Friday, July 17, 2009

40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 and New LRO photos

When I was a kid I loved astronomy and anything to do with space. And then it seemed for so long that we weren't really doing all that much in space and I kinda lost interest. If you had asked me when I was ten if we'd have a man on Mars by now, I would have told you without hesitating, yes. But money is scarce when you're throwing trillions away on killing people. We can spend more money than you and I can even imagine on blowing brown people up half way across the world, but we can't spend it to engineer a way to send a man to Mars. We can make the Internets to waste everyone's time and be an utter distraction, but we can' seem to come up with a way to travel through the solar system. Maybe I'm just jaded.

But today, I got really excited for the first time in a long time about our space program. NASA has released new images of the Apollo landing sites for the 40th anniversary of us landing men on the moon for the first time. And on that note, if you had asked me, again when I was ten, if a woman or a black person would have landed on the moon by 2010, I'd have told you hell yes. And maybe that's coming soon, maybe real soon. We squander our time here in so many ways, and our wealth too.

At any rate, the images were taken by their Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is mapping the entire moon so they can send people back to the moon, this time on a more permanent basis instead of just for a few hours.

I think the most interesting picture is where you can see the astronauts' footprints. They're still there because there's no weather on the moon. It's pretty nifty if you ask me. In the coming weeks they'll have better, higher res images as the satellite drops lower into it's orbit. Maybe they'll have GoogleMoon eventually. Wouldn't that be cool?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ignorance is bliss?

I've been a little busy with things, and so I haven't even read the news lately, and so I have nothing to write about. I realized while on my trip to Europe that I enjoyed not knowing what was going on. The world kept on going without me knowing anything about all the crap I can't change or do anything about. You can read about all these politicians, and the things they do to muck up the world. You can read about all the crazy fundamentalist fanatics that are burning books or lashing women in some backwater in Afghanistan or beating their wives right here in the good ol' US of A. And I can't do shit about any of it. I sometimes question whether or not it's even worthwhile to know about all of the travesty that goes on in this world.

That's almost anathema to what I believe, that knowledge is important, it gives you power. I don't know what kind of power that is exactly though. The power to drive yourself quite mad at the craziness of humanity, both in the past and now, and I'm sure into the future. The entire world is quite mad. And that's why I named this blog that. Humanity is really fucked up on so many levels.

So why am I writing this? I don't even know, something to do with the fact that I realized I hadn't written in a few days, and realized also that I didn't know what to write about. That and it's late, I'm rambling and I should go to bed, but I'm procrastinating about that.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Republicans are Racist Bastards (but we knew that)

Of course the Republicans are kicking and screaming over Sotomayor. It's not enough that she's a woman, but she's a Hispanic woman! The Republican reaction?
Republicans: Oh noes!!11!!1! The colored people are wanting equality again and are gaining important positions, even the Presidency! :'( Drat! Our evil scheme is coming undone...
So now they're saying that she's associated with an "extremist" group. Apparently if you're associated with a right-wing extremist group though it's not a problem, and how dare you say anything bad about them, especially if they're infiltrating our military. {/sarcasm}

At any rate, I hardly call the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund an extremist group. They're like the NAACP... but I suppose the Republicans don't have the cojones to call the NAACP an extremist group because they'd have Jesse Jackson protesting outside their offices. I guess the Hispanics are just a little too mellow for that.

Hispanic Rights Group at Center of Sotomayor Fight

Conservatives have called the group's stances on capital punishment and abortion rights, as well as its advocacy of affirmative action in worker discrimination cases, "extreme" and "shocking."...

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, used the word "extreme" to describe the PRLDEF's views on capital punishment and race...

So, what it boils down to is that this group supports rights for minorities and women, the enemies of the rich, white guys in the Republican party. Since the Republicans have no leg to stand on and nothing of substance to run on (and no brains I dare say either) they have to paint their enemies with the "terrorist brush." They basically have equated PRLDEF with extremists and terrorists in their opposition to Sotomayor. They did the same thing with Obama, so I suppose it should come no surprise to anyone that they should go as far as to paint Sotomayor with that same brush as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Racism in the 21st Century

Down here in south Texas we have a radio station (well, probably more than one) where the DJs are ignorant, stupid bastards. They play decent music some of the time, but I don't think I'll be listening to them any more. I think they must listen to right-wing talk radio in their off time, because back during the election they were allowing people on the air to propagate all the lies about Obama that were going around at the time, like he was Muslim and wasn't a citizen, etc. This isn't supposed to be a right-wing talk radio. It's supposed to play music from the "80's, 90's and today" but the DJs seem to like to inject their own political and religious persuations into what's supposed to just be music.

Now don't ask me why I continued to listen to the station after that. I guess because there just aren't any other stations that play music I like. Well from now on I'll go with the radio off before I listen to their stupid asses. The reason? Yesterday I read about some minority children that were asked by a private pool to leave. It sounded like they knew how many children there were, but when the members using the pool saw they were black and hispanic, they pulled their children out of the pool and went and complained. The people who ran the pool then refunded their money and asked them to never come back. They tried to say they didn't have the capacity to deal with that many kids. WHAT? You have got to be kidding me. I'm sure they knew how many kids were involved when they arranged for them to come. I'm sure the question was asked, "how many kids do you have?" I'll bet what wasn't asked was "what color are the kids?"

Now you may ask why I'm mad at the radio station? The DJs (who are white) dismissed this as being "overblown" and that there's no racism in the 21st century. Excuse me? I'm from western North Carolina, where there are still Klan up in the mountains. So what the fuck ever. You want to be so stupid and ignorant and think that, you can bite my ass. I know for a fact that country clubs discriminate against minorities, and find ways around laws so they don't have to accept minorities into them. So again, whatever. The DJs here are ignorant assholes and I pray they never know what it's like to be discriminated against. People are so quick to forget history. My mother, yes, my mother, went to a segregated school. She'll be sixty this year. That's not even very old. It wasn't even that long ago they were lynching black people in the south, in my mother's lifetime! And these DJs have the temerity, the cojones to dare to say that it's magically all gone? Fuck them.

You see, racism isn't gone. It's swept under the rug and that makes it more dangerous, because if we deny there's a problem, then there's never any justice. I believe there's an old adage, that sunlight is the best disinfectant. In 1955, when my mother was five years old, a fourteen year old boy by the name of Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman. His mother insisted on an open casket, so that the world might see the brutality of the killing. If we just sweep it all under the rug, if we don't take a stand and say, no, it's not right what you're doing, then we are just as guilty as the people who perpetrate the crime, whether it's discriminating from a job or beating someone or telling a group of elementary aged students they can't swim in the same pool as the rich white kids.

The greater crime here isn't the fact that the private pool kicked the poor minority kids out. The greater crime here is the ignorance that says there's not a problem.