Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address (Part 5)

It is Tuesday, February 2, 2010; Groundhogs Day! Tradition holds that I make a bag of popcorn, or two, and pop in the DVD of the 1993 movie of the same name, and listen patiently for the immortalized words, "Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on its smiling face a dream... of spring. Ciao" I know, such excitement in this American life. Still, at least I have a TV and a DVD and a copy of the movie to watch. Many don't even have that. And, even unemployed, I can stop in the middle of a day and write about bigger issues than one man's search for meaningful employment in a darkening age. Doesn't that sound ominous?

Whatever one can find to be grateful for one also has to acknowledge that unemployment is no fun. That is an understatement. The whole process is demeaning. It is socially acceptable prostitution. And one never knows exactly what the employer is looking for to make the final cut and land the job. Then add to the equation that work, to some, has to be a hostile environment.

I work for one owner in 1991 who would come into the work room and tell us how many people he had just turned away at the door. He made a point in telling us that we should be grateful for the $10.00 an hour he was paying us in Los Angeles, California. I worked for another manager, also in L.A. who seriously threatened me my life. And my ex-mother-in-law wanted to know why I left that employer. With behavior like that, and the attitudes the enable it, it was no wonder that L.A. burned in 1992 (even if Rodney King was behaving like a jerk). Heavy handed authoritarianism has been a cultural marker in California for years. The history of the changes in criminal justice is littered with corps of innocents differed and civil right trashed for the sake of expediency in the name of crime control. But, I digress. The quest remains looking for gainful employment in an environment where there is mutual respect and relatively adequate "middling" income levels. That of course throws us back to the discussion of the darkening age.

And the quest goes on ....

One thing I had touched on yesterday was the colonization of the Moon. Actually, I was talking about the end of the lunar missions. In all honesty, I don't think that colonization was the mission to begin with. Colonization was a dream of the decade, but not the goal. We may have extended our reach further than our grasp, but we did reach it, and then we did let it go. It is a mark in the history book likened to the Vikings first landing in North America. We now know they made it, but they could not capitalize on the discovery. Conquest and capitalization did not occur until after Columbus reach the "new world" in 1492; some 490 years after Leif Ericsson's all but forgotten expedition. Gaspar de CĂ´rte-Real is credited for being the first European to set foot on North America in 1500.

In the end, we were told that we needed to address problems here at home. On our own Earth before we went "gallivanting among the planets." We had to cure poverty. We had to address the scourge of racism. We had to put sexism to rest. There were diseases to concur. We had to make a lasting peace with the Red Menace (no, not the Republicans). We had to silence the dogs of war in Southeast Asia.

Here we sit, some 38 years later ... and we are still addressing the same issues. We are still trying to provide employment for everyone who wants to work. Racism is still an issue for many. We now begin to see through such works as Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, Ph.D. that men and women are indeed different (viva la difference!). We have HIV, Swine Flu, SARS, Avian Flu, and a host of ailments best left to others to catalog. Cancer is rising and Hearts still fail. The Soviet Union folded, and Communist China is now a preferred trading partner. The dogs of war moved from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. So, what exactly did we gain by giving up on the lunar colony?

This is where we continue with Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address delivered on January, 27, 2010.

President Obama: I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.

I will refrain form the obvious opening to bounce into a discussion about energy from space. I will not mention that building massive, unshielded, safe reactors on the moon and microwaving it back to Earth has been in the design stages since 1940 when Heinlein wrote Blowups Happen. I will not tell you that Scientific American published Farming Solar Energy in Space: Shrugging off massive costs, Japan pursues space-based solar arrays by Tim Hornyak in the July 2008. I will withhold the comment that at least one site, Space Future, clearly make it plan that such a source is viable. Such comments might be seen as self-serving and lacking magnanimity*. So be it.

What I will say is simple: If for no other reason, We the People of the United States of America have to get off the foreign energy teat! If we are going to get the nation back on track at a consumer of other good and services -- and I don't see us getting off that track anytime soon unless we change how we view ourselves -- then we are going to have to find a way to feed our own infotainment, celebrity crazed, covetous hedonistic, pleasure driven service economy without depending on the whim and wishes of alien (using "alien" in the absolute legal definition here) entities who view us with disdain at best. We need Energy Liberty ... and that is only going to happen when we decided, in the Corporate Board Rooms, that it is good for business.

And here people think I hate American Business. Ha! I chide them because I know they can do much, much better. We are Americans, for crying out loud, and we can make this nation one to be proud of again!

More Later

*Space-based solar power. (2010, February 2). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:48, February 2, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Space-based_solar_power&oldid=341501166

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