Hot Air

Hide And Seek

Alright-ee-o — here’s a list of as many Malyasia Air Flight 370 theories as I could find (before I was driven to stick a fork in my eye.):

● From the New York Daily News:

The North Koreans snatched it and plan to put a nuke onboard and fly it over some as-yet unnamed target.

● From the Christianist apocalypse fetishists at End Times Headlines:

Members of the Chinese Martyrs Brigade hijacked it because…, well, maybe because they were feeling cranky that day.

● From crunchy, organic, tinfoil hat site Natural News:

Some “entirely new, mysterious and powerful force is at work on our planet which can pluck airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind a shred of evidence.”

Peter Cushing

I Shall Rule The World!

● Sticking with the wingnut Left, 9/11 Truthers are pouring out of the woodwork thanks to the disappearance. From Truther News:

The Chinese grabbed the jet and will soon use it to carry out a 9/11-style attack in the US.

● From Before It’s News:

Representatives of the US corporation Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. were on board and they carried with them the company’s technology that can make a jet “disappear” from radar screens. They’re doing this, natch, to prove to the world it can be done.

● From Agenda NWO (that stands for New World Order, for those of you not up on your garden-variety paranoiac groups):

In this video, the announcer tells us the jet carried passengers from the Ukraine, Russia, and the United States. Also, while it was flying across Malaysia, a “military jet” was simultaneously crossing Malaysia air space. So, therefore, um…, who knows? But isn’t it all suspicious?

● And, of course, the ultra-demented Alex Jones chimed in on his InfoWars site:

The jet was teleported through a “stargate” that uses principles of the quantum theory to blah, blah, blah.

[Big Mike note: Whenever someone who is not a physicist with a specialization in quantum mechanics bandies about the word quantum, ignore him or her.]

Okay that’s enough now. My eyeball jelly is starting to run down my cheeks.

Freedom

Let’s talk Bill of Rights. Another Bill of Rights.

President Franklin Roosevelt, during his State of the Union address of January 11, 1944, proposed an Economic Bill of Rights, which he also called a Second Bill of Rights.

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He said:

We have come to the clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence…. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day, these economic truths have become self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all, regardless of station, race, or creed.

He went on to call for, among other things

  • The right to a useful, well-paying job
  • The right to afford adequate food, clothing, and recreation
  • The right to decent housing
  • The right to adequate medical care, as well as overall good health
  • The right to insurance against poverty in old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment
  • The right to a good education

Franklin Roosevelt, you may recall from your post-school readings of history, was accused of being a socialist, a communist, someone whose goal was to destroy America, and a traitor to his class. All because, as he said, “…[W]e must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.”

Hardly a thing has changed in nearly a quarter of a century. Sure, we’ve got unemployment insurance and Medicare, but the same type of people who demonized Roosevelt are trying to convince us now that we ought to dump those “failed” plans. And today, people who throw around the word freedom promiscuously and with impunity tell us we can only be free if we have piles of guns, more of them than we’d ever need, and our businesses are unregulated.

That’s freedom? Nah. That’s idiotic.

Anyway, watch Roosevelt talk about his Second Bill of Rights.

The Answer To All Our Problems

Ready for some science fiction? Okay. By 2020, there will be a working machine in southern France called a tokamak. Basically, it will be a magnetic chamber suspending a human-made star in midair within a hermetically sealed housing.

This artificial star will be able to generate energy. If its designers and patrons all have their way, it will replace conventional nuclear power, oil-burning, natural gas, fracking, and hydroelectric power as the planet’s primary means of making our coffee grinders and hair dryers go.

The machine itself will weigh 23,000 tons. Its design specs take up 1.8 terabytes of memory. When the machine is switched on, it will generate at its core a temperature of 200,000,000 ℃ Like every other (natural) star in the Universe, it will run on hydrogen. In the process of generating power, it will convert that hydrogen to helium.

Its waste, in other words, will be that harmless gas, already the second most plentiful substance in existence.

Serling

Where Is Rod Serling When You Need Him?

Now, ready for reality? The machine I’ve just described is now under construction. It’s called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). It makes CERN’s Large Hadron Collider look like an iPod. Scientists and administrators from 35 countries, including the United States, Russia, European Union, Japan, South Korea, and India are working feverishly on the project. So much so, many of them feel compelled to take stress leaves.

And it’s no wonder. The countries involved in this project representing more than half of living humanity and will be expected to pony up some $20 billion. And, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the tokamak in France is the single most ambitious, complicated, and expensive scientific engineering endeavor in human history. So, naturally, scientists and bean counters working on it are losing sleep, their hair and, quite possibly, their minds.

Too bad Rube Goldberg isn’t around to help.

Rube Goldberg Fly Swatter

Click Image To Enlarge

I get all this information from an eye-opening article written by Raffi Khatchadourian in the March 3 edition of the New Yorker. Read it. You don’t need a particle physics or astrophysics background to grasp the thing.

ITER

Artist’s Concept of the ITER

This machine just might be the answer to all our fuel and pollution problems. Or it’ll be a monumental bust. Or — yikes! — it’ll blow us all to smithereens.

We’ll see. We’re willing to take a lot of risks to keep our coffee grinders and hair dryers humming.

[BTW: Here’s a bucket of cold water splashed on the whole ITER idea by the science-in-journalism wonks at MIT.]

One thought on “Hot Air

  1. David Paglis "Cynicism gives the illusion of understanding." says:

    Rights must be accompanied by Responsibilities: “The lessons of history…show conclusively that dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.” FDR, state of the union address 1935.

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