Friday, December 08, 2006

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

One of the many places I have lived in my life is Puerto Rico. NCO housing at Ramey AF Base to be exact. We lived there from 1965 to 1968 and they were some of the happiest years of my life. Good weather, good fruit, good neighborhood, good times. It rained every day from 5 to 5:15 and then we would play while it evaporated. I still remember how the sun looked as I watched it set into the ocean from my favorite spot overlooking the beach. The reason we were there was because of the work my dad did in the Air Force, the most important of which took place at Arecibo. I'm pretty sure it wasn't to look for extraterrestrials but to keep track of Castro, paranoia was pretty high back then.

It looks like once again when it comes to the space program we are going to be penny wise and pound foolish. We're going to build a base on the Moon, go to Mars and at the same time eliminate funding for the study of near Earth asteroids because someone thinks that a private agency will pick up the slack. Ooh, another shining example of contracting out work that will never be done and putting the health and safety of not just Americans but other world citizens in the hands of the incompetent and the greedy.

Do you use math shortcuts? I have a few that I can't explain but they work for me. These might work for you.

The Coast Guard got the New Orleans treatment. Lots of talk, lots of money spent on projects that aren't completed, lots of time wasted, and lots of excuses. Meanwhile we don't have a viable security force to police our coastline and reinforcements seem to be locked up in the pork barrel.

Different species of fish cooperating to get food. Do you suppose they figured it out watching smuggled copies of Finding Nemo?

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