News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Archive for March, 2007

40 seconds from air disaster

March 29, 2007

40 seconds from air disaster

The decaying orbit of a Russian satelite of a meteorite breaking up as it reenters the atmophere and missed a plane by 40 seconds both fore and aft. Conjecture that it was a Russian Satelite in the news prompted the question: is this a sign that the sky is going to be falling on our heads more and more often?

Decaying space junk – yes it is quite possible to plot its trajectory as it plummets into the atmophere. Remember Skylab? Space junk would be a hazard to airplanes if it was unpredictable, and meteorites (space rocks that do not completely get burned up by the atmosphere) are not predictable.

Here is a very short film (35 secs) of a spectacular space debris event in Colorado on January 4th 2007.

Here is a film of the Russian Satelinte coming down over a populated area and it seems to burn up on reenty.

There is planning afoot to prepare for a possible collision or brush with an asteroid (larger piece of rock, possibly similiar to what wiped out dinosaurs) in 2036 including an international competition. Asteroids have an orbital path that can be determined eventually by complex modelling, and maths on steroids.

Here is a fictional illustrative animation of a very large asteroid colliding with Earth. It is disturbing, but not very scientific. Needless to say, an object 1/10 of the size of this example would probably cause massive extermination of life.

Meteors are too numerous and too small to track, and meteor strikes are rare enough for it not to make large dents in Government budgets. Searching google for “meteor strikes” returns over a million references. Comparable to a search for “weapon strikes”, and another for “vehicle strikes”. The disturbing thing is, searching for “meteor strike death”, “weapon strike death” and “vehicle strike death” gave similar results.

Does that mean that it is perhaps it is a more common problem than we are letting on? Perhaps not, as the vast majority of articles about “meteor strikes” are discussion on why the dinosaurs ended so suddenly. Extinction does concern the human race. Google and the intenet effectively have open a window on humanity in the world, and by so doing have created a world far braver than big brother ever imagined. We can all see anything. 1984 is so – 1984.

2084 will be much more in our own hands rather than some notion that a leader will control us.

Humanity is our strength. Openness simply reveals it.


British leave, battle erupts over Basra

March 24, 2007

British leave, battle erupts over Basra | csmonitor.com – so what has Britain’s withdrawal from downtime Basra show? It shows that there are plenty of competing forces for the oil wealth of Iraq. Without Public authority, there is no moral force of Government. Strong arm tactics win the day for the most successful military force seems to trump governments in the most uncivil parts of the world. When the Government is clearly in control of its armed forces, the actions of the military are dictated to by long term considered opinion. When the military is in control, unless the country is fortunate to be led by a General who has received the West’s seal of approval, the country risks being run into Feudalism (as was the case in Cambodia damaged by internal genocide of its doctors, nurses, teachers and scientists.

It may not so much be a case of being able to “civilize people” who have to compete on terms we find abhorrent or unreasonable.

In an evolutionary biology view, the conflict between religions means that means of survival that forwards the doctrine of absolute aggression. This is a leveraging survival trait developed by war. As a result the exhortation of conflict in war radicalizes the developing mind.

In a sociological context, we are faced with an enemy not only prepared to take its own life to defeat us, but each others’ lives as well. It seems like madness, but it is actually just war.

We are less horrified when its our guns and bits of shrapnel taking the lives of their children.

In war, there are no winners. Even your grandchildren may pay for your war crimes.

The act of war is corruptive and must be taken off the agenda of civilized options available to human kind. It is a cancer.


Helen Clark – Adventures in America

March 21, 2007

Helen Clark is New Zealand’s most consistently successful international stage Prime Minister / Diplomat this little country so far away from everywhere has had in its short Western political history. But it is the history before that – the history of the land, the people of the land – carved into mountains and logs and waves and koru and smiles.

There are a few things America could learn from New Zealand and it is precisely odd that a beseiged Republican should face a matured student radical who attended every important protest in her rugged University years. But this is now, and what seemed suprising in the 1960s is now merely history. Helen Clark is the mouse that may roar she has such international gravitas that many picked her as Kofi Annan’s logical successor.

President Bush would do well to listen to whatever she has to say. He is, afterall, in a spot of bother. Helen Clark has shown remarkable resilience to silly attacks but what serious blunders has she committed? Most would say the pledge card, but it has served to keep Labour’s aims in the mind of the electorate and all that publicity has probably helped when it comes down to it.

Those little business card sized promotional contracts between Government and Citizen were also Helen’s idea. Compare it with the uncounted Florida votes that saw Bush become President. His cardboard crime probably killed more trees.


Public Health Offices – Food Safety Co-ordinator Register

March 20, 2007

Public Health Offices – Food Safety Co-ordinator Register

If you eat something and it makes you sick – here is the list of Food Safety Authority contacts if you care about the public safety enough to stop an outbreak.

Potentially infected food was bought on Thursday, the sickness lasted 5 days. We called the number here, and someone came and picked up the product for testing. It took me 2 days to realise it could be a product on supermarket shelves. The Government person came 24 hours later.


George Soros on Bush’s Latest Blunder

Bush’s Latest Blunder | GeorgeSoros.com

Latest blunder, today’s latest blunder, at least. By the time you are reading this, he may have remained in office another day, and that would now(then) be his latest blunder. For a man who got reelected president this man (Bush) seems to make far too many gross misjudgements about what to do with the extraordinarily abnormal disease we call “The Middle East”.

For Bush, it seems the problem is that Palestine is not a democracy as the Hamas party is not permitted to take power when they won the majority of the votes. Part of the solution to war and displacement is to share political responsibility for the consequences. Instead, by refusing Hamas any authority, Bush is inflicting his own belief system upon the democracy that voted them in. I am not saying they should have won power, but George Soros points out in his article how the West ensured that Hamas had to win the election, making Fatah unelectable. The Western ideal of democracy is tainted by the authority of yesterday’s thinkers. That has made intellectual fascism popular in America.

For America, it seems that the problem is they vote in the wrong Presidents. It is a false democracy led by a demogogue who believes he is right, down to the last bullet, down to the last man – which he logically assumes must be himself. President Bush has no idea what to do with Iraq. The troups are making a difference, and may win the war. But one has to then consider what is left. It needs to be a society. America used to be one of those.

For Arabs consider the problem “started” when Israel was established. Actually, it was the fall of the Arabian empire that formed the modern shape of the world and created this entity known as “The Middle East”. Collectivisation of communities is supposed to bring toleration but when those communities have established a history of killing each other, separation may be beneficial to stop violence occurring as normality in the lives of children who grow up and become what the West blindly sticks a big label on: “Terrorists”. The label is propaganda. It is a fiction. A bedtime story gone terribly wrong. Children who are damaged by war end up knowing how to do little else. Their minds are ruined.

For Israelis, it started 5,000 years ago when they were enslaved and persecuted. How many generations of children are scarred by that fact?

The only solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is to allow civilization to develop around the children. Perhaps it is not segration of the various Semite sects.

The solution is the segregation of children from war.


Humans causing climate change

March 17, 2007

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Humans blamed for climate change

As climate change skeptics and scientists argue out whether human activity is the cause of global warming – we are seeing the disintegration of the ice that has been there since the last ice age and as we continue to argue this ice melts, makes the situation worse until the atmosphere saturates and then the atmosphere will change. Perhaps that will cause the atmosphere to become more laden with clouds.

Nobody is asking the question – why these masses of ice appeared. If they melt it would change the map of land significantly. Are they what remains of the last ice age? Restoring things (which is what nature does) would require another ice age. And if the system (weather) becomes over saturated, it is possible that a precipitous ice age could ensue.

C02 may trap heat, but extensive cloud cover may reduce heat.

Science needs to answer the question of why ice ages occur so often – it seems a macro instability in the system. In this system a human lifetime is not significant. 500 years from now, it may well become a problem that humanity can do nothing about.

But we can do something about it now.

IPCC Report


Return to Democracy?

March 15, 2007

House overturns Bush order on papers secrecy | Reuters

At last, America is undoing legislation that GW Bush introduced back in 2001 to protect himself and past presidents from exposure by allowing them to keep their papers secret for ever.

It was a scar on the landscape of freedom. It was a blot on democratic leadership and has been defeated by the House of Representatives by a veto busting 333-93 margin. Bipartisan support ensures that freedom can now return to America.

There is a lot more to be undone.


Wildlife

March 8, 2007

Independent Online Edition > Wildlife – as predicted, the disturbing trend of accumulative climate change is already having effects upon life on Earth. Creatures live by instinctive traditions, the changes in temperature trigger the “firing mechanism” that end hibernation and upset established breeding patterns. What is next?

While we fiddle with the politics of the environment, our world will burn up in places as it is flooded elsewhere.

Soil with less water could spell dangers to agriculture like desertification. Bird migrations could change virus distribution and result in sporadic mini epidemics as Virus X goes into Environment Y which has less immunity than Environment X; in addition to the usual problems of cities being buried by water (London and New York will be more like Venice in fifty years) we have upset the intricate system of nature.

But do not worry. Nature is a self correcting mechanism and it will limit our ability to do damage. Now that will be truly disturbing.


History of Religion

March 4, 2007


Saudi king to meet Iranian leader

March 3, 2007

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Saudi king to meet Iranian leader – the meeting that should occur could spell the begining of the end of the tradition of Religious war between factions of Sunni and Shiite Islam that threaten the Islamic world while the presence of the US in the Middle East may irk the senses of Osama bin Laden, it is the killing of Muslims by Muslims that is an older problem requiring astute political change that may take years and years to effect. Perhaps this is a reasonable first step?