This is a true story. If you read this and you are already familiar with these facts, hopefully you will still enjoy the way I've strung them together. If you are unfamiliar with these facts, then I hope this story opens your eyes wider than they've ever been opened before.
Surely there is not a soul in Kiev who wants to live there, who is anything more than an imbecile, and a wretchedly poor one at that.
President Ronald Reagan went to the unified Germany and stood by the Berlin Wall acting so proud and victorious, and our generals and politicians all thumped their chests, but they had nothing to smile about, really. They hadn't done a thing. Or if they had, it wasn't what they thought. They didn't beat Communism. Communism beat itself. Beat itself to death.
Communism collapsed under its own lies. And the precipitating lie was Chernobyl. Trying to lie about Chernobyl backfired, and it made all the other lies so obvious to the population that the leaders could not survive. They were toppled in country after country across eastern Europe.
Everything in life, from dollars to donuts to dredging operations, takes and gives energy to "the system". For many economists, the cash system is the ultimate barter coin, but really it is energy. Dollars and other cash systems fluctuate in value more on the basis of current energy costs than anything else, when averaged over time. This is because every step of every process of everything we do can be translated into it's energy equivalent -- you don't need dollars at all, really. They are just a big mathematical gimmick mankind has come up with, in order to facilitate the barter of the real coin -- energy.
It's a crap-shoot up there anyway! NASA does not track any piece of space debris smaller than about the size of a softball (it tracks over 9,000 of those, but not very well.) But something the size of a small marble is big enough to "catastrophically" destroy any portion of the space station -- Russian, American or European! What we're talking about is something the size of a pea! NASA's is better than Russia's because it can withstand a slightly larger pea!
The reason so small a piece can do so much damage is threefold: First, everything up there travels at speeds around 25,000 miles per hour or faster; the space station, the marbles -- everything. Second, it costs a lot of money to put big, bulky shields on space stations. Third, a seal can be damaged by even a small speck traveling at 25,000+ miles per hour, let alone a marble coming head-on at a closing speed above 50,000 miles per hour!
NASA complains about the Russian space station, and all the media fall for it, and report to you that something is being done about the problem of SPACE DEBRIS, but it's a bunch of malarky. Neither the Russian portion, nor the European portion, nor the American portion is very well protected against the very junk that NASA and other space agencies have been carelessly placing in orbit for the last four decades! The true news is that NASA and other space agencies are continuing to pollute Near Earth Orbit at an incredible rate. Every piece of junk we leave up there makes every mission which follows just that much more dangerous. It's NOT like leaving a wrench on the ground. It's like leaving a bullet perpetually in flight.
And even many environmentalists are fooled. NASA is concerned about one thing: It's funding. And it sees only one way to get funding: present the right image to America. They don't care about what they do. They only care about what they look like.
Behind the curtain of lies and misinformation is a tangled web of deceit and corruption, of backdoor deals and golf-course handshakes. NASA lies. Government lies. And Americans, fooled by the lies, ignore the real facts. In the case of the Space Station Freedom, it's a boondoggle. 30 years. 50 years. What's the difference? Both are guesses -- they don't know when a piece of junk will hit a spacecraft. They can only estimate some goofball odds. And somewhere in the calculations NASA adds several orders of magnitude to the remoteness of an accident (making it appear less likely to occur). And somewhere else in the calculations they remove several orders of magnitude when they talk about what the health effects might be if an accident actually does occur (making it appear less catastrophic than it actually would be).
For example NASA estimated the chance of a shuttle accident at about 1 in 100,000 before the Challenger explosion. After? About 1 in 73. And NASA estimates the number of deaths from cancer from a Cassini high-level incineration at only three to four thousand people around the world, but many responsible physicians put the estimate as much as 1000 times higher! NASA has made things look 1000 times safer merely by ignoring the reports of some dissenting -- but highly credentialed -- first-rate scientists! And they very likely have underestimated the likelihood of an accident by about the same amount but in the other direction! The effect is cumulative: Things are about a million times worse than NASA wants to admit. That's a lot.
It lies to us by not presenting both sides of issues. Instead, it presents a scientific side and a ghostly, superstitious side. Or it presents a scientific side and a corporate spokesperson side, and the PR person has no idea of the facts even as they pertain to the story, let alone its global ramifications. But they are well-trained in getting media attention. That is what they are good at, and that is all they are good at. But they're very good at it!
Presenting both sides would actually mean giving two opposing scientists airtime. Instead they give the scientist 60 seconds, and, with his years of work and burdensome pages of proofs which have been approved by fellow scientists, he must compete against a dogma that some knucklehead has been spouting, and that his predecessor before him has been spouting, for centuries.
To the scientific mind, miracles don't happen. Yet this world could sure use a miracle, it's true. But it would have to be on a scale so vast, that the likes of which no one has ever seen or written about! 40 days and nights of flooding now would only exacerbate the problem and swirl our piles of pollutants around and about! We need a bigger miracle than that! And we are going to have to provide it ourselves.
If there is a God and He is watching us, fine. More power to us. I think that's wonderful. But whether there is or there isn't, or He is or He isn't: What should we do next?
Let's all foul our little space around us and make everything yecchy and stinky and disgusting and wretched and dangerous and poisonous and radioactive.
We have to find that solution ourselves. If it exists, it is within us. It's within each of us to know the truth.
We are not far behind. We are a nation of polluters and we are vile in the way we attack other species, and other peoples, and most stunning of all -- our own decendents. While building Hoover Dam to last 3,000 years as a working hydroelectric dam, we build nuclear stockpiles to fight against an enemy that doesn't exist. We ply the seas with giant megadeathships filled to the brim with poisons of all sorts daring anyone to oppose us.
This is not the behavior of the righteous, it is the behavior of the bully.
While Saddam Hussien's troops were burning the oil fields of Kuwait in the biggest act of mass ecological terrorism the world has seen, we were firing several million shells of depleted uranium pellets into the same soil, pellets which are not nearly as benign as they may sound. We were bombing their infrastructure--dams, dikes, levees, power stations, bridges, tunnel entrances, transmission lines--we knocked them back to somewhere around the 16th century, in 90 days or so of intensive "pinpoint" bombing.
We even bombed a nuclear power plant! The health effects of that action will continue for many centuries. Long after the sands of the desert have covered up Saddam's infernal mess and Saddam himself, and all of us, are laid out in our graves, the bombed-out reactor will be releasing its toxins to the environment. We did this. What have we to say for ourselves? Or to the people whom even President Bush said at the time we have no quarrel with (only with their leader)? What have we to say to their children, or their children's children? We did this, when we didn't even have a quarrel with them? Imagine what we might have done, if we had been angry!
And we hardly bloodied our own noses. War without blood, practically, we thought. A few deaths from friendly fire, and a few skirmishes with the enemy, but really: Hardly anything. We could go out and do it like this every year. War without blood.
And we did this with our wizardry weaponry: With laser-guided, high-tech, globally-positioned, fire-and-forget, over-the-horizon, terrain-following, Hussien-seeking missiles. We blew up schools and mosques (by accident, of course) and T.V. stations and apartment buildings. Of course, we missed one little thing -- the madman in the middle.
We have made war imaginable again -- we imagine we can wage a war and not get hurt at all. It's almost true! What will stop us from waging war when we are sure that only the enemy, and not one American, will be killed? Morality? Is that the only defense other people will have against an attack from us? No. They will still have infiltration and terrorism within our borders. And as an open nation, a nation of peoples from other nations, we cannot close the borders. We cannot deport or jail all the insurgents that could possibly try to hurt us. If we have learned nothing else in the last few years, as terrorism hit home, we must have at least learned that we are vulnerable from within. A free nation will always be vulnerable from within. And for all our weaponry, the best in the world, we have one stated goal--to live as free people.
Be well-read, and be skeptical. The news is not the news. The free society is not free. And the mess we've made, we will have to sleep in until such time as we choose, as a people, to clean it up.
by Russell D. Hoffman