Death of America, Captain

When I was into reading comics as a younger man, Captain America was one of my favorites. It seemed to me that he was the personification of what it meant to be an American. He always did the right thing, never killed unless he was forced too. He upheld good old fashioned American values that others often thought were naive or not in keeping with the majority opinion about how a good citizen of the planet acts. In many respects he was a product of the WWII generation. The patriotism and the honest hero fighting the good fight against the evil of the world.

Times have changed. The country is being reshaped into the first empire of the new century and the old time values of long ago are now only lip speak for a wayward administration bent on taking away basic civil rights, denying basic scientific evidence and turning the world against what it means to be American.

Perhaps now is a good time to say goodbye to the old fashioned Captain America. Cap, you fought the good fight for sixty years, but today, you are simply out of step with reality. If I were writing that comic, you would be reborn of modern science and become an anti-hero. Fighting for the same traditional values against the policies of your own government. But I don’t write political stuff. So long old friend, you will be missed.

Captain America

Army Captain’s Legacy May Include Solution to Iraq Conflict

This story on ABC is worth a read and if you have a PDF viewer read the slide show.  A simple stick figure solution to the current mess on the ground.  How do you tell a bad insurgent from a innocent Iraqi citizen?  This kind of straight from the hip, honest solution is exactly what the troops on the ground do best.  I hope the Bush Administration reads this and takes it to heart.

Politics and Science

It’s very hard to get politics out of a discussion on scientific data. Especially when that data may lead to vast loss of wealth and or life in the future. It will always be in the interests of Big Business to keep things the way they are. Sell petroleum and make money now. Our entire infrastructure in the modern world revolves around oil and to change that infrastructure would mean that oil companies would loose money and society would have to suffer a lower standard of living while the economy struggled to convert to say, “solar power” or “modern miracle power source of your choice”. People dislike change. Keeping things normalized is in everyone’s best interest, except for the planet. If humans are indeed “Crapping in our Crib” as some have suggested, is that such a smart thing to do?

I study Astronomy and I can tell you that there is no other place for humanity to live anywhere near as nice as Earth – at least within our technological abilities. It is suicide as a species to destroy the Earth. You need only look at Venus to see what nature can do to a otherwise perfectly good planet. This does not mean that I think we are generating another Venus on Earth, just that by looking at our neighbors we can see how rare and fragile our ecology actually is. I believe the Earth does go through cycles of warm and cold that are related to our orbit and geological time scales. Up until the time of the Industrial Revolution, Man has had little effect on his environment. Oh sure, we’ve hunted some species to extinction, and that alone has probably affected the biosphere in some small way. However, it is illogical to assume that humanity is not now changing his environment to a much greater extent with current technology.

Before Global Warming reached the popular press, it was Global Nuclear War that the scientists were trying to warn us about. Again, we are capable of affecting our planet’s future in more ways than one. Not to mention the cosmic fate that took out the dinosaurs.

I don’t believe it’s a former “politician’s” place to warn society about future climatic change. I have not seen Gore’s movie, but I did see a trailer for it on iTunes. It looks like scare tactics are used heavily. Again, people don’t like to be told they need to change their ways. Trying to scare people into recycling or selling their SUV’s is not a good tactic in my opinion.

If Gore wanted to raise public awareness of Global Warming, he should have enlisted real scientists who are as much as possible, not influenced by government entities or politics. At the very least, he should have done it in a bipartisan manner by getting a Key Republican to join his efforts. That way the Right and the Left could not use politics as an excuse. But since Gore is a politician, he does what he knows. Pity.

I think the only good Gore is doing, its getting people’s attention focused on the problem. I don’t agree with his methods. The only defense against those who would use science to their own political will, is a skeptical mind. I like to think I’m more skeptical than most people and I don’t like what I see in Gore’s ways and I really don’t like what I see in the current administration’s ways either. Our rights are being taken away and science in general is being abused and ignored on many fronts. The demons of our distant past are returning and they haunt us still.

As for whether I believe in Global Warming, I can only believe the scientists whose work I am familiar with – Astronomers. And they are saying we should be looking for a new home.

Pearl Harbor Day

In case you don’t know your American History, today is 7 December 2005. For the post war set – Pearl Harbor was the political event that got America into WWII. I’ve been to the memorial in Hawaii and I have stared at the oil leaking out of the U.S.S. Arizona. It’s the only WWII battlefield I have ever been to and I will never forget it.

It was very interesting listening to my elders on the Ham radio net this morning. One remembered being 14 years old on that Sunday and the announcement interupted the .5 cent movie he was watching. They said the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and that all servicemen were to report to their units. This kid looked at his buddy and said, “Where is Pearl Harbor?” I hope he was not the last generation to ask that.

Diversion Tactics

I’m a parent of pre-school age children. I know all about diversions. I can redirect the attentions of my children at the drop of a hat to discourage deviant behavior. It beats yelling at them and it goes unnoticed by them.

When the current administration railroaded the country into invading Iraq, I saw it for what it was – a diversion. Why else would we put all our military efforts into removing a dictator that we had been perfectly willing to contain for over ten years, while the people responsible for planning 911, go largely untouched into the night?

It’s well know that the Bush family and the Bin-Laden family have connections that are at best dubious. It’s far easier to go after a dictator then to flush out a terrorist. I just have trouble believing that the US Military, the greatest military in History, can not find one man on this planet. If all of our military assets were brought to bear on finding Bin-Laddden and in the process eliminating his cells, I have to believe it can be done. Instead of fighting a war of attrition in Iraq, we should be on a man-hunt for the real criminal.

The only one’s that should be in Iraq are the Iraqi people. Freedom does not mean anything if you have not volunteered to fight for it yourself. We gave them back their country, now let them sort out the details. They may not decide that our kind of democracy is for them. They might have a civil war. We did. You didn’t see any other country come into the US and say we should not fight ourselves?

It’s time to get back on target.