Friday, September 30, 2005

Where Do We Go From Here?

Pollution, disease, famine, drought, energy, and war; These are the main general concerns of the human race today and most likely, in the foreseeable future. We spend billions of dollars, conduct rallies and protests, create new laws and regulations, yet none of these problems are going away, in fact, they are getting worse. I have two reasons for this.

1. Population growth: It just can't be ignored that humans are continually taking up more and more space on planet Earth. We crowd out and defy nature and nature, in its own way, fights back and will ultimately win. Where humans are concentrated in densely populated cities, diseases thrive, resources dwindle and air, water and soil get polluted. Unless some kind of world-wide population control is done (don't count on it), we are going to get more of this. Also, conditions like this lead to large-scale discontentment, which leads to warfare.

2. Industrialization: America and Europe went through their industrialization periods in the last two centuries. Seemingly, the rest of the world is going through that now. So we are de-foresting and re-routing waterways to accommodate industry in Asia, South America, and Africa. Wetlands are nature's water filters and forests are nature's air filters and industrialization is destroying them.

We know the problems. What do we do? As I previously mentioned, we have thrown money at the problems and it seems that most people and governments rationalize that the problems still exist because we haven't thrown enough money at the problems, so we keep spending on better drugs, education, and scientific studies. Also, as I mentioned, we create new laws and regulations to curb emissions, save fuel, test our food better, and conserve water to name some. Is all this money and regulating solving anything? I don't think so.

So, to anybody who reads this, what is the solution in your opinion? I'll post mine next week.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Great Apollo Conspiracy

Newtek Discussions-Lunar Lander Debate

The Newtek discussion forums is a place I frequent where I observe and sometimes, engage in discussions, mostly concerning Newtek's animation (Lightwave 3D) and video (VT) products, both, of which, I use all the time. Discussion sites, being what they are, often go off-topic. The link above came from such an occurance. It started with someone having created a animation concept of the new Moon mission the U.S. plans on implementing in the next decade. The discussion turned into a debate outside of the animation so the forum moderator felt it best to separate the off-topic discussion. So there's the background.

The off-topic discussion began with a person stating that all the Apollo missions were faked. He goes on to show websites that he felt proved this was the case. He got a healthy amount of criticism for this view form other members (myself, included). This debate is raging on as I write this and I particularly like the argument made by Chuck Baker, the moderator;

"...your assertions that the moon landings were a hoax does in fact amount to maligning the character of everyone involved in those programs."

Mr. Baker pointed out that the non-believer was insulting to a huge number of people, including scientists, engineers, and technicians, not to mention the press, and the government of the United States. My own father was involved in the construction of the Saturn V engines at Rocketdyne.

The non-believer offers no real evidence, not to mention any proof of his assertions. He just points out that the launch of the lunar module (LEM) from the Moon appeared fake because it didn't appear that such a flimsy, yet heavy (it was filled with Moon rocks) vehicle could take off from the Moon. He kept daring people to prove him wrong. Finding all the data from over 30 years ago, let alone, knowing the physics involved was a lot to ask. Yet, people actually took the trouble and gave him the facts and figures. Of course, he won't accept what they say and we are all banging our heads.

I thought it was just religion and politics that caused people to be so hard-headed.

More about space to come...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pure Drivel

I just want to mention for those who don't know, the inspiration for the name of this blog comes from the very funny book by Steve Martin Pure Drivel

Friday, September 16, 2005

A New Kind of Liberal

I've had my little skirmishes with Erik over Bush. My stand is that I try to be fair in my political assessment of him. What I mean by that is when liberals like Erik repeatedly bash the president for seemingly anything that goes wrong with this country, I tend to pick on certain ones where I feel Erik is being unfair. Such has been the case concerning Bush's appointment of John Roberts as Supreme Court Justice and the handling of relief for hurricane Katrina. In doing so, I have been called a "Bush supporter", a right wing nut, and a few other things I don't care to mention. So let me put out a few things I want to say instead of just reacting to what Erik or other liberals say.

Bush is a liberal. There, I've said it and I mean it. Bush's speech yesterday, Sept. 15, 2005 that detailed his massive recovery effort of the Katrina disaster shows clearly that the president is taking a liberal stand. If Bush was a conservative, he would not be throwing tons of federal tax dollars (taxpayer money) at this. I'm not talking about FEMA and the task of providing food and health services to residents who have lost their homes, I'm talking about the actual re-building of the city of New Orleans, Biloxi, and other gulf coast hit areas. To true conservatives, this clearly is up to businesses to cooperate with local governments (state, county, and city). This is not a federal matter. I shudder at how much this is going to cost taxpayers and what's worse, this sets a terrible precedant. Now every time disasters, large and small happen, as they inevitably do, we will look past our local governments (someone tell me why we even have local and state governments) and look to the feds who will mismanage it horribly because that is what they do.
In adopting liberal policies like this and others ("No Child Left Behind" for one), Bush is expanding the power of the federal government way beyond what the constitution allows. In decades past, we had democrat presidents who did this too but we would then get a republican to turn things back. Now, we can't even rely on the republicans because they are now a liberal party as well. This is not a good thing.

There is something that I think many people missed in Bush's speech. In admitting responsibility to slow response of FEMA, Bush basically empowered himself and future presidents even more. We can thank the liberal left for this because they took the Katrina disaster as an opportunity to blast him. If these critics think they got a victory in Bush's acknowledgement of blame, they are mistaken. Bush will now aggressively revamp and re-mold FEMA in a way that he sees fit. Again, this isn't a good thing and is precisely why we need to limit power of the president and keep organizations like FEMA as a separate entity.

Just to summarize, a conservative supports a small, limited federal government and more direct power to local governments. A liberal believes in a large, powerful federal government. By these definitions, Bush is a liberal.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Presidential Power

Alright then, since the impetus of this site was political, let me start in that area. As I stated in my previous post, I am not an actively political person but I do have my thoughts on how I believe government should be run and how they should behave.

First of all, I am an American. As an American, I believe that the government is the people I am surrounded by, not an external entity that we have no control over. One thing that particularly irks me is the way many of my fellow Americans seem to think that the U.S. President is king of the United States. This notion is a slap in the face to the founding fathers, who were all too aware of the dangers of empowering one individual as leader, lawmaker, and judge. Even if you disagree with everything else I state, at least understand America is not a kingdom and has no king, queen, or royalty whatsoever. The people we elect are not any better than us or above the law or entitled to any freedom that any other American is entitled to. This being said, that means we have to get out of the habit of criticizing or condemning the president for everything that goes on. "The buck stops here" per Harry Truman was a gross misrepresentation of the duties of the president. He or she should never have that kind of power. Unfortunately, constant criticism of the president in seemingly every aspect of life sends a message that we understand the president to have virtually absolute power over our lives. I urge my fellow Americans to stop sending this message.

Obviously, I am referring to hurricane Katrina and am hearing how Bush should have done this and that. This is definitely not the only case of this, though and I am not just talking about Bush as it happened to Clinton as well and those before him. Going back to Katrina, I can't help but put the brunt of whatever blame must be placed on the local governments who, clearly were not ready to handle a disaster of any sized magnitude, let alone such a large one as this hurricane. Every region of this country has its own unique demographics, not to mention geography and geology. The responsibility for how to deal with the unique problems of a region lie on the local governments, not the federal government. As I live in Southern California, we have earthquakes and fires to deal with and it is up to the cities, counties, and state governments to be prepared on mobilizing fire and police departments and maintaining communication in the event of a major disaster. I'm not saying we're any better off than Louisiana, but I hope we are.

I want to state here that I am not a Bush supporter. In fact, my next post will deal with issues I have with him so I can set the record straight. My intention is to be as fair as possible.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Obligatory First Post

Hello out there! Is this on?

I'm sure I'm mostly talking to myself here but I have to start somewhere.

I already own two website: My semi-commercial site touting my video and multimedia services. I have no intentions of promoting it here. By the way, I am a major fan and self-proclaimed authority of the masterpiece film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Since this also, is not the focus of this blog, I'll leave it at that.

When I want to write about something other than 2001, animation, video technology or editing (geeky stuff, I know), I'll rant about it here. I fully admit that an inspiration for this blog is my long-time friend Erik Weinberger's site Left Over Right. Erik expresses his very strong viewpoints about his disdain for republicans there. I often have differing viewpoints from Erik and I occasionally contribute my own take on whatever Erik is complaining about. I have been finding it frustrating though as I often have a lot to say but I don't want to hijack Erik's site with my ramblings. So now I have this.

This is not to say that this will be a total politically-oriented site. I'm not really that into politics. I usually try not to think about how people I select in November are abusing my rights and my hard-earned money. So I'll write about sports, science, technology, or whatever I happen to feel like mentioning on a particular day. Just remember, it's pure drivel.