I watched Seven Days In May the other week. In it, the Joint Chiefs of Staff try to overthrow the President of the USA because they don’t like his policies. I haven’t researched this story any further, but it tells of a very similar plan in 1933 led by some of the nation’s richest men. Bill GAtes organising a coup? Hmmmm…..
Earth like worlds are likely to be very rare, based upon observations of known solar systems, but not impossible. Particularly interesting, from a universe building point of view, would be planets in an extreme ellipse around their sun- with exaggerated seasons- and planets ‘dispersed’ by the movement of larger bodies from the outer to inner solar system.
Whilst everyone is busy preparing for Iraq, there’s still a job to be done in Afghanistan.
Just think about the economics of the two sides in Afghanistan for a minute. A lot more Taliban/ Al Qaeda died than US soldiers, but it cost America millions of dollars. The Afghans used begged, borrowed or stolen equipment, costing practically nothing. In a price per kill equation they came out way ahead. The US could bankrupt itself throwing billions of dollars of ordinance at impoverished fighters the world over.
I just spent the past twenty minutes reading the full text of George Bush’s State of the Union speech. He has made the case for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq without UN approval, and much more to my dismay refused to address the economic issues facing the American public forcefully. I must admit there were a couple of surprises, first his initiative of providing $16 billion to Africa for the fight against Aids. Although it does seem noble, lest we not forget most of the money will go the large US pharmeciutical companies that provide drugs to combat HIV. A hand-out to the poor is more like a back handed payment to the very companies that put him in office. The other important message was the continued use of tax cuts to provide economic stimulation. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but the republicans are about reducing the size of government spending, not increasing it. Back in Ronald Reagans days, the same payments to the wealthy were called “trickle down” economics. Something which didn’t work then, and by looking at GW’s first attempt, nothing has changed much.
A key thing to note about the US. It has gone from a surplus budget to over $300 billion in debt in just over two years. The sense of irony is almost too much to bear. Another article amusingly enough in the Washington Times points out that a local cable operator in the Washington D.C. area decided not to broadcast a series of 30 second anti-war movement ads before and after the speech. Mr. Bush stated again and again that freedom was the crux of American beliefs, but hey, you just can’t be negative on the Presidents big night out.
Do the American public really believe all this nonsense? For the most part, I think the answer is yes, and that is ashame. The worst part is it looks as though he will continue with his policies of favourtism and fear. Oh well.
The EU has passed regulations requiring that pigs in their pens are given something to distract them and stop them chewing each other’s tails and ears. In other words, and for the sake of ‘isn’t Brussels silly part 3000’ they’re to be given toys.
The Government is not ready to recommend specific toys, however, because they know of no firm manufacturing playthings for pigs.