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Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Monday, September 14, 2009

Alive or Dead?

Dan Moran has been pushing me on something for a while, and I wanted to give him props, 'cause I am going to take his suggestion. Basically, he wanted me to expand my basic body-mind-spirit equation to specifically include finances. I've always considered finances to be an aspect of business/mind, but have noticed something: I have all three basics under control. I'd be lying to say otherwise, and there is no use in false modesty. But the flow of money in and out has been difficult for me to control--made tons of it, kept not a lot. So I'm re-visiting the subject in my life, and specifically expanding out my base. Now note: I'm not supplanting one of the basic three. Just taking the position that now that I've mastered their basics, it is appropriate for me to invest my attentions elsewhere.

That means that my basics are on automatic...and as long as I perform the daily tasks that support them, should be fine. I am NOT neglecting my family, my career, or my body...just acknowledging that it is time to move it up another notch.

Thanks for being a pest, Dan. You're a lovely man, you really are.

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So Kanye West and Serena Williams both had Asshole Moments this weekend. Yuck. Grow up, huh?

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Only another week and the new Tennyson is done! "From Capetown with Love" is going great, and going to be the best of the three. We're breaking the pattern we established in the earlier books, just a bit. And it's working gangbusters.

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Re-Reading "Think And Grow Rich", because it was the base for my entire success philosophy, the very first book on the subject I was exposed to...probably at the age of eight. Napoleon Hill's book was written after twenty years of research into the most successful men in the country. To my knowledge, nothing like it had ever been done before, so the interview pool was totally unpolluted...nothing quite like it could ever be done again. And the book has sold a possible 100 million copies worldwide, and has been in constant publication for almost a century. The unquestioned all-time champion of self-improvement books, about all anyone can do now is devise more efficient ways of implementing what Hill wrote about...there's really nothing new.

"Think And Grow Rich" CANNOT be absorbed in a single reading. I really should have been re-reading this book every year of my life, and probably haven't read it in twenty years. Oh well...I'm going into it now, and want to chronicle my thoughts as I do.

First, Hill lists 17 basic principles, which he expanded upon in an endless series of derivative books over the remainder of his life.

Now, if I remember properly, there isn't as much about CONTROLLING wealth in this book as there is about CREATING it. However, I still want to go back to basics before I move forward.

I love this quote from the book: "Money and material things are essential for freedom of body and mind, but there are some who will feel that the greatest of all riches can be evaluated only in terms of lasting friendships, harmonious family relationships, sympathy and understanding between business associates, and introspective harmony which brings one peace of mind measurable only in spiritual values!"

That's me.

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I like the increased speculation that Bin Laden actually died in December of 2001. That was what I'd heard, and it is suspicious as hell that there has been no independent verification of his survival, not a single reporter's interview, no holding up of dated newspapers, or anything else. Now, he will only do audio speeches? My bullshit detector is tingling. Not ringing full four-alarm, but something doesn't feel right. What do you guys think?

40 comments:

Shady_Grady said...

I think OBL is still alive if only because if he were dead either side would want to use that as a propaganda coup.

Dave said...

I would still say "mindbodyspirit", explaining that mind means career and finances. Because "mindbodyspirit" is easy to say, and catches people's attention, is memorable and intuitively graspable, relatable, and teachable to newcomers. I would still put finances under the mind category. Ken Wilber and Integral theory has added another axis to the graph that I like: self, culture and nature. Self has an economic life, a physical dimension and an interrelational aspect. The culture has an economic life, a physical dimension and an interrelational aspect. The natural world has an economic life, a physical dimension and an interrelational aspect. So I'm given to say mind, body and spirit in self, culture and nature. The best argument for a fourth category on top of mindbodyspirit I can see would be for shadow. Ken Wilber and Integral theory have emphasized the importance of shadow, to the extent that I would vote for it as being the best fourth category, viz: mind, body, spirit and shadow. Your fear removal shadow practice is far superior to the Integral folks' 3-2-1 process, tho, in my estimation. I continue to wish for a formal Barnes/Wilber mashup. It's become something of a crusade for me. :) -Dave in Anaheim.

Dan Moran said...

Thanks for being a pest, Dan. You're a lovely man, you really are.

:-) Thank you. I take that in what I think is the spirit it's offered, and I'm really looking forward to what you come up with.

Dan Moran said...

BTW, over the weekend I was re-reading 20 year old notes from one of the Lifewriting seminars. It was fascinating to see what I'd gotten write and what I'd completely blown, in the intervening years.

Dan Moran said...

"gotten right" -- interesting slip, that, if it was.

Travis said...

Is UBL alive or dead? Who really cares? Much of the viewing public does, I know, but they SHOULDN'T. Al-Queda is thriving, with or without him and still a danger.

Vincent S. Moore said...

Steve, I don't if you've heard of Think And Grow Rich! The Original Version, Restored and Revised or not. I bought a copy of it from Amazon after finding the book's website and have compared it to the standard paperback version I had. There are some significant differences. One in particular is Hill going into further detail about his use of his invisible Cabinet of great minds. I found that section alone worth the price of the book. Also, in the endnotes, the editor includes Bruce Lee's note on his Definite Chief Aim. That was cool to see. And the chapter on Sex Transmutation is radically different, probably closer to what you've mentioned it was originally. I'm still going through the book. Like you, I think I need to make rereading TGR a regular annual (if not semi-annual) activity.

Marty S said...

Steve: I keep looking forward to the sequel to Zulu Heart. Is that on the near horizon.

Brother OMi said...

I have to re-read Hill's book as well.

It's crazy cause this morning I was thinking the same about Bin Laden. he has to be dead.

I think he was

a. buried in a cave somewhere cut off from everything and everyone else and his folks don't know where he is.

b. Someone close to him killed him and that person was later killed so there is no one who can claim where the body is.

Anonymous said...

My guess -- based on cryptic comments I remember hearing from a Bush administration official around 2004 -- was that bin Laden might have been alive as late as 2004 (or later), but was hiding in Iran, and that the U.S. government did not find it advantageous to try having him kidnapped from Iran or assassinated inside it.

In general, it seems pretty obvious to me that there is a lot of stuff going on in the War on Terror that is not going to be too well publicized for a long time. You can get hints of it if you listen very carefully to people's slips of the tongue, and read a lot of books. But (for instance) even though there's real reason to believe that Saudi Arabia's spy services had heavy involvement with Al Qaeda, and even though you could have read the evidence for that back in 2003, you'll wait a very, very, very, very long time before either the New York Times or the Washington Post has any reporters pushing hard on that lead. In fact, now that the trail's cold, probably you'll wait forever, unless NYC gets atom-bombed after all.


--Erich Schwarz

Anonymous said...

Here are some thoughts on creating wealth by Paul Graham. They're more oriented towards 22-year-old Python programmers than middle-aged writers, but they may still be of interest.


--Erich Schwarz

Marty S said...

I don't understand the whole rich thing. To me financial success is about setting a goal based upon what you need to be happy and achieving that goal. For most people a reasonable goal is to accumulate enough money to continue a life style, after they retire, that is similar to the one they live during their peak earning period. The hardest part of financial planning aside from actually accumulating the money is to figure out how much you will actually need. Most people don't really understand the impact of inflation. My son and daughter in-law had a goal of five million to retire. They are in their thirties and I laughed and told them it wasn't near enough. They went to a decent financial planner who told them they would need fifteen million, but I'm skeptical that will be enough by the time they reach sixty-five. My camera club's September theme is nostalgia, I posted a picture of the cover of an Ace double book, that's two books in one paperback. The cover price was 35 cents.

Anonymous said...

"I think OBL is still alive if only because if he were dead either side would want to use that as a propaganda coup."

Not necessary. On the American side, Bin Laden's death might plausibly stoke desires to quit Afghanistan and Iraq (which draws considerable support from the public's ignorant conflation of Bin Laden and Saddam) asap, i.e. the desperado's dead, the job's done, to hell with long-term geopolitics! Among Fundamentalist Muslims, Bin Laden's been transmogrified into an iconic Holy Warrior, a modern-day Saladin-cum-David living austerely and practicing Islam without compromise, while fighting the Goliath Great Satan, a holy man yet everyman. Reflecting scenes in such flicks as Spartacus and The Legend of Billie Jean, masses of ordinary Muslims see themselves in him, conflate their aspirations and grievances with his, and are inspired to join the Jihad. While mileage would surely be gained through his martyrdom, such pales compared to the force of the living folk hero.

Although I disdain conspiracy theory, I’ll entertain the idea that the USA and Al Qaeda have effectively cooperated in an uncoordinated yet tacit agreement to keep Bin Laden alive for their mutual benefit. As to whether he truly lives, who knows? Policy makers on both sides devoutly hope so.

Ethiopian_Infidel

Dan Moran said...

But (for instance) even though there's real reason to believe that Saudi Arabia's spy services had heavy involvement with Al Qaeda, and even though you could have read the evidence for that back in 2003, you'll wait a very, very, very, very long time before either the New York Times or the Washington Post has any reporters pushing hard on that lead.

Unsurprisingly, even when I agree with you I disagree with your framing.

Suppose anyone in the Bush Administration had a responsibility to come forward with those facts? Or was it just the press?

The dumbest thing I've done as an adult -- I tried to join the Marine Corps. in 2001 so that I could be there when we sent troops into Saudi Arabia. Instead the criminal squatting in the White House sent troops to Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. Fortunately I was too old -- 38 -- and they wouldn't take me. Since then the max age has been lifted a couple of times ... but by then it was obvious that the powers that be had zero interest in punishing the Saudis for their massive complicity in 9/11. In contrast, they rounded up the Saudis who were actually in the U.S. right after 9/11, and shipped them back to Saudi Arabia where they'd be safe from any inconvenient questioning.

I get the rage of the teabaggers. They think the President's betrayed them, though I think it's got a lot more to do with the color of Obama's skin than with anything he's actually done. But I get the way they feel. I feel the same way about Bush, albeit for a different set of reasons.

Dan Moran said...

And, of course, the conservative press -- Fox News, Washington Times -- hasn't covered it either. The entire traditional media, end to end, has turned a blind eye to Saudi involvement in 9/11.

Travis said...

The problem with relying on 'cryptic comments' is that I've heard enough mixs of intel and political slips to plausibly put UBL in at least three different countries. All from realtively reliable sources but not people who might necessarily truly know or say.

Of course the was a year or two between each instance so the aren't neccessarily mutually exclusive rumors either.

Common thread in all of them was that socio-political conditions (ie not pissing off ostensible allies)prevented the full wieght of the military coming down on him again.

Of course, he may have been dead all along. The circumstantial evidence for that is certainly enough to raise the question.

Steven Barnes said...

Yeah, maybe I've missed it, but not a single time have I heard ANY Right-wing talk show type even mention that the hijackers were Saudis, while simultaneously flogging the most indirect and obscure connections with Iraq. Seen this way, it looks as if S.A. was more responsible than anyone, but we literally could not punish them...and punished Iraq (Saddam was definitely a bad guy) as a warning. Not nice, but understandable Imperial behavior.

Shady_Grady said...

Not necessary. On the American side, Bin Laden's death might plausibly stoke desires to quit Afghanistan and Iraq (which draws considerable support from the public's ignorant conflation of Bin Laden and Saddam) asap, i.e. the desperado's dead, the job's done, to hell with long-term geopolitics!

Yes, that's certainly possible but I just don't see how any US president would be able to resist saying that "On MY watch the US captured (and executed) or killed the mastermind behind 9-11". I think this would be played up incessantly by whoever was in office. It would be huge. I think people that support wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, or even Somalia or Pakistan would not withdraw such support if OBL were captured/killed. If anything it might increase support for military actions.

On the other side I don't know how much support OBL truly has in the Islamic world. But again, I think his supporters would find it difficult to resist casting his death as a glorious martyrdom-expecially if he went out fighting -as opposed to being caught hiding in a ditch and hanged...

Anonymous said...

"Suppose anyone in the Bush Administration had a responsibility to come forward with those facts? Or was it just the press?"

For a Bush administration official to come forward would have been admirable, but somewhat extraordinary, given the sorts of people who tend to end up in government in both political parties.

For the decidedly-not-pro-Bush press to not come forward and push this issue, when even some random guy like me could see it glaring ... is simply pathetic. I am sorry, but there is no other word.

Yes, I would like a Bush whistleblower to have made this unignorable, but I expect the press -- which likes to natter on endlessly about being "the Fourth Estate" and about its glorious "speaking truth to power" -- just, for once, to have talked about a really inconvenient truth.

Of course, if the press had, it'd have been making real enemies: you don't get rich by alienating Saudis who like to give lots of money to their friends, and you don't get secure in your job by showing up a President when he and his party control both the White House and Congress.

The press would, however, have been doing its job, and not relying on random neoconservative biologists at Caltech to get the word out in the comments section of a self-improvement blog. Sheesh.


--Erich Schwarz

Anonymous said...

"I get the rage of the teabaggers."

The who?

I know about tea partiers who've been publically protesting Obama's policies since March. I don't know about any teabaggers, unless there's a secret army of testicle-sucking male homosexuals waving Obama-as-the-Joker signs that you'd like to tell me more about.


"They think the President's betrayed them ..."

Some very idealistic or hopeful ones may have been disillusioned rapidly once Obama was in power. But I suspect most people protesting Obama's economic policies were leery of him well before Inauguration Day.


"... though I think it's got a lot more to do with the color of Obama's skin than with anything he's actually done."

Oh yes. Because you just know that people who are protesting nine-trillion dollar additions to the federal deficit, nationalization of medicine with the inevitable consequent rationing, and cap-and-trade policies that will hamstring the entire productive economy of the United States, would all have been just deliriously happy to be getting the same economic policies from a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Ayran. Right.


--Erich Schwarz

Shady_Grady said...


My son and daughter in-law had a goal of five million to retire. They are in their thirties and I laughed and told them it wasn't near enough. They went to a decent financial planner who told them they would need fifteen million, but I'm skeptical that will be enough by the time they reach sixty-five.


WOW! That $15 million number seems a bit high, unless they are already in or close to the top percentiles in net worth. I definitely think people should aim for the stars and earn/save as much as they can. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
But I think any financial advisor has an interest in making people think they aren't doing enough.

Certainly increased medical bills would be a greater concern for me if I am fortunate enough to make it to my sixties and beyond. On the other hand though my house should be paid, my income taxes should be lower and I shouldn't have any more education or child related expenses. I should also have lower transportation costs.

I think it all depends on your assumptions about your rate of spending and how long you expect to be alive beyond retirement.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Retirementandwills/Createaplan/P142702.asp

http://www.calcxml.com/do/ret02?skn=

Shady_Grady said...

I don't know if he had a talk show or not Steve, but former US congressman Tom Tancredo has been quite insistent in pointing out the Saudi link, up to stating that if the US was attacked again (with WMD?) that Mecca should be bombed.

Dan Moran said...

I don't know about any teabaggers

http://images.google.com/images?q=teabaggers

That's them. As to your inability to see racism at work, since 1965 87 black members have been elected to the House of Representatives. Do you know how many of them were Republicans?

It may not surprise you any that I think a government that betrays its people is more contemptible than a press that does the same. (And I do agree with you that the press, including the conservative press, has completely betrayed its obligation to the truth on this one.)

Dan Moran said...

Tancredo's nutty. (Honest, to do him credit, but nutty.) Attack Saudi Arabia for its complicity in 9/11? Sure. Though a little late now. Attack them for further complicity in some theoretical terrorist attack? Again, sure. But nuke Mecca?

If some Catholic terrorists attack India, should India nuke the Vatican?

Marty S said...

Shady: I know the fifteen million sounds absurd, but here's where it comes from. If you are 35 now and want to keep spending at the same real rate until age 90 you are talking 55 years. So lets look back to 1954, 55 years ago. The median income for a white male was approximately $3100 dollars. Today it is approximately $32,500. A 10.5 to 1 ratio. So someone who spends $50,000 a year now will need to spend about $525,000 in their 90th year. If all this money is to come from savings you need a awful big savings at age 65 retirement. That's why I think my son and daughter in-law will need more than fifteen million, because they are a doctor and a dentist and spend quite a bit more than $50,00 a year.

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

If all this money is to come from savings you need a awful big savings at age 65 retirement.

I'm figuring my retirement as: some money comes from savings, some from Social Security, some from a pension, and some from having the house paid off and no longer having to pay a mortgage. I'm also figuring that I live to 90, but my husband probably doesn't, given his existing chronic conditions. So there's kind of a trade off on retirement savings; if I save as much as I'm suppose to, to keep my standard of living level, I risk not being able to take those nice vacations while my husband's sure of still being alive to enjoy them with me. But if I undersave, I run out of money and am poor in my old age. It's actually not that easy to decide on the right figure to save.

Marty S said...

Lynn: you've summed it up pretty well. For those of us who live moderately social security picks up some of the burden and most of us won't spend exactly the same into eighties as we do at a younger age. In my own personal estimation of what I needed I had a somewhat more complicated model I used then the simple one I portrayed above. Nevertheless, it still comes down to anticipating your needs in retirement and setting that as your goal for your savings.

Shady_Grady said...

Oh, yes indeed Tancredo is nuttier than a fruitcake BUT that is certainly no bar to being a politician. =)

The "bomb or nuke Mecca" meme was also put out there by Rod Dreher and Rich Lowry at NRO...

Pagan Topologist said...

The problem is, as i see it, that if we have say a hundred million people saving ten million dollars each, that comes to a quadrillion dollars. With that much capital out in the system, interest rates would be depressed to tiny levels (three basis points, total, anyone?) which would strongly encourage reckless speculation and far worse bubbles than anything we have ever seen. A governmental system avoids this problem, since it works as a pay as you go system.

Anonymous said...

"That's ['teabaggers']."

Yes, I know how to run a Google search. And I know that a lot of people on the Left think it's witty to equate dissent from Obama with scrotum-sucking. But what I was wondering is: are you actually one of those people? If so, why? Is this supposed to be the political civility that Obama's supporters wish everybody else would have?


"As to your inability to see racism at work, since 1965 87 black members have been elected to the House of Representatives."

So, you're really convinced that everybody protesting nine-trillion dollar additions to the federal deficit, nationalization of medicine with the inevitable consequent rationing, and cap-and-trade policies that will hamstring the entire productive economy of the United States, would all have been just deliriously happy to be getting the same economic policies from a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan?

--Erich Schwarz

Anonymous said...

Since I've been pretty vocally disagreeing, it seems right to note stuff I more or less agree with...

"I think a government that betrays its people is more contemptible than a press that does the same."

I agree. The main reasons I've been hesitant to just flame the U.S. government on the Saudi Arabia thing:

1. I am not sure that, if Bush had gone to war with S.A. in 2002, he would be any less vilified now than he is over Iraq. I'm also not sure that the very same arguments being used about Iraq wouldn't have ended up being used for any single hostile Muslim country he went to war with. (And don't get me started on what I think the reaction would have been to a full-court press: war with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran all at once!)

It could be that the very reasons of prudence that the Left excoriates Bush for not following in Iraq were being followed with Iran and Saudi Arabia. That may or may not have been a good thing, if true. At any rate, that thought makes me hesitant to assume the very worst.

2. While I'm privately convinced that some amazing fraction of our politicians are effectively bought by Saudi Arabian money, I'm not convinced that most of them are conscious traitors -- I think, sadly, most of them just aren't smart enough to be villains. (Consider Ted Kennedy's having gone to negotiate with the Soviet Union around 1985 behind Reagan's back. Was that treasonous? I think so. Was he consciously trying to be a traitor? No, I think he was a well-meaning Leftoid custard-head.)

But yes, I do agree that conscious betrayal of American interests by members of our government is vile. I think I mainly differ from you in my guesstimate of just how many people in government are genuinely, consciously disloyal. My guess is that most of them are just dumb narcissists, not outright Alger Hisses.

3. If there is Saudi money buying treason in our politicians, it's clearly bipartisan. Otherwise, we could have reasonably expected Democrats to say a peep sometime between 2001 and now. They haven't.

4. In the final analysis, I think that if we want stalwart politicians, we have to collectively demand them. And I think the front line of such a demand is to have an active, energetic press that doesn't just suck its thumb when faced with evidence of Saudi complicity in 9/11. The New York Times doesn't get a pass on that thumb-sucking just because the Wall Street Journal had its mouth in the pacifier. It's a bipartisan, vast failure.

5. The terrible reality is that if Saudi Arabia wasn't privately convinced to stop supporting Al Qaeda -- as I certainly hope they were -- then it'll probably get its hash settled later. Because at some future date, if the Saudis are still supporting our enemies, there'll probably be an atom-bomb detonated in lower Manhattan that was financed by Saudi money.

And at that point, God willing, we'll do the War over again and do it right. (If that does happen, though, watch to see how my first point above plays out. There'll be anti-war rallies even then, I promise.)


--Erich Schwarz

Anonymous said...

One more thing.

"The dumbest thing I've done as an adult -- I tried to join the Marine Corps. in 2001 so that I could be there when we sent troops into Saudi Arabia."

Once again, I'll have to disagree --

because I don't think that was dumb. At all.

I am sorry both that you were turned down and that, if you hadn't been, you'd have found yourself fighting what I agree was at best a secondary enemy.

Who knows how history would have played out if Bush had chosen to fight the war the way you'd hoped (and reasonably expected) he would? All I'll say is, I'd have been rooting for you if it had.


--Erich Schwarz

Marty S said...

Pagan: There is a name for a pay as you go system like social security. Its called a pyramid scheme. When a enough new suckers don't enter the scheme the whole thing collapses and that's what's happening with SS as the birth rate goes down and the baby boomers start reaching the retirement age.

Travis said...

George Friedman, founder of the highly respected Stratfor, makes an excellent argument in "America's Secret War" that invading Iraq was precisly the tool used to convince Saudi Arabia (and other Mid-East countries) to shape up.

Dan Moran said...

Erich, what's your email address? Mine's danmoran909@yahoo.com -- drop me a line. I'm happy to continue this conversation (and you've made some points I'd actually like to ask you about) ... but I don't want to carry this into other threads and I'm about to start forgetting to check this one.

Pagan Topologist said...

Marty & Erich:
A pyramid scheme only falls apart if people take more money out of it than they put in. It has been pointed out clearly here that this is not the case with Social Security.

A friend of mine who is an experienced life actuary (35 years) assures me that Social Security will survive for as long as we can forecast if the retirement age is raised to 70 over the next few years.

Marty S said...

Pagan: Even if I accept your actuary's statement, it's true only because some people will not collect any of what they were promised(those who die between sixty-five and seventy) and others will get much less than they were promised. I'm also not prepared to believe his statement. I would bet it makes a lot of assumptions, like life expectancy won't go up beyond where it currently is(I guess he doesn't have great expectations from UHC) and birth rates will stay the same,etc.

Pagan Topologist said...

Marty, that is of course how all insurance systems work. The losers pay the winners. What everyone gets is protection from old age as destitute and homeless.

Anonymous said...

"he losers pay the winners.What everyone gets is protection from old age as destitute and homeless."

If so, SS means Win-Win for everyone.

"Who knows how history would have played out if Bush had chosen to fight the war the way you'd hoped"

Invading Saudi Arabia would likely have turned the "War on Terror" into a full-blown War Against Islam. Imagine "infidel" American soldiers invading and occupying the land of the prophet, and soiling and desecrating Mecca and Medina with the blood of "innocent" Muslims once the inevitable resistance breaks out. If the entire Dar al-Islam was fired by the Soviet invasion of trifling, peripheral Afghanistan, what might its reaction be to occupying the land of the Haj? Direct war against Saudi Arabia is clearly impracticable, unless policy makers either toss prudence to the wind or grow steely backbones and stand with the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Sam Harris, both of whom have opinioned unambigiously that we are in fact at war with Islam.

Ethiopian_Infidel

BC Monkey said...

"Invading Saudi Arabia would likely have turned the "War on Terror" into a full-blown War Against Islam."

Shocker. I agree completely with Ethiopian infidel. There's much speculation that this would have been the reaction OBL had hoped for.

As for OBL, unless a body can be produced and a DNA check done, he will never be pronounced dead.

Without proof-positive of his death, announcing his death becomes very risky indeed. Consider the risks:

1: You announce to the world that OBL is dead. You're wrong and he shows up in an indisputable current video (holding up an edition of the NYT from a month ago). Your credibility is shot and your administration looks more than stupid. Utter and complete humuliation.

2: He's dead but you cannot conclusively prove it. If OBL is dead, who has that been on the videos and tapes for the last few years? As long as credible fakes are out there, the benefit of declaring him dead will be muted.

3: Easier is to never pronounce him dead, but instead to assume him dead and act accordingly. You don't put your credibility on the line and you are no longer chasing Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis.

Now, it's interesting Steve, that you're willing to entertain this idea now.

For the last several years, one of the Democrats' main lines of attack against Bush was that he was failing to catch/kill OBL. Not putting enough resources in, diverting resources to Iraq, etc.

Now that the candidate you support is in power, that argument becomes a mark against Obama is he does no better- failing to find or kill OBL.

I think that the idea you're floating will become very popular on the left within a few months, will be floated into the MSM soon thereafter, and within a year, will become the "conventional wisdom". Then any conservative who raises the issue of OBL will be sneered at and dismissed because, well, everyone knows that OBL's dead and has been for years.

(Of course, it goes without saying that any conservative who floated the idea a year or more ago -when it would have helped Republicans- would have been savaged.)

This will then become a key argument in the left's upcoming push to get the US out of Afghanistan. "We've already killed OBL- years ago- why are we still there?"

(I'm putting this comment and the link to this post in my Outlook with a reminder for a year from now. )

The idea of OBL being dead has been floating around the conservative blogosphere since around 2003. First reference I recall was 2002- see http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts-and-culture/all/13091/osama-bin-laden-is-not-dead.thtml. (Mark Steyn walking back his idea that OBL is dead, ironically enough in this column, based on the OBL video released at the time.