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Member since: Wed Oct 13, 2004, 05:42 PM
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Cruz, Rubio and the Dominionist danger in this election cycle.

The current focus is on Donald Trump and his horrid remarks; not enough attention is being paid to the 'second string' among the front-runners and their connection to dominionist theology. and people need to be informed about this.

There have been some excellent posts about Ted Cruz, his freaky father and their relationship to dominionism (Thank you, madfloridian!).

I need to point out that Marco Rubio also has some disturbing links to this extreme segment of the Christian right: Do a Google search on "Marco Rubio Dominionism" and you'll come up with links like:

Rubio Accepted Endorsement from Dominionist Who Claims Constitution Based on Bible:

Yesterday, in an April 14, 2015 Huffington Post blog post, I covered Senator Marco Rubio's close ties to the Miami, Florida megachurch Christ Fellowship, which boasts an anti-gay hiring policy and whose head pastor, Rick Blackwood -- whose sermons Rubio says he specifically goes to the church to hear -- rejects Darwin's theory of evolution and promotes exorcism and Young Earth creationism. But Christ Fellowship is not overtly political. Enter David Barton.

Barton claims the Constitution is based on the Bible, maintains that the separation of church and state is a myth, says Jesus opposed the minimum wage, and has published writing that appears to endorse "biblical slavery" for non-Christians.

There are other GOP candidates with dominionist leanings; but, of those: Carson is sinking in the polls and Huckabee was always a no-hoper. Both Cruz and Rubio have a credible chance at the nomination and a slim but credible chance at winning the White House next year.

Is interstellar travel possible?

So many people on this forum believe that the great distance between the stars will always make travel between them impossible; but, a lot of people are disagreeing.

For more ideas, check out Icarus Interstellar.

Edited to add: Here are more cool pics of the IXS Enterprise starship shown in the second video.

Third millennium questions for a sustainable world: Rachel Armstrong

Dr. Rachel Armstrong is a professor of architecture who has developed concepts for sustainable, habitable structures that can be grown. She was a featured speaker and facilitator at Icarus Interstellar's 2015 Starship Congress. Her bio on the Starship Congress speaker's page reads:

Rachel Armstrong, professor of Experimental Architecture at Newcastle University, innovates and designs sustainable solutions for the built environment using advanced new technologies such as synthetic biology and smart chemistry. Rachel Armstrong’s new science thesis and book, Vibrant Architecture (Matter as CoDesigner of Living Structures), explores prospects for transformations of matter into habitable structures, which prompts a reevaluation of how we think about sustainability in our homes and cities. The open access book can be downloaded free of charge from this site:

Vibrant Architecture: http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/448453

Dr. Armstrong is also one of the featured thinkers at Blackskythinking.org. "Black Sky Thinking" is thinking that goes beyond "Blue Sky Thinking" into previously uncharted territories. Black Sky Thinking is what we will need for the human race to survive and thrive on Earth and in space.

The Rest of the World is Leaving Us Behind in Infrastructure

From Daily Kos: Infrastructure advances in the rest-of-the-world will blow your mind:

While we're "debating" torture, access to basic health care and the veracity of climate change, the rest-of-the-world is simply advancing transformational infrastructure like you would not believe.

In Switzerland, the world's longest rail tunnel -- straight through the Alps -- is about to open.
At 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will travel through the Alps between the northern portal of Erstfeld and Bodio in the south, will become the longest rail tunnel in the world once complete, stripping the title from Japan’s 53.85 kilometre Seikan Tunnel.

After reciting the long, long list of achievements in the rest-of-the-world, the author laments our decline:

These developments aren't just cool -- as in fast trains and long distances -- but they herald the end of American economic dominance; they are concrete symbols of our relative decline versus the other great nations -- and regions -- of the world.
All these interlocked developments suggest a geopolitical tectonic shift in Eurasia that the American media simply hasn't begun to grasp. Which doesn't mean that no one notices anything. You can smell the incipient panic in the air in the Washington establishment. The Council on Foreign Relations is already publishing laments about the possibility that the former sole superpower's exceptionalist moment is "unraveling." The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission can only blame the Chinese leadership for being "disloyal," adverse to "reform," and an enemy of the "liberalization" of their own economy.

The usual suspects carp that upstart China is upsetting the "international order," will doom "peace and prosperity" in Asia for all eternity, and may be creating a "new kind of Cold War" in the region. From Washington's perspective, a rising China, of course, remains the major "threat" in Asia, if not the world, even as the Pentagon spends gigantic sums to keep its sprawling global empire of bases intact. Those Washington-based stories about the new China threat in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, however, never mention that China remains encircled by US bases, while lacking a base of its own outside its own territory.


The United States is being left behind. We will -- absent major change -- never be able to catch up with the infrastructure of Asia and Europe, given current political conditions in this country. And the most tragic part of this decline is that it's being actively promoted by our leaders.

Remember this? The most honest moment on TV in decades:

Warning, sinners!!!! God's gonna end the world today........and he means it this time!!!!!

Really, the eBible Fellowship sez so, and they're using Harold Camping's predictions.

Read on, fellow Unsaved:

While our planet may have survived September’s “blood moon”, it will be permanently destroyed on Wednesday, 7 October, a Christian organization has warned.

The eBible Fellowship, an online affiliation headquartered near Philadelphia, has based its prediction of an October obliteration on a previous claim that the world would end on 21 May 2011. While that claim proved to be false, the organization is confident it has the correct date this time.

“According to what the Bible is presenting it does appear that 7 October will be the day that God has spoken of: in which, the world will pass away,” said Chris McCann, the leader and founder of the fellowship, an online gathering of Christians headquartered in Philadelphia.

“It’ll be gone forever. Annihilated.”

And, that bit about Harold Camping?

The expectation of the world ending this fall stems from an earlier prediction by Harold Camping, a Christian radio host who was based in California. In 2011 Camping used his radio station, Family Radio, to notify people that the world would end on 21 May of that year. When that turned out to be incorrect, Camping revised his prediction to October 2011. That also turned out to be incorrect, and Camping retired from public life soon after. He died in 2013, at age 93.

McCann believes that Camping’s 21 May 2011 prediction did have some truth, however. That day was declared to be “judgment day” because it was actually the day God stopped the process of selecting which churchgoers will survive Wednesday’s massacre, McCann said.

Following 21 May 2011, God turned his attention to deciding which non-churchgoers to save, according to McCann. The eBible Fellowship believes that God said he would devote 1,600 days to this task – bringing us to 7 October 2015.

So, I guess we're pretty well screwed........

Oh, Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian says:

I've hired unsaved security guards to patrol my many Christian homes after the Rapture. I'm not about to reward sinners with Louis XVI vitrines.

You gonna argue with America's Best Christian???

The backstory to Team B and the pro-space movement

General Daniel O. Graham of Team B was part of the movement to introduce the concept of Strategic Missile Defense (Star Wars) during the Reagan administration. Danny Graham attempted to co-opt the pro-space movement built around the space settlement ideas of Princeton physicist Gerard K. O'Neill. Graham even titled his book: High Frontier, shamelessly stealing the title of Gerry O'Neill's book: The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space.

I was a member of the L-5 Society, dedicated to promoting Gerry O'Neill's concepts; I even organized a chapter in Tulsa. Starting around 1980, Dr. Jerry Pournelle, a follower and friend of Danny Graham became a powerful voice in the leadership of the L-5 Society. In 1981, Pournelle, along with aerospace executives, writers and others, including members of the L-5 Society leadership formed The Citizens Advisory Council on Space Policy which prepared a report to be submitted to the Reagan administration.

There were aspects to the Citizens Advisory Council report that I would consider positive: advocacy for solar system exploration and development, including the solar power satellite concepts that L-5 and Gerry O'Neill's Space Studies Institute championed. Another was advocacy of a space station, which the Reagan administration championed as "Space Station Freedom," which became the International Space Station under the Clinton Administration.

But, the report did have a strongly militaristic bent. Pournelle and others wanted the L-5 Society to become a vehicle for promoting SDI more than promoting space settlements. Actually, the L-5 Society ended up not taking any position on space weaponry. That alienated both the strategic defense advocates and those opposed, splitting the society. In 1987, the remains of the L-5 Society were merged with Wernher von Braun's National Space Institute to form the National Space Society, which still exists.

Actually, L-5 was never a large organization; but, it was vocal and I believe it was an effective voice for O'Neill's space development and settlement concepts. The National Space Society gives lip service to Dr. O'Neill's concepts; but, I see it as more a public relations arm for the Aerospace industries Association and other industry groups.

Gerry O'Neill's vision is still being kept alive by The Space Studies Institute, which he founded.

Is Trump a "Monster from the Id?"

For those who remember the wonderful sci-fi film Forbidden Planet (1966): one of the themes of the film was a 'Great Machine' built by an advanced alien race that could materialize anything they could imagine. It worked only too well! Eventually they had to go to sleep; but, the great machine kept working and reached into the deepest, darkest reaches of their subconscious minds - the "id' in Freudian terms. What came out was monsters created by their darkest dreams, their hates, fears, their "lust for destruction." and the monsters destroyed them.

The GOP has been delving into the deepest, darkest regions of the minds of their base; what has come out has been Donald Trump, and they're unable to shut off the machine that created him!

The science fiction film that Alec Guinness starred in, a quarter century before Star Wars

Even before he was Sir Alec Guinness, he starred in The Man in the White Suit:

The Man in the White Suit is an Ealing Comedy, meaning it was one of a slew of comedies produced by Ealing Studios between 1947 and 1957. Guinness was a mainstay in these productions, and is probably best known for starring in Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob and The Ladykillers.

There were no spaceships or robots in this film; Guinness portrayed Sidney Stratton, an idealistic young inventor who creates a new synthetic fabric that's virtually indestructible and never gets dirty, it repels dirt with a static charge.

The owner of the mill where Sidney works loves the idea, until he realizes that no one will ever need to replace their clothing again, meaning he's out of business. Sidney's co-workers turn against him too, when they realize that they will be out of a job.

That said, The Man in the White Suit is one of the few movies ever to do what classic science fiction is supposed to: imagine a scientific breakthrough, a novum, and then see how it changes everything. (Or how it creates a social backlash, in this case.)


And his quasi-love interest, Daphne (the daughter of the mill owner), explains the dream most succinctly, when she tells Sidney: “Millions of people all over the world are living lives of drudgery, fighting an endless, losing battle against shabbiness and dirt. You’ve won that battle for them. You’ve set them free. The world’s going to bless you.”

But the prediction that “the world’s going to bless you” is sorely mistaken — and in a sense, The Man in the White Suit predicts the dilemmas that we’re still facing today. Technology is poised to eliminate more and more “drudgery” from our lives, by automating jobs that used to be done by hand. But that also means eliminating jobs (including, at this point, a ton of white-collar jobs.) And it turns out, as Sidney discovers, that setting people free isn’t an unalloyed benefit.


The Man in the White Suit takes a certain amount of care to portray a wide spectrum of society, as part of its broad social satire. We get to know some of the workers at the textile mill where Sidney has been hired as a menial laborer, as well as a lot of the rich capitalists who own the mill and other similar ones. Sidney is befriended by his landlady, as well as one of the workers on the textile mill floor, Bertha. Later, when the workers find out what Sidney’s been up to, Bertha insists that he’s being exploited, because in her mind he’s one of the workers. (And Bertha gets a lot of the best lines in the film, about the “dead hand of monopoly” and the relentless logic of capitalism.)

The film is structured as a farce, with lots of people running in and out of rooms and being chased and hiding — but it’s also a very broad look at how technological change threatens entrenched interests, and the ruthlessness with which the system of capital and labor colludes to keep innovation down.

Here's the IMDB page for The Man in the White Suit.

Mourning the loss of the Space Shuttle "NASA's 40-year embarassment"

Margaret Lazarus Dean mourns the loss of the space shuttle, NASA's 40-year embarassment. Author Margaret Lazarus Dean joins the ranks of other authors who've written about America's space program. Her book: Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight, celebrates and mourns the space shuttle years.

Margaret Lazarus Dean, an associate professor of English at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, loved the shuttle more than most. She loved it so much that she attributed distinct personalities to the individual vehicles. Columbia was “bumbly, a chunky older sister forever dropping crumpled tissues from her sleeves”; Challenger “the fuzziest, friendliest of the orbiters”; Endeavour “a quirky cousin from another country.” She loved the shuttle program so much that over and again in 2011 she forsook her students and husband and young son to drive the 700 miles between Knoxville and Cape Canaveral and witness the surviving shuttles’ final launches. She loved it so much that she wrote a book about these trips: Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight. A memoir of technological obsession, it reminds us that even when a machine fails by all other criteria, it can still succeed erotically.

Like so many obsessions, Dean’s began in pain. After her parents’ divorce, she spent childhood weekends with her father at the National Air and Space Museum, marveling at the high-tech relics and thinking that “despite their long and growing list of appalling limitations, grown-ups had at least done this: they had figured out how to fly to space.” On a film shot by shuttle astronauts she saw Judith Resnik, fourth woman in space, destined to die in the 1986 Challenger disaster, floating asleep and surrounded by the dark ringlets of her hair: “I fell in love.” In a passage that reads almost like Freudian fetish origination, Dean explains that her obsession began there, with “the air-conditioned, musty smell of Air and Space … a space-scarred Apollo capsule, the floating black curls of Judith Resnik, and my father’s calm voice.” Dean grew up, became a writer, and wrote a first novel about Challenger and a NASA engineer’s daughter. When the shuttle’s retirement was announced, she knew what her second book’s subject would be.

I can relate! I've loved the dream of space since childhood. I loved the shuttle when it was just a dream; I listened to NASA films (this was before the days of video) with Wernher von Braun describing the shuttle, rolling his 'r's as he described the orbiter. I was part of an organization called the L-5 Society, inspired by the work of Princeton physicist, Gerard K. O'Neill.

L-5 Members had high hopes for the shuttle and the proposed shuttle-derived vehicles. It was to be the vehicle that opened up space to routine travel. Gerry O'Neill did much of his work on space manufacturing using cost estimates for shuttle-derived vehicles. There were numerous studies about using space shuttle tanks as building modules for space stations and crew habitats.

And we were continually disappointed, sometime tragically. We mourned the loss of the Challenger crew. We were continually disappointed to find that the shuttle didn't really fulfill any of its promises:
  • It was supposed to fly 36 times a year; there weren't more than 7 launches per year, usually less.
  • It was supposed to bring down the cost of reaching low-Earth orbit; it turned out be be about twice as expensive as the old reliable launchers like Delta and Atlas.
  • It was supposed to make space travel routine and safe; there were two fatal accidents, giving a shuttle astronaut about a 1.48% chance of dying on any mission.

Given all that, like Margaret Lazarus Dean, I still loved the shuttle. It democratized space, opening it to a much wider slice of humanity than Apollo, including older Americans like 54 year old Dr. William Thornton, Dr. Sally Ride, our first woman in space, and Col. Guion Bluford, first African American in space.

That large payload bay was never completely filled; it was supposed to carry up to 60,000 lbs. It never carried more than half that; nevertheless, it allowed for historic firsts like the repair of the Solar Max Mission spacecraft in 1984, the Hubble Telescope servicing missions, and construction of the International Space Station.

With all its failings, I loved the shuttle, celebrating its achievements, and mourning the deaths of brave astronauts. The hope of routine access to space lies in the future. Maybe we will finally become the space faring species that we hoped shuttle would make us; but, that's not assured.

This climate deal will be turned into a 'New World Order' conspiracy theory by the right......

........just as they did with the UN's Agenda 21:

Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.

Agenda 21: The U.N. Conspiracy That Just Won't Die

It’s been called “the most dangerous threat to American sovereignty”; “An anti-human document, which takes aim at Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions,” that will bring “new Dark Ages of pain and misery yet unknown to mankind,” and “abolish golf courses, grazing pastures and paved roads,” in the name of creating a “one-world order.”

It’s been the subject of several forewarning books and DVDs; there are organizations dedicated to stopping it and politicians have been unseated for supporting it. Glenn Beck has spent a good portion of his career making people scared of it.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's report on right-wing paranoia about Agenda 21 exposes some of the groups and individuals responsible for spreading this paranoia. The state legislature of Alabama has passed legislation outlawing effects of Agenda 21. State legislatures in New Hampshire, Tennessee, and (of course!) Kansas have passed resolutions condemning it.

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