“Poor Hardest Hit” Headline of the Day: Global Warming Threatens to Make Africa Miserable

This morning I ran across something that we see almost every day in the news — the “poor hardest hit” headline, or “Duh!” as they’re known among followers of current events. 

The story quotes U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at least the U.N. finally got it right and hired a buy with the word “Ban” right there in his name), who says, in essence, that if we don’t curb global warming by capping industrialized nations – and faster than a Reuters writer can apply “poor hardest hit” to any situation – that Africa is in danger of being miserable. 

Does this mean that we should immediately halt any fossil fuel burning vehicle that happens to be carrying aid to Africa? I’m guessing not, but that boat or plane should certainly drop off some cash to the United Nations on the way over. 

That’s right. According to the U.N. global warmists, the capitalistic lifestyle of the United States is polluting the air, where it wafts over and heats up the nirvanic Shangri-Las of Kenya, Somalia, Darfur and many other areas of paradise, making their lives miserable. It’s getting so a continent can’t have a famine, AIDS epidemic and various plagues without some industrialized punks ruining it all from afar. 

Here’s a bit of the story: 

“But it is the poor, in Africa and developing small island states and elsewhere, who will suffer the most, even though they are the least responsible for global warming.” 

Experts say Africa is the lowest emitter of the greenhouse gases blamed for rising temperatures, but due to its poverty, under-development and geography, has the most to lose under dire predictions of wrenching change in weather patterns. 

What’s the answer? First, Madonna had better pick up the adoption rate and get them out of there. The second answer is a conundrum. The U.N. “fix” to Africa’s impending global warming misery will be to get rid of, or vastly reduce, industrialization in first-world societies. Oddly enough, these are the very reasons other areas of the world are not starving and plagued with disease. It’s an idea so good it could only come from the United Nations. 

I once heard Wayne Dyer say, “I can’t get sick enough to make one person who is ill get well.” The U.N. and other global warming alarmists disagree with you, Dr. Dyer. 

Africa needs exactly what they’re being told by U.N. environmentalist ne’er-do-wells is their greatest enemy. A capitalist environment is needed in Africa. But this can only be done after getting rid of despots, warlords, crooked leaders and U.N. pinheads who panic at the thought of parts of Africa starving and dying of AIDS in extreme heat, preferring that the same thing happen when it’s 1.8 degrees cooler and you’re sharing in the misery. 

Some of the performers in the Live8 concert, which took place in the summer of 2005, asked, “If we can spend billions of dollars to kill people, why can’t we spend billions of dollars to feed people?” The sad reality is that sometimes you have to do that first part in order to make the last part possible. You also have to first have billions of dollars, and that’s not going to happen if everybody lives in caves and desert lean-tos while basking in Mother Nature’s arms because the only thing they’re polluting the environment with are the dead bodies of the victims of famine, disease and despotism (biodegradable, thankfully). No SUV’s and no factories though. Heaven. 

I’m one of those people who believe that most of the “man made global warming” theory is a giant power and money grab, and little more, but for a moment let’s assume that the theory is fact. In that case, we should still work to bring capitalism to Africa, and not push the rest of the world into a hole so everybody can empathize. 

Sure, a capitalist Africa would be on the “enemies list” of Al Gore and U.N. Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon because they’d be “contributing to global warming,” but they’d be freer from disease, have plenty to eat, and have ready access to a neat little invention called “air conditioning.” At least most of them would — the poor would, of course, be “hardest hit.”

———-

Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be referenced at DougPowers.com

"Poor Hardest Hit" Headline of the Day: Global Warming Threatens to Make Africa Miserable

This morning I ran across something that we see almost every day in the news — the “poor hardest hit” headline, or “Duh!” as they’re known among followers of current events. 

The story quotes U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (at least the U.N. finally got it right and hired a buy with the word “Ban” right there in his name), who says, in essence, that if we don’t curb global warming by capping industrialized nations – and faster than a Reuters writer can apply “poor hardest hit” to any situation – that Africa is in danger of being miserable. 

Does this mean that we should immediately halt any fossil fuel burning vehicle that happens to be carrying aid to Africa? I’m guessing not, but that boat or plane should certainly drop off some cash to the United Nations on the way over. 

That’s right. According to the U.N. global warmists, the capitalistic lifestyle of the United States is polluting the air, where it wafts over and heats up the nirvanic Shangri-Las of Kenya, Somalia, Darfur and many other areas of paradise, making their lives miserable. It’s getting so a continent can’t have a famine, AIDS epidemic and various plagues without some industrialized punks ruining it all from afar. 

Here’s a bit of the story: 

“But it is the poor, in Africa and developing small island states and elsewhere, who will suffer the most, even though they are the least responsible for global warming.” 

Experts say Africa is the lowest emitter of the greenhouse gases blamed for rising temperatures, but due to its poverty, under-development and geography, has the most to lose under dire predictions of wrenching change in weather patterns. 

What’s the answer? First, Madonna had better pick up the adoption rate and get them out of there. The second answer is a conundrum. The U.N. “fix” to Africa’s impending global warming misery will be to get rid of, or vastly reduce, industrialization in first-world societies. Oddly enough, these are the very reasons other areas of the world are not starving and plagued with disease. It’s an idea so good it could only come from the United Nations. 

I once heard Wayne Dyer say, “I can’t get sick enough to make one person who is ill get well.” The U.N. and other global warming alarmists disagree with you, Dr. Dyer. 

Africa needs exactly what they’re being told by U.N. environmentalist ne’er-do-wells is their greatest enemy. A capitalist environment is needed in Africa. But this can only be done after getting rid of despots, warlords, crooked leaders and U.N. pinheads who panic at the thought of parts of Africa starving and dying of AIDS in extreme heat, preferring that the same thing happen when it’s 1.8 degrees cooler and you’re sharing in the misery. 

Some of the performers in the Live8 concert, which took place in the summer of 2005, asked, “If we can spend billions of dollars to kill people, why can’t we spend billions of dollars to feed people?” The sad reality is that sometimes you have to do that first part in order to make the last part possible. You also have to first have billions of dollars, and that’s not going to happen if everybody lives in caves and desert lean-tos while basking in Mother Nature’s arms because the only thing they’re polluting the environment with are the dead bodies of the victims of famine, disease and despotism (biodegradable, thankfully). No SUV’s and no factories though. Heaven. 

I’m one of those people who believe that most of the “man made global warming” theory is a giant power and money grab, and little more, but for a moment let’s assume that the theory is fact. In that case, we should still work to bring capitalism to Africa, and not push the rest of the world into a hole so everybody can empathize. 

Sure, a capitalist Africa would be on the “enemies list” of Al Gore and U.N. Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon because they’d be “contributing to global warming,” but they’d be freer from disease, have plenty to eat, and have ready access to a neat little invention called “air conditioning.” At least most of them would — the poor would, of course, be “hardest hit.”

———-

Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be referenced at DougPowers.com

Light Bulb Ban for California: Because You Can’t Smoke Cigarettes If You Can’t See ‘Em

The world is going mad about the speculative-at-best “science” of man-made global warming — simply nuts. And nowhere is this happening more than in California, which is weaving itself into a cuckoo’s nest to such a degree that the only way to save The Golden State now would be to crop-dust it with Thorazine.

Recent “news” stories inform us that we might as well kill ourselves now, as our future holds nothing but misery, so one state is taking drastic steps.

California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine has introduced the “How many legislators does it take to change a light bulb act.” The legislation would ban incandescent light bulbs by 2012. They say it’s to save the planet, but I think it’s only so any smokers slipping through the cracks of all the smoking bans can’t see their cigarettes.

California is also leading the nation in the ranks of states who are trying to ban trans fats and SUV’s so people don’t hurt anybody by wrecking the planet and suffering heart attacks while driving to the abortion clinic.

“How many legislators does it take to change a light bulb?” isn’t to be confused with “How many legislators does it take to screw in a light bulb?” The answer to the latter being, “Depends on how many legislators the light bulb can hold.”

It’s somewhat comical that California lawmakers are concentrating on hamburgers, cigarettes and light bulbs when the real environmental culprits are right there on their television sets and in the movie theaters.

According to a UCLA study, Hollywood pollutes, big time – second only to the petroleum industry. Producing just a couple more movies about the environmental evils of big industry is sure to push Hollywood into the top spot.

As one example, consider the makers of the global-warming film “The Day After Tomorrow,” who had the foresight to help ensure there would be an opportunity for a sequel, because it’s reported that they spewed out 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions during production. The UCLA report found that the film and television industry emits 140,000 tons a year of ozone and diesel pollutant emissions from trucks, generators, special effects earthquakes and fires, demolition of sets with dynamite and other sources.

Leave it to Hollywood to spend a fortune and destroy the environment in order to generate fake earthquakes and fires when, right behind them, are actual earthquakes and fires.

If the government was really concerned about the environment, they’d address the apparent environmental rapists in Hollywood — but, like most things, this isn’t about what it would appear to be on the surface. It’s not about light bulbs — it’s about control. That and perhaps big campaign donations from the energy-saving fluorescent light manufacturers lobby.

I have no problem with energy-saving measures, but liberals are now throwing around the word “ban” like baseballs during spring training. The word “ban” is really in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? This is why it’s so dangerous.

It’s a case study in irony. If you say you want to ban trans fats, SUVs, smoking, spanking, and light bulbs; the left lionizes you as a hero. If you say you want to ban books on homosexuality from your kid’s elementary school library, you’re a Nazi scumbag. Most “bans” are best left to totalitarian regimes, which apparently the left is hell-bent on creating in the United States.

The first “pollutant” we need to ban are buffoons in government, but that won’t happen anytime soon, as the “what to ban” docket is quite full for the foreseeable future.

———-

Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com

Light Bulb Ban for California: Because You Can't Smoke Cigarettes If You Can't See 'Em

The world is going mad about the speculative-at-best “science” of man-made global warming — simply nuts. And nowhere is this happening more than in California, which is weaving itself into a cuckoo’s nest to such a degree that the only way to save The Golden State now would be to crop-dust it with Thorazine.

Recent “news” stories inform us that we might as well kill ourselves now, as our future holds nothing but misery, so one state is taking drastic steps.

California Assemblyman Lloyd Levine has introduced the “How many legislators does it take to change a light bulb act.” The legislation would ban incandescent light bulbs by 2012. They say it’s to save the planet, but I think it’s only so any smokers slipping through the cracks of all the smoking bans can’t see their cigarettes.

California is also leading the nation in the ranks of states who are trying to ban trans fats and SUV’s so people don’t hurt anybody by wrecking the planet and suffering heart attacks while driving to the abortion clinic.

“How many legislators does it take to change a light bulb?” isn’t to be confused with “How many legislators does it take to screw in a light bulb?” The answer to the latter being, “Depends on how many legislators the light bulb can hold.”

It’s somewhat comical that California lawmakers are concentrating on hamburgers, cigarettes and light bulbs when the real environmental culprits are right there on their television sets and in the movie theaters.

According to a UCLA study, Hollywood pollutes, big time – second only to the petroleum industry. Producing just a couple more movies about the environmental evils of big industry is sure to push Hollywood into the top spot.

As one example, consider the makers of the global-warming film “The Day After Tomorrow,” who had the foresight to help ensure there would be an opportunity for a sequel, because it’s reported that they spewed out 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions during production. The UCLA report found that the film and television industry emits 140,000 tons a year of ozone and diesel pollutant emissions from trucks, generators, special effects earthquakes and fires, demolition of sets with dynamite and other sources.

Leave it to Hollywood to spend a fortune and destroy the environment in order to generate fake earthquakes and fires when, right behind them, are actual earthquakes and fires.

If the government was really concerned about the environment, they’d address the apparent environmental rapists in Hollywood — but, like most things, this isn’t about what it would appear to be on the surface. It’s not about light bulbs — it’s about control. That and perhaps big campaign donations from the energy-saving fluorescent light manufacturers lobby.

I have no problem with energy-saving measures, but liberals are now throwing around the word “ban” like baseballs during spring training. The word “ban” is really in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? This is why it’s so dangerous.

It’s a case study in irony. If you say you want to ban trans fats, SUVs, smoking, spanking, and light bulbs; the left lionizes you as a hero. If you say you want to ban books on homosexuality from your kid’s elementary school library, you’re a Nazi scumbag. Most “bans” are best left to totalitarian regimes, which apparently the left is hell-bent on creating in the United States.

The first “pollutant” we need to ban are buffoons in government, but that won’t happen anytime soon, as the “what to ban” docket is quite full for the foreseeable future.

———-

Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com

Global Warming, and Alec Baldwin, Take The Weekend Off

Just three weeks ago, the cartoon bluebirds that flutter around Alec Baldwin’s head were working overtime, as the actor was freaking out because it was 72 degrees in Central Park in early January.

Alec was going bonkers in thinking it was a clear sign of end of the world. You’d have thought it was the second coming of Barry Goldwater. “No December snowfall in New York for the first time since 1877,” was a sign of man-made climate change, according to Baldwin. He conveniently didn’t bother to explore why there was no snowfall in December of 1877, because it certainly wasn’t due to our SUV’s, Halliburton and Bush. (or… was it?)

Today, New York City has set a record for the lowest temperature ever recorded. I haven’t heard from Alec yet questioning himself on whether or not he might have over-reacted three weeks ago, but I’ll keep an eye on the Huffington Post, just in case.

“Alec to mother ship, Alec to mother ship. Can’t comprehend temperature changes. Please advise. Over.”

Something To Remember About “Scientists”

Last night, I was reading William F. Buckley’s autobiography, “Miles Gone By,” and ran across a quote that was a good reminder of why we should beware assigning an automatic label of credibility to anyone billed as a “scientist.”

The words had nothing to do with global warming, as they were written in the 50’s, but they are something we should consider every time we hear Al Gore talk about how many scientists are on board with him.

Buckley quoted a columnist, whose name escapes me at the moment, from an issue of National Review decades ago: “Scientists are people who first build, and then buy, the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Words to remember.

Something To Remember About "Scientists"

Last night, I was reading William F. Buckley’s autobiography, “Miles Gone By,” and ran across a quote that was a good reminder of why we should beware assigning an automatic label of credibility to anyone billed as a “scientist.”

The words had nothing to do with global warming, as they were written in the 50’s, but they are something we should consider every time we hear Al Gore talk about how many scientists are on board with him.

Buckley quoted a columnist, whose name escapes me at the moment, from an issue of National Review decades ago: “Scientists are people who first build, and then buy, the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Words to remember.

Google To Help Build Giant Telescope, Make Contact With Alien Search Engines

This is cool. Soon everybody will be able to search for supernovas that look like Eva Longoria sunbathing and set up auto-alerts for whenever objects in the Oort cloud are arranged so as to accidentally spell out a word that sort of looks like “Brangelina.”

Google is helping build a telescope.

The Internet search company has struck a partnership with scientists building a huge sky-scanning telescope, with hopes of helping the public access digital footage of asteroids, supernovas and distant galaxies…

…The 8.4-meter LSST is expected to begin surveying the sky in 2013, from a mountaintop in Chile. Its goal is to continuously scan space, taking a series of 15-second exposures that allow it to cover the sky every three nights.

Why are they doing this? Demand!

Just take a look at the top 10 Google News searches of 2006:

  1. paris hilton
  2. orlando bloom
  3. cancer
  4. podcasting
  5. hurricane katrina
  6. bankruptcy
  7. martina hingis
  8. autism
  9. 2006 nfl draft
10. celebrity big brother 2006

So you see, everybody is into peering into the heavens, and Google plans to deliver. By the way, it would appear that if Orlando Bloom and Paris Hilton are ever podcasting about their cancer experiences while filing for bankruptcy during a hurricane, Google headquarters will explode.

But here’s the fun part from the Googlescope story:

…Google’s involvement raises questions about whether it sees the resulting space images as a cash cow, said Stephen Maran, spokesman for the American Astronomical Society. He said, “Maybe they’ll be selling ads next to the Orion Nebula or something.”

Won’t happen. Why? Because by the time the Google telescope is complete, the Orion will already be called the “Trump Nebula.”

Artists conception, above, of a man using the cutting edge technology of the Google telescope to download interactive extraterrestrial pornography

———-

Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com

At Large with a Medium: A Visit With Psychic John Edward

The following occurred in August of this past summer, and due to other projects, I’ve just now gotten around to writing about it. Draw your own conclusions, and have a great 2007!

*********

“How does this guy sleep at night?” Glenn Beck shot out a rhetorical question concerning psychic John Edward, as my wife and I sat in his radio studio. We were on the air discussing our private “reading” by the famous medium who appears regularly on a program entitled “Cross Country” on Women’s Entertainment Network, the network from which, as luck would have it, I happened to have won a free reading in a contest on the WE website.

While in New York we dropped in to visit Beck and his staff, as I do some writing for his magazine, Fusion. Glenn was interested in the story of our reading, so he asked if we’d like to discuss it on the air.

Winning the contest, which included a trip to New York, the “reading,” dinners, and other goodies, was a stroke of luck, as I’ve always wanted to be “read” but have never been willing to pay for it.

I’ve always been a fan of magic and magicians. I’ve learned a few amateur magic tricks myself along the way, and have gotten a little better over the years at being able to tell how certain tricks are done. This even applies to psychic mediums.

I’ve read plenty about how Houdini would visit mediums and later expose how they did their “tricks,” but much of this was physical in nature, i.e. raising tables, “mysterious” sounds, etc. That’s the easy part. The hard part is appearing to be “dead on” with a psychic read while simply using a logical albeit quick process of elimination along with a general knowledge of human nature and the law of averages. Those of us who think the field of psychic mediums is an entirely phony endeavor call this a “cold reading.”

First, the skeptics. I’ve read a lot of material written by magician James Randi and many others about John Edward in particular (here’s a piece by Randi debunking Edward’s appearance on Beck’s TV show).

Other common debunking theories are things like, “He must have the studio bugged somehow,” “you can learn almost anything about anybody on the Internet,” “there’s a questionnaire you fill out and that’s how they get a lot of that stuff” are some of the common claims. “Cold reading” is the other technique often described.

Before we left the house for the airport, I asked my wife what we’d need to hear to convince us that Edwards wasn’t just going through a cold reading. “What would convince us that he wasn’t just your average hokey psychic?” We agreed that a hand print that hangs on a French door leading into the living room would be a telling sign of something beyond a cold reading. The print belongs to our daughter Molly, who died of a rare disease in 1996 just before her 4th birthday.

The hand print falls to the floor once in a while, and we often say something along the line of “Molly, cut that out!” It’s become kind of a joke in the house, since there are other things on the door, and they never fall. Most importantly, nobody else, outside my wife and me, knows about this and I’ve never written about it.

We also talked about what would be less than compelling “psychic” information. Things you can discover on Google, for instance. “You’re a writer,” for example, would have been a dead giveaway.

We arrived at the office where Edwards does his private readings. It was a little out of the way small building in a semi-rural area near Huntington Station on Long Island. The interior reminded me of a small town dentists office without the 1992 Field and Stream magazine and an issue of “People” with Leif Garrett on the cover on a coffee table.

Almost as soon as we entered, a woman emerged and I simply gave her my name and she said “John will be with you in a few minutes.”

We sat down and waited.

The skeptic in me was a little disappointed. Strike one. We weren’t asked to fill out any forms, or asked any questions about anything whatsoever. We weren’t frisked to make sure we had any recording equipment, which is something I’ve read in skeptic books and websites. “On his TV show, they edit it down so there are more ‘hits,’ and they don’t want anybody recording it and later using it to prove how many times he missed” is another common claim. Strike two.

The door opened and a woman asked us into another area of the building. The room we entered looked like an un-lived in living room. White leather couches and chairs, a couple of desks, some pillows and a lamp. This was another welcome surprise. There was none of the stereotypical psychic pomp and circumstance. Nobody ever came through the room waving a canister of incense smoke around, there were no beads, no candles, no creepy after-life sounding music emanating from a stereo — nothing.

After a short time, a blue-jean, gray t-shirt clad Edward walked into the room. We introduced ourselves and sat down directly across from him. Just the three of us were in the room.

The reading began.

The first thing Edward said, after encouraging a healthy skepticism and for us to not try to lead him where we might want him to go, was, “I’m getting a dominant energy coming through… did you lose a son?”

In our best poker faces, one of us, I think it was me, replied, “No.” I was doing my best to give up no more information than was absolutely necessary. I was determined to approach the reading like a court deposition.

Edward persisted. “A daughter?”

The skeptic in me thought this was fishing, but still, I’m 40, and my wife looks younger than her 37 years, so to assume we’d lost a child would have been a big leap to take on the first try.

Edward said he interprets dominant energies as male, but that can be wrong if the female is a dominant personality. The skeptic in me was still wavering. Sure, our daughter had a very powerful and strong personality, but I was determined to remain completely neutral — the Sweden of psychic read-ees. We sat and waited for more.

This was followed by a few words about my grandmother, “a ‘D’ connection… a ‘D’ name” Edward said. My grandmother’s name was Donna. Edward said our daughter was bringing my grandmother through with her. At this point I was more than a little worried that Edwards would follow up with something along the line of, “your grandmother’s telling me to tell you to knock off that thing you do in the shower,” but thankfully that didn’t happen. Whew!

The “‘insert letter here’ connection” thing Edward does to bring forth a first name has always been less than compelling to me, as I could pick almost any initial and you might know somebody whose name begins with that, but we rolled with it.

Edward then looked at my wife and said, “Has your father passed?”

“No” my wife replied.

“Then who’s ‘Joe’?” Edward wanted to know.

“My brother’s name is Joe, and my father’s name is Joe, and his father’s name is Joe” she explained, “And my brother died.”

Edward continued speaking to my wife. “You and your brother were not close.” This time it was a statement, not a question, and my wife confirmed that indeed was the case.

“He’s telling me that you have another brother who you like more than him.” This was so accurate that it was as if my wife’s brother had jumped into Edward’s body and taken his mouth hostage.

Everybody knows a “Joe,” but in this context, there seemed to be a little more to it than a simple name association game. If he’d have just blurted out “do you know a ‘Joe’?” I’d have probably left to make it back to the city in time for happy hour.

We moved into many other areas, some of what I would consider big “hits,” and a few things that didn’t seem to make sense. At some point in the future, maybe I’ll go into them in greater detail.

All in all, Edward’s percentage was pretty good and resembled what happens on his television programs, which leads me to believe that those who have faith in Edward’s psychic ability aren’t drawn to that conclusion due to an overworked tape editor.

The close of the reading was the goose-bump inducer for us. The last thing Edward said was, “your daughter is taking credit for the picture or portrait that falls off the wall.”

So needless to say I spent the ensuing days searching for the electronic bug in my house.

Is it common for pictures of deceased loved ones to fall and for it to be blamed on said loved one? I wouldn’t doubt it. Would the “psychic” know this is a common occurrance? Absolutely. Do they say it in every reading? Not in the ones I’ve seen. Take it for what it’s worth, but it did add some spice to the reading.

All I can say about the reading of this skeptic and his wife is this: if John Edward is a total phony, he’s the best I’ve seen. He had just enough “hits” of things you couldn’t discover via Internet search or background check, and just enough “misses” to lead us to believe that a fraud who had done homework on us wouldn’t have gotten those things wrong. Or, is that part of the psychic’s intentional game?

Skeptics simply say this is playing the odds, and they could be right. My kids have a little electronic game called “20 Questions” where you pick an object, living or inanimate, and the game asks you 20 questions, never making it appear obvious it’s heading in the direction of your object of choice. Then it guesses. The game is almost always correct, and the first reaction of users is often “how’d it do that?” Some psychics are like the 20 Questions game.

That said, I’d defy any skeptic/magician who says he can duplicate what can be done by any good cold-reader to be at least as convincing as Edward. If any would like to try, I’m game. Edward had a shot to convince me, and now it’s only fair to give a skeptic a chance.

Many of us hit our knees every night and ask God, Jesus, or the entity of our choosing, for favors, healing, help, and plenty of other things, but if somebody else says they can “talk to the dead,” we call them kooks and/or frauds. I never wanted to be that type of person, since the hypocrisy would be overwhelming.

I never wanted to approach the study of psychic mediums with the assumption that “talking to the dead” is impossible, since investigating a topic based on a preconceived notion isn’t bound to harvest sound and unbiased results, and that’s what I think has happened whenever I listen to the “conclusions” of many skeptics.

As for John Edward, what I witnessed from this particular medium was in contradiction to reports I’ve read from many skeptics of “what happens” before, during and after a reading. I’m not over my skepticism of psychics, but as a result of our reading with John Edward, I’ve also developed a healthier skepticism of the skeptics — which is, all the way around, as it should be.

———-

Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com

To The Moon, Alice… Maybe

On Monday, NASA announced plans to once again put human beings on the moon, and to build a base on or near a lunar pole. The base will be the hub for future missions to Mars, or so it is planned.

This announcement will bring on the usual criticisms, chiefly ”how can we spend billions and billions of dollars on this with all the problems here on earth?”

I’ve often argued that, if done properly, the exploration of space is a social program.

Space travel is a huge undertaking, one that excites, motivates and is remembered by us for the rest of our lives, not to mention handed down to succeeding generations. What other social program does that for people? How many kids will grow up to reminisce about gathering around the living room, giddy with nervous anticipation and jaw-dropping marvel, to watch the arrival of Uncle Billy’s Social Security check?

The word “check” is the operative word here. Other social programs are an easier sell, and if there’s one thing a politician likes, it’s ease. Though fueled by money, the ultimate goal of the space program is not a fiscal one (though maybe it should be — we’ll get to that in a minute). The space program is only limited by imagination, and its goal boundless. A terrestrial social program’s limit and goal is the bottom of your pocket. One is much easier and more convenient to reach than the other. The nearest star system is about 250 trillion miles away. Your wallet is on the dresser. Which is the government more likely to focus on first?

Setbacks

With the government in charge, NASA has gone from awe-inspiring to foundering, almost exactly in line with the onslaught of political correctness in our society. Starting with the Mercury program in the ’50s and early ’60s, through the Apollo program, which ended in the early ’70s, there was the feeling of real progress with the space program, and all with no in-flight deaths.

Men have gone to the moon several times, and now, 36 years after the first lunar landing, ships can hardly get off the ground without incident. Why? Because there’s nothing more counterproductive than a politically correct technocrat.

Space travel is an incredibly dangerous business, and in today’s Nerf-wrapped, sharp-edges-rounded-off world, the government has little tolerance for anything that could cause an owie. Another problem is that the government, defense weapons notwithstanding, is traditionally at least 20 years behind the technological times.

After President Kennedy’s challenge to land a man on the moon and safely return him to the earth, it took eight years to reach this goal, and with primitive technology by today’s standards. Now, we’re shooting for 15 years out, and I’ll bet that won’t even happen.

In a dangerous business such as space travel, there is little room for political correctness wrapped in red tape, and we’re seeing proof of that with some recent NASA problems and disasters. The truth is, NASA has become skittish, and, as any test pilot will tell you, this means that it’s time to step aside and let somebody else take the wheel.

Privatize?

I do think it’s time to further privatize space exploration if any of our goals are to be met, and on time. The government, and quasi government, has had their shot, so to speak. It’s time to give capitalism a chance.

Here’s another incentive for the uber-wealthy with ambitions of heavenly conquest: You get there first, you own it. It’ll be like a galactic Oklahoma land run. Keeping federal peskiness to a minimum will be key. If the U.S. government of today ran the push west early in American history, Lewis and Clark would still be sitting just outside St. Louis trying to figure out how to keep the wagon wheels from falling off.

Sure, turning loose the private sector on the heavens wouldn’t be without problems. For example, it could be a little awkward walking on the beach with your date, looking up, and saying, “There’s a beautiful Trump out this evening,” but it would be a small price to pay to finally get the space program headed in the right direction.

It’s good to see some planning to go back to the moon, but if the government is in charge of it all, there will be some serious setbacks in this endeavor; it will take three times longer than it should, and cost four times as much.

“Business as usual” won’t cut it with a project of this scope, and if we do insist on business as usual, that will be the day that I’ll agree that, indeed, the money would be better spent here on earth.

———-

Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed at DougPowers.com