G7 Comparison

Every so often you run across something that is refreshingly blunt. Mark Steyn has a post up that is one of those. It is a refreshing comparison of the United States relative position within the G7 group. It does some interesting compares of relative happiness within the group of nations, and postulates on why there is a difference.

Europeans did “vote for their own best interests” — i.e., cradle-to-grave welfare, 35 hour work-weeks, six weeks of paid vacation, etc — and as a result they now face a perfect storm of unsustainable entitlements, economic stagnation, and declining human capital that’s left them so demographically beholden to unassimilable levels of immigration that they’re being remorselessly Islamized with every passing day.

More importantly, it is one of those articles that allows for some clear comparisons of the possible results of the US government changing to emulate the governments and societies of other G7 nations. It is a very clearly opinionated post and in some respects is humorous given the extreme positions.

Give it a read, have a chuckle, and then think about it.

I especially liked the quote from Keith Reade. While it is an extreme position, this is not an unusual European view of the US.


NASA’s Future

I think everyone recognizes that the glamour that surrounded the space program of the 60’s and 70’s pretty much gone.  The imagination that the program triggered in people during that period has been replaced but what is “more real” from the Hollywood special effects group.   I mean come on flying an X-Wing fighter in the trenches of the Death star, easy stuff no orbital mechanics, no zero g, no high g, no worries about fuel states, or exotic materials.  Re-entry, piece of cake R2D2 is there to manage and monitor malfunctions and prevent catastrophic failures.

Unfortunately, reality is a bit different.  Rocket Science is truly rocket science, and it is tough stuff.  Just the flight operational stuff is pretty heavy physics with all of the orbital mechanics involved.  Precise thrust and burn calculations, attitudes, hitting that re-entry window and making sure that the angle is just right.  It’s dangerous and complicated but, the perception is that it has become routine.

If you start to really look at the mechanics of designing, building and maintaining a orbital delivery system (spacecraft)… WOW.  You might think aircraft are complicated, spacecraft even more so.

Take all of that background as context and start to work your way through Barack Obama’s platform position on NASA.

“As president, Obama will support the development of this vital new platform [CEV] to ensure that the United States’ reliance on foreign space capabilities is limited to the minimum possible time period.”

Ignoring for the moment that the CEV is designed for delivery of crew to lunar orbit or surface, essentially the way that I read this is that we will be reliant on foriegn space delivery capabilities. I can see it now, “New US Naval Reconnisance Satellite Destroyed During Launch – US reconnisance capabilities took another setback overnight as the Chinese launch vehicle carrying two US satellite’s was destroyed during the primary boost phase.  Chinese officials said that the vehicle’s telemetry indicated that the rocket was off course and would not make orbit, thus necessitating the abort command and self destruct sequence on the rocket.  This marks the sixth Chinese launch of US or UK assets that has met with catastrophic failure, in the last eight attempts… ”

Folks, take a really hard look at the candidate’s positions this fall before you vote for president.  You will likely not like every position that these folks espouse.  You may not like most of their positions but, there are some fundamental common sense things that you should expect a US President to have.  Find the one that you think has the most, and let’s hope that one does the least damage to this nation.

American Thinker has a more detailed discussion of this issue if you are interested.

Presidential Funnies

Political satire and editorializing through cartoons is a tradition that goes back a very long time.  We see it is alive and well in 21rst Century America as well.  While some of the work is very biased and is really providing a viewpoint that is centric to the imaging there are some that transcend the message.  It really doesn’t matter who you are, or what you political opinion is the artist manages to strike a chord that is plain funny.  Here is one of those images.


I really can’t stop chuckling every time I see this.

3am Phone Call – SNL

I had stopped watching SNL years ago. If it is this funny consistently, I may have start picking it up again.

<span style=”margin: 0pt auto; display: block; width: 425px”>  Vodpod videos no longer available.  <span style=”float: left”><a href=”http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/play.shtml?mea=229104″>from http://www.nbc.com</a></span>  <span style=”font-size: 10px; float: right”>       </span></span>

Sorry about the commercial – I can’t quite shake it

Journey to Freedom

This video is a little long but it is a powerful, understated piece. Remember this as we roll into the first Tuesday in November.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com

Market Drivers

Since I seem to be on a political theme today, let’s do one more. From The Redplanet today’s lesson in market drivers.

Prosperity Kills Cartoon

Democrats Too Far Left?

Ed Morrissey has moved over to Hot Air, and is highlighting an op-ed peice in the Wall Street Journal, written by George McGovern. Ed postulates that perhaps if the democratic party is “too far left for George McGovern, you know they’re in trouble”.

The source op-ed is at the link above. The Ed’s whole article can be found here. Give it a read and all due consideration. Hopefully this is another one of those articles that gets you thinking because, this election cycle is going to a tipping point in our history. It is up to us to set the leadership tenor for this nation.