Common Sense Health Care

It’s time for a common sense tough love approach to health care. Even Barack Obama recognized that his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) needed an overhaul. The American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) proposed by President Trump and GOP congressional leaders is not the overhaul that is needed. It will not provide health care and it will not be affordable. It will take insurance coverage away from an estimated 22 million Americans. Drastic cuts in safety net programs like Medicare and Medicaid are being proposed. And it looks like all of the savings will be plowed into tax cuts.

The AHCA or Trumpcare will not deny access to medicine or services. It will just make those things too expensive for a very large segment of our society. It will also guarantee that health care costs continue to rise. Insurance is the problem. Health Insurance is the engine that is driving up the cost of health care. Any insurance program including both Obamacare and Trumpcare will push the cost of health care up.

The opponents of Trumpcare who say that getting rid of Obamacare is a murderous assault on Americans are mistaken. Failures and diseases kill people. Healthcare may prolong life in some cases but in the end death always wins out. Replacing the ACA with the AHCA will not kill Americans. It will just make their lives more miserable.

As the song said, “There’s battle lines bein’ drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” (For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield.)

We need service. We need government provided health care not insurance that promotes pricey solutions. We need to get back to the concept that every American owes her/his country a debt of service. We should re-instate mandatory universal service. This time everyone would be required to report for duty of some kind. Such a service requirement could provide a labor pool for government health care clinics and services.

The proposal does sound foreign and outlandish. But it works in other countries. There are only two ways to control health care cost. The cost of labor must be capped and the cost of treatment has to be controlled. Our government will be able to do both of these things if it is the health care provider.

My father was a career navy enlisted man. He served for 20 years in the US Navy. I was born in a naval hospital and I received medical care through naval clinics until I was 18. I am ready to go back to the good old days.

If everybody is wrong, it is time to take a fresh approach to the problem.

Romance

I am considering a romantic novel in the near future. It would start with a chance meeting at a Happy Hour after work on a Friday evening. The couple would get off to a rough start but warm up to each other. They would have to go through some ups and downs. Eventually they would get so serious that they would have to face the decision to make it permanent or end it. At that point, I will run into problems. Part of me wants couples to get married and live happily ever after. The other part doesn’t believe that is possible. At least, very few couples realize that dream.

My record isn’t good. In “Survive”, the couple is doing fine while they are chasing down the terrorist. But once he is dead the relationship founders. He is a socially challenged, dedicated special agent with the FBI. She is a wounded warrior from a rich family and no real idea what she wants to do with her life. She is also dealing with a serious case of PTSD. Finally, she decides enough is enough and trudges over to his apartment. She asks if she can crash there for a few days. He asks, “Why? Did your parents kick you out?”

They fumble around for a while before agreeing to a trial marriage.

In “The Walshes”, the new boyfriend, a cop on the rebound from a divorce calls the heroine around midnight. He has had quite a bit to drink but he wants to get together with her. She has just returned from a weekend in Las Vegas with her girlfriend. They fumble around for a while before she says, “If you’re sober enough to drive over here, we can go to the all-night diner for pie and coffee.”

He says he will be right over even though he is in no condition to operating a car.

I can’t wait to find out how a romantic novel will end.

The Champ

 

Many of my friends are fervent fans of President Donald Trump. They can’t say enough good things about him. Actually they haven’t been able to say anything good about him.

They can dig around in our history and come up with some points of comparison between past presidents and our current president. For example, Bill Clinton’s well publicized sexual misconduct can be used to justify Trump’s predatory treatment of women. We must overlook The Donald’s public bragging about his treatment and mistreatment of women because of Monica Lewinsky.

We can’t complain about our 45th president’s ethical shortcomings because our 37th president was Tricky Dick Nixon. He was not only elected in 1968 in spite of his past history, he was re-elected by a landslide in 1972. Sure Spiro Agnew, his vice-president was convicted of racketeering and Nixon himself was forced to resign before he finished his second term but we put up with him for almost 6 years. We have no reason to complain about Donald Trump.

Barack Obama made a Trump-like speech on immigration while he was the junior Senator from Illinois. Forget about President Obama’s position and statements on immigration. Never mind that the Trump administration has made reversing President Obama’s actions on immigration a high priority. At one point in his life, Barack Obama made a speech that Donald Trump would have liked. We can’t complain about Trump’s position on immigration when we know that Obama held a similar position when he was a freshman Senator.

If we carefully examine the body of work from every president from 1946 through 2016, we can find a justification for everything President Trump has done in his first few months in office. If we bundle everything those men said and did into a single composite American President, we can surely come up with a man who resembles President Donald Trump. Not that this pieced together leader of the free world would measure up to The Donald. No one can hold a candle to him. He stands head and shoulders above the likes of Kim Il-sung, Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Napolean, Genghis Khan, Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, and Alexander the Great.

He is the champ.

President Trump Deja Vu

President Donald Trump ordered an attack on the al Shayrat air base in Syria 63 hours after an alleged
chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province was launched from that base. The US
missile strike has been praised and criticized. The attack showed President Trump to be a man of decisive
action. It also showed him to be a man who will ignore the Constitution of the United States, international
law and even his own wisdom when the spirit is upon him.
We are not at war with Syria so the attack was a violation of international law. President Trump did not
take his case to Congress before he ordered the strike so his actions were unconstitutional. After the
attack, Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, did call the Senate Majority leader to fill him in. Senator
McConnell, who opposed similar action by President Obama, had no objections to the sneak attack by
President Trump.
The missile strike provided the kind of fireworks one would expect from the King of Reality TV. Why
did he have to use 60 Tomahawk missiles? Why not 30 or even 10? The attack didn’t destroy the al
Shayrat air base. Planes are still landing on and taking off from a runway that was not damaged in the
attack.
The whole incident is eerily reminiscent of President Johnson’s response to alleged North Vietnamese
attacks on the US destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin shortly before he ordered hundreds of thousands of
Americans to fight and die in the jungles of Vietnam. H. R. McMaster, in his book “Dereliction of Duty”
lambasted Johnson and his team, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Congress for their handling of that Gulf of
Tonkin incidents. Ironically McMaster, who is now President Trump’s National Security Adviser, held
the President Trump’s hand throughout the strategy discussions and decision making that led to the attack
on the Syrian air base.
Are we doomed to repeat the whole Vietnam era?
Donald Trump, like John Kennedy, is the son of a wealthy businessman. Both men campaigned on the
need for radical change. They both won the presidency in questionable elections. Both used their
inaugural address to present a bold vision for the future of our country.
The Obama era like the Eisenhower era was rather quiet and staid. Eisenhower brought an end to fighting
in Korea and chose to back the development of the Republic of Viet Nam under Ngo Dinh Diem rather
than support French efforts to re-colonize Indo China. Obama pulled our troops out of Iraq. He supported
the development of a friendly government in Afghanistan. His efforts in the Middle East were reminiscent
of Eisenhower’s approach to the Viet Nam situation.
When President Trump took office he inherited an extremely complex and volatile situation in the
Mideast which included both the ongoing dictatorship of Assad in Syria and the emerging Islamic State of
Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He also inherited a volatile situation in North Korea. JFK inherited Southeast Asia
including a mandate to hold on to the Republic of South Vietnam (RVN). If he failed, the whole region
would fall to the communists according to Eisenhower’s Domino Theory. JFK also had to deal with Cuba
and an absurd plan hatched by Cuban expatriates to take their homeland back from Fidel Castro. The
Cuban situation eventually developed into a nuclear showdown between Russia and the United States.
President Trump has now threatened a pre-emptive strike in his nuclear showdown with North Korea.
We will never be able to compare President Trump’s handling of these situations with President
Kennedy’s handling of Cuba and Viet Nam. President Kennedy was successful in getting the Russian
missiles removed from Cuba but that situation was very different from the situation in North Korea today.
President Kennedy expressed his determination to get out of Viet Nam by the end of 1965 but he was
assassinated before he could follow through on his plans.
We are left with a disturbing history of miscalculations: Lyndon Johnson in Viet Nam through George W.
Bush and Barrack OBama in Iraq and Afghanistan. Only George H. W. Bush, who actually served in
combat in WWII, managed to come off with a winning record by limiting the scope of Desert Storm.
Lyndon Johnson and Viet Nam provide an interesting case study because time has given us a chance to
investigate and gain perspective. Johnson knew as much as anybody about the situation in South Viet
Nam when he took over on November 23, 1963. His first instinct was to continue the policies developed
by his predecessor. But Johnson did make at least one change. He authorized covert operations inside
North Viet Nam. That change led to confrontations between the North Vietnamese and the American
navy in the Gulf of Tonkin. Those confrontations led to the massive deployment of American ground
forces in South Viet Nam. The result was a disaster for the United States and Viet Nam.
To be fair Johnson and Kennedy arrived on the scene at the end of a very long historical saga. Viet Nam
was a Chinese client state for a thousand years. The French took over in the 19th Century and ran the
country for almost one hundred years until the Japanese took over in 1940. When the Japanese were
forced off of the Asian mainland shortly after WWII, President Truman supported a French bid to reclaim
their colony in Southeast Asia..
When the French were on the verge of losing to the Vietnamese forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, they
asked for assistance from their US ally. President Eisenhower refused to come to the aid of the French. He
chose instead to support development of a non-communist Vietnamese state in the south. Ngo Dinh Diem
was appointed Prime Minister but managed to take over the country in a rigged election. Diem developed
some stability while dealing with a wide range of problems and challenges. But he was never able to
develop a popular government with broad-based support. Eisenhower must have recognized the fatal
weakness because he told Kennedy that he thought it would be necessary to send in troops.
Eisenhower was right. It took almost 5 years but the President of the United States eventually decided that
he had to send in the troops. De Gaulle was right too. He warned Johnson that sending in US troops was a
mistake. The United States would end up repeating the French experience if American troops were sent in
to hold onto South Vietnam.
Donald Trump comes to a Syrian situation that has a long and bloody history. He will certainly be
tempted like Lyndon Johnson to send in the troops. Hopefully, he will follow the advice that he gave to
President Obama: Getting involved in Syria cannot benefit the United States. Stay out.

The Right To Life – The Elephant in the Womb

It may have been a “Right to Life” march or it may have been a call for an end to the right of every woman to control the use of her body. There are two sides to every coin.

There are people who oppose abortion but favor the death penalty. Punishment of evil is the connecting idea. Killing fetuses is immoral. Killing evil-doers is righteous. I am inclined to tolerate both. The death penalty may actually be better than life in prison without the possibility of parole. A life lived out in a prison with unsavory companions under the watchful eye of guards who were probably available because they couldn’t find any other job is not really a life.

The Right to Life marchers want to guarantee the safe passage of new humans through months of development and an arduous journey out of the womb into the harsh reality of our world.

But there are no guarantees. God doesn’t make mistakes. But the process of creating a single, unique DNA book from the DNA books of two random cells is tricky and error prone. Mistakes are made. Things go wrong. Anomalies like blue eyes and sickle cell anemia result when the new human inherits the same recessive gene from both parents.

Approximately 25% of all pregnancies fail. Only 75% of human pregnancies result in the birth of a living human being. Many of the successful pregnancies produce new humans with defect. Sometimes the defects are severe.

Let’s agree with Jesus that life is about more than the food we eat and the clothes we wear. Sure the guy on the respirator is breathing and has a pulse but is he living?

The Right to Lifers focus on getting the new human out of the vagina and safely into the arms of a mother. This focus is necessary because they are not prepared to deal with many important issues. Mothers who are carrying babies have needs directly related to the health of the fetus and by extension to the health of the baby that is expected. The pair, mother and baby to be, need food, water and shelter. Health care is advisable although mothers got along without it for thousands of years. Our society and especially the Right to Life crowd is opposed to providing those necessities especially for women on welfare and unwed teenage moms. Providing for them might encourage bad behavior.

The Right to Lifers also want to avoid discussion of what comes after the first nine months. They do not want to worry about how to deal with infant organ failures that need to be addressed by immediate surgery. They want to make the parents responsible for everything after the actual birth. They don’t even want responsibility for the birth. They just want to make sure that nothing is done to prevent the birth.

Food, shelter, health care and education are necessities for a meaningful life. Making the parents solely responsible for those necessities is a societal failure. Leaving an infant in the care of a couple that isn’t capable of providing that care is an act of gross negligence. Some of those marching for the Right to Life are actively opposed to using tax dollars to provide benefits for indigent families. Many are doing their best to pare school budgets to a minimum. There does not seem to be enough interest in education to make sure that schools are staffed with capable teachers who are paid a fair wage.

The attitude of the Right to Life crowd seems to be: “Congratulations. You made it here safely. You are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Good luck.”

It is time to move beyond sound and fury. Commitment and action are needed. We have to put our money where our mouth is. If we demand that the child be born, we need to step up and take care of her or him as long as necessary.

2017 & Trump

All set to follow Donald Trump into 2017 and a new era in American history. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. An anti-government maverick is now the top man in the government. The head of a small, close knit, real estate development company is now in charge of the largest, most unwieldy bureaucracy in the world. The man who bashed Wall Street and big banks is bringing in Goldman-Sachs Wall Streeters  to help him drain the swamp and make America Great Again.

Two denizens of the swamp who are safe for the time being are Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Mitch McConnell.  Congressman Ryan is a budget expert with right wing leanings and an established leader in the House. President Trump is going to need both of those assets. Senator Mitch McConnell kept the Supreme Court vacancy open for a Right Wing president. President Trump is going to be able to fill that vacancy with a proper conservative. Donald Trump owes Mitch McConnell. The two of them should be able to work together to push through an ultra-conservative agenda even though Senator McConnell has openly expressed his disdain for the incoming president.

The promised renaissance in American manufacturing is a safe target. American manufacturing has been on the rise almost since the day the last Republican president went into hiding. Neither George W. Bush nor Ronald Reagan produced as many manufacturing jobs as Barack Obama. The good news for President Trump is that the sitting president has little control over the growth of jobs. President Reagan could have fought harder to keep American companies from sending jobs overseas. President Bush could have done better in a lot of areas. But the growth of manufacturing jobs over the last eight years has more to do with global economic conditions than government policy. As long as the largest, most powerful economy in the world does nothing to alter those economic conditions, President Trump should get credit for a large increase in manufacturing jobs.

Tearing up trade agreements and imposing punitive tariffs are two things that could very well upset the favorable economic conditions. That is the bad news for President Trump and his supporters. He can’t make things better but he can make them worse.

President-Elect Trump’s announcement that he will cancel the contract for new presidential planes because the planes are too expensive brings up some issues. The current planes are 25 years old. Very important people use those planes. The planes should be replaced in a timely fashion instead of waiting for one to crash while carrying the POTUS across the country. Apparently President Trump plans to rent his private, personal airplane to us, the people, for use on government business. We have no say in the matter. We will get use of that plane on a no bid contract. There will be no referendum to ask whether taxpayers would rather be renting a plane from the president or buying new ones which presidents will be able to use for the foreseeable future. We will not be given a projected cost for modifying Mr. Trump’s plane to make it suitable for use on presidential business. All we know is that President-Elect Trump has decided that $4 Billion dollars amortized over 25 years is too high a price for planes that will serve as the mobile office for the next five or six presidents. No expense is too great for upgrading the Trump special even though it may only be used by one president for the next four years.

Tradeoffs are important. The key economic issue is the cost of the best available alternative for meeting a need. Saying that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program should be cancelled because it is too expensive doesn’t make sense unless you have a less expensive alternative that will meet the mission requirements laid out for the F-35. That is an enormous problem. The F-35 is designed to replace aging fighters and add a few capabilities that no current fighter has.  It is possible that the F-35 is unnecessary. The aging fighters might be doing just fine and the new features may not be justified.

Senator John McCain, former Navy pilot with combat experience and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, believes that we need the F-35. President-elect Donald Trump, career real estate developer, believes that the jet is too expensive.

An inexpensive, state of the art fighter plane is an oxymoron. Even a proven fighter like the F-16 does not come cheap. A state of the art, all-purpose aircraft like the F-35 will be much more expensive because of its new hardware and software. The cost of designing, developing and testing not only the aircraft itself but all of the new capabilities is unbelievable. The F-35 has to pass 56 thousand tests before it gets a stamp of approval. Testing alone could run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

The cost drivers for the F-35 were put in place 20 years ago. At that time military experts put together a wish list for their new dream machine. A request for proposal was circulated and Lockheed Martin was selected as the prime contractor in 1997. The requirements were probably overstated because engineers cannot help themselves when they are dreaming about what could be. The price was probably underestimated because the contract goes to the lowest bidder and the people evaluating the bid are incurable optimists.

At this point in time, there are no good alternatives. The F-35 is a clear winner for President Trump’s agenda. The planes are in production. That means the program is providing jobs – good paying jobs, which candidate Trump promised to deliver. At least 10 countries are lined up to buy the fighters. That is a plus for our balance of trade and our economy in general. Adding the F-35 to our arsenal bolsters our armed forces and our security. Trump has made promises on both scores.

The problem may be that the project with all of its benefits has been moving along without any input from Donald Trump. He needs to do something dramatic so that he can claim credit for the results. All that President Trump needs to do is declare that the fighters are overpriced because of mismanagement under the Obama administration. He can then refuse to pay full price for them.

If President Trump and the manufacturer, Lockheed, cannot come to an agreement on an acceptable price for the F-35s, he could kill the program.  Or he could let the DOD continue working the problem. Cost control and cost cutting efforts began under Secretary of Defense Bill Gates back in 2010. Since that time the number of aircraft ordered has dropped significantly. This has kept the overall cost of the program somewhat under control but has increased the price for each F-35 aircraft.

The solution is to order more planes. The price of a plane will drop to an acceptable number while the overall cost of the program will rise. Lockheed has already stated that the cost of each aircraft would drop if more units were being bought. President Trump can make a show of changing the game and rescuing the F-35 program by agreeing to the purchase of more F-35s after the election in 2024 which would put the burden of cutting the program on a future president. President Trump could save billions on the purchase of the F-35 aircraft already on order and Lockheed would be guaranteed to make its money either in sales or contract cancellation costs.

Fighter jets are not at all like hotels. Hotel rooms are interchangeable. There may be some advantages to paying $800 per night to stay in a Trump hotel but you can sleep just as well in a room that costs less than $100 per night. As a matter of fact, if you are willing to look on line, you can probably book a room at aTrump hotel for much less than full price. Most people are not going to pay full price for a room at one of Trump’s hotels. That may be the reason that the President-elect objects to paying full price for our new fighters. But he is not going to be the one who will have to fly into combat in an aircraft that was bought at a fire sale. You would not want to attempt combat operations in a business jet just to save a few bucks.

In any aircraft, safety of life is an important consideration. In a combat aircraft, safety of life depends on speed, maneuverability, weaponry, armament and threat detection. These features are expensive. But a fighter jet without them is worthless.

Donald Trump likes to portray himself as an exceptionally skilled business man even though he is well down the list of wealthiest Americans. He was fortunate enough to get a big boost from his father and his grandmother. They laid the foundations for his success. They provided mentoring and money to get him started.

He did not create the Trump organization. He joined the firm, Elizabeth Trump and Son in 1969. He took over the firm in 1971 and renamed in the Trump Organization. Since then the company has seen some pretty bad times but managed to recover. Trump has gone through six bankruptcies. His casino operations in Atlantic City were a business failure even though Trump himself managed to walk away with millions in the end. His most successful business undertaking so far has been marketing the Trump brand. He makes most of his money by putting his name on the work of others. Most recently he has arranged to be paid for the use of his name as executive producer on the resurrected Celebrity Apprentice.

President-Elect Donald Trump is what you get when enough voters in this country follow Sarah Palin’s call for us to go rogue. He has a lot of good ideas and seems sincere in his determination to fix things that are wrong in America. But he is approaching the problem like a bull in a china shop. President Obama cancelled President Bush’s Mars initiative but he replaced with a more plausible program.

Donald Trump has threatened or promised to cancel contracts, throw out agreements and take forceful action against anyone who opposes him. He courted Taiwan as a direct challenge to China while praising Russian leader Vladimir Putin. President-elect Trump has publicly and vociferously dismissed evidence that Russians have hacked into strategically important computer systems and meddled in the US elections.

He is signaling a new world order. We have is assurance that it is going to be okay or even better. For all we know he is whistling in the dark. He may already be several cloud layers above his level of incompetence. He has made mistakes – big mistakes – in the past. He will certainly make a few more before he moves on to replace God in his heaven.

Decision 2092 – Making America Great Again


Making America Great Again
By Donald X. Trump, Tea Party Candidate for President of the United States and grandson of Billionaire businessman, former president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

They were wrong about global warming. What did you expect?
It is true that sea level rise has reduced our land area by about ten percent. This mostly affects coastal areas although rivers have gotten fatter. Sea barriers built around large cities like New York, Chicago and LA have been largely successful in protecting homes and businesses. Efforts to save Manhattan were not entirely successful. The lower levels of some buildings have been sealed off so that people can continue to use the upper levels. Water taxis have been introduced where the streets are no long drivable.
Our nation’s capital was relocated to the Trump monolith near McConnell Air Base in Kansas several decades ago due to exaggerated fears that rising sea levels would flood Washington D.C.
California has used pipelines, which were made possible by technological advances, to pump water to the Rocky Mountain Aquifer. This is a win-win solution. Flooding dangers along the West Coast have been reduced and water is available to the inland areas of the American Southwest.
Hawaii looks nothing like it did at the beginning of the century. The Pearl Harbor Museum is now completely under water. But Trump Hawaii is still a favorite tourist destination. With its luxurious accommodations, fine dining, casino and world class golf course it brings in more than a billion dollars a year in revenue.
Scientific and technological advances of the last fifty years have made it possible for us to eliminate poverty and it effects – homelessness, malnutrition and disease.
The first Integrated Living Center was completed in 2037 just three years after the ground breaking ceremonies. Advances in automation made the schedule and budget possible. Automated ground moving equipment created the subsurface hole three hundred yards deep and one mile on each side in a matter of months. Only six months were required to lay the foundation. Seventy percent of the construction work was performed by autonomous robots.
Today, the Fort Stockton, Texas ILC or monolith is home to approximately 5 million people or 2 million families. Advances in the technologies make it possible for us to construct ILCs today that house 10 million people. We are close to our goal of providing ILC housing for all 10 billion humans remaining on earth.
The ILC monoliths are extremely energy efficient. Core concepts were pioneered by Bell Labs for its Murray Hill facility back in the 1960s. Sixty per cent of the required energy is provided by solar collectors. Thirty five percent comes from waste recycling. The remaining amount and back up is provided by small generators that use nuclear waste for fuel.
The first commercial fusion energy plant came on line in 2020. My grandfather, President Donald J.
Trump, issued an executive order banning the mining of coal and uranium shortly after he took office for
his second term in 2021.
That executive order was vacated when President Chelsea Clinton took office in 2025. Congress passed
bills outlawing the mining of coal or uranium or drilling for oil in the Continental United States in
October of 2025. President Clinton immediately signed those bills into law. At that time, the primary
sources of energy were solar, wind and hydroelectric. Generators that used nuclear waste as fuel quickly
developed into a major source of power. Over time, Fusion Energy plants replace all of those sources.
Development of ILCs for livestock and autonomous robots to perform most of the chores associated
with caring for them until they can be used for food allowed us to effectively address the economic
crises that followed termination of mining operations. Scientific and technological advances from the
thirties and forties gave us raw food and food printers. With these developments, farming, ranching,
agriculture in general are things of the past. We no longer need them.ss
Food printers available today can produce any meal based on any cuisine known to man from the raw
food inputs on demand.
President Trump fulfilled his promise to make America Great Again by developing Fusion Energy
technology and ensuring that the patents and trade secrets were kept in the possession of the United
States. He also pioneered the Integrated Living Center concept which put the United States at the
forefront of providing habitat for humanity.
Our current space program has grown out of President Trumps initiatives in that area.
The Earth-Moon orbiter was launched in ’22 after President Trump overhauled NASA and the US space
program. The orbiter, also known as the Buzz Aldrin Moon Escalator, reduced the cost of transporting
humans and supplies to the moon by over half. With the escalator, it cost no more to send men to the
moon than to the International Space Station.
The Mars series of escalators that followed opened up the red planet to human exploration. They also
paved the way for a multi-billion dollar Mars Tourism industry.
Finally, the Jupiter escalator series made Jupiter and the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter
accessible. Exploitation of the mineral resources in the asteroid belt became possible. Multi-billion
mining and tourism industries have been developed. All of the raw materials for today’s spacecraft are
taken from the asteroid belt.
None of this would have been possible without the development of advanced autonomous mechanical
devices capable of performing almost any task as well as or even better than human workers.
The escalators are autonomous although they interact with human operators stationed at locations
around the United States as well as on the American Mars Colony. The escalators are built in orbit by
space ready androids. They are maintained by a crew of specialized robots.
Robotic Near Earth taxis and haulers take people and freight back and forth between the planets and
the escalators. The cost of getting people and supplies to one of Jupiter’s moons today is less than the
cost of supplying the International Space Station a century ago.
These developments have put us in a position to make America Great again after over sixty years of
incompetent, blundering leadership. Trump Galactica, the first galactic explorer spacecraft, is set to
launch next year. The Trump Galactica is a space ready ILC that will house and support a population of 5
million people virtually forever. It is the result of decades of international cooperation in space
endeavors.
The World Space Exploration Consortium was formed to manage this cooperative effort. It has
developed into the only effective international body. The United States is the acknowledged leader in
this consortium. We are prepared to forge a World Federated Government as the first truly effective
international governing body.
When I win the presidency this November, I will take the lead in bringing the World Federated
Government into being. We will dispose of fossilized twentieth century institutions such as the United
Nations and the World Bank. We will unite the world under the leadership of the United States. America
will be great again.

Congratulations, President-elect Donal Trump

president-elect-donald-trump-28nov16

Congratulations, Donald Trump. You have emerged as the winner of a rigged race for the White House. At the moment, you are running second in the popular vote.  Of course, you have issued a statement claiming that you would have won the popular vote except for the millions of illegal votes cast by your enemies. No doubt your supporters will take you at your word while the rest of us roll our eyes and say, “There he goes again.”

Fortunately for you, the popular vote doesn’t matter at the moment. The world in general ignored you back in 2012 when you wanted us to get rid of the Electoral College.  So here we are today waiting for the Electoral College, that fossil of American politics to anoint you POTUS, Commander in Chief and Leader of the Free World. We are all hoping that in spite of what we have seen, you will succeed.

Please be careful in your choices. You have won the election but you have not won the country. Don’t make the mistake of following in President George W. Bush footsteps. He announced that his win in 2004 entitled him to burn his political capital any way he wanted.  He gave us “The Surge” which killed and maimed a lot of people but failed to produce a stable democratic government in Iraq.

You will be the third Republican president in the last hundred years to take office with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress. Herbert Hoover’s 1928 presidency ended with the Wall Street crash, the collapse of the US economy and the Great Depression. George W. Bush’s 2004 presidency ended with the collapse of the US economy and a $3 trillion dollar war that was developing into an endless commitment of our Armed Forces to conflict in the Middle East.

I hope you take the political divide in this country seriously. You are the apparent leader of a very large proportion of our society. Your supporters are angry, disaffected Americans who demand change. But your opponents are also numerous and they have expectations. You can’t make America great without uniting those two factions. That does not seem to be happening at the moment.

I do have one suggestion. Nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. He is respected by both Republicans and Democrats. He seems to lean towards a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

The Trump Wall – It’s going to happen

donald-trump-demands-apology-after-ex-mexican-president-uses-the-f-word-when-discussing-the-wall

One of my friends on Facebook posted about how excited she was to be watching The Donald’s performance last night. Her friend agreed. He was so polished. Absolutely presidential.

But I am confused. Did he or didn’t he?

He claims that he did not discuss The Wall or who would pay for it during his meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The Mexicans insist that he did. They must be mistaken because Trump is never wrong.

For my part, I believe that President Trump will get that wall built and the Mexicans will pay for it. That would go a long way toward making sure that Trump never returned to their country.

The Donald has a history here. He got thousands of Americans to pay for a bogus education through Trump University.  He’s gotten New Yorkers to pony up $120 million or so for a golf course in the Bronx that provided him with a reported $8 million in revenue over the past year. Why shouldn’t he be able to get the Mexican people to pay for a wall to keep them out of land that we stole from them?

It would have to be the biggest and best wall ever built of course. Bigger than the “Great” Wall of China. Bigger than Hadrian’s wall that stretched across England the rest of Europe. Our Wall would have to be better than Israel’s wall. It would actually keep Palestinians from entering the United States illegally.

The one question that Donald Trump has not addressed is whether he would build this wall before or after he builds the $10 million dollar club house on the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point.

One thing that we should all think about is : What will happen if President Trump runs the county like Private Citizen Trump ran his casino business in Atlantic City?

Trump would no doubt emerge richer than ever. He would be richer than Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. He might even emerge better off than the Clintons.

But the rest of us had better beware. We could be looking at a really great depression – one that would dwarf the Bush Fiasco of 2007.

Iran rattling sabers in the Persian Gulf

Iranian attack 25aug16

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp Navy (IRGCN) ships attacked US Navy vessels last week. The incidents took place near the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow connector between the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. No one was injured in what appeared to be an exercise in harassment. The Iranian speed boats did come close enough to significantly raise the risk of a deadly collision. When one of the Iranian boats came within 200 yards of the American vessel, the USS Tempest. The Americans fired three warning shots and the Iranian decided to call it a day.

There seems to be little official concern on the part of the United States. A state department spokeswoman dismissed the incidents as “unacceptable behavior.” Iranian Defense Minister, General Hossein Dehghan, seemed to suggest that the Iranians were reacting to a perceived threat. “If a foreign vessel enters our waters, we warn them and if it’s an invasion we confront them.”

The American ships in these incidents were operating in International Waters just as they have been since at least 1988. There is nothing new in the situation.

A similar campaign of harassment was carried out from December 2007 through January 2008. In the diplomatic exchanges that followed the naval confrontations, the Iranian threatened to seal off the Strait of Hormuz. That would halt shipping of one third of the world’s oil supply and throw oil markets into a tail spin. The Commander of the US 5th Fleet said that such an action would not be tolerated.

At the end of 2011, Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi threatened to close down the Strait in response to the imposition of sanctions designed to force a halt to Iran’s nuclear development program. Iranian Admiral Habibollah Sayyari stated that the Iran navy could easily shutdown oil shipments through the strait. A spokeswoman for the US 5th Fleet said the US Navy was ready to respond appropriately. Independent analysts concluded that the US Navy could break a shutdown in less than a month.

The Strait of Hormuz was not shutdown in January 2012.  On January 9, 2012, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that Iranian government had never threatened to shut down shipping in the strait. As a matter of fact the Islamic Republic of Iran was a staunch defender of security in the strait.

Nevertheless, by the end of January 2012 a flotilla consisting of six American ships, seven British ships and a French frigate had assembled to help ensure the free flow of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz.

Tensions in the area seemed to be easing in January 2016 after conclusion of the Nuclear deal with Teheran and the lifting of sanctions. But deep seated, fundamental issues remain. Iran and the Western Powers are locked in a clash of cultures and Mideast oil is vital to the Western Way of Life. Approximately one fifth of the world’s petroleum travels by way of the Strait of Hormuz. Loss of that much fuel even for a short period of time would create an extreme hardship. That fact is well understood on both side of the culture divide.