Working On A Starship
4 weeks ago
"Election seasons test and measure our relationship with our country. A divided and inconclusive result tells us that the body politic is not prepared for progress. A clear and decisive result suggests that we are prepared to dream anew that patriot's dream, and to go about the work of perfecting it. Such is the result from the long election night that followed the longest campaign in American history."Pretty high-flown conclusion for a President who barely cleared the popular vote, ey? (In fairness, most Presidents take off like Gooney birds and would barely get over the fence were it not for the boost provided by the Electoral College and winner-take-all). Yessiree, he was pumped on His Guy.
The genuine alternative to the status quo is what we do not have now: the free market – that is, the elimination of all medical-business privileges, including rigged tax laws, licensing, anticompetitive insurance regulation, and patents. We know from experience that when free markets are allowed to work, competition lowers prices, raises quality, and universalizes access. Independent mutual-aid associations would also have a large role in a free society, as they did in the past.Who'd'a thunk?
A Scouts spokesman said, "Scouting helps to prepare young people with valuable life skills, while keeping them safe by not carrying knives."Um, yeah, right. Scout knife, weapon, unsafe.* Geesh, I didn't even fear my baby brother when he became a knife-totin' Scout. Commonsense is not dead Across The Water:
Sheila Burgin, from 4th Sevenoaks Scout Group in Kent, said: "Scouts by law are allowed to have Swiss army knives. I think this is going too far – you just don’t know when a Scout will need a knife."But does anyone hear her?
Many China experts, expatriates and business leaders say, with some irony, that the central government played the key role in this capitalist revolution. Without the give and take of democracy, an authoritarian government can move faster and more decisively.“The communist government says, ‘This is what we’re going to do. Do it,’ ” notes Hoe Wai Cheong, managing director for Kansas City-based Black & Veatch’s Asian energy office in Beijing.Gee, when was the last time the "efficiency" of authoritarian governments was bein' praised so? Give ya a hint:
Consider: It took Washington more than six weeks to pass and enact the $787 billion economic stimulus package. China’s economic stimulus package — $585 billion going to infrastructure, earthquake relief, energy and water projects — was approved in seven days.Hi-ho, impressive! Also, the trains run on time and the Sinobahn highway system is.... No; sorry, my enthusiasm ran away with me.
Ever since Tom Wolfe's book was published, the question I'm asked most often and which always annoys me is whether I think I've got "the right stuff." I know that golden trout* have the the right stuff, and I've seen a few gals here and there that I'd bet had it in spades, but those words seem meaningless when used to describe a pilot's attributes. The question annoys me because it implies that a guy who has "the right stuff" was born that way. I was born with unusually good eyes and coordination. I was mechanically oriented, understood machines easily. My nature was to stay cool in tight spots. Is hat "the right stuff?" All I know is I worked my tail off to learn how to fly, and worked hard at it all the way. And in the end, the one big reason why I was better than average as a pilot was because I flew more than anybody else. If there is such a thing as "the right stuff" in piloting, then it is experience.