Monday, April 26, 2010

Open Thread

Have we missed anything?

What? Accountability Even In China?

Lift off for military space plane

Hawking Says Avoid Aliens - They May Be Like Us

Senate climate bill postponed

TX, LA, MS, AL, GA, TN struck by deadly tornadoes


  1. Hawking's probably wrong. It's far more likely that civilizations more advanced than us are avoiding US for fear of how we'd react. More likely, they're quaratining us with an eye toward elimination if we succeed in moving into space. We have numerous animal species that are far more advanced socially than humans. Technology, improperly harnessed is not an "advancement" at all, as it's merely allowed us to despoil our host environment and for us to multiply like locusts. The movie The Day the Earth Stood Still had it exactly right.

  2. The climate bill's a joke anyway. The US has continually moved the goalsposts in favor of industry (17% reduction over 2005 levels!), and yet, even that's not good enough. When all this is said and done and the full effects of GW are being experienced by future generations, the US will be uniquely reviled for its failure to use its position as global hegemon to protect the future of humanity.

    Of course, by that time, everyone will be speaking of the US in past tense with regard to empire, and very like with regard to nationhood as well. In the end, our empire won't even be all that notable historically, quite a comeuppance for those who just twenty years ago were procaliming "the end of history" with the ascension of "liberal democracy," which was actually just a euphamism for crony capitalist corporatocracy.

    Marx was right; capitalism is inherently unstable, and liberal democracies are particularly vulnerable to destabilization.

  3. Spring in the south is always an adventure. With Glabal Warming, better described as Global Temperature Differential Extreming, it promises to be all the more so (tornadoes being the result of cold, dry, jet stream air colliding with warm, humid, Gulf of Mexico air).

    Maybe they'll take comfort in the fact that they're the home of the Republican base, and so, of course, don't believe in climate change by whatever the name in the first place.

    Hey, if nothing else, they can visit the beach and watch the toxic oil tide come in. Might be some tourist potential there...

  4. disaffected,

    I would agree that Hawking is quite wrong, and that the movie you mentioned is more to the point.


    Yep, the admin is definitely into some really bad LSD, cut with petroleum products and the new $100 bills that dance naked in the dark.


    Even the "Good Natural Earth" can introduce a neoCon to himself or herself (that mirror of the soul thingy).

    Tornadoes are the wrath of the wind using circular logic, like a neoCon at a T-Partly rally.

  5. Civil freedoms in China could very well benefit from China assuming the mantle as "growth engine" for the global economy. Even so, Chinese government officials can afford to be magnanimous, with the sure knowledge that they have no problem cracking down severely should things get out of hand.

    Too bad the Chinese century will come one too late, as peak oil and global warming will ensure that their industrialization never gets fully off the ground, a la the US model. And, if the US lets fly with the arsenal rather than pass the torch peaceably (as we will almost certainly do), the Chinese century might well turn out to be a mirage altogether.

  6. The military space plane really signals the intent of the whole space program in general. Yeah, it's always sold to the public with a lot of high-minded rhetoric about "reaching for the stars," but everyone but the most naive knows at some level that that's all a bunch of bullshit.

    All high tech innovation is geared toward either military or commercial corporate use, period. Any ancillary benefits to "humankind" are always merely incidental and unintentional.

    As the recent healthcare fiasco proved conclusively, even basic healthcare benefits are entirely contingent on the corporate elite getting their beak's wet first. Same as it ever was.

  7. disaffected,

    Yep, MOMCOM is the mother of all U.S. science it often seems.

    Recall this post: Science According To MOMCOM

  8. Financial reform failed to pass the Senate by a 57-41 mostly partisan vote. I'm still trying to pick out the fine details of the whole mess on some of the better financial sites, but still have not formed a definitive opinion. It does conclusively seem at this point however, that whatever passes - if, indeed, anything passes at all - that it will be mostly toothless and yet another tip of the hat from Washington to Wall St, signaling yet once again, that the fix was in before any actual political "negotiations" ever took place.

    I wonder; will the NEXT crash, which all the sources I read say could take place at any time and could finally be the REAL DEATH BLOW to our already moribund economy, FINALLY be enough to get the attention of Washington and the American sheeple, and make them realize that Wall St is completely and totally FUCKING EVIL?

  9. disaffected,

    When you see Senate Leader Reid of Nevada vote "no", that is a procedural vote required to re-submit the bill for another cycle.

    He did vote "no" as required to recycle the flogging of the Senate republicans, which began by the Senate Democrats immediately after the 57-41 filibuster vote.

    It will go to a vote over and over again, like Ground Hog Day deja vu all over again, until the Senate Republicans renege from the filibuster mentality that is giving the dems an election boost (which they need).

    Incredible that well paid adults who take an oath to do an adult job have to play games with other people's money and other people's lives.