View 741 Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Happy Birthday Sable
This is Sable’s tenth birthday. Sable is our red Siberian Husky. She’s had a knee rebuilt, but you would never know that, and she acts like a dog half her age, even in hot weather. Husky dogs are great companions, but they do insist on going for a walk, and when they decide they are entitled to something they make that known. Unmistakably.
I’m still working on a pile of necessary administrivia. I’m still recovering from something debilitating, but I am getting some work done.
The Prime Minister of Israel has requested a meeting with the President of the United States, but the President’s office has announced that the President’s busy schedule will not permit the meeting. http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Obama-Schedule-Won-t-Allow-Meeting-With-3857175.php They just won’t be in the same city at the same time, according to the White House. There are reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu has offered to come to Washington, and Reuters reports that the refusal to meet is a snub. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/11/us-israel-iran-netanyahu-idUSBRE88A10B20120911
The US embassy in Cairo is said to be under siege. Three US citizens were killed in an attack on a US diplomatic convoy in the Gaza area. The US is said to be apologizing for a film said to be insulting to the Prophet Muhammad. http://www.politico.com/politico44/2012/09/after-attack-us-embassy-in-cairo-apologizes-for-unspecified-135222.html The President of the US does not have time to meet the Prime Minister of Israel.
There is considerable pressure on the White House to reverse this decision.
It is now eleven years since the 9/11 attack and the US declaration of war on terror. We have established the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security. We sent armies to Iraq and Afghanistan.
We did not start a massive campaign to achieve energy independence for the United States. That, we were told, would have cost too much. We were told that the invasion of the Middle East would cost $300 billion, although it might run higher than that. At the time I pointed out that $500 Billion would have been enough to build one hundred 1,000 megawatt nuclear power plants and begin a massive space program for construction of space solar power plants; and there would still be enough left over to cover the administrative costs for a great expansion of US oil wells and refineries (which would mostly be paid for by private capital). I was told that these programs would cost more than $500 Billion; I agreed, but it was pretty clear that the wars would cost a great deal more.
Money invested in energy production facilities has the prospect for some return on investment. Money invested in military operations in Iraq had the possibility of a return on investment in oil production but apparently that was not a goal of the invasion; I can think of no possible return on investment from a long term engagement in Afghanistan, which manufactures nothing we want and grows what we don’t want. Once we demonstrated to the Taliban that it was not a good idea to harbor the enemies of the United States, there was little to be gained in staying in Afghanistan.
Both major political parties assert than we are safer now than we were in September, 2001.
I was no great fan of the policies of Mr. Bush, but I will state that we were safer on 9-11-2008 than we are on 9-11-2012.
New York on 9/11/01 from the ISS
Given that you are both a science fiction writer and an engineer, I thought that for today it is good to remember that horrible day from the view of the ISS and its commander.
Regards, Charles Adams, Bellevue, NE
New York, 9/11/2001 from the ISS
Expedition Three Commander Frank Culbertson (CAPT, USN retired) Letter from September 11, 9/11/01 <http://www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/features/sept11_culbertson.html>
For those interested in popular technology, I can recommend http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2012/Aug-29.html on what happened to desktop Linux.
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.