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Blog Entries from 2005-12-27 to 2006-01-22

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-22 10:22 PM.
Christian Science Monitor: Triump of the Redistributionst

In the early 1960s, transfer payments (entitlements and welfare) constituted less than a third of the federal government's budget. Now they constitute almost 60 percent of the budget, or about $1.4 trillion per year. Measured according to this, the US government's main function now is redistribution: taking money from one segment of the population and giving it to another segment. In a few decades, transfer payments are expected to make up more than 75 percent of federal government spending.

Full Article

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-21 03:27 PM. recreation
The skyline of Niagara Falls, Ontario
Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-20 11:51 PM. space
Useful website to see whats going on with interplanetary exploration at this moment
  • 2006 March - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - Reaches Mars and goes into Orbit
  • 2006 June 17 - Dawn - Launch of NASA Asteroid Ceres and Vesta Orbiter
  • 2006 October 24 - MESSENGER - Flies by Venus on its way to Mercury
  • 2006 - Lunar-A - Launch of ISAS (Japan) Orbiter and Penetrator Mission to the Moon
  • 2015 July - New Horizons - NASA mission reaches Pluto and Charon
  • 2231 April 5 - Pluto - is passed by Neptune in distance from the Sun for the next 20 years
  • 4,000,000 - Pioneer 11 - NASA flyby of star Lambda Aquila

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-14 06:51 PM.
Four weeks until Joshua is due

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-11 03:51 PM. space
New Horizons Pluto Mission: A Tour De Force of Rocketry, Technology

Flying at 36,000 mph.--the Earthly equivalent to about Mach 50--New Horizons will reach Jupiter in only 13 months. Relative to the Sun, its Earth escape velocity will be 28.8 mi. per sec.

New Horizons Pluto Mission: A Tour De Force of Rocketry, Technology
By Craig Covault
01/08/2006 04:13:29 PM
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-09 10:20 PM. freedom
The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power

I just finished reading this book and found it to be an insightful quick overview of the history of the British Empire. The author is critical of British shortcomings but also appreciative of legacy for limited government, democratic institutions, free trade and comparatively succesful independent former colonies.

From this book I read a flippant yet timely quote. After the Mexican coup of 1913 the U.S. Ambassador recounts a conversation in London with the British Foreign Secretary...

Suppose you have to intervene, what then?
Make 'em vote and live by their decisions.
But suppose they will not so live?
We'll go in and make 'em vote again.
And keep this up 200 years? asked he.
Yes, said I. The United States will be here for two hundred years and it can continue to shoot men for that little space till they learn to vote and to rule themselves.

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-04 09:34 PM.
The Economist examines the state of

Iraq’s oil industry is suffering from the same problems that plague the rest of the country: the legacy of three decades of Baathist mismanagement, and the depredations of the insurgency. Iraqi oil production peaked at 3.7m bpd in December 1979, before the Iran-Iraq war crippled output. Levels began recovering in the late 1980s, but the first Gulf war, in 1991, and the sanctions that followed, served to block the investments that Iraq desperately needed to modernise its pumping and distribution facilities. They also, ironically, enhanced the state’s control over the oil sector and the broader economy, since only government agencies were authorised to export oil or spend the resulting revenues. Now Iraq is stuck with aged, inadequately maintained oil infrastructure and an economy dominated by a bloated state apparatus that, under Saddam, was used more as a jobs programme for loyalists than as a mechanism for getting things done.

The Iraqi economy’s weak heart
Jan 4th 2006
From The Economist Global Agenda

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-02 08:24 PM. freedom
The Economist: France quarrels with America not because the pair are so different but because they are so alike

Scratch the surface of the denunciations from on high, however, and French anti-Americanism is not quite what it seems. First, because it is an elite doctrine that is often not shared by ordinary people. Second, because it is used by the political class more as a scapegoat for its own troubles than as a reasoned response to real threats. And, third, because it implies that the French clash with America out of antipathy. The real reason is rivalry, tinged with jealousy.

French anti-Americanism: Spot the difference
Dec 20th 2005
The Economist

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2006-01-02 11:54 AM. freedom
Hudson picked out the sites instantly, his finger stopping on each one. The projects are among 90 under his domain and among 3,600 projects in an $18.4 billion reconstruction package for Iraq due to peak, and be completed, this year.

The final stop took Hudson to a women's hospital that will tend more than 300 patients when a $5.75 million renovation is complete. Iraqi hospitals normally are decrepit facilities, with grim paint and mysterious stains.

U.S. Engineer Views Work Done So Far With Pride
By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-12-27 01:05 PM. military
My cousin Colin received his U.S. Marine Corps commission as a second lieutenant in Quantico, Virginia.

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