Beyond the Cusp

December 12, 2016

How Bad do Americans Want to be First in Space?

 

It has been a while since NASA and space have been much of a news item. With the cancellation of the Space Shuttle, which really did not go into SPACE Space, NASA has kind of fallen by the wayside. President Obama had set the target as Mars, an Asteroid, but definitely not the Moon; as we have “Been there, Done that.” Well, right about now being capable of getting American Astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) using an American rocket of any sort would be a step in the right direction. Many of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering where did this idea stem from. Well, I read that NASA has a plan for a space station, all American this time would be nice, in Moon orbit from which to go Mars, Moon, Asteroids, just about anywhere. They want to use this station to test some theoretical shielding systems which should protect against radiation. Yes, radiation, a real set of shields like real science fiction spaceships have. They want to power the station for correcting the orbit with, wait for it, electronic drive systems. Can you say Ion Drivers? I knew you could. Their plans reach into the 2030’s but I bet Americans do not want the race to place an orbiting station in Moon orbit or a real underground Moon Base to be anywhere near or close to the Chinese who claim they will have a Moon base by the early to mid-2030’s. My bet is knowing that the Chinese, yes, the Chinese building on American and Russian know-how, are screaming at their monitors about now, “What’s the holdup?” Well, the usual, funding.

 

Let’s talk NASA funding. Anybody have an idea on the percentage of the budget NASA used to go to the Moon, assist with building the ISS, the entire Shuttle fleet? Not the actual cost in dollars as that is too relative, the percentage? Was it 10%, 15%, 20%? Too low or too high? Well, believe it or not too high so let’s try under 10%. Was it 8%, 5%, 3%, how low would we need to go? Perhaps we should first figure out what it would be worth for the United States to build a Space Wheel with central hub serving as a dock for building any size ship for any destination desired with the ability to tow Asteroids for the metals, ceramics, gold, silver and any other necessary materials including enough water to power the entire venture and transmit power back to fixed Earth stations from space? All of this with a proper Moon Base with the vast majority of the base safely underground protected from Asteroid and Meteor strikes and the Space Wheel and Moon Base entrances all self-sealing from anything smaller than decent rock size holes and a system of lasers, both pulsed and pulse types for differing requirements which automatically fire to destroy larger or even down to as small as an inch projectiles keeping them from striking the sensitive areas where people can even live. A Space Wheel spinning at the correct speed would give five or six levels of near Earth gravity and the central hub could be used for zero gravity manufacturing which allows for perfect crystals and electronics and electronic miniaturization with precisions not possible on Earth due to gravity of the situation. Any ship build from workers based on the Space Wheel could use smaller grabber craft with ion drivers and a pulse driver to assist in gaining return velocity and stopping for fetching Asteroids for materials and resources which would pay for everything in time and give the Earth needed resources of precious metals and who knows what else would be discovered. It all is a dream but would you be willing to invest 3% or maybe, dare we suggest, 5% of the budget set aside just like military spending for NASA and other space related activities by private enterprises which could be subsidized just like General Electric, Chrysler, General Motors and the Banks but actually accomplishing something. This could be done in style at 5% of budget as NASA has rarely cleared 1% of budget.

 

Space Station Double Wheel from Stanley Kubrick Arthur C. Clarke 2001 A Space Odyssey

Space Station Double Wheel
from Stanley Kubrick Arthur C. Clarke
2001 A Space Odyssey

 

You are amazed now, right? Well, there is a reason they always told you how many billions of dollars were “wasted” on NASA and Space things, never going to Mars or propulsion systems for interstellar exploration, or a Moon Base and Space Wheel. No, it was space junk or wasted on space with nothing to show for it. Well, at less than 1% of the budget and often floating around ¾% of the budget, yes, that is 0.75% of the budget, what did you expect, miracles? Well, considering their budget you did get miracles like first men on the Moon, only people to land on the Moon, and with some effort it could be first woman on the Moon, first whatever you choose on the Moon, first Mom to Mars, first family born in space, at 5% of budget we bet NASA could wow the world again. Of course there would be one other item, NASA should be returned to their parent, the Air Force with a General running the show so as to keep things real, just a suggestion as NASA has done some boneheaded things such as crashing a Mars probe because somebody did not transfer the European specifications from meters to feet and thus the speed was grossly underestimated and BOOM! Well, no boom as Mars atmosphere would only transmit a loud clap, yes a series of loud rapid claps as it crashed into Mars way too fast for survival. We all know that many missions NASA had launched were for the Military or the CIA or other even more clandestine agencies so why not quit hiding the link and make it official, the American Military is running the space program and be done with it. Still, 5% or even 3% would seem like they hit the Lottery at NASA and the Military could now put their “black ops space items” onto NASA missions with far less argument, not that NASA ever said no that we know about, nor would we ever know such things or talk about them if we did. Alright, enough with the paranoia and back to Earth or at least Earth bound orbits.

 

Image of NASA Space Vehicle Concept Ship

Image of NASA Space Vehicle Concept Ship

 

The above picture depicts a NASA prototype of the Orion space vehicles. These would sit upon the new heavy lift rocket systems with smaller support more likely contracted out to Space X, Axiom Space, Bigelow Aerospace, Virgin Galactic or any of the literally dozens of other venture space companies. These other space companies could also place their own experiments or modules onto the Moon Base or Space Wheel as long as they would meet certain specifications as it helps if the seals fit tightly and do not leak because they were made to the wrong size. There could even be an additional wheel with set asides for such projects which required livable requirements with Earth gravity and add on space to the Space Doc built to orbit within workable distance from the Space Wheel central hub unit for anything requiring zero gravity and possibly everything inbetween using the service legs of the wheel. The hardest part, as proven by the landing on the Moon in under a decade starting from more rocket failures at launch with some of the most spectacular and impressive explosions in the early 1960s and the Moon in July 1969, America can do whatever they wish in space if only they commit to do whatever they want in space.

 

There are always those who do not believe that the Human Race must conquer space and claim it is all a waste of money. These people can be vocal while the dreamers are often the quiet sort leaving their noise for cheering launches trying to out shout the deep rumbling grumble of the first stage rocket and boosters. The supporters of active and daring space development programs, despite knowing that the ultimate fruits are not going to materialize in their lifetimes, are committed and hope to make such developments as a driver for interstellar missions become a reality before their grandchildren’s, or to be bolder, children’s lives end. The obvious secret about such grand ventures is that the sooner we, as a people, begin to venture towards these goals, the sooner we will overcome the difficulties we will encounter. NASA has developed a projected mission profile for the initial Orion Mission (see below). Their claim is they may, if all proceeds as well as expected, to have the craft orbit the Moon instead of a single trip around using a free return gravity driven return orbit just in case their craft has problems as they intend for it to return to Earth. All we can say is, “Decent start, now what?”

 

NASA Orion Flight Trajectories Including Lunar Orbits

NASA Orion Flight Trajectories Including Lunar Orbits

 

Now for our dreaming part of this article. We would like to see a spaceport launch facility built in the Negev Desert and for an ambitious Israeli space program built near the 31o Latitude (see map below). While 31o Latitude is somewhat too far north for optimum, but when your country is slightly smaller than New Jersey with largely populated northern half and a more sparsely populated southern desert, then this is perfect for a spaceport launch facility. Israel definitely has more than sufficient technological sophistication for an advanced space program and such a facility would free Israel from dependence upon other nations to launch communications and special satellites and doing so without having to proclaim their launches to the world unless required by treaties. Israel partnering with the United States on certain missions and reserving space on the space wheel for Israeli modules would be one more economical approach and building an Israel space wheel, likely smaller with a higher rotation speed, would be beyond any expectation. Israel having an operating launch facility could also allow other nations to utilize and launch from the spaceport in order to defray costs. Even a partnership with a dependable and consistent ally would be beneficial. Israel reaching into space would also serve to be deterrent to military ventures against Israel especially should Israel launch sufficient spy and mapping satellites as such craft would give early warning capability to Israel allowing early responses which could allay an attack. The secret to forging a well-ordered peaceful planet is the need to control all the high ground, that being space, and that could be something within the reach of Israel. There also exists another reason that Israel should build a spaceport capable of multiple launches in rapid succession possibly as many as six to ten rockets in a single day and perhaps a dozen to a dozen and a half per week and far more than any probable need would arise per month. Such a launch schedule potential would make Israel a preferable launch platform than Europeans or Russians currently possess or are even likely to possess. This capability would make Israel a space center which the developed space-faring world who could come to depend upon Israel thus making Israel even more intertwined with the world and thus having even greater impetus for good relations with all. As we stated, this is our dream space where we fantasize and paint pretty pictures of the future and perhaps also to work to plant a seed, an idea which grows until it has a life of its own. Once that stage is reached more than half the battle has been won. As stated above, the most difficult time is getting the idea accepted and started, once there your dream has a great potential to be realized. Israel in space, almost sounds like a Mel Brooks comedy (see video below map).

 

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

Israel Space Port Launch Facility

 

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 7, 2016

Finally It is Your Turn to Speak, So Speak Loud and Clear

 

After over a year of he said, she said, they said, the time is here for the only opinion that matters. It is the time that you the voters will say and then it should be settled and the world will hear your answer; or will they? There are those Liberals who in their holier than thou selective memories claim that Donald Trump is the only candidate to claim that the election system can be gamed. Apparently the cries of “Selected, not elected,” over the 2000 election of George W. Bush and the Florida hanging chads recounts where there were so many challenges and recounts that all the holes ended up pushed through on some ballots making them void. The same cries were heard four years later over Ohio and Barack Obama claimed before Election Day that should he not win it could only be through voter fraud, so that should be all for claiming that Donald Trump is entering new areas of calling into question the validity of the system. Hillary Clinton has claimed that the Russians are going to steal the election for Trump because Putin is convinced that Trump would be the easier pushover and more willing to work with Russia than Hillary would be. Actually the only commentary attributed to Russian President Vladimir Putin which has any shred of validity was his fears that Hillary Clinton being elected threatened starting next world war. It matters little tomorrow on this important but relatively ignored subject as the first order of business is to get past the initial casting of ballots and their initial counting.

 

Hillary Clinton – Vladimir Putin – Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton – Vladimir Putin – Donald Trump

 

That reported initial registration of election results may actually decide the victor and do so completely overwhelmingly that there would be no viable means of challenging the results. Either way, this would be a result which would best serve the American people and ultimately the world. A smooth, court free, uncontested election will always bring the smoothest of transitions. That would be the most preferable means to transfer power especially in this election whose process and integrity has proven so acrimonious and has produced challenges to the system even before the Election Day voting has begun. There has been complaints of an uneven playing field in the media from both camps while there have been claims of Russian interference favoring one side, the election of Trump; while raising claims the entire Wikileaks e-mail stories have been a Russian ruse and those claimed e-mails were never sent nor crossed that server nor had Ms. Clinton broken any law or committed any questionable actions which might have compromised the national security. This claim has gone well beyond the claim that Hillary Clinton was cleared from suspicions to the entire e-mail investigation was chasing after a Russian fabricated ploy to assist electing their pawn, their Manchurian Candidate who would do Putin’s bidding, Donald Trump. One can only wonder what comes next.

 

Then there are the polling numbers. This election has witnessed swings in the polling which often appeared to precede certain critical events and news stories throughout the campaign. The most recent came the last week of the election where the Clinton lead all but disappeared bringing Trump within striking distance and this slide arrived a full four days before FBI Director Comey reporting his reopening the e-mail investigation as New York investigators looking into child sexual misconduct revealed the existence of thousands of backed-up copies for the communications coming in and out of the office of close Clinton aide and confidant (if anyone can be considered to be that close and intimate with Hillary) Huma Abedin. These records were found on Huma Abedin’s estranged (and downright strange) husband, disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer which was seized as part of the New York police investigation of his sexting an underage girl. This will get very messy.

 

Here are some rumors which have surfaced as a result of this investigation and how it will affect the e-mail scandal investigation. These back-ups will definitively prove that Hillary Clinton, along with top aide Huma Abedin, acted loose and careless with Top Secret and other highly classified and sensitive information, e-mails, documents, files and reports. There will be overwhelming evidence that such compromised information had been shared or allowed access by people without the proper clearances, Anthony Weiner for one and Clinton Philippine housekeeper Marina Santos for another who was indicated to have printed out such intelligence and information while working at Clinton’s house in Washington, D.C. Then there appear to be references to actions and fetishes in which others outside the Clinton camp, though they may not be spared once the onion has been completely unraveled, who may have committed and continue such acts which would warrant ethics investigations at the very least and criminal investigations in the worst case scenarios. The full extent will not be known nor revealed for quite some time though some people may fall well before the investigation reaches its final conclusion. Some of this information has been verified by trusted people.

 

The one item in all of this we would love to see brought into the light is the uranium deal where it resulted in Russia gaining the mineral rights to one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. One of the crucial signings of approval came from the State Department which was under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at that time. Russia gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013 and each step of the way there did result in a flow of cash to the Clinton Foundation. Further, a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow. This was the bank which was promoting Uranium One stock and stood to make sizeable profits in the process. It was Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining financier, who orchestrated his first big uranium deal which initiated these transactions and which was completed with Mr. Clinton at his side. The two men had traveled to the meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan in Mr. Giustra’s private jet. This deal was a major victory for UrAsia, Mr. Giustra’s then company which soon saw its future brighten significantly when it merged with Uranium One, a South African company with assets in Africa and Australia. Uranium One was controlled by UrAsia investors which included Ian Telfer, a Canadian who later became chairman and Mr. Giustra, whose personal stake in the deal was estimated at about $45 million. Mr. Giustra donated $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation in or around the months following the Kazakhstan mining deal. It also turns out that Ian Telfer made a $2.35 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. More detailed information can be read showing deep involvement of both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the entire train of events and includes State Department approvals and one could say accommodations all in a New York Times article. A full disclosure of how twenty percent of United States mined uranium is sold to Russia by a Canadian friend of the Clintons receiving every necessary accommodation and authorization while Hillary was Secretary of State and known to be able to pressure other Cabinet Secretaries to follow her lead in providing permissions and licenses all while the involved Canadians are contributing millions upon millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Something here just does not figure and we would bet there are even higher and bigger fish to catch in this little pond, really big fish.

 

Meanwhile, tomorrow the American people will speak. We can expect, if this is at all even close, for the losing campaign to kick off the challenges followed soon behind by the winning party just to assure they are not excluded from the efforts to gain electoral votes. There may even be a challenge to the integrity and manner in which the Electoral College is arranged such that it can oppose the winner of the popular vote. We could hear that tired complaint about how Wyoming voters are way over-represented when compared to California or New York thus making those residing in such populous states being denied equal representation. This complaint has been answered ad-nausea pointing out that this was the actual design and is functioning such that, at least for the Presidency the smaller states get privileged representation as a barrier against pure democracy mob rule. This is a result of the equality the states enjoy in the Senate, so live with it. Of course if the losing side did not carry lonely and most sparsely populated Wyoming, then this argument makes perfect sense to those on that end of the Electoral College. Further claims will be filed in every state where the margin of the loss was under 5%, even 10% with both contesting as many as possible in order to topple the initially announced winner or to retain said position. Who knows what court challenges and other lawsuits will be filed but the process for validation will likely take the United States well into Thursday before the candidate at the wrong end of the vote starts to run out of options, but they have lawyers to address this until the Supreme Court ends the misery, which with a four-four split with one open position left by the passing of Justice Anthony Scalia this past February, the court may not be of much assistance.

 

We will see what the American people desire and the level of their interest by the percentage of eligible voters who actually vote. This is something we have always been troubled about. The President who should represent all the people is often only receiving one-third of the potential votes which could have voted and less when including potential to be registered voters. The math is sickeningly easy to do but a touch more difficult to explain. First we need to start with the adult population over eighteen which numbers at approximately 236,000,000 out of the approximately 309,000,000; or around two-thirds. This is the entirety of Americans legally eligible to vote give or take a million. Of these only 70% on average are registered to vote and a mere 60% actually vote. These results in only 42% of eligible voters actually vote in an election. We can safely claim that no more than 45% of voters actually do vote and it is considered that taking 55% of the vote represents winning in a landslide thus a big winner receives a mere 24¾% of the total number of people who meet the requirements for voting (representative graph by age group below). It is true, candidates need only persuade one-fourth of people eligible to vote in order to win, providing it is the right one-fourth.

 

Graph by Age Representing Voter Registration and Activity and Apathy

Graph by Age Representing
Voter Registration and
Activity and Apathy

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 17, 2016

The Hillary Clinton Harrowed Conundrum

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There has been near constant accusations and bloviating all about Donald Trump’s presumed short fuse. These attacks have come furious and provokingly and these are being used as chum in the water for the mainstream media to feast on; and believe us they have been coordinating and laying aside above the fold for every leading news-story; or should we say political editorial. These salacious assaults on Donald Trump would be far more convincing and less conniving if they were to include even a hint on Hillary Clinton’s short fuse and ill-tempered side which were a driving force behind much of what has displayed her being ill-fit to be the President of the most powerful nation on the planet. When Donald Trump has an emotional outburst, his response is verbal and short-lived. Hillary Clinton is known to carry forth for the remainder of life, hers or her newly acquired target. When Bill Clinton lost his reelection election she famously called the Christian Campaign Manager a “F—-g Jew B——d.” She became the wounded warrior and claimed that a “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” was behind the accusations of sexual misconduct of her husband. Beyond that, Hillary took charge of the intimidation, belittling, slandering, character assassination, media control, story massaging and sundry miscellaneous attacks targeting any and all allegations and accusations against Bill Clinton thus assuring that no more women, or bimbos as the White House labeled those coming forward, would be coming up with any additional accusations or verifications against the President. This was a well-coordinated assault just as well planned and executed as was the campaign to get out the vote except this was a suppress the evidence effort.

 

Hillary Clinton on the Prowl for Voters

Hillary Clinton on the Prowl for Voters

 

If this was the extent of Hillary Clinton perfidy, there would be little evidence of her unsuitability for the office of President of the United States. Hillary claims how she has always been so transparent in all her actions that the public can trust that all her actions will be entirely open and able to be monitored by all who are interested. Apparently Hillary Clinton has completely forgotten her efforts at designing her own version of a healthcare system. Her committee contained some of the best minds in the progressive movement plus the fly in the ointment, Hillary Clinton. The public was left in the dark. Congress was left in the dark. The media, including the leftist media, was left guessing, being fed tempting morsels but actually only gristle and no red meat. The universe was led on the merry path of flowers and unicorns with all the wonderful reports of total free coverage with almost no additional costs. Perhaps the promises of everything for nothing proved to be the straw that broke the healthcare back. When Hillary Clinton and companies’ plan was presented to Congress, even the democrat faithful headed for the hills escaping as fast as they could. Her produced healthcare plan was such a monstrous and unwieldly conglomeration of regulations, legal demands, meticulous record keeping and required filings with the Federal Government that all who read the plan were flabbergasted. Commentary from numerous sources inside and outside, but close to the manners in which the plan was hatched, told of Hillary Clinton riding roughshod over all contrary opinions doing exactly as she thought best. This kind of leadership, totalitarian leadership, had actually driven a number of leading surgeons and physicians from participating or even signing the plan sent to Congress. They told of fiery outbreaks replete with profanity at some of the mildest of suggestions or alternative proposals where Hillary Clinton appeared to have lost all sense of reason.

 

Finally, there were numerous reports and even complaints filed against Hillary Clinton for abusive language, abusive treatment, violent outbursts and some workers fearing for their safety. These complaints and requests for transfer or alternate position from people who had nearly a lifetime of service climbing to reach a White House assignment and to then risk never making it back to their former privileged position was an acceptable sacrifice to be rid of Hillary Clinton. All of these point to Hillary Clinton not only having an explosive temper but also a short fuse with a vengefully long memory. Such was a temperament of throwing items, oft of value, for periods as long lasting as an entire day and even lasting through the next day or beyond as well. Some who have been found to get on the wrong side of Hillary Clinton have related that despite attempts to settle their differences or even apologize have failed dashed on the craggy cliffs which make up the beach at shoreline Clinton. Hillary Clinton has proven herself to be a person with a malleable core where beliefs come to die especially after receiving poor poll ratings. Taking the sum of these parts produces a picture of an unbalanced individual whose coworkers fear working anywhere near her spheres of influence.

 

Many have spoken similarly of Donald Trump, but from most appearances his tantrums have been largely bluster with little threat of physical violence, at least before the October Surprise of crass claims of sexual violence. Given the claims of violent actions, we would feel safer with a Donald Trump Presidency than a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Unfortunately, elections remain out by three weeks and it is still anybody’s election to win or lose. Donald Trump will be facing sexual harassment charges most of which are likely people coming forth for their moment of fame. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is facing a truly deep character fault which will have a direct effect on her Presidency. As to which one is most likely to get the United States embroiled into a war, it would be Hillary Clinton with her establishment of a “No Fly Zone” probably on Aleppo could escalate with the downing of a Russian fighter jet leading to a direct confrontation. That is but a single potential point of contention where a single miscalculation could lead to great problems soon thereafter. That alone is food for thought.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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