying this.  The criticism itself went unchallenged. 

For what it's worth, I'm not real hip to the whole prophesy thing, but (a.) I do believe in Universal Justice, (b.) even if it takes a lifetime or a thousand lifetimes, and (c.) I make a point of knowing - or, at least, not ignoring - what goes on in the world, which is more than I can say of an awful lot of my huffy critics. 

Allow me to beat this dead horse a little more.

Perhaps you've heard of Jeppesen? No?  It's a Boeing subsidiary in the business of, among other things, transporting human beings for the express purpose of being tortured and, in all likelihood, occasionally murdered, by our good friends abroad. The polite term - sterilized so Americans never have to feel responsible, culpable, accountable or ashamed of financing crimes against humanity - is renditionAwwwwww.  Isn't that sweet?  Rendition sounds like a close cousin of Confection, a harmless something-or-other in which a very smart, tassle-shoed financial adviser would invest. Heavily.

It isn't as if liability is a concern.  Put it all on red! 

If anyone reading this was transported to one of our "allied" nation-states for the purpose of rendition and lived to tell the tale, they could not sue Jeppesen in a court of law. Why? Because the Obama Administration makes damn sure Jeppesen is protected under a State Secrets privilege.  This is a documented fact.

There are no trustworthy leaders, official or otherwise, in a hierarchy rotten to the core. A hierarchy for which nationalism, religion, ideology and, yes, even intellect (!!!) are merely adornments. We all know right from wrong, but use collective constructs to justify our selfishness, our greed, our cruelty.

We don't need leaders. 

We don't need followers. 

We need to accept responsibility for our actions, and conduct ourselves in a fashion which does not divide the world into winners and losers.

Friends, I ain't perfect.  You may have figured that out by now.  Life is a struggle.  And it's supposed to be a struggle.  If your life is easy breezy, you aren't paying attention.

But never mind that. Together, let us clink our glasses in praise of our awesomeness, and drink pure poison that tastes like candy, if only because the tonic to cure our ills tastes like poison. It is counter-intuitive to believe anything good for us can taste so awful, but this is what a true paradigm shift tastes like. 
The ascendant paradigm is not just an ideal or aspiration.  It is Light, and seeing what it illuminates is not for the faint of heart. 

Ever the optimist, I'll end this on a positive note.  Something good has already emerged from this meeting: the rank hypocrisy of exopolitics has been laid bare for all to see.

Who will look?

The "Research" Scam

I ran across a recent link at The Anomalist - one I've since lost - in which a gaggle of pointy-heads were discussing a novel approach to the study of UFOs.  It went something like this:  "Since ufology is a stagnant pool in a very old hat, let's try something different.  Let's start studying people who report contact experiences, aka contactees or experiencers." 

It reminded me of Judy Garland suggesting she and Mickey Rooney "put on a show" to help out a destitute neighbor.

Studying experiencers is a swell idea.  For The Researcher.

The Experiencer, not so much. Those who pass The Researcher's litany of litmus tests will be filtered in a way that objectifies The Researcher's biases, overt and covert. 

"Experiencers.  Contactees.  Fruit Loops:  On your mark.  Get set. Go!   ...and get your credentials in order!"   Lawyer.  Veteran.  Doctor (of anything).  Pilot.  Mayor of Podunkus, California (or New York, or some other credible state). Cop. World Class Hero.  They will be deemed "credible" by The Researcher who, like all people, perceives his or her own "credibility" above reproach.  Good spellers have all the fun.

What's that, you say?  No credentials?  Loser.  Chump.  Sucker.  Delusional.  Mistaken.  Desperate. Just Plain Ignorant.  Attention whore.  Jesus complex.  Cultist.  Can't tell a lens flare from a 747. Wouldn't know a landing light if it bonked 'em on the head.  

Back to the grease bin, burger flipper.  You don't count.

This, of course, can only come once The Experiencer spills their guts to The Credible Researcher "Now, I know this sounds crazy, but..." 

Whereupon The Credible Researcher, having heard the anecdote, and obtained the necessary signature, breaks the news: "Go read my book.  Maybe you'll learn something.  Oh, and thanks for pics, which I'll use to show the world what an idiot you are."  Spiritual?  "The New Age section is over there, Twinkle Toes. Give us a shout when you grow up and start living in the real world - the one the rest of us live in."

This is what I have heard, seen and, to various degrees, encountered upon naively attempting to share or exchange information with "experts" of various stripes.  At my most fortunate, I got silence, which I only began to fully appreciate with the vanishing point in the rearview mirror.  Close call.  Sometimes it all works out just fine.

Let me get something clear:  I wasn't looking for validation.  Still ain't.

I'm sure there are thoughtful researchers open to possibilities which might require a quark of humility and, maybe - just maybe - the ability to admit everything they've been saying for the last twenty years - okay, maybe twenty minutes - is wrong. Are you aware of anyone who has done this lately?  Ever?  I'm aware of no such Researcher - you know, the bona fide type - with the audacity to tell the world "I had absolutely no idea what I was talking about."  Perhaps they've all been Right About Everything.  Every one of 'em. All right, All the time.  Like one of those smooth jazz FM radio stations from 1992 that didn't play jazz.

Come to think of it, this is all pure speculation.  Another theory I can't prove.  And, more importantly, I don't have to. 

Do you think Science doesn't have a billion or so faith-based adherents?  I think it does. You're probably one of them.  Most of us are.  I try very hard not to be.

One thing is for sure when it comes to Science As We Know It:  No one gets their money back.  That hatch swings one way:  toward funding.