Just a few bits ‘n pieces of snarky to brighten your afternoon …
A chopper on Mars … whoopee
The media seems quite excited over NASA’s latest feat, flying a remote-controlled helicopter on Mars. In fact, most people seem quite excited about it and Barack Obama even tweeted …
“With all the enormous challenges facing the world, it’s worth taking the time to appreciate extraordinary human achievement and our relentless impulse toward discovery.”
I beg to differ, for one simple reason … how much did it cost and how much good could have been done for people with that money.
The Republicans in Congress are bitching about the cost of President Biden’s infrastructure bill, and yet they are perfectly happy seeing $85 million spent sending a damn helicopter to Mars? To what end? Despite what Elon Musk and writers of science fiction might imagine, humans are not ever going to live in large numbers on Mars or any other planet other than Earth. The atmosphere of Mars will not support human life – so why the Sam Hell are we spending money on this???
Yes, the space program is exciting, and I was thrilled in 1969 when Neil Armstrong, upon setting foot on the moon, made his iconic speech about “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” But that was then, and this is now. Today, I see the space program as among the least relevant things our government is doing. We need to be taking care of people, and frankly space exploration does nothing to help in the fight for survival that so many people are fighting. Perhaps we should be more concerned about things that need fixing here on planet Earth?
NASA’s budget for 2021 is $23.3 billion … our tax dollars hard at waste.
Lack of sleep … uh-oh
On average, I sleep 4-5 hours a night, though often it is less. Every now and then, my body plays “catch-up” and I sleep 8-10 hours in one night. In less than two months, I will be 70 years old. So, naturally it caught my eye when I read about a new study that concludes people who sleep 6 hours or less in their 50s and 60s are 30% more likely to develop dementia in their late 70s! A dear friend of mine sleeps even less than I, some nights not at all. We’re doomed!!!
A follow up
Yesterday, I wrote a post, From the Mind of Filosofa, where I pondered on a number of issues facing the U.S. today, one such being the issue of white police officers killing unarmed Black people, indicating racism in our police departments across the country. Needless to say, this isn’t a new topic and has been discussed at some length for several years now, but there have been several such cases in a short span of time, and with the Derek Chauvin trial about to conclude, it’s on everyone’s minds.
In response, our friend David noted a blog he had visited where the writer of the blog suggested that perhaps Blacks are treated no differently than white people, but the media sensationalizes it more. It seemed a fair question to ask, though in my gut I believe that there is racism in policing because we’ve seen the evidence time and time and time again. However, I decided to do a quick bit of research. What I found is that in any given year, more white people are killed by police than Blacks, BUT … white people also comprise the vast majority of people in the country, so you have to consider the question by percentage, not by pure numbers.
I put together this chart, showing that as a percentage, Blacks are much more likely to be killed by police than whites …
The other question I would ask, but haven’t yet had the time to research, is what portion of each group killed by police was armed, for in most of the cases we know of where Blacks were killed by police, rarely were the Black people armed. In many cases they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, like Breonna Taylor, who was asleep in her bed!
In Florida, it’s now legal to kill protesters?
Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that makes peaceful protest a crime, and driving a car through a crowd of protesters not a crime. Say WHAT??? According to the Orlando Sentinel …
The law, which goes into effect immediately, grants civil legal immunity to people who drive through protesters blocking a road, which Democrats argued might have protected the white nationalist who ran over and killed counter-protester Heather Heyer during the Charlottesville tumult in 2017. It also makes blocking a highway a felony offense.
The law also creates a broad category for misdemeanor arrest during protests, and anyone charged under that provision will be denied bail until their first court appearance. De Santis said he wanted that to prevent people from rejoining ongoing protests.
It creates a new felony crime of ‘aggravated rioting’ that carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a new crime of ‘mob intimidation.’
My best guess is that this law will be challenged in the Courts as being unconstitutional and will very quickly be reversed. But then … of late my ‘best guesses’ haven’t been very good, have they? What’s really scary is the idea that DeSantis is reportedly considering a run for president in 2024.