Monday, November 30, 2009

75 billion dollars a year for a war.
19 billion dollars a year for space exploration,

We should reverse those numbers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A real Space Race

Here is something to consider doing. A group of contestants could get together at a point in near-earth space, say perhaps in Geosynchronous Orbit. Then, they race a specially-prepared vehicle to a predetermined point further out. A starting point might be the orbital boundary of the Moon, asy around 240,000 miles out. Later races could go further, of course, maybe even out to the orbit of Mars. Contestants could be nations, coalitions of nations, business groups or nonprofits, whomever wishes to enter. Satellites positioned along the may and at the destination point could determine the winner. Top speed wins the trophy, but there could be other awards as time went on.

This would generate more public excitement over space exploration in general, and give propulsion technology a real boost. With space tourism set to begin soon, this could give any poetntial near-earth guests something to watch, if only over remote monitors. The excitement would be contagious, and would help celebrate humanity's ultimate evolutionary path out into space and off of our beautiful blue cradle.

Want to race, anyone?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Guantanamo North

There is this huge Federal prison sitting there, in Illinois, mostly unoccupied. Our president wants to close the Guantanamo Prison, as he should: it is an embarrasment to us. The obvious choice to me would be to use this sprawling facility in Illinois, which is otherwise going to waste.

Of course you have the usual Republicans wanting to cause problems for the President. These are the same hypocrites who voted to extend Medicare benefits, and now are trying to kill any kind of public-option healthcare. Their mantra seems to be, anything goes for my district, otherwise, no way. But all that aside.

We should move the terrorists and conspirators, all those charged, to the Illinois facility. All the better, to keep closer tabs on them. If need be, keep them locked down 24 x 7 in a cell. At least they are closer at hand. They won’t be a threat if we keep them closely guarded. The other Supermax prison in Colorado has never had an escape.

Then, we can close Guantanamo prison, and close an unfortunate chapter in our history. War is ugly, and the American people were (rightly) out for blood and consequences back on 9/12/2001 . But today is a different day. We can ratchet things down a notch, move the remaining prisoners to Illinois, get these trials over with, and administer final justice. And then move on.

We are a much more alert nation now when it comes to terrorism in general. And the more energy self-sufficient we become, the less involved we need to become altogether in places like the Middle East. This will also reduce our risk exposure to terror plots. Lets do it. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A little ranting about a lot of things...tongue in cheek

It appears that now NASA has decided that China has a good enough space program after all, and the time is ripe for cooperation. That wasn't what I heard a couple short years ago.
Glad that President Obama made his Asian trip. There is nothing wrong with showing respect to Asian leaders, especially when they hold so many of our dollars and bonds. We work best when we work together anyways, right?
Happy Holidays to everyone. I don't care if you believe in Christmas, Kwanzaa, Santa Claus, Kermit the Frog, or whatever. I believe in wishing people Happy Holidays. So, like I said...
Somewhere in the distant past, it was inculcated into Fraternity brats that drinking potentially lethal amounts of alcohol, and forcing your undergrads to do the same, was a mark of distinction and pride. So they poisoned countless kids, and ruined many lives, introducing Alcoholism to the college curricula of the United States of America. We have been suffering ever since. Idiots.
Alternative Energy is finally beginning to take off here in the USA. Wind farms are sprouting up all over, solar is gaining ground, And a variety of electric cars are coming on-line. While Detroit is still hawking way too many large, gas guzzling trucks, at least an equal amount of fuel-efficient vehicles are being made available. Finally, something good. And, the beginning of the next bubble. Better get in on the ground floor of this, could be good.
Now China and the US are putting on the best buddies act, smiling for the cameras and all. I hope we don't do something stupid like bomb another embassy of theirs, screwing it all up again. Never underestimate the human capacity for pulling failure from the seeds of success.
Ex-Pres Carter said he could have destroyed Iran, but did not do so for fear of killing 20,000 Iranians. (did he mean 20,000 US servicemen too?) How nice of him to say so - in 2009;-)
The housing market is taking off again, helped in part by generous tax credits. That is one bubble we don't need to repeat again, thank you very much. I can hear the boys over at Goldman licking their chops and smacking their lips already. the ETF's are launching once again. Look out below - it's more brown stuff from the boys in charge, hitting the working class right in the face - as usual. Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 09, 2009

This is a more serious post, not poetry or fiction
The Fall of the Wall

It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall. So much has happened, though, that it should not be a real surprise. Our own ups and downs. The boom of the Internet and dot-coms, followed by the bust, the Millennium scare-fest, and most significantly, Nine-Eleven and the subsequent war on terror. Now a host of problems beset us. We find ourselves mired in an everlasting war half-a-world away again. Economic troubles have people losing jobs, or frightened of losing them. We are locked in polarizing partisan battles over things like healthcare and gay marriage.

Twenty years ago, events surprised and pleased us. A downtrodden people, sick of an oppressive communist system, revolted. Actually it started even earlier, in Poland, with the Solidarity movement. The Poles revolted, and the tanks did not roll. This seemed to be the beginning of the end for a Communist monolith that had appeared invincible. By the time the wall fell, even in China there were seeds of revolution. The people had spoken, and they chose economic and political freedom over oppression. It was a stunning, good feeling to see these peoples free themselves, and the seemingly mighty Soviet Union accede, and then disintegrate. To me, it seemed like a dream, after living with the spectre of a Communist giant all of my life.

And then when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, the wrong was righted in a swift and stunning way, mostly by American military prowess. It was all amazing to behold at that time. (One of the last vestiges of Soviet power, the T-72 tank, was no match for our Abrams M-1s. We made short work of them, surprising even ourselves.)

Personally, I quickly came back down to Earth. Just making a living preoccupied most of my time and thoughts. Our economic system over here had its problems, and when Bill Clinton got elected in 1992, one of the mantras was, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Meaning, of course, foreign policy triumphs did not put bread on the table back here in the U.S. Life and work ground on. Another recession. Then, the dot-com boom, and everything was fine again for awhile. And et cetera.

Whatever happens now, we must remind ourselves: We faced down an opponent for forty-plus years, and managed to prevail. So our present difficulties can surely be resolved, one way or another. No one religious or political dogma should rule forever. We should never forget nor surrender our freedoms - Freedom of religion, Freedom of assembly in protest, right to bear arms, and all the other rights and responsibilities outlined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. With all of the hassles, problems and difficulties, we are still lucky to live Here in the USA. It is difficult to remember at times (for me, at least), but true nonetheless. Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Doctor opens fire on fellow soldiers;
Twelve killed, 31 injured! Police
Tase Pregnant mother, brutally beat
Three defenseless children, maiming
Dismembered bodies found in residence,
Mild-mannered man never suspected!

Accounting irregularities scandal rocks
State shaken by film office scandal,
Political activist charged with embezzling
5.9 Million from her employer. Former
Ottumwa man is witness to Ft. Hood Carnage.

Bank robber foiled foils attempts gets away
Steals car runs over baby charged with default.
Man kills wife kills son kills daughter kills dog
Kills babysitter kills houseguest rapes two or three…
Human winnowing continues effectively. They
Will never catch on; Our mission will be a success.