Friday, October 31, 2014

Is the Super-rich good for the economy?

I first want to apologize for any discomfort these thoughts might cause in relation to the private space industry catastrophes this week. There is no word that expresses the cruelty of our world in the year 2014. But, the cultural preference is to strike while the wounds are still fresh, so who I am to be different?

There were two KNOWN private space industry tragedies and as of today one death and another hanging in the balance. 

"Democratizing Space." I hadn't heard that before and it is the most bizarre and self-righteous expression of the Super Rich I have ever heard before. There is no democratizing space. Space travel relies on expensive fittings such as a pressurized suit and all the contraptions that go along with it only to ride in a billion dollar vehicle. So there is no space democracy. There is absolutely no way everyone in the world could become a part of that democracy. It doesn't exist except in the minds of those that justify it.

I know, I know; these are the first baby steps of the private space industry that will live in infamy for the beginnings of the real life "George Jetson." I don't think so.

The rocket that blew up was carrying supplies to the ISS. There is a lot of research and information being recorded within that international PEACE project. The ISS was always intended to bring together GOVERNMENTS in a single effort to promote cooperation and common cause. So, from the beginning the ISS was never intended to be a part of any private commercial industry the USA has decided as worthy. Quite frankly, I still can't believe the ISS partners are putting up with the USA in that aspect of this project, but, when supplies are needed the USA mostly has every other ISS partner by the balls. Again, this is the year of 2014 where there is no word to describe cruelty and it is best to strike while the wounds are still fresh. 

The project vehicle that was destroyed at a launch pad in Virginia, which is the very first time I ever heard of a launch pad in Virginia. Virginia has to be just about the worst place to put a space launch pad, but, that in a minute.

The rocket didn't perform to standard.

When rockets don't perform to standard they are now worthless. Why would that be? I mean the darn thing got straightened out and kept going into the sky so what's the big deal?

"T minus 30 minutes and counting."

"We are on hold at T minus 30 minutes for the misreading of a fuel tank temperature. When that is corrected we will restart the count down."

When a rocket ship is designed and built and is assembled with it's anticipated cargo, in the instance it is a rocket program the USA was conducting that was frequently human cargo, there was a launch sequence started that was to provide a SCRIPT to follow with all the I's dotted and all the T's crossed. When the countdown was stopped it would be in suspended animation until all the 'stray' problems/readings were resolved and then the 'path' to liftoff was restarted.

Stopping a count down is not a minor thing nor was it ever. So when the rocket was ignited to lift off it was suppose to follow not just a specific lift off countdown but a specific trajectory.

The count down was fine and the ignition was good, the gantry fell away, 
however, at about .54 or .55 minutes, the rocket paused in it's upward movement. It seemed to not only pause, but, bobble a bit. Of course I am not the monitors of the rocket watching a computer with the rocket's ACTUAL trajectory as opposed to it's planned trajectory, but, a bobble is a big deal. 

Trajectory is a heavily scienced (I don't think that is a word.) capacity of rocketry. For a rocket that a young scientist in a high school class might build and demonstrate to the Rocketry Club, the joy of having liftoff into the sky is a magnificent moment, however, when that rocket is heavily laden with fuel and all sorts of cargo of unknown content the public has to be considered.

If one remembers the countdown to the original liftoff of this very rocket, it was put on hold a short time before this mishap because of a sailing ship along it's trajectory path. Remember? This is Virginia where lovers gather to enjoy the beach and in this case sail a boat. What the American public does not expect in their day to day living is for a rocket to give up skyward movement and land in the ocean where they are sailing.

That is the genius of the Kennedy Space Center. Do we still call the launch pads in Florida by that same name? I just don't keep up with all the social ills that decide something needs to have a name change, like the US House does with Post Offices. To me, changing a name is disrespectful. So, I'll just assume the Florida Space Center is still named Kennedy after the very president that set the Americans on a path to space.

The genius of the Kennedy Space Center is that it is not near human activity. It is out in the middle of a swamp (Have you been there? Go. It is a great place to take the kids. We did. The boys were 5 and 7 and I had purchased outfits that looked exactly like space suits without the helmet. It was blast. Not literally, but, the pictures of the boys are priceless.) on the east coast of Florida, I think it is a peninsula (could be wrong about that) and the acreage is many. There are several launch sites and of course the assembly buildings and these enormous 'crawlers' that bring the vehicles to the launch pad. But, the greatest hurdle for Kennedy is the weather. ie: Challenger. ice and o-rings. 

The Kennedy Space Center is owned and operated by the American people to further research and scientific knowledge of our Earth, it's solar system, universe and now with Voyager beyond the end of our galaxy we really are in real space (AKA void).

But, the launch of this rocket that was supposed to go to the ISI with supplies was destroyed because it's path became something other than prescribed. That may seem strange considering the sky is so big, but, it really isn't. The path for the cargo has to be precise and it can't end up falling out of the sky over the plains of Africa either.

I am trying to find the words that would explain how a minute inch would result in miles and even hundreds of miles off course. 

How about the words "In Sight Ballistic Relationship."

Let's just say someone is measuring the accuracy of the "line of sight" of your rifle. So, the measures are made and it is noted the 'sight' is off by many inches. Why is that important? Because when a hunter takes sight of the deer or quail the bullet has to travel 'true' in order to result in a humane kill of the animal. If the line of sight is not the exact same trajectory of the bullet no one knows what will happen and in fact the gun is basically worthless in the field at all.

Rockets to the moon or the ISS or to Mars are the same way. If the trajectory is the least bit off at the 'point of origin' the entire path of the vehicle will result in a missed opportunity at the very least. The best example I can think of. Let me see if it is on You Tube.

This rather dramatic scene from Apollo 13 clearly demonstrates the real life problem with trajectory and the tragedies that can result if it is not correct.

So that is my take on the explosion. Safety of the public and correct trajectory that would result in successful delivery of cargo. Luckily, Russia has planned a delivery of cargo to the ISS and it launched the day after this failure. I thank Russia for that.

Then there is the problem today.

I completely reject this extravagance for the Super Rich. The tickets are a quarter of a million to experience weightlessness. It is an amusement ride. 

This is not the first step in democratizing space. Space is already democratized IN THE FACT the USA has a completely competent space program owned and operated by the American people. And who exactly 'rides' in the American vehicles?
Neil Armstrong (click here) was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. After serving in the Korean War and then finishing college, he joined the organization that would become NASA....

Who rides? Americans. Who walked on the moon? A kid from Ohio. If that isn't democratized space, don't ask me what is.

The events of 2008 that began at least a year and a half before resulted in a dynamic that was written by the former CEO of Goldman Sachs acting as US Treasurer. The plan was rubber stamped by Mr. Bernanke. He had no choice, either the bank failures were going to come down the way Paulson saw it or it wasn't going to come down at all.

What followed was excoriation of any and all monies out of the global markets while bankrolled into the banks. It wasn't a one time payment, it occurred repeatedly and the value of Wall Street soared. The DISTRIBUTION of wealth became very focused on a smaller and smaller group of people which the New York Times called out as the 0.01 percent.

These folks are now the Super Rich and supposedly they are good for the economy. They are not. They hold onto far too much asset capital and it prevents growth in the global economy. President Obama was the most determined man ever witnessed in the Presidency to return function to the American people. And that was the American people. President Obama is more a magician than FDR. President Roosevelt entered into a war economy that drove growth, but, President Obama (as promised) was moving the economy into the everyday lives of Americans and out of a war economy. A 2001 war economy that never served to produce job growth either.

When one has a bank account, let's say a savings account, what happens to that money? Is it spent so it benefits the local economy or does it sit in a bank vault collecting anemic interest in the year 2014? For the average person it sits in the low interest bank account. It accumulates over time as more and more money is added for let's say a down payment on a home. 

Okay, so is that much different for the Super Rich? The dynamics are different, but, the context is basically the same. The monies are invested for a return to it's depositor.

When the average home buyer pays a down payment and then interest on the debt of the mortgage of the house, do those monies provide growth? Yes, they do. Those monies are now at work.

When the Super Rich get bored and want to experience weightlessness and remove a quarter million from the investment account does that grow the economy?

No. The quarter million enters the bank accounts of Virgin Galactic or whoever the private contractor is for the space ride of a lifetime. So, a very large amount of money that could easily purchase a home in the USA or a hospital in Africa is now transferred to an huge corporation for what exactly? What is the private space contractor going to do with all that money. Six passengers = $1.5 million per ride.

It is uncertain what those monies will be used for. Building more space ships for the wealthy? Or simply an accumulation of assets to fund the company worry free for the next decade? Regardless, those monies that the Super Rich hold onto and play with are not benefiting anyone except their amusement and the jollies the average person might get of the posted You Tube videos of celebrities in space. 

The nations of the world have a problem. Chairwoman Yellen is exactly correct. The global community, especially the USA, has to define income and wealth inequality. 

I hope I have painted a picture for those that read it. It is an accurate picture. The current wealth distribution is not only toxic to economies, it is highly immoral and will lead to the impoverishment of people on Earth, quite possibly the loss of their sovereign country and chaos rather than quality of life and moral development of the Third World.

I am proud of her. She is standing in the path of racism and fear. She is strong person protecting the rights of those victimized.

It takes a special woman to be willing to acknowledge such tactics as a danger to the democracy that is vital for change in our country and the state of Kentucky. It is scary to realize this form of intimidation is a 'role model' for other Republican campaigns. Mr. McConnell is the Minority Leader in the Senate, if he commits such heinous tactics against the sensibilities of people he is setting a standard for others. 

This is the state Republican Party and Mr. McConnell is the leader of that party. It is a shame to realize the power used against citizens to maintain power in the USA. The country and the people don't deserve this kind of treatment. How honest can a party and a US Senate Minority leader be if this is the ruthlessness used to oppress voters. It is more than shameful, it is scary.

October 31, 2014
By Joseph Gerth, Louisville

Alison Lundergan Grimes' (click here) campaign said it has filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court alleging that the the Republican Party of Kentucky and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell are trying to suppress voter turnout in Eastern Kentucky where it sent official-looking mailers that say "Election Violation Notice" on the envelope.

The mailer warns, "You are at risk of acting on fraudulent information" that the mailer said is being disseminated to voters.

Jonathan Hurst, Grimes' campaign manager, said the Grimes campaign has been receiving phone calls from voters in Eastern Kentucky worried that they will be violating the law if they go to the polls next Tuesday....

Another one.

October 31, 2014
By Curtis Thompson

In what has been a difficult week (click here) for private space companies, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo exploded and crashed during a test flight in Mojave, California on Friday.

SpaceShipTwo, a private suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism, was conducting its fourth powered flight test over the Mojave Desert when, according to Virgin Galactic, “the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle,” The explosion occurred shortly after SpaceShipTwo separated from the WhiteKnightTwo carrier craft....

Private industry always believes it can do it better and cheaper than the government. Right.

The Virgin Galactica ship took clues from the Space Shuttle. It was a ship within a ship. Big ungainly on the ground the vehicle would take the shuttle vehicle aloft and then released it. 

The US Space Shuttle was launched on large booster rockets, but, was transported by a jumbo jet between it's landing point and the hanger that it would be serviced. It was somewhat unclear about heat tiles and the like on any of these vehicles, but, one has to assume the shuttle would have some degree of re-entry capacity.

Sympathies to the family and friends of the lost test pilot and hopes for the recovery of the other.

This is such bullshit.

Killing people in Syria is not going to end the events that happened in Ottawa, Canada. There they go again. 

Syria is 6700 miles away from the USA and Canada. The Syrian civil war had absolutely nothing to do with Ottawa. 

Try this one on for size. The astronomical use of fossil fuels in the USA and drilling techniques that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has caused an artificial warming of Earth. Due to that warming, there have been vast droughts in the Middle East and considerable drought in Syria that has now sparked unrest and a civil war. Why would sending troops into the Middle East change that reality? The USA military now comes with divining rods and incantations to cause it to rain?

For what seems like forever, Russia has been a so called ally to Assad, but, then the going got tough Russia got going and hasn't been back. Now, Russia is attempting to have relations with Jordan so they can be protected by USA alliances while having a presence in the region.

Russia is not interested in the Middle East except for any capacity to spy. Syria never had a strong ally in Russia so much as a seaport that permitted the Russians to state they rival the USA in Italy. Russia has a profound yellow streak up it's back and send their jets into international waters to pretend to be a military capable of an invasion into Europe. Today, there are helicopter drones flying around France's nuclear energy facility. 

Russia is pathetic as a global power. It talks a good story and keeps floating missiles in submarines in the world. With all this abandoned authority by Russia with what was once their allies, now the USA is suppose to land in Iraq and Syria and take over the land so everyone can live happily ever after. I don't think so. 

The world is a huge place and the USA needs to end its policing. If having the USA in every corner of the world was and is the strategy of American generals, they should know by now it is a huge failure.

October 30, 2014

AMMAN — Russia appreciates (click here) Jordan’s efforts in safeguarding Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and achieving peace and stability in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.
At a meeting with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Moscow, Lavrov said Jordan plays a central role in the Middle East, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Judeh and Lavrov’s talks focused on bilateral ties and the latest regional developments.
Discussions also tackled the outcome of His Majesty King Abdullah’s recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, with the two sides vowing to maintain cooperation and coordination, Petra said.
Judeh reaffirmed Jordan’s rejection of the Israeli assaults on Al Haram Al Sharif in occupied Jerusalem, pointing to the Kingdom’s statement at the Security Council which carried a warning against the consequences of the provocative Israeli measures....

...During the meeting, Judeh highlighted the pivotal Russian role in all regional issues, including Syria, Iraq, terrorism and the peace process....

Jordan and Turkey don't care about the focus of the USA's initiative in the region. Yet, the USA military positioned inside Iraq and Syria would be handy.

October 31, 2014
By Arutz Sheva Staff

Jordan's Islamic affairs minister (click here) urges international community to force Israel to 'end the blockade' of Mount, closed after terror attack....

...Jordan on Thursday accused Israel of "state terrorism" after it closed Jerusalem's Temple Mount to Muslim and Jewish visitors alike, following the attempted assassination of a prominent Jewish rights activist.

Israel said its closure of the site - the holiest in Judaism and also home to the Al Aqsa mosque compound - was temporary and aimed at calming tempers as tensions continue to simmer after the prime suspect in the shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick died in a shootout with police.

Jordan's Islamic affairs minister, Hayel Daoud, denounced the Jewish state for "closing the gates of Al-Aqsa mosque and preventing the faithful from entering", state news agency Petra reported.

He urged the international community to help Jordan put pressure on Israel "to raise the terrorist blockade" imposed on the compound....

US Generals are asking for a military rather than political solution to Syria's Assad.

The answer is "No." The USA has not declared war on Syria and it won't. Syria's Assad was never the reason American advisers returned to the region, it was the methods of the Islamic State. The current governing bodies in Syria are suppose to have a power sharing government. If the Syrian rebels don't want to proceed to a political solution then they are as much of the problem.

October 30, 2014
By David S. Cloud, W. J. Hennigan and Raja Abdulrahim
...Secretary of State John F. Kerry (click here) sought to paper over the problem Thursday, telling a forum in Washington that the proposed proxy army "can have an impact on Assad's decision-making so we can get back to a table where we could negotiate a political outcome, because we all know there is no military resolution of Syria."...

So it is going to take years to build up a substantial force. It has taken nearly a decade already, why should a few more years be surprising. The USA military has an itchy trigger finger. The Neocons in the Defense Department are trying to push the issue because of the elections believing a military invasion is even realistic. The military leaders want a full scale war. The answer is and always has been "No."

...It will take years to train and field a new force capable of launching an offensive against the heavily armed and well-funded Islamic State fighters, who appear well-entrenched in northern Syria, the officers say....

The USA military, along with forces 'on the ground' in the region, have destroyed much of the American munitions ADOPTED by the Islamic State and now they want to put more there only with USA troops rather than local forces. It makes no sense to bring more munitions into a region that needs a political solution far more than it needs continuous and forever war. 

Why doesn't the USA military brass admit they never delivered what they said they delivered in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why not just admit that and the fact doing it again will only result in a greater quagmire than before!!!!!

As soon as any USA military hit the ground in Iraq, the coalition forces would melt away and would result in nothing short of, "Here, you do it."

100 bed facility is larger than some rural hospitals in the USA.

October 31, 2014

BEIJING, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - China (click here) is going to open an Ebola treatment center in Liberia in a month's time to help fight the deadly outbreak, the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Africa Department said.
"As part of China's fourth aid package to West African countries in their fight against the Ebola pandemic, a 100-bed treatment center is to be built in Liberia. It is expected to admit the first patients within 30 days," said Lin Songtian, director-general at the African Affairs Department.
A total of 480 health workers are to travel to Liberia, one of the three hardest-hit West African countries, to help roll back the deadly viral outbreak. They will set out in three groups of 160 people each, with the first team due to leave for Liberia in two weeks, Lin Songtian said. He added that all necessary materials and equipment had already been shipped to the country and construction works are well underway....

How bizarre is accumulating snow on Halloween in Michigan?

Oct. 29, 2014
By Mark Torregrossa

If in the (click here) southern half of the Lower Peninsula, accumulating Halloween snow is about two weeks ahead of normal. In northern Lower Michigan a white coating on the ground on Halloween is about one week ahead of schedule. In the western U.P., you have normally had an inch of snow already.

If it is early in Michigan what does that say about the other lower 48?

State Attorney General Coakley was correct to point to the outsourcing award.

Outsourcing Excellence Award – Best Partnership – Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and Perot 

...Outsourcing (click here) turned out to be the transfusion it needed. “The people at Perot Systems played an integral role in saving the company,” says Bob Trombly, Harvard Pilgrim’s deputy chief information officer (CIO).
Harvard Pilgrim currently has 1.1 million members. Today, Perot has 640 employees processing over 10 million claims annually for HPHC.
Harvard Pilgrim also outsourced its IT operations and application development to Perot Systems. The service provider is supporting over 2,000 end users....
Charlie is an insurance salesman so I would not be surprised if he could sell fish stories, too.

It would seem as though Charlie came to Pilgrim as a real pilgrim. The company was in bankruptcy and he had to save it. Did he know how to do it? Heck, no. He simply removed all the American employees and outsourced the claims processing and whatever other paper pushers he could find for outsourcing.

That was what brought the Pilgrim balance sheet back into the positive side, evidently. 

The guy is kind of scary. He found a solution for the companies balance sheet but eliminated any employee in the greater Massachusetts area and otherwise. That would mean a lot of people were without health care besides. 

Baker is Wall Street. He is another 47% kinda guy. Where are all the people that lost their jobs? I betcha those former employees of Pilgrim could tell AG Coakley exactly what the problem with the company was and it wasn't them. 

Harvard Pilgrim no longer insures Rhode Island. The Coakley campaign might want to talk to US Senator White House about the problems with the company.

In September 1998, Baker left state government and became CEO of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a New England–based physicians' group. In May 1999, he was named president and CEO of Harvard Vanguard's parent company, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a non-profit health benefits organization...

Baker did a lot more than simply outsource.

In late 1999, (click here) the Rhode Island-based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England (a subsidiary of Boston-based HMO Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare) filed for bankruptcy protection. The parent corporation divested from its Rhode Island interests, including a wholly-owned staff model practice, Anchor Medical Associates. This left the 18-physician medical group, which specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics and cares for more than 35,000 patients throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, without an infrastructure or many options.

There are at least 18 physicians in Rhode Island that understand Charlie's priorities just fine. Thirty-five thousand people left without options. OMG. He could have exercised some discretion and worked with Rhode Island to be sure those people had options. This is unthinkable. No company should simply pull the plug on health care for 35,000 people.

Okay, so the guy likes math and he is ruthless to the bone. Does anyone in Massachusetts believe those are the values of a Governor of their state? This guy is too scary. He is not about people, he is not about governing, he is about money. He is Wall Street and the very last thing Massachusetts needs is a ruthless Wall Street hatchet man.

Governor Patrick needs to speak up. Governor Patrick is leaving office and has some latitude with speaking the truth about Charlie Baker. Baker has no conscience and that is exactly why he was hired for at Pilgrim. Governor Patrick loves Massachusetts and he cannot let some Wall Street mathematician hack away at the state. It will be a mess. I guarantee you that. I don't need to know anything else about Charlie, he is NOT governor material. 

Baker will leave the people of Massachusetts in shell shock before his term is over. The Dems can't let this happen. AG Coakley needs a surrogate until after the Mayor's funeral. Baker is very bad news for Massachusetts.
I am quite confident State Attorney General Martha Coakley has known Mayor Merino quite well. It would be very inappropriate if she and her spouse were not at his funeral. I only say this because whoever runs her campaigns don't bother to understand her importance outside of their priorities.