Thursday, September 22, 2011

Congratulations to NASA. The future sounds very exciting.

Sept. 22, 2011, 2:00 p.m. EDT
..."Aquarius' salinity data are showing much higher quality than we expected to see this early in the mission," said Aquarius principal investigator Gary Lagerloef of Earth & Space Research in Seattle. "Aquarius soon will allow scientists to explore the connections between global rainfall, ocean currents and climate variations."...

Volunteer Web GroupHelps Discover Two New Planets  (click here)

September 22, 2011 10:42am EST

 …A Yale University-based online citizen science project known as Planet Hunters has done just that.
Using data from NASA's Kepler mission, volunteers discovered what they though might be two exoplanets.
That data "survived our checks for false-positives," the Yale team said in a paper submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. "The involvement of citizen scientists as part of Planet Hunters is therefore shown to be a valuable and reliable tool in exoplanet detection."
Planet Hunters, which launched in December, calls on astronomy buffs to examine the vast amounts of data collected by Kepler in the hopes of identifying new planets. Kepler, which launched in March 2009, captures information about 200,000 stars every 30 seconds, and that data has been made public. And while computers are capable of sifting through some of this data, human brains can more easily detect anomalies that might indicate the presence of a new planet….

Space flight has moved to a new era.  There is not a place for private exploration of space travel and industry.  The strides the great astronauts have made in the past were the beginnings of an entirely new way of thinking about resources.  The private sector development of space travel is a good direction.  They need engineers and a space industrial base.  The changes in where the near Earth space program takes place is unfortunately traumatizing for some, but, it is exciting for others.  

While travel to the Moon seems like the next best adventure, the resources being applied to that goal will imperil the resources to achieve higher achievements of the program.  There is nothing wrong with providing a new platform of opportunity for the private sector to achieve the same goals once held only by government while putting government resources to achieving more than it could have otherwise.

The protests by the former astronauts are understandable, but, short sighted in understanding the direction the new program is taking and the resources available to achieve it.  None of this is diminishing the USA, it is enhancing its achievements and putting in deep space far beyond anyone else.

…The two astronauts (click title to entry - thank you) appeared together before the same committee in May 2010 to make many of the same points…

…“The past year has been frustrating to NASA observers,” Armstrong told the panel, chaired by Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall. …

…Armstrong lamented the demise of the astronaut corps, with retirement of the shuttle fleet and plans to fly a manned NASA spacecraft next in 2021….

…Cernan said his criticism 16 months ago remained valid today….  

No way to run a military. The speech by Rep. McKeon is an excellent example of how wayward the USA military has become.

This graph is about the way Rep. McKeon and Sen. Kyl view the readiness of the US military, "US vs. the world."

In his speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Rep. McKeon clearly has maintained the tone of a true neocon.  His speech is troubling, but, not for the reasons he believes.

Every cut in military spending to McKeon is traumatic and there is now a private consulation committee called "Defending Defense," which is a collaboration of members from The Heritage Foundation and the Foreign Policy Institute.  McKeon calls them Think Tanks, but, they political action committees by a different name.  

McKeon illustrates the dire nature of the USA military and its still needed readiness reminiscent about WWII, only instead of projecting Hilter into the mix it is China that is now the great demon of the free world as their military rolls out into the Yellow Sea.  He uses complaints by Vietnam about China's presence in the Yellow Sea as a reason to be more than worried about the disrepair of our Navy.  

Vietnam?  I don't think so.

He goes on to say that every USA Naval Vessel has a major structural failure while we ask them to do their duties.  ? Major Structural Failures."  Hm.

He states the USA needs 400 new ships in order to be safe.  That sincerely defines a new meaning to safe, but, hey it would put people back to work IF these vessels are made in the USA.  I sincerely doubt the USA needs 400 new ships, our coasts are not that long.

The way McKeon speaks one has to believe we nearly have no defense department at all.  I thought the 'truest' enemy of the USA are terrorist networks.  To listen to McKeon it sounds as though the USA pursuit for terrorists that may attack the USA has caused other nations an alarming race to equate the power and might of the USA military in joint, or in the case of China singular, ventures to defeat it.  In other words, the USA is on its own no matter where it goes and what it does.  Why is it the truth is that any daunting power of the USA is a sincere, overwhelming threat to any other nation and only increases the 'race to war' instead of detering it?  In other words, the USA military is about as dysfunctional as a family intoxicated.  It fuels its own need to be massive.  The DOD obviously has no regard for the State Department as the next Hitler is around the next corner.  When is this hysteria going to end so we can openly and WILLINGLY pursue peace with an end to militarization and conflict.

When people such as McKeon and Kyl talk about China as the USA's next greatest enemy, what do they believe China will do in return?  Ask for a Pre-emptive Cease Fire?  No, they'll continue to arm themselves to match or exceed USA military strength.  It is a hideous notion that needs to be put to bed for the out right danger it causes to the USA and its people.  

He also throws around the concept of nuclear threats from other countries as though it is a burgeoning reality.  Why is it these men can't see the forest for the trees already?  McKeon believes in detering threat to the USA, but, he uses the word as a method of 'responding' and not simply an understanding detering exists when peace is a high priority.  It is nonsense.  Not that the USA should ever be without a ready military, but, this is crazy. 

A half a billion cut to the Defense Department and he is ready to rip the guts out of SSI, Medicare and Medicaid.  Hold on there, I don't think so.  Senator Kyl states he will resign if there are going to be more cuts to the military because of the Super-committee.  If Kyl is going to have an attitude then he should resign now and not simply be an obstructionist to allow the default time come and go and cry the entire time.

McKeon believes his best allies are 13 Freshman committee members of the Armed Services Committee that refuse to see the military sustain cuts.  Sustain cuts, there can't be anything else.  There certainly won't be any more spending.  

The current methods of assessing the readiness of the USA military has to be replaced with an effect and affordable method and to that end the Democratic Senators, Representatives, Secretary of Defense and President Obama need to formulate a clear path to a modernized and effective military with realistic threat assessments and emphasis on peace and domestic development both in the USA and abroad.  The more militarized the USA becomes the more other global powers become while Europe stands down as a minor entity of NATO.  No.  No.  Not any more.  The real problem is that Democrats lack a clear vision of the USA military as an effective power and not a dominating power.  The "Powell Doctrine" has no place in the world of the future.  The enemy no longer is a sovereign power, but, 'the individual' that pledges to a far different border than we can recognize.  

McKeon goes on and on about how the USA military is in very poor condition.  Really?  Well, then the EXCELLENT management of it has fallen far short of being effective or realistic.  The USA military never says, "No, we can't do that."  It always says "Yes, but, it will need added funding."  I believe it was the current Secretary of Veterens Affairs that had the guts to speak the truth to the Bush/Cheney War for Oil machine.  More of that needs to occur while the USA begins to measure the fact that a 'floating vessel' is not necessarily prepared to be deployed.

The USA military, by the very words spoken by Rep. McKeon, has been over extended and has allowed the readiness of the branches of the armed services to be used and abused for political gains rather than serving the best interest of the country.  Today.  Not tomorrow.  Not 2013, but, TODAY, the USA military is in such disrepair it is not as ready as it should be or could be.  Over extending the reach of our armed forces has caused them to push the limits of their own assets, both human and machine, to what seems the breaking point.  It is time to reel them in and bring them back to a reality that the USA can afford.  I don't find any of his words laughable, but, more sad than not. 

Enough already.  We are not itching for WWIII no matter how much people as McKeon and his faux talk of peace are.

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) Remarks on the U.S. Military Since 9/11 Attacks (click title to entry - thank you)

Monday, September 12, 2011
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) discussed the experience of the U.S. military since the September 11 attacks.  Rep. McKeon also examined the current state of America’s armed forces and the challenges and threats they face in the years ahead.
Thomas Donnelly, the director of American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Defense Studies moderates this event.
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2011 at 11:30am (ET)