Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fermi would have answered his own question -- "Where are they?" -- today

Fermi would have answered his own question -- " Where are they?" -- in the 21st century. Observing today's communications he would have understood that with the communications of the 22nd, when we might be capable of some form of interstellar flight, we would have absolutely no reason to travel.

We will be able to just "fax" the DNA of a Tyrannosaurus Rex to them and they will "fax" the DNA of one of their prehistoric species to us -- and right here on earth we will be able to set up fights to the death -- with legal parimutuel betting that could bring revenue for local governments of course. :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Should California's neediest shoulder an equal-equal deficit burden?

Should California's neediest shoulder an equal-equal deficit burden?

Cutting $1.3 billion from the personal budgets of California's 1.3 million neediest ($1000 apiece!) to cover a $41 billion hole in the state budget burdens the poorest citizens with an even-Steven share of deficit repair (perfectly even share: $1130 X 36 million Californians).

Does anybody think that SSI/SSP, etc., ever covered more than their bare minimum needs to begin with?

If the governor sees fit to plunk an almost average red ink load onto the shoulders of the very poorest, he can also see how the rest of his citizens could more easily shoulder a teeny bit more than an even up share to close the state's budget gap -- with a clean conscience to boot.

["Together the cuts would eliminate $1.324 billion in grant payments to more than 1.3 million Californians between May2009 and June 2010."]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Could a 51-49 vote retire the Senate filibuster rule?

Tom Geoghegan stated on a local video interview that the Senate could retire the filibuster rule anytime it wished on a 51-49 vote (he didn't say if the vote might need to outlast a filibuster).

If so, shouldn't it be any Democratic administration's first priority?

If it would need to outlast a filibuster, couldn't Obama at some point in the legislative year do and "LBJ" -- who outlasted an 83 day filibuster to push through the 1964 Federal Civil Rights Act? I suppose there would be a lot less fanatic resistance now than in 1964 -- just need to tweak a vote or two.


The worst is, as Geoghegan pointed out in his book, that 16% of voters send 50 senators to Washington -- and 10% supply enough senators for a filibuster. He further laments in his book that getting rid of the Senate would take a two-thirds vote of the Senate -- making it impossible.

I would be willing to see the states with the other 82% of voters secede from the union -- make a new constitution without a Senate -- and then ("manifest destiny!") "conquer" the the states with the remaining 18%. "When in the course of human events... " :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Hitler could have won -- What can Israel win?

Hitler (my candidate for the anti-Christ) could have won, if he had given France back -- and said: "You declared war on us [for invading Poland]; we did not want it" -- and forced France to sign a neutrality pact. That would have killed all public support for war in Britain and America. If he had not been crazy killing the Jews and had treated the Ukrainians well (they welcomed the invaders as liberators from Stalin), and if he played the West right we might have ended up sending him tanks to fight the Russians!

Then he could have come back for France and England.

Germany immorally took on the whole world at least in the hope of acquiring badly needed (anyway) farmland and access to mineral and fossil fuel resources. Israel (I thought Jews were smart) is taking on the whole world (the whole militant Islamic world at least) for what: living space, literal meaning; extra room to put up real estate developments?

The most militant Israeli settlers could not live happily in Israel "proper" if it were not an official Jewish state -- overwhelmingly Jewish population would not be enough to satisfy. In the West Bank, even if half of Israel's population unaccountably moved into the one-fifth more land that the West Bank represents, Palestinians would outnumber Jews two to one even even before their higher birth rates grows their advantage. In reality the settlers must always remain a very small minority. For this they are willing to take on eternal war?

[Oh, and if Israel ever gets around to using its nuclear weapons Israel may have a (Arab?) holocaust on its resume. Nice!]