Category: colonizing

Asteroids And The Chinese

There’s an asteroid lurking out there
Waiting to burn my hair
It’s as sneaky as sneaky can be
So, why is it after me?

I just read this article on FoxNews.com, and it can get scary. There is a hunk of rock out there called an asteroid whose trajectory around our Sun will put it in our neighborhood in the year 2040. It carries the name, 2011 AG5.

Space Cowboy Movie Ad - Staring Clint Eastwood, etc.
Space Cowboys To The Rescue

2040 is a long way off, and you might think that we have all sorts of time to either make adjustments to the Earth’s orbit, or blast the asteroid to smithereens. All we have to do is get Clint Eastwood and his Space Cowboys to jump into a Space Shuttle, strap a couple of nukes to the rock, and git’er done.

Oh, wait! That was just a movie. Plus, the Space Shuttle is no longer flying. That piece of US history came to an end on July 8, 2011 with the last flight of the Space Shuttle, Atlantis.

picture of Atlantis Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle Atlantis

You might say, “No problem! We will just launch the next generation of Space Shuttle, and that will take care of the problem”. You would be wrong.

The current Administration has decreed that there will be no future Space Shuttles, and US space programs are severely curtailed. They are too busy wasting money on green energy dead ends to worry about the real future.

What do we do? Do we wait until 2039 to start running in circles, screaming, “The Sky is falling?” Apparently, that is what our Government has planned. Of course, I could be wrong and our government has been planning in secret to fly to Alpha Centauri.  Come to think of it that would not be a bad place for those guys to go.

All the current suggestions  involve launching rockets, missiles, robot space craft, or some other vehicle to touch, crash into, blow-up, or steer the aircraft carrier sized rock away from our fragile planet. How do we do this without a space program predicated with this as a primary goal?

We can always get Russia to shoot it down, for us. Of course, they are as broke as we are.

The Chinese are doing their own space program, and one of their goals is to send men to the moon. That would put them in a position to do something about the asteroid problem. We can always count on the Chinese to bail us out of these tough situations. Apparently, the Administration has no problem letting the Chinese decide our future.

By doing nothing, our government is outsourcing our eventual safety to the Chinese. Do you understand that whoever controls the moon and near space will control the Earth-orbit satellites and defensive platforms?

All of our space based platforms will be at risk, and our defense systems will be trumped by the Chinese. Going slack in our space program is suicide.

The Chinese could have de facto control of our nation.

Well, I will let others worry about that little asteroid threatening our little planet. We have bigger worries, and it all starts at home.

Thanksgiving

In my house I am privileged to be the grocery shopper. I have apparently behaved myself, and have been rewarded with this exciting social activity.

Grocery shopping is a very interesting thing. You can see people at their best, and at their worst. You can see if they are thrifty, or extravagant in their tastes. Some people are in a terrible hurry, and some of us consider shopping a leisure activity. Some people are friendly, and some are not.

If you seek diversity in people, a grocery store is one place guaranteed to produce the desired result.

Yesterday, at the grocery store I kept passing the same woman while I shopped. She seemed to be taking the opposite route route through the store. She was going up and down the aisles, and I was going down and up. This meant that we met each other at least half-a-dozen times.

Now, here in the South, we are courteous, polite, and sometimes a bit flirty. We always acknowledge the presence of another person, especially one of the opposite sex. It is not that grocery shopping is a sexual pursuit, but some swear on the abundance of opportunities on the produce aisle, or in the ice cream section. You can probably meet a common sense person on the oatmeal aisle.

I know one guy who met his future wife at a Walmart prescription counter. This may not have been a good place for amorous encounters.  She had more diseases than a hospital, and no health insurance.

But, I digress…

At any rate, I kept meeting the same woman on the grocery aisles, and at first, we just smiled in acknowledgement of each other. The rest of the time nobody made a big deal of the meetings. When we seemed to be heading for the same grocery line it seemed appropriate to say something.

“It looks like you are preparing for a crowd at Thanksgiving”, I said. She replied that she would be preparing dinner for about sixteen people. The conversation was short, polite, and was not inappropriate. She was just another harried shopper trying to get ready for the big family event. I am sorry to disappoint if you were expecting something lascivious.

Our original Thanksgiving pioneers did not have grocery stores, and they probably had very few smiles. You see, pioneering can be a really hard, and hungry job. If you land on a strange shore and cannot find fertile land, plentiful game, and adequate water supplies in quick order, you are screwed. You stand a good chance of starving, as many colonizing pioneers did.

Remember the stories of the settlers at Jamestown and Roanoke, Virginia. Starvation, disease, troubles with the native Indian tribes were big problems. They had to put up with each other, too.

The Roanoke colony did not survive, and Jamestown was touch and go for several years. The Massachusetts Bay colony was fortunate in its survival, too.

Colonial success was not guaranteed.

We have our intractable problems, today, but they do not go to our very basic physical existence. Our problems are political, economic, spiritual, and personal. They are important, but one reason for Thanksgiving is to keep all this stuff in perspective.

Happy Thanksgiving, people. My advice is to spend the day enjoying life, and to devote some time for prayer.