Tag Archives: space

The Trump Presidency: What ifs, Wherefores and Whens

The Trump Presidency has yet to begin and yet there is plenty to say about it. The place where it all plays out is as significant as anything else. It is not controvertible that there is something new and different about this campaign and transition. the remainder of the Presidency may not yet be set in stone. But a great deal is determined already. The cite of the transition at trump Tower, the enormous paid staff, the close cooperation with the NYPD. These all make this transition memorable.

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As for as determining what will happen next there are snippets of information here and there. There are guesses and conjectures and a good number of reports as well based on some kind of presumably hard evidence.

The truth is that Trump is already a powerful and influential man and his election allows him to merge the new political power with a body of private power. The fame he has attained and the wealth he oversees may pose special challenges but they do not interfere with his capacity to make the transition any more than they facilitate that transition.  What else do we know about what is going on in the tower?download-2

 

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Trump has appointed Mike Pence to oversee the transition since he removed Chris Christie.  He may or may not have named his son-in law to an advisory role and may or may not have asked for him to get security clearance. He does seem to have appointed General Flynn as  National Security advisor and Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist in the new administration. He has appointed Rience Priebus as Chief of Staff. The combination of Bannon as right wing bloglord and Priebus as former head of the establishment RNC strikes people as a compelling tension built in. It is reported that Giuliani and Romney — both household names in the GOP world are on the shortlist for Secretary of State. But others have been mentioned.   There are signs that Capitol Hill is gearing up to work with the Trump administration. 

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There are also reports that Paul Ryan will not work as majority leader to create a Deportation Force. Many cities have been clear that they will continue to operate as Sanctuary cities. in addition protest continue across many areas of the United States of America. So the Trump Tower does resemble a fortress these days in more ways than one. But there is a sense that he will be coming in from a position and base that he has secure himself and he seems well able to do so. download-5

 

I myself am hopeful that this can be a time for America to do some soul searching which many of my fellow citizens on the left have been eager to discuss. But I do not think the fact that America has chosen a privately rich and powerful man as  Chief Magistrate, President and Chief Ex

ecutive of our republic is anything to apologize for — it makes plenty of sense to me. Those aspects of his life are not enough but they do not detract in themselves. But I have heard many people imply that the opposite is true– that his wealth is a handicap that cannot be overcome. 

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download-7I think that the country realizes that there are many challenges to be faced in the world and America must face them. I think Americans realize the very urban Trump Tower is the site of a political revolt in large part centered in midsize cities, small towns and the true rural parts of the country. Many Americans realize  that the Democrats presence in Congress is historically small.

Trump will make a difference. He already has made a difference and there will be many things for me to criticize as time goes on but for the moent he is setting a tone that needs to be set and revealing a great deal to our nation and society that needs to be revealed. There is still a good bit up in the air and there will be a leadership election after Thanksgiving — yet some of the team seems to be set. The defeat of the Hillary ticket and her plurality (or possible majority) in the popular vote have also sent ripples across the face of the pond of American feminism. There are many voices addressing these energies directly and some voices addressing these issues more subtly.

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For those awaiting possible deportation there is a great deal of a sense of urgency. But for those inclined to consider policy there is much yet to know about the number involved and the nature of the deportations which a President Trump may enforce.

Likewise there is discussion as to what a wall on our border with Mexico will look like. How will such a wall be built and how will it function? The details can matter a great deal to many people.
It willl be interesting to see if Newt Gingrich gets a place in the administration. He has at least one part of his portfolio which would give a different spin to Trump’s desire to Make a America and unrivaled super power — he seems to share my belief in the desirability of space colonization. I think such a goal could enoble and improve Trump’s agenda. Trump’s view on space are not entirely clear but have received attention in places like this, this and this.

This is a  time of big change and space is one of the areas where big change is possible. It is also a basis for justifying real suffering . If one believes as I do that real colonization is possible. If, like me, one has labored in that vineyard. There is a Mars series on National Geographic Channel just now starting up. I posted this picture as my largely mute criticism of the plans it demonstrates:
15078648_10211213163866355_1169294305110545054_nI will not get into its interpretation here. I will only say colonization needs a different paradigm than we have been discussing. But space has been in discussions and communication here, here and here for example.   trump is aman hungry for glory, triumph and growth and Space colonization offers a hard, challenging and dangerous chance for all three. But it is in my view a necessary risk. We will see if someone can make that case to the President -Elect. The issues that I plan to look at with Trump in mind in coming posts include: immigration reform, American cultural identity, space issues, growth, sexual politics and business culture as well as the threats of ISIS and other extremist  Islamist groups. But I don’t have to govern the country right now. The GOP knows that it soon will have govern the country and they are trying to get ready to do so.

 

An Election in the Days of Advent and Christmas 2014

Happy Advent! Christmas is approaching and today as the final election between Bill Cassidy and Mary Landrieu takes place both politics and liturgical seasons are on my mind.  There is a lot of Christmas and Advent in this post and also some politics.  This post is mostly written and prepared before the final results are in and I predict Cassidy will win. Landrieu beat him in the primary and I voted for her, I voted for Cassidy in this election and sent him some money after first explaining in a post in a campaign site some of my concerns.  I did not want Cassidy to win in the Primary but I do want him to win now. He should do so because Maness was mostly to his right and Maness voters will vote far more for him than Landrieu. The wonder of Christmas and Advent’s time leading up to it have a place in my thinking about everything including today’s election.  I live my life in the context of these seasons of the Church, life and culture. Notwithstanding the nature of this blog, it might serve me well to devote this post solely to  the election. We all know that we elect people into office in a certain time and place but maybe we do not think religious seasons have much to do with it. Advent and its target — Christmas remind us of the importance of parts of life that do not vary as much as electoral politics. Goals like peace on Earth, Goodwill to mankind, Glory to God, Justice and truth in human affairs and charity to the needy.

Mom with a Christmas tree in a previous year. Today she is scheduled to buy a tree.

Mom with a Christmas tree in a previous year. Today she is scheduled to buy a tree.

There is so much to cover in current events today. It is not a slow news day. Today, Luke Somers whose name sounds like mine and who like me has sometimes made his living with words and photographs was killed. Long in captivity with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula he was killed during a failed rescue attempt. That story deserves attention and you can learn some facts here. This happened after his family pleaded publicly for his life in a stirring video message.  NASA has returned to real heavy lift rocketry and that is very important in this blog.  The landfall of Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines affects a country with importance to me, my family and the United States of America.  Beyond all that there is the race itself between Cassidy and Landrieu.  This race may well deserve a book and certainly the overall election cycle could use a lot of analysis. Knowing who voted for whom and why can shape our future.  Racial demographics alone could demand several good blog posts.

The voting booth remains a powerful part of our society.

The voting booth remains a powerful part of our society.

 

With all of that to do I should probably either ignore the current events of the day or pick a few of them or certainly leave out comments on Advent. But this is another . There are riots and protests sweeping the nation over Brown, Garner and police relations with the Black community. I have dealt with the issues of this election cycle  in previous posts found here, here and here. So here I can maybe afford to take a bit of a different view.

We all have images of what leadership should look like which are not simple portrayals of reality.

We all have images of what leadership should look like which are not simple portrayals of reality.

Last night I was at a large gathering made up of mostly voters and the election was never discussed. Advent was discussed, the Philippines, China, India and many other places. But not electoral politics. It was the Family Missions Company 18th Annual Members and Donors Dinner. I took some pictures and had one taken of me in front of the venue.  I know some people in the group are active in their parties.  But last night dealt with the issues that we all must face in different terms and in a different way. It was more the spiritual than the temporal side of our lives.

Me in a shoy by one of the proprietors on my phone as I walked into the Donors Dinner.

Me in a shot by one of the proprietors on my phone as I walked into the Donors Dinner at Magdalene Place.

In the coming days there will be  more to blog about in the political world. But one notable fact about this election of the next United States Senator from Louisiana is that the election is  being held on December 6. The sixth of December fall square into Advent.  Lord Hylton my sometimes correspondent, wrote a post on Advent in the House of Lords blog and my comments on it can be found here. Lord Hylton serves in the upper house of the British legislature which is Parliament. Our election is for the upper house of our legislature which is Congress. Where is America to find the answers to the struggles it faces? I am fairly sure the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be a big part of the foundation for a useful discussion in this country even if not in every country.  But this idea is increasingly out of sync with our laws and procedures as a society. The Senate ought not be a Church but neither should it be a faith-free institution.

America faces many challenges in this its own country and in the world. It faces huge challenges over time. How will those challenges be met. In the observance of Advent we remember in abbreviated symbols each of the challenges  of the Old Covenant before the coming of Christ. We ought then to be prepared to face our own challenges better and to better celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ. One of the things that emerges in my comment on Lord Hylton’s post is the shift of power and wealth from the Eastern Mediterranean to the West. These issues and facts across history continue to affect us in many ways beyond Advent or even religion. An example of some of those issues can be seen here for those who wish to think about the issues.

But of course most of our lives are sufficiently challenged with current problems we need not look through much of a historical lens to feel that we can understand. we confront these issues in charitable ventures, private enterprises, family and in politics.  It is the same world where all these things are working and aspects of our lives connect. So it is Advent as we elect this Senator. Part of my experience this Advent was attending the Family Missions Company Donors Dinner on the evening of the fifth of December. I have discussed this briefly and could say more.

A picture I took of my table at the Donors Dinner

A picture I took of my table at the Donors Dinner

Today Family Missions had a Swamp Games Celebration. I got a few pics of that but did not participate directly. Like a lot of other things this event is a celebration which may evolve into something more in future years. It has a bouncy castle for children this year and a course laid out with available objects inspired by The experience of my brother Joseph, my brother-in-law Kevin and others in participating in the Warrior Dash this year. It seemed  like a pretty cool event. There are also barbecues and Advent prayers going on.

The course and the racers were visible from most sides of my home. This is across the back fence and some family land.

The course and the racers were visible from most sides of my home. This is across the back fence and some family land.

The home team of my brother, brother -in- law and nephew among others seem to have defended their honor and turf fairly well against all comers in this friendly competition among various parts of the company. We call an election a race and there are similarities between the two things.  How hostile should an election be?  What is the line between political conflict and civil war? This is a big shift in Congress. America’s future is not so clear in various respects. Cassidy will probably win. But whoever wins the Senator will have to face the Lame Duck  Congress in their old job and then a whole new set of challenges in the time after this Christmas.  I hope all my readers who can vote will. But I also hope we will remember that there is more to this time of the year than our politics.

The Church near the Donors Dinner last night.

The Church near the Donors Dinner last night.

We all have struggles ahead of us to keep a good Christmas. They vary from person to person.  But these lifelong concerns matter just as much as the political events of this time and this set of issues. O come Emmanuel! May you all soon have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year! But for now may you find life a bit more reflective and worth waiting for than usual. I hope the values of patience and reflection fins some good place in our Senate as well.

 

 

Chinese land Jade Rabbit, 玉兔 (yu tu) rover on the Moon

Congratulations to the Chinese people and society for landing the Jade Rabbit, 玉兔 (yu tu) rover on the Moon. This is a wonderful achievement of human and social potential. I hope China will continue to play an important role in bringing all of humanity into dynamic involvement with lunar resources in the full sense of those words.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25382049 The reports of their successful landing are certainly among the most important recent events in science and human development news on the large international scale. We can only hope this will be another step to ward the future of lunar colonization. http://www.channel4.com/news/china-the-first-moon-landing-in-38-years-and-the-mystery-ma  Of course everyone is far from discussing such things now but this is at least activity.

5O Reasons why the Crater Cap Colony Concept is a Good and Important Idea

This Note will put forth 50 reasons why the Crater Cap Colony Concept is a good and important idea. The Crater Cap Colony Concept involves building a cap on the crater of other worlds such as the Moon and Mars most of all. It also involves a specific and effective from of development under the caps. In addition to all of the other things that are part of the model there is a program for mining which is specific to the model as well.
The crater cap colonies also represent both a great deal of risk and an enormous engineering challenge. This note will seek to promote the benefits of the concept and plan and to show the contrast with other schemes. However, there is no doubt that this remains a staggeringly great challenge. In addition there have been many things that were designed to fail and many efforts undertaken to preserve something that would have been threatened by a successful design, thus in order for this to succeed it would not only have to be done well by a sustained and great effort but avoid being derailed by a false effort.
One through Twenty-Five: Craters are Special
1. The progress of human technology needs to be shaped and directed not only by war and the marketplace but also by a grand and meaningful project. The development of craters on the Moon and Mars are the right places for such a focus of development. Recognizing the special and unique importance of these craters and the potential of other craters for the human race is an important part of the chance for human progress.
2. Craters are special because they occur on the Moon, Mars, the other terrestrial planets and on the major asteroids. They cannot be ignored as a great commonality of features across the solar system.
3. Craters are also special because of the efficiencies implicit and distinctive to a crater cap as the means of instituting a colonial environment. With a crater cap one can spend the great bulk of the resources and energy of the development on the completion one dimension in a shape which also provides other dimensions of enclosure which are pre=made at no additional cost. These dimensions are able to adapt in a way which the cap cannot. Mines can be operated readily on and through the floor while the cap is improved, made more substantial and kept in a state of restricted access.
4. Craters also have numerous qualities which tend to make them good places to plant a colony. The craters are visible and distinct features with well-defined autonomous edges and a large area where air can be held under a cap and the large views over the crater itself will allow for a sense of freedom space and abundance which create real and perceived priority. Other reasons in this list will return to many of these specific reasons. But this number four reason has to do with the synergy and efficiency of combining all of these factors in the whole which is the crater as a colony site. This is even more notable when compared to how bad it would be to develop the other features of these planets as early colonies.
5. Craters offer intrinsic security in a harsh extraterrestrial environment. The crater will provide a great deal of buffering and blockage as regards to the hostile of effects of solar wind, micro-meteors, cosmic radiation and allows heat management in the environment in a way which protects from the terrors and dangers of extreme heat and cold.
6. Craters provide good visible features for navigation, comparison and planning. The craters have many common features which will allow people and agencies in varied places to learn about many common challenges and benefits from a variety of colonial sites at the same time.
7. Craters provide enormous psychological benefits. If properly conceived and managed the mines will provide security if and when the cap is breached and controlled wall dugouts and sub-floor mines will house most people and activities in such a way that the craters themselves will provide an open air space reserved for agriculture, aquaculture and recreation. The principal benefit of the space will be to allow people to see large expanses and then return to the confined spaces of daily activity. Surface areas around the crater will be utilized for astronomy, solar power generation and other activities but will not be a hospitable environment which offers a sense of real freedom of movement.
8. Craters allow for ideal multiple use planning.
9. Craters allow for a really terraformed placement of colonies without extravagant expense. Craters already tend to align to the center of gravity in a certain way and to produce numerous relatively constant parameters which colony planners, environmental specialists, technology designers and engineers can rely upon to effect their colony’s optimum performance.
10. Craters allow for species variety and ecosystem balancing early in colonial development. This is because of the ability to hava a floor, a central pond or lake , air space and mines in a particular array which is conducive to the success of biological systems.
11. Craters are truly unique in that they provide a possibility for effective thermal management. In the case of the Moon, Mars, large asteroids and any large body which is not geologically active the mines will have access to unlimited relatively cold material. Proper planning will allow the energy used in mining and living as well as the heat from lighting and other systems to balance a micro climate in the crater and still have access to a broad face for emergency thermal venting.
12. Craters are remarkably stable. For the purpose of brevity I will leave this as an assertion supported by observed facts.
13. The behavior of volatiles in craters has remarkable benefits in the case of a meteor strike. In places like the Moon, Mars and other places with very little or no atmosphere the air will rush out of a breached cap into the relative vacuum outside as will some of the water while colonists shelter in the mines. This will mitigate the destructive force of a strike already broken up before entering the crater.
14. The behavior of volatiles in craters has remarkable benefits in choosing a site. The preservation of volatiles such as water in all its forms and other gasses that can be activated by heating is a property of craters which makes them suited to be colonial sites.
15. Craters allow independent mine shaft systems for greater security of all kinds and yet links them all to a central open space which can be readily observed and monitored for defects and allows for ready movement of large groups and resources.
16. Craters are readily identified for planning and travel negotiations and discussions between parties not constantly cooperating.
17. Craters come in vastly different sizes to match the resources available to very different colonial efforts.
18. Craters can be modeled and studied to a significant degree from the craters on earth.
19. Craters offer the chance to create a very complex design and environmental system that starts with a very simple plane positioned in a predictable place and in a place where it can be easily improved.
20. Transporting energy from solar panels (and windmills in the case of Mars) to the lights, pumps and heaters on the lower face of the Cap is a very efficient position for such transfer.
21. Maintenance of features on the Cap’s plane itself has many efficiencies compared to almost any other configuration.
22. The atmosphere being created in the colony will itself help to support the great plane of the Cap for the colony. This is because of atmospheric pressure below and near vacuum above and the force of gravity being lower than Earth’s gravity.
23. Craters allow us to use many old and well established Earthly technologies.
24. Craters have no exposed elevation and reduce the incidence of meteor strikes which a colony elsewhere increases as it develops.
25. Craters are efficient in that a huge amount of energy has been expended in creating most of the design features by nature itself.
Twenty-Six through Forty: Colonizing Space is Vital
26. Space Colonization is vital to being who our species is as explorers, survivors etc. Outer space is that portion of the universe that is farther from the center of the Earth than the highest reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere. It makes up more than 99.99999999999999% of the universe which we can physically perceive.
27. Space Colonization is a necessary process if humanity’s leaders are to be able to command the respect of thinking people when difficult choices and allocations of resources must be made. Some reasonable hope for a better future given that ff we were to divide up all of the physical space we can see or detect equally among all the inhabitants of the Earth the amount of space occupied by all humans alive today would make a minute and entirely insignificant portion of the share belonging to each person.
28. Space colonization in the craters is vital in that it links the vastness of space to the real abundance that come from hard work and capitalizing on opportunity So that humanity’s constituents can understand that most of virtually limitless space is dark empty and has hardly any atomic particles in it and it is so far away that physically using those particles in any way in the next 100 generations can’t be reasonably imagined yet hard work and careful choices can create real opportunities in a few nearer places.
29. Space colonization is vital because despite how tiny it is in the universe of visible light the dimensions of our solar system alone would allow us to use a fraction of more than 99.99999999999999% of the space being somewhere other than the surface of the Earth.
30. Even in our solar system which some of our traveling craft have left behind in the voyager project most of the raw natural resources are not on the Earth’s surface. The crater cap colonies which operate in low gravity wells would allow us to reach these vast resources and supply them to Earth much more cheaply than operating from Earth would.
31. By far most of the oxygen in the solar system is in outer space and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources.
32. Most of the carbon is in outer space and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources
33. Most of the hydrogen is in outer space and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources.
34. Most of the helium is in outer space and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources.
35. Most of the metals we call precious are almost certainly there and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources.
36. Most of the exotic metals and silicates we need for specialized purposes are there and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources.
37. Most of the Methane which could be burned to power a civilization for thousands of years is out there in the solar system and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources.
38. It is almost certain that there is more liquid water under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Europa than there is on Earth and ships operating from bases in 1/6 and 1/3 Earth’s gravity could better reach those resources.
39. Our space history has already proven that nothing between the Sun and the orbit of Pluto is intrinsically beyond the reach of our own basic technology to reach, tag and return from robotically. Humans operating from colonial bases in the craters would be primed to utilize these spaces.
40. Space colonization follows a chain going from observation, to exploration, to travel and exploration and then to stationing. After these things comes colonization. Space colonization has the chance to be the biggest change in human economy since the development of agriculture. The coming of agriculture was not an unmixed blessing but it was one of the most justifiable of all social changes in human history.
Forty-one through Fifty: This is the Concept
41. These Crater Cap Colonies are the key to unlocking a future of promise for humanity. Like the rise of agriculture they are the essential innovation supporting all others.
42. Some bad things by any measure will come of these colonies as they did from agriculture but it is just as essential to make the change. Had humanity not become agricultural sooner or later things would have become much worse than they have gotten so far. The Crater Cap Colonies will allow a vast new array of needed resources and very bad results are the alternative.
43. Our science and technology up to now has shown that Space can be explored. Now it must be colonized. These colonies will allow multiple models of a new human dynamism. They will allow us to address as many varied social and environmental experiments as we may choose. Life and humanity today await at a crossroads as great as that of the first rise agriculture. These colonies will have an effect as great or greater than the first great works of irrigation for large scale agriculture created the mighty powers that ruled ancient China and Egypt.
44. Like the surpluses and changes created by agriculture these colonies will create societies that could pour wealth into the extended economy and transform it at the same level that the first agricultural changes that enabled other peoples to change from nomadic hunting or nomadic herding to a combination of nomadic herding and carrying trade goods thus our non space industries would also find new opportunities.
45. In their similarity to the ancient farms these colonies will enable space industries not involved in colonization to progress just as agricultural societies enabled fisherfolk to increase their population by adding waterborne trade to their fishing economy.
46. These colonies could promote peace while at the same time creating new security and defence sector challenges and opportunities just as early agriculture enabled warrior bands to enter int0 long-term contracts with landholding kings and to earn a living partly from keeping the peace.
47. These colonies would transform our society and future just as agriculture really made a different human world and remade much of the world as well. The best hunter-gatherers were actually richer, healthier and freer than the new farmers but in the end the choice of the species as a whole to emphasize agriculture was a choice vital to both survival and any real chance of prosperity. I think that space colonization requires a similar leap and offers similar sets of consequences.
48. Space Colonization will restore a sense of wisdom and virtue not available in much of human society today. For instance, I don’t really expect to live to see a working colony on the Moon or Mars. However, as long as I do live I will apply some of my energy to that transition humanity must make towards becoming a space colonizing species.
49. Space Colonization allows for a growing human population over time and the survival of real biodiversity on Earth.
50. Space Colonization allows for a path of reasoning which is both optimistic and sane and other long term plans do not allow for this. These colonies can be cost effective and supportive of what is going on here on Earth in a very unique way.

I am aware of many an issue, as are we all…

They are debating the budget now. We do not have a metal standard. We do not balance our budgets. We are the world’s largest debtor nation.

There are programs being cut for the poor and for the defense establishment. There are investments being cut but we are still completely out of control. Ironicaly, the medical establishment is in my opinion responsible for many of the worst problems in the United States and I have voted for Dr. Charles Boustany every time he has run when I was around to vote largely because he is a physician. Mycorrespondence with him about the budget has been  limited to an issue many would find hard to justify in these times. But I do not find it so…

Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D.
Representative Dr. Boustany,
Thank you for your timely response of quality. Because in my Original e-mail I had indicated that I was passing on copies of the correspondence I will take the liberty of doing the same thing with your response.
Best wishes in your efforts,
FWSIII
Dear Frank:

Thank you for contacting me regarding President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget for NASA.  It is good to hear from you.

There is no question that NASA and the breakthroughs that have occurred within have made America a leader in science and technology.  As a heart surgeon, I have personally experienced the real world value of equipment such as specialized monitors, x-rays and other medical devices, the basics of which were developed from the hard work and innovation of NASA employees.  While there will always be a place for the government’s role in creating and developing innovative technology that is far too capital intensive and risky for the private sector, there is also a time and place to hand over the hard work of our government scientists and allow the private sector to make the leaps and bounds that have proven true in the past.

Right now our country is facing a budget deficit that has spun out of control in the last few years and tough choices are ahead of us.  It’s important to note that the President’s budget is only a blueprint and represents his spending priorities.  Congress will ultimately decide funding levels for specific programs through the legislative process.  I appreciate your input.  Be assured I’ll remember your strong support for NASA as I discuss the FY12 budget with House leaders and as Congress considers any related legislation. 

Again, thank you for contacting me. 

Sincerely,

Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D.
Member of Congress
——————————-

I am not including my original missive here, but much of its substance is suggested in his response.


From: “Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D.” BLANKED OUT@mail.house.gov>
To: frank64summers3@yahoo.com
Sent: Mon, February 14, 2011 10:39:57 AM
Subject: A Response from Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr., M.D.

 

What about that water on the Moon?

Today NASA held a press conference revealing that by combining calibration sightings of a comet watcher called Deep Impact and the data aquired by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper riding a hundred kilometer orbit over the moon on the Chandrayan India based lunar mission. I watched the press conference on TV and am basing this note on what I remember from that conference without using any more sources. Somewhere on the site www.nasa.gov one can doubltless get the most up to date data. Probably some of it will correct errors in my summary below.

A Frank Summary of Moon Water Issue

1. The general surface of the Moon remains drier than any Earthly desert.

2. There is water difuse and spread over the whole surface of the moon in rough terms. There is is a chaotic and broad pattern of water distribution.

3. There is a broad distribution of hydroxyl as well which is a different combination of hydrogen and water.

4. There is evidence in ejecta that hydroxyl and possibly subsurface deposits of water have been thrown up by impacts.

5. There is an average of between one liter and one gallon of water in every ton of typical surface regolith.

6. There may still be water in permanent shade, water in subterranean deposits of ice and remnants of meteoric or comet borne material that was not part of this surface distribution.

7. We now have a baseline above zero for water on the moon. It is much less than Martian conditions and very austere but it can be combined with other elements of water located.  Together with other sources it increases the chances of successful futute lunar crater colonies above the worst case scenario.

Some Thoughts about Science Fiction….

I am writing a science fiction novel on Facebook on an account named Summers Progress. In it I feature a number of my own inventions. Perhaps none of them will see the light of day outside that fictional universe. I am not sure. I see people casually discussing what amounts to surrender to the Taliban. From a scientifc progress point of view this is quite different than delivering Iraq to the influence of an Iran which is at least eager to compete in science no matter how much else I may find reprehensible in its regime.

In recent months we have had  the new Star Trek movie introducing a new young cast and we have had the release of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra on our movie screens. I think people are hungry to believe in a new and better future. The role of Science fiction in shaping the dreams and hopes of young people is a complicated one which we cannot easily fully analyze and understand. But it does play a role. I hope that as the world struggles with all its current problems it can still make time to perfect its dreams of the future. Perhaps in some ways those are blueprints of many future policies. 

This post first appeared on my Facebook page on March 27 of this year.

This is the kind of topic that I will surely have to revisit and take in small pieces in other notes if this series is long enough. However, there is a place somewhere in the wide universe for an overstretched brief personalistic essay about the future generally. Maybe this is the time and space for such an essay I have taken the lense of science fiction and have ended up focused on really a small part of the future itself. Howver, the future itself is still my topic.

I often or even usually have a strong or weak religious and spiritual element in these Facebook Notes. I usually do not single out religious groups by name for the purpose of distinguishing them from the point of view I am taking. However, in this case I am taking the somewhat unusual course of discussing both Christianity and science fiction and how they relate to our apprehension of and planning for the future. I think that I have a decently adequate basic nonadherent’s understanding of the following three religions: The Church of Jesus Christ Scientist (Christian Scientists), The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints (Mormonism) and the Scientologists. I can assure any of you that I would be happy to influence thinkers in any of these groups but that I am not taking a position which is anywhere particulary near to the orthodoxies of any of these religions. Indeed it is I believe within the range of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.

I do believe that Space is within the meaning of the heavens and heaven as are other things which Jesus indicated when he said that “The Kingdom of God is within you”. I do believethat Jesus as a fully human man was a poet, a liturgist, a prince, a lector, a rabbi and among other outstanding achievements he created a body of achievement that could be classified as science and engineering — all his human attributes do not detract from his claim to divinity. Nor do they answer the poetic ambiguity in the verse from the epistle “Though he was at one with God he did not claim equality with God as something to be grasped at…”. I do believe the Scriptures I cal the Sacred Scriptures have a call on us to care for the Earth, for our fellow man, for our families and (that at the state) we have now reached Space colonization is exigent in order to fulfill those obligations. Nonetheless, I do not intend this note to be primarily a religious or Scriptural Facebook Note.

One way in which I subject my own talents in predicting the future to public scrutiny is that I play a variety of viewable online games in which prediction is a vital skill. These games include fantasy football at NFL.com, the NCAA Bracket Challenge on Facebook and various kinds of online Texas Hold ’em Poker. I am not the very best but my play is fairly respectable. Outside of online gaming I have demonstrated other signs of function in the current technological milieu. I have earned a couple of degrees, some licenses, some commisions and certifications and they all demonstrate that I am not drawn towards futurist endeavors because I cannot find anything I am able to do anything worthy in the present. Nonetheless, I would proudlyidentify myself as a humanist rather than a scientist.

I have thought about the future a great deal. It seems that a lot of people have. We all express a certain faith in the future everytime we put milk in the refrigerator, puchase stock, go on a job interview or call someone to set up any kind of date, meeting or get-together. In fact probably nobody reading this really thinks that the known universe will cease to exist in the time it would take an ordinary person to read to the end of this note. In that sense faith in the future seems pretty universal.

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BRINGING A BABY INTO THE WORLD AND HELPING THE BABY MAKE HIS OR HER WAY IN THE WORLD IS A GREAT ACT OF FAITH IN THE FUTURE FOR A NORMAL OR BETTER THAN NORMAL PARENT.

However, beyond simply believing that life will go on for somebody or something somewhere, most of us think we ourselves have some continuity beyond this throbbing or fleeting instant we call the present. I am writing about the future in a bit more specific way than this however. I am trying to discuss the future as a kind of grand subject.

I like to think about forming the shape of the human and earthly future as well as trying to influence it myself. I am deeply unhappy about many signs of how the future may turn out. However, I am also very optimistic about what is possible. A decent number of historians and antiquarians read futuristic literature and science fiction. Certainly, I have read a great deal of history and seen a lot of antiquities. However, science fiction and futuristic writing have played a big part in the formation of my mind and the filling of the time I have had available to read. It is tru that Styar Wars is a science fiction classic franchise and big money in our time which is set long ago and is full of Biblical and royalist allusions to past societies. But it outlines launches, gravity wells, spaceships, linguistic analysis, imaging systems and countless other things which were new with seeds and roots in the time Lucas began the series andwith fruit and flower in the future as far as we are concerned. A substantial minority of science fiction is set in the past in that sense but in a cyclical sense still maps a reality technicaly set more or less in our foreseeble future. Star Wars is actually less, as some of it is not anywhere near our technical capacity.

One of the intersting things about Michael Crichton the writer of books such as Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man, Jurassic Park and State of Fear is that he was a medical doctor. This is why his series ER was so sound in so many ways. There is an authenticity in his imagined science because he was able to live and function in the world of real science in his time. While a devout Roman Catholic, I belong to a struggling old secret society which gives a particular double interpretation to some scripture passages as coded preservations ofsome amazing achievements of Jesus in science and engineering. For us Jesus’s lofty goals and the ideal on which he founded his church are more and not less credible because of the other ways in which he exerted leadership and showed genius in his world. In a certain minimaly similar way writers like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Crichton have some increased appeal as writers of their type of imaginative fiction because they could do real science in the real world.

We often find science fiction refereshing because it is devoid of some of the reminders of religious, national and familial obligations which surround is. That is true even for those who generaly are and seem to be pushers of family, nation and religion with their incumbent obligations. People such as I am still enjoy Dune’s vacation from the Roman Catholic Church to the Orange Catholic Bible. In instances where they are similar there is still no actual Orange Catholic community that either the Protestant House of Orange or the Catholics of our own time have to actually get along with. However, to notice that sense of fictional escape is not to say that tradition, religion and hard nosed reality have nothing to contribute to both the making of science fiction and to its enjoyment by its readers.

It has been also on the promise of really remaking the future that leaders as diverse as Adolph Hitler, Mao Tse Tung (Mao Zhe Dong), Vladimir Lenin, Lech Walensa and Thomas Jefferson have made their claims. Not all to the same dgree but to a greater degree than most leaders who have not lived in the last ten centuries. Contrary to the vast body of modern opinion I would argue that in many ways almost everyone born in the last thousand years shares a basic sense of desperation and insecurity that was far from being the norm prior to that time. Humanity spent a great deal of its early formative period expanding at a walking pace across and from Africa, across Europe and Asia and then across the vastly long journey of the Americas to Patagonia. Then there were crude and slow crafts and dogs and horses that brought in Australia and remote lands and mountains not safely reachable before then. Then the vikings in the tenth and eleventh century to a degree far greater than any history book will ever tell visited large and small islands in all four hemispheres (East and West, North and South) often leaving there only slaves and captives often of mixed ancestry from varied culture with whom some of their genes and technology were mingled. They also drove waves of refugees in ships from burning towns ro new islands in almost every part of the world. All of this happened before 1492 and the age of Discovery. Since about 1100 the Earth has been a fairly old and settled place as far as hunmanity goes. The mythical and infinite earth of great undiscovered creatures and lands with unknown and incaculable potential really died in about 1100. Since then all leaders of all places have sort of known that many of the happiest and most hopeful options for their descendants were foreclosed and that we all had entered a phase of negotiations (whether lethal or peaceful) with other humans. Most humans have never lived on the edge of the unknown lands but their existence did affetct allhumans at some level. Their experience did define the possible for leaders everywhere. Population control, vertical integration, oppression, xenophobia and tedium always had to compete with the whispers of the wild and undiscovered world and the vast genetic and historic cultural ties which linked all humans to the process of discovery. There have always been serious planners and as long as there were truly unpopulated lands around their plans could be different. Since then we live in a different human experience than formed us and only serious colonization of the solar system can address that basic change in a way that preserves some of the best of who we are for the future.

Both adventure and resources await our species throughout the solar system. There is little doubt in my mind that we damn ourselves quite seriously if we fail the challenge of securing access to both the adventure and the resources. Yes, I believe God has given the Moon and Mars to Earth’s people as part of our manifest destiny to colonize. It is part of becoming who we are meant to become.

If we had self sustaining and vibrant colonies on the Moon and Mars trading with Earth. Peopled by growing populations and settlers then our lives would resemble that of our human ancestors for long ages past. Most of us would not go to space and would not live their but we would know that we were living in a world of expanding possibilities. Inddeed it would be better than much of the past because almost all could see that were were bringin life where no life had been before. Being both sane and optimistic would again be really possible. The prospect of interstellar travel right now is a near impossibility. The possibility of interstellar travel in the future of a moderately badly run human society with real colonies on the Moon and Mars is substantial. The possibility of interstellar travel in the future of a society descended from us if we have a few centuries of colony driven development on the Earth, the Moon and Mars is very hight indeed. Once honest people can say to their children that our species is on its way to colonizing the worlds around as many stars as it seems right and convenient to colonize then our whole frame of reference will have changed for what the Human race is about and can expect.

We find science fiction in Dante’s Inferno and the rest of the Divina Comedia where the pilgrim with his guide takes a single path down through the center of the Earth where the pits of hell are deepest and the follows the same line past the center of gravity as down becomes up. Now he follows Beatrice through Purgatory to the high mountainous realm of heaven. The science of understanding gravity in a sphere is the central device. We find science fiction in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein when Dr. Frankenstein freed from the Medieval prohibition against dismembering corpses is able to put his monster (named Adam after the man God made) together form spare parts and give him life. We find science fiction in bits and pieces in old Greek mythology.It reaches some heights in Jules Vernes fictional depths as Captain Nemo adventures in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. There is a poetic wildness to science fiction in CS Lewis’s Perelandra Trilogy named for its second book. But while I read all hese things I also read the vast body of more hard-core genre science fiction.

CS Lewis wrote of the various reasons for writing science fiction. On class of novelists and short story writers he chose to distinguish from himself were the “engineers” who tried to tell stories set around the use of potentialy useful future technology. Arthur C. Clark who wrote 2001: A Space Oddyssey made famous by the great Hollywood film was many things but certainly he was an engineer writer. His hard science fiction told of communications sattelites, space stations, moon landings, computers of the type we call artificial intelligence and other things before they existed. Besides deiscovering shipwrecks, at least one of which was full of treasure, he wrote many novels and short stories. His treatment of starships in 2001 is sort lost in the presence of working portals, one of which was left on the moon at the dawn of mankind. But in several of his novels he describes human s seeding the stars in ships that travel fro hugely long periods of time run by computers which retrieve crews from suspended animation and then help them rise to new function when they reach the star. He may even discuss the use of frozen embryos in providing the bulk of the population base. This is very far from Star Trek’s warp drive or Star War’s hyperdrive or Dune’s Spacefolding Guildsmen.

I have never published a novel and most of the of the ones I have written could be classified as unfinished. However, I have written several set in the period when the solar system is being colonized. A future I feel should be our focus of attention. I have set one or two in the period when human civilization well established in the whole or much of the solar system is invaded by interstellar aliens. I have written very lirrle about humans going to other stars. Partly this is because I feel science fiction ought to entice us into the right future when it is engineering science fiction and our thoughts should be on colonizing the sloar system. However, in my view of the future I have a pretty good idea of how starships ought to come into play.

The most important factor about interstellar travel initiated by the human race is that it would be by far the best if it came after about 500 years of intense development of the Solar System. When there are thousands of operatiing populated spaceships, a dozen or more space stations and large factories and ports on the Moon and Mars fed by Lunar and Martian farms and with labor and finace experienced in space then interstellar travel and starships will have a different appeal than they can as we live in a world where perhaps none of the things listed above will ever happen. I believe we can begin to envision many of the steps we have to undertake. I have included some drawings and illustrations that I have posted in the Crater Cap Concept Colony Group as milestone on that projected road.

Humanity must perfect the colonization of craters in varied situations.
Robotic ships on Mars starting the process will be a kind of simple practice for interstellar colonization as well as being the basis of much of the future economy.
Craters will become huge complexes of cities and farms in some cases. But robots can start the all-important capping process.
Eventually systems like my catapult idea would tie Earth to continuos and efficient launches into space just as imports fom space colonies and prodution for space in space will create a huge part of the economy.

What we need to do to get to be a species that lives engaged with the universe of our perception is first to dwvlope this solar system. This process will of course vastly impact our societies and culture. Not doing it is already having an impact. I believe this process can involve creation of entire Earethly eco-systems in canyons. It can be largely humane and part of a larger blossoming of human culture. One of my new Facebook friends Shaun Waterford is developing (and has largely developed) asystem of underwater habitats. I think colonizing the Moon and Mars can lead toa great synergy and cross-fertilization of ideas with those who want to explore the great potential of responsibly colonizing the pelagic ocean floor, seamounts and underwater coastal flats. Most problems will be different between spae and the sea. However, a huge number of problems will be the same, similar or have complimentary solutions. So what could life in space be like?

A view from above of a mature crater cap colony. The white sheet is the uppermost of numerous layers in the crater cap. It allows the features to be studied from space. The blue discs are solar power centers. The two railways intersect with a single airlock on the surface sheet. The colony has almost no profile, farms, towns and mines are below the surface.
If colonization is centered in craters there will still be plenty of astronomical observatories, laboratories, pipelines and spaceports which allow the colonists to have an exposure to their unearthly surroundings which over a lifetime amounts to something we can scarcely imagine. However, in the Crater Cap Concept Colonies life could be very much like earth except that it would be lived in an earthly ecosystem and by earhtly pople under conditions of one sixth or one third gravity. There is norassurance it will be well done but if it were done well life could be pretty good there. Good in the minds of ordinary folk who are not as interested in science fiction as I am — is a possibility in space colonies.
Using entranceds to mines that radiate from the crater with its central fertile fields and pure cliff dwellings that draw from traditionms such as the Anasazi and Nabateans beautifula nd functional residences with extra safety from breached caps would not use the fertile floors of the crater colonies. Each country and colony could devlope a unique architecture i each miniature world that a crater would constitute.
Many animals could adapt to life in these crater colonies. Chickens could roost high on the walls and fly though the pressurized air in low g. with their aerating feet and droppings they would help in the phese of turning the floors of regolith into real soil.
Larger crater rims would have parks around some of the more massive foundations of the cap. These parks would be outside themain warm and wet circulation of airin the colony.
This would enable a cooler driier microclimate to make for a more pleasantly diverse living environment.
Fish living in bodies of water on the moon and mars would be able to fill a normal idf assisted ecosystem. Then children vould carry emergency vaccum suits in sealed cans as a weight when venturing into this wilderness area. They would benefit from the incidentla weight training. Adults might be allowed to determin e their own risk and decide to use the suit/weight cases or not.

There is of course a lot more to the future than we can address by looking to space colonization. I am very much aware that John Hope Franklin has died this week. He was a black man and a scholar of African American History as well as being an active leader and scholarly planner
of the civil rights movement. John Hope Franklin died at ripe old age. However, the possibilites for collaboration between various groups and peoples would be much more promising if we were colnizing space and greatly increasing real and potential resources. Jesus said “I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” Frankilin spent a great deal of time trying to figure out ways for varied people to live together in a way that seemed more abundant to him. There is no guaranty that we will act wisely and fairly in a world of objective abundance but objetive abundance is part of what all people of goodwill should be working towards.

Science fiction is one of the arts of our own time and place. We are invited by it to look at what we can do and how e can do it. I do hope though that because somuch of our fiction is interstellar we are not distracted fro the great adventure in our solar system which really is calling to us and which will shape much of our destiny.

The End

A Personal and Objective Take on Outer Space

This post originaly appeared on Facebook in January but two new drawings have been added and a few typos corrected in this version.

Outer space is that portion of the universe that is farther from the center of the Earth than the highest reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere. It makes up more than 99.99999999999999% of the universe which we can physicaly perceive. If we were to divide up all of the physical space we can see or detect equally among all the inhabitants of the Earth the amount of space occupied by all humans alive today would make a minute and entirely insignificant portion of the share belonging to each person. However, most of that space is dark empty and has hardly any atomic particles in it and it is so far away that physicaly using those particles in any way in the next 100 generations can’t be reasonably imagined. But even our solar system alone would allow us to use a fraction nearly as big as that we started this argument with or maybe bigger. In the solar sytem most of the oxygen is in outer space, most of the carbon is in outer space, most of the hydrogen is in outer space, most of the helium is in outer space, most of the metals we call precious are almost cerianly there and the metals we need for highly specialized uses abound in outer space. It is almost certain that there is more liquid water under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Europa than there is on Earth. Nothing between the Sun and the orbit of Pluto is intrinsically beyond the reach of our own basic technology to reach, tag and return from roboticaly. Cost, law, design glitches and time are clearly identifiable obstacles. I said these things were not intrinsically impossbible by rearranging and refining existing technology. Given thse basic facts, I believe that an aggressive space policy is in the interest of all humans and of the Earth and all its species so long as it is mostly a wise policy or even largely a wise policy.

What inspires me to write this note today is the small concept group which I mentioned in my last Facebook note. I believe that the development of outer space is as important as anything else that confronts human beings in our age. The concept group is called Crater Cap Concept Colony Group. It is not the only group of people exploring the possibilities of space as a group and it is not the biggest such group either. However, it is certainly the only one that I have founded on Facebook. So that rates it an important mention in these notes.

Space colonization follows a chain going from observation, to exploration, to travel and exploration and then to stationing. After these things comes colonization. Space colonization has the chance to be the biggest change in human economy since the development of agriculture. The coming of agriculture was not an unmixed blessing but it was one of the most justifiable of all social changes in human history. Had humanity not become agricultural sooner or later things would have become much worse than they have gotten so far. Life today awaits at a crossroads as great as that of agriculture.The great works of irrigation for large scale agriculture created the mighty powers that ruled ancient China and Egypt and created societies that could pour weatlh into purchases that enabledother peoples to change from nomadic hunting or nomadic herding to a combination of nomadic herding and carrying trade goods. It enabled fisherfolk to increase their population by adding waterborne trade to their fishing economy. It enabled warrior bands to enter int0 long-term contracts with landholding kings and to earn a living partly from keeping the peace.  Agriculture really made a different human world and remade much of the world as well. The best hunter-gatherers were actually richer, healthier and freer than the new farmers but in the end the choice of the species as a whole to emphasize agriculture was a choice vital to both survivial and any real chance of prosperity. I think that space colonization requires a simlar leap and offers similar sets of consequences. I don’t really expect to live to see a working colony on the Moon or Mars. However, as long as I do live I will apply some of my energy to that transition humanity must make towards becoming a space colonizing species. The Crater Cap Concept Colony is the model I think we should be pushing towards making a reality.

While astronomy has always been a discipline that was a significant teacher and leader into fields of knowledge for much of the human race’s journey into development — it must yield to the leadership of those who will build permanent and sustainable colonies. On the day when Humans have a few colonies on the moon with tens of thousands of residents each it will be very easy to make huge progress i astronomy. However, aiming only for a golden age of astronomy will not necessarily bring about lunar colonization. The larger possibility must find the rank and leadership in these areas.

Craters are distinct features which can be studied and which have common characteristics. They exist on the Earth, the Moon, Mars, asteroids, several moons of our solar systems planet and can be theorized to exist in or near many other objects around our sun or other stars. Capping a crater has an intrinsic economic and resource wisdom to it because one is using the enormous energy already expended in creating the bowl and only creating one side. Frequently one could achieve enormous benefeits in blicking our cosmic rays and radiation. All of these benefits are true even for asteroids. However, in larger round objects like the Moon and Mars it is very likely that one could use the gravity to create a highly functioning biospheric hemisphere. In terms familiar to some, one could make a terrarium including one or more aquaria. Whether or not there is air or liquid water on the heavenly body would have little to do with the success of the crater cap colony. People could live in these and that is the basis of our little concept group.

just a crude drawing of a robot for for the Mars early phase
Second drawing of MATCHES (Mars Access to Crater Habitat Exploration Ship)
Last of MATCHES drawings.
I also think that once there is a crater colony (or certainly a few crater colonies) thriving on the moon then one would have a basis for many industries.  Things manufactured on the moon would be esily lifted and deployed to Mars colonization, to space ships, to Earth orbiting stations and to asteroid miners. One sixth gravity is economic magic that would make all solar system operations entirely different. Producing goods in . pace and dropping them to earth is intrincsically cheap. Thus carbon fuels highly refined could be lifted to the moon wherthe will be mixed with gasses made impure for colonies by various accidents and industries. These fuels would lift six times as much from the Moon as the would from the Earth and these fuels would not affect Earth’s air and climate when burned. Very precious things would be “downported” by Earth to maintain a balance. In the distant future components of landing craft returning to Earth would be built with precious metals needed by agencies and nations on Earth. This would create a flow of commerce to bring our population base into outer space. Within a few centuries perhaps a significant minority of cities and farms could be in outer space without any flash bang science that includes things we cannot imagine.

Once we have a couple of crater colonies on the moon we would need geosynchronous sattelite and another base perhaps at an L point between lunar and Terran gravity. These would be the places where all aging nuclear waepons were diposed of by either being loaded on spacecraft for second or third explosions or used in initial explosions to launch really massive spacecraft to move very fast on the way to other colonies and smaller robotes on their way to the stars.

None of this is pure fantasy. I think we should divide up most of the surface of the Moon and Mars among all of earth’s nations unequally, sell some as new national sites and keep a good portion as a permanent UN mandate. Failing to act wisely now either means we willl lose humanity’s greatest economic opportunity or else nd up with a really horrible policy made under more pressing conditions. I am not optimistic that we will make good choices. But I think our behavior in this century will determine the human future’s outlook for all of foreseeable human society.

I am committed to specific goals but I support all who are sincerely striving for a human future in space that is wise and sustainable. Good luck and God Bless to all of you out there. I am not a likely expert or member of the space community but I cherish this hope for an expanding future. Perhaps the amateurish perspective will cost me a few Facebbok friends. I lost two inj the first year and have lost four lately. However, I am grateful for the professionals on my list at the time of this writing.

Novus Ordo Seclorum

Novus Ordo Seclorum: My Views on a New World Order
This was first published by me on Facebook on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 8:43am. Like my first blog here it came late in a long series of notes. I have reproduced it here with no improvements or changes whatsoever. Here it appears without tone or context and crtainly a bit the worse for wear. This is a bit of bloviation on the ideas I believe are important for human survival and prosperity over time.
 
If some of you were inclined to consider me a megalomaniac but just were not quite sure then this ought to help you feel confident in that assertion. This is my boldest note in this series. I ask nobody for anything in it but obviously it would require something of almost everyone alive. It is not the most ambitious thing ever published but it is close. I think in some ways it is also faithful to my American heritage especially.

The currency of the United States of America has a seal on it. The seal shows a pyramid which does not reach its zenith. At the place where the very top of the pyramid should be there is a small space to indicate flying or floating and the an eye in a triangle that fits the profile of the pyramid. Besides these graphic portrayals there are words which form part of the seal. Those words are “Novus Ordo Seclorum”, the Latin phrase translates as New Order of the Ages. The Founding Fathers of the United States believed and hoped that they were setting up a New World Order. To some remarkably high degree they succeeded. This my own view on the Novus Ordo Seclorum which I would devise from the vantage point of 2009.

I am closing in on the June 1 anniversary of my first Facebook note. I think I will try to lay out my own views of the world’s future and my own plans for a New World Order. When Osama Bin Laden lays out his views of the future the world knows that he has done a lot and and ended many lives and has fanatical followers around the world. When President George Herbert Walker Bush spoke of the New World Order and his vision for it the speeches were credible because he was the Chief Executive Officer of the world’s largest military and financial combination and a Nation with trade relations with and citizens from almost the whole world. When Stalin or Hitler or Lenin spoke of world change they were able to provide friends and enemies with similar reasons to believe listening to them mattered. When I am about to do it it will mostly seem arrogant and perhaps a bit delusional. The Realpolitik analysis is that I am not a lawyer or the holder of some well-known public office. The Realpolitik analysis is that if one were to stretch the total number of dangerous armed men in the world who might have a speedy response to my call to arms it would fall somewhere very far short of a division. The Realpolitik analysis is that unlike Popes Paul VI and John Paul II or even the Dhalai Lama I am not the titular head of all or a large part of a major religion. However, in the spirit of getting things off my chest this year I will discuss the ideas that I have had for quite some time and how they relate to the possibilities of a future for the world and for nations and peoples that certainly will not simply evolve. Therefore although it may do no more than provide definite grounds for certifying me as a megalomaniac or convicting me of some crime or other I will write down here the basic views I have as clearly as I can which have guided a sort minimal political activity of my own and some associates over several years.

The same side of the same Great Seal of the United States that appears on the same currency not only says “Novus Ordo Seclorum”. Rather, above the pyramid but not directly above its peak are the words “Annuit Coeptis”. That means “He (She or It) has favored our undertakings” and it is known that the designers intended the He or It to be either God or Divine Providence. That more or less Masonic quotation is very much in keeping with the spirit of true Judaism or Christianity. We do what we believe to beright in keeping with the Divine Will and he may bless our undertakings. We do not do nothing and hope to be rescued.

I am setting out these things in this venue as I have not yet ever set them outs so publicly. I have a five point plan in a sense although each point breaks down into a very complex outline. I think that if this plan is followed we will have many chances to make a huge mess out of our species an both our civilization (singular) and our civilizations (plural). If we do many tragedies and bad things will happen that would never happen if we did not do it. But we will have a chance for a future worthy of animals, plants and especially humans. We will have a future in which it is possible to hope that faith and idealism need not move towards becoming an ever more perverse joke.

I. The Great Israel Treaties
II. The Reform of the United Nations
III. The Human Habitat Expansion Treaty
IV. Formation of the Great Formal Federations.

Before I get really breaking down and laying out my plan I could ask the rhetorical question, why have a plan? Are to rephrase it, has being a collective clueless idiot served the human race well up untill this point? By my rephrasing you may guess that I feel and believe the answer to be “no”. But I will try to set forth some reasons for this position later on.

1. Since about 1100 AD there have been no large suitable new lands or even realtively large new lnds to open up to human settlement. In my view this really began a new era of human history. It seems to me that this really matters a great deal more than is ever calculated by anyone with power and influence. We, as a species, have a real need to colonize seamounts, the craters on the Moon and Mars and submarine coastal flats. Whether or not we do those things will significantly affect our chances for survival as a species and will help determine in countless ways the quality of that survival if we do survive.

2. Indefinite population growth is essential for healthy and worthwhile human development. There is no doubt that we can not plan for that if we do not maximize recycling in a different way then ever conceived, colonize space and colonize the underwater environment.

3.We must strengthen ancient and vital elements of civilization like the nation, the state, the nation-state, the family and the military tradition. To do these things will require aggressive proactive planning and action which will offset trends of change in the last two centuries especially. We must do this without halting the engines of change which are vital for renewing and organizing the economies and growth into the future.

4. I and some number of other people must either devote ourselves to reforms like these or else choose some far less savory course of action. For some of us there is profound personal dissatisfaction with the world as it is. There can be no real lasting adjustment to the status quo and therefore, while alive we must struggle.

I want to go through my plan in brief here. I fully acknowledge that there are few if any elements that will be fully explained and disclosed in this note. Especialy, My own role in such a future plan is de-emphasized here compared to some other drafts. I am not sure why exactly that is the case. Perhaps because I am largely just a trapped and semi-tortured captive of circumstance disclosing secrets after a long silence. Perhaps because there are no long-term possibilities fo living out my life to a natural span which are not profoundly unattractive and so I do not give the proverbial rat’s ass. Perhaps it is becuse the ideas matter to me and so I am introducing them into the stream of geo polical dialog. More than likely all the reasons delineated in the previous sentence play a part.

I. I suggest that reparations be paid for the Holocaust ny many parties which beneiftted or inherited from beneficiaries. I suggest that a large part of these funds bepaid to purchase the Sinai from Egypt and then a separate portion be set up as a development fund. This fund would also include a fund for concessions to be paid for in which those paying in to the fund would be preferred. This Sinai would be a State of a greater Federal Great Israel. The other States would be the Principal State of the Republic of Israel, the Capital Sate of Jerusalem, and the State of Palestine. The Republic would receive slightly more land than it yielded to form the Capital State of Jerusalem in the from of five state military reservations in the Sinai. Palestine would receive a conceesion the size of Gaza which would be one of three districts in that federal state. The remainder of Sinai would be composed of several federalized districts and it would form the fourth and last state.

II. I would like to see the UN Charter and operations reformed in a number of ways.
First, I would propose that Permanent Members of the Security Council be given the titles Founding Permanent Members of the Security Council and they alone would continue to have individual vetoes. However, I further propose that a handul of countries be sent a confidential invitation based on their ecnomy, population, military capacity and cultural dominance with the understanding that no more than 5 more Permanent Members will be admitted to the Security Council ( nominees I would include would be Japan, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Switzerland, Brazil and Saudi Arabia). The price for admission would be 10 billion US Dollars, cession of 50 square kilometers of their own land as a permanent UN posession and diplomatic and military reservation. These funds would be placed in an endowed Security Council fund able to provide operational funds for humanitarian programs of the Security Council.
Second, I propose that their be a founding auction when the Human Habitat Expansion Treaty (which I am going to discuss next) is made. I propose that the funds from auctioning off micro-state rights go into a permanent endowed fund to become the base of operations for the United Nations Space Authority. This would be the agency governing UN reservations on the Moon and Mars.
Third, I propose that the Vatican City be admitted as a full member and a number of other entities be granted membership as highest level of observer currently enjoyed by the Vatican.
Fourth, I propose a global house as a second chamber to our world government. This is the least likely change and the hardest to justify. I will not discuss it at length here but will discuss it again a bit in context as I discuss the formation of the Great Federations as the last section of this Note.

III. The Human Habitat Expansion Treaty is possibly the very most important of of aspects of my plan for the human future. This is really the challenge on which humanity will either open the path to a new future or else fail to do so. The other three aspects greatly affect the likely success and vibrancy of this part of the plan. I also think they have other important contributions to make to the human future but this is an entirely different level of importance.

The Human Habitat Expansion Treaty would make available for development in an effective way the surfaces of the Moon and Mars as well as many of the seamounts throughout the world. TheFormation of the great federations would modify the exact nature of the HHET compared to a world in which there is no such formation of Federations. But the the basic concept will be the same either way.

First, Free Access to Space will be preserved as the legal doctrine governing all orbits, asteroids, gas giant planets and minor moons. A few heavenly bodies would be placed into a provisional status. However, The surfaces of Mars and the Moon would be divided by legal right. About 10% would be permanently reserved under the direct control of the United Nations Space Authority. About 10% would be reserved for entities that are neither the United Nations nor a Nation State, about half of this auctioned off to the highest bidder for the creation of 50 colonial microstates on Mars and the Moon with the UN Space Authority holding the proceeds in a trust fund bearing interest for support of its programs. Each nation would receive one or two cessions on each sphere of about equal size if they are two. The amount of land received would be determined based on a four part analysis:
1. 20% of the whole surface would be divided equally among all nations without any difference.
2. 20% of the whole surface would be divided by all nations proportionate to their share of the world’s total wealth and economic output.
3. 20% of the whole surface would be divided by all nations proprtionate to their share of the world’s population.
4. 20% of the whole surface would be divided by all nations based on a score from a formula awarding points for their contribution to space, spacefaring capacity and capacity to currently plan and execute space colonization.
These national grants should each include a crater of varying quality which can be developed as Crater Cap Colony. These lands should border on the UN reserves on at least on small side and should be made withnatural borders from surveys and unique shapes where possible. Having said all this within those rubrics they should be squared or rectilinear where possible.

Seamount Colonies should also be discussed in the HHET but I willl merely state that here. The Waterford habs and fields radiating from a series of small artificial island mad of inert waste surrounding an umbilicus of air and electricity and elevators. A small port, solar and wind plant on the top of each Island would join fish processing and recreational facilities These busy surface areas would have no permanent residences however all of which would be underwater. There would be a small submarine port at the bottom of each island.

IV. The formation of the Great Federations (of no more than Six and no less than Four with Five as the ideal) would form a Security Council for the other new global house of the UN and would be observers in the other currently existing international house. These Federations would sign the HHET. They would also receive a grant on the Moon and Mars. The goal would be for 95% or more of all the world’s nations to join a formally recognized federation. This would be a huge constituional project. Doing the wrong thing would be worse than doing nothing. But such a goal is a vital part of optimizing the other goals. However, while I have written at great length about such federations in notes of my own this is not the time to go public with details.

Should all this impossibility become reality then I think we have to hope fro about a hundred years of relative peace. The reforms would increase the likelihood that our descendants will blast eachother aprt in figthers orbiting Jupiter. They would increase the chance of warriors starving out cities on Mars. However, they would decresase the prospect of Erth’s total ruin and the obliteration of humanity.
I am very serious about all of this. I say that not at all sure that I will be able to work on making any of it happen. So I have now exposed my major delusions of grandeur and am able to face the end of this annual cycle of Facebook Notes with peace. This new order of the ages would be an undertaking that could shape and channel human energies for at least 1000 years as for as its design goes. Our species has reached the age where we must take some real responsibility for the future of our descendants.