Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Horrible Lunar Eclipse Photos

Photo One - Taken From Inside A Warm House Just About 9:00 P.M. Central

I took these photographs on the night of February 20th, 2008 from Jerome, Illinois. This lunar eclipse will be the last one for awhile for those living in the U.S.

Temperature outside is just 12 degrees Fahrenheit - which is bitterly cold for all those on the metric system.

Photo Two - Taken Outside - In Socks and T Shirt In The Bitter Cold

I took these a few minutes ago. The lunar eclipse is ongoing.

This time I'll put on my winter clothes, and some shoes and try to snap a few more photos of the ongoing February 20th, 2008 lunar eclipse. This will be the last lunar eclipse visible to the entire U.S. until 2010. Not sure if that means that it will be the last for North America until then, but still I want to catch some more photos.

I need to use a tripod!

Wish me luck, I'm heading back into the darkness to hunt me some more lunar eclipse photos.


I'm back!

Here's one more.

I like this because it shows Saturn as well.

Don't ask me which one is Saturn. I believe it's the "star" on the lower left, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

Well, that's it for lunar eclipse blogging for awhile.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fake U.S. Spy Satellite Shoot Down?

Aegis Missile Defense System Has Grown Increasing Sophisticated

Satellite Shoot Down A Ruse?

This is how I'd do it. Build an expensive spy satellite and build a cheap mock satellite with same exterior dimensions and approximately the same mass. Quietly store the expensive spy satellite for a future launch, without anyone including those who built the device knowing. Then launch the mock satellite in a way in which it will be justifiable to shoot it down with an anti satellite weapon.

Then cook up a story that a race is on to modify an existing anti missile system on the Aegis and the need to shoot down a large dangerous out of control satellite.

U.S.S. Lake Erie Will Attempt To Shoot Down Ailing U.S. Spysat

But why the need for a ruse at all?

Probably international pressure, more specifically from China, to assuage North Korean fears. Perhaps as a face saving measure in light of any deals made regarding North Korea ending its nuclear weapons program. Despite any recent North Korean cooperation they are suspected of constant cheating, and delays, and so the U.S. may have decided to do its own thing - but just covertly enough so as not to push all the parties away from the negotiating table.

The Aegis system is deployed near North Korea, and being able to shoot down a low orbit missile would be an excellent demonstration of U.S. resolve, and abilities.

Then again, I'm just making this whole thing up as I'm going, so perhaps none of it makes much sense. Still it could be true considering the players involved. The critical issue would be whether it works, and if shooting down a satellite is even comparable to shooting down a warhead.

Then again most anti satellite testing has been criticized for being planned in such a way as to not be a realistic assessment of the system's abilities.

Still it will be interesting to see if the Aegis system can be rapidly modified to take down an orbital satellite (low orbit).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Independence Day Kosovo!

(Photo: New York Times) The Double Headed Eagle Flag of Kosovo

What I Believe I Know About Kosovo

The U.S. formal recognized Kosovo as an independent state (February 18th, 2008), and many European nations will soon make their own announcements recognizing Kosovo's statehood. Kosovo's population is almost entire Muslim by religion, and Albanian in ethnicity. It is located in the historic heartland of Serbia, which was itself in more recent times a part of Yugoslavia. This has caused a great deal of enmity between Serbs, and Albanians as the Serbs refuse to recognize that Kosovo is now an independent state.

The Slavic Serbs, and their ethnic cousins the Russians have attempted to block international recognition of Kosovo's independent statehood. For many years the Serb dominated government of cold war state of Yugoslavia suppressed Kosovo independence by discriminating against ethnic Albanians. After the fall of the iron curtain and the break up of Yugoslavia Serbs committed genocide against Albanians, but were stopped when NATO, led by the U.S. commenced a bombing campaign which led to the fall of the Milosovich regime.

My Take On Kosovo Independence

It seems to me that if the Serbs had treated the Albanians in Kosovo properly over the years that perhaps Kosovo would still be part of Serbia.

When it comes to such matters I am no expert, but if you look at the history of the world you'll see that attempts to oppress minorities usually results in terrorism, and eventually separatist movements.

Serbia's claim that the Albanians stole their ancient homeland makes little sense when 95% of the population of Kosovo is Albanian. How this demographic shift took place isn't so much of concern as is the recognition of the end effect. Kosovo is now the newest nation in Europe, and deserves recognition. The U.S. now has a mostly muslim friend in eastern Europe, and this is a good thing sine the U.S. needs all the friends it can get in the Islamic community.

So happy independence day Kosovo!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Because They Have More Guns

Ultimately, Might Makes Right

Apelike humans "have faith" that they are able to create a society capable of surviving their baser instincts, but the question is - is that even possible?

Some look at isolated examples of human cruelty and say, it's the exception, most people wouldn't act that way, but others believe human beings are deeply flawed creatures with primitive instincts which lead even the best of people in the best of times to seek to dominate, and destroy others.

NAZI Poster - Germany Had A Solution For Disabled - Sterilize & Euthanize

The thin blue line which separates civilized society from chaos is manned by an army of hard working dedicated professionals who make our streets safe by enforcing our laws, but sometimes even those charged with keeping the law, and maintaining the order reveal their own animal nature.

Good Cops Need More Training And More Pay - Bad Cops Need Firing

Our institutions are after all held together ultimately by force, or the threat of force, and in the end it is who has the bigger guns which determines what is considered acceptable, and what is not. This inescapable conclusion may not make us feel good about ourselves, but it does demand a response. What kind of people do we want making, and enforcing our laws?

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