Project Virgle?

This morning, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin put out a press release. Here’s how it begins:

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and LONDON, England (April 1st, 2008) – Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Virgin Group today announced the launch of Virgle Inc., a jointly owned and operated venture dedicated to the establishment of a human settlement on Mars.

“Some people are calling Virgle an ‘interplanetary Noah’s Ark,'” said Virgin Group President and Founder Sir Richard Branson, who conceived the new venture. “I’m one of them. It’s a potentially remarkable business, but more than that, it’s a glorious adventure. For me, Virgle evokes the spirit of explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo, who set sail looking for the New World. I do hope we’ll be a bit more efficient about actually finding it, though.”

The Virgle 100 Year Plan’s milestones will include Virgle Pioneer selection (2008-2010), the first manned journey to Mars (2016), a Virgle Inc. initial public offering to capitalize on the first manned journey to Mars (2016), the founding of the first permanent Martian municipality, Virgle City (2050), and the achievement of a truly self-sustaining Martian civilization with a population exceeding 100,000 (2108).

I’d be a bit nervous on a Google spacecraft. I don’t want to fly in a ship with any “I’m feeling lucky” buttons.

Privatizing the quest for the heavens reminds me of a quote from a well-known 20th century leader:

“Where self-interest is suppressed, it is replaced by a burdensome system of bureaucratic control that dries up the wellspring of initiative and creativity.”

— Pope John Paul II

You know what else requires a wellspring of initiative and creativity? Any good April Fools Day prank.

Update: Google also today announced the launch of “GMail Custom Time” — a service allowing gmail account users to send email from the past. Forget to email that report to your boss last week? No problem!

Barack Obama: Throw Out the Baby and Save the Bathwater

When Barack Obama says “change,” he’s not talking about the baby’s diaper:

Speaking about sex education at an event in Pennsylvania Saturday, Obama said, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network, that he will educate his young daughters but “if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16.”

Hey, Barry, there are lots of things I’d rather not be “punished” with for making a mistake, but that’s why they call ’em “mistakes.”

Obama’s the typical liberal politician refusing to tell people they need to take responsibility for the consequences of their mistakes and instead just calling those consequences “punishment.”

“Punishment” implies that there’s somebody outside the person who make the mistake doing some punishing. It’s a classic attempt to assign blame anywhere but the place it really belongs: with the individual who made the mistake.

So what is Obama’s remedy when somebody is “punished” by the consequences of their own mistakes? To keep it legal to punish the unborn. The punishment never seems to stop. But I’d have expected little more from somebody who places babies in the same category as STD’s.

Just for the record, “if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby” is the same reason I support congressional term limits.

Update: Obama went bowling in Pennsylvania. I hope he governs better than he bowls, because he rolled a 37. Geez, I took my kids bowling this weekend and my 7-year-old got a 65.

Barack’s pastor is of course blaming Obama’s horrible score on the racist white pins.

Fingers Crossed Today

Today, there are no doubt a lot of people like me who are eagerly awaiting somebody from the GOP, anybody, to jump up, point to Republican nominee John McCain, and yell “April fool!” I’m afraid that won’t happen though. Is it for real?

And I’m sure employees of the Clinton campaign are hoping another story is only an April Fools joke. Hillary was behind $292,000 in health insurance premiums for her employees. No wonder she’s wants “universal health care” so badly. It’d be a lot easier for her if that bill was sent to you and me instead of her.