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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (1965 previous messages)

lchic - 10:59pm May 2, 2002 EST (#1966 of 1974)

Mister Wishy Washy - time to clean that window!

The latest budget news is worse than even the most dour pessimists had thought possible. But the unfolding fiscal disaster hasn't yet penetrated the public's consciousness and the administration is trying to exploit that window of ignorance.

In fiscal 2000 the federal budget was in surplus by $236 billion. This year's deficit will be more than $100 billion, possibly more than $150 billion. Only the Treasury Department knows exactly how much money is coming in, but the renewed push to raise the debt limit, which will allow the government to borrow more money, suggests that the news is grim indeed. A year ago Treasury officials said they could stay within the current debt limit until 2008; in April they said they could make it into June; now they say they'll hit the wall in a couple of weeks.

And it's not a temporary shortfall. One insider told me to watch the plans for next week's auction of federal bonds: "If Treasury auctions five-year rather than one-year bonds, that could tip their hand that we have a chronic, long-term problem." Sure enough, most of the bonds auctioned next week will be five-year.

How did a huge surplus turn into a huge deficit? The recession, the tax cut and terrorism in that order all played a role. Also, it now seems clear that the big surplus in 2000, almost twice as large as the surplus in the previous year, was an aberration that tax receipts were inflated by the technology bubble. In retrospect it's hard to believe that we locked in large, long-term tax cuts based on exactly one year in which the non-Social-Security budget was in significant surplus. (Thanks, Mr. Greenspan.)

lchic - 01:15am May 3, 2002 EST (#1967 of 1974)


    "Jews find it difficult to distinguish between their sympathy for Israel and the acts of a particular government. I feel the military action is disproportionate, given what I've read about the havoc being wreaked. We have one of the biggest armies in the world going in against defenceless people. And it is just unacceptable."
    He puzzles over why so many British Jews cannot see that, to outsiders, Israel is the bully, and thinks it may be connected to a feeling that they are personally accountable for Israel's actions. "In the past I have felt I ought to defend Israel, but not this time," he says. He describes assertions that the very existence of Israel is under threat as "bizarre". "How can this be when a military power is supported by the world's only superpower?" he says. "We know how to solve this. The endgame is two states." ""

lchic - 02:43am May 3, 2002 EST (#1968 of 1974)

The endgame is to ask the question 'why have the jews been something 'apart' and not integrated over the past thousands of years ... that's the real question' wouldn't they enjoy an expanded conglomerate economy - I'm sure they would!

lchic - 08:46am May 3, 2002 EST (#1969 of 1974)

1969 .... then turn it over .... 1696 .... an interval of 273 ... no one around ... PC's on the blink?

lchic - 10:32am May 3, 2002 EST (#1970 of 1974)

Making the big companies follow rules ....

Price of power

RADIO - PM - Friday, May 3, 2002 6:10

The Federal Court today fined three of Australia's biggest players in the power transformer industry nearly $15 million over a 10-year-long price-fixing cartel. Not only that, the court hit their top executives with big individual fines after a decade of clandestine meetings in which competition was undermined and tenders rorted.

The activities of the three companies cost consumers millions of dollars. Their illegal activities were only brought to an end by an anonymous email to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This afternoon the ACCC chairman Professor Allan Fels encouraged power utilities which were duped by the three companies to take legal action to try and recoup costs.

lchic - 11:37am May 3, 2002 EST (#1971 of 1974)

Making Enterprises (composed of people) and people within Enterprises tow the line is an interesting exercise.

When folks get to understand that there are rules, and that the rules and penalties apply to them then they have more regard for parameters.

lchic - 11:45am May 3, 2002 EST (#1972 of 1974)

On the Palestine matter, one keeps hearing that Arafat was both 'wrong' not to settle at Camp David, and from others that he was 'right' - presumably the deal did not restore those International Legal Boundaries.

There's a media failure to put everything out front - even in the form of lists, tables and terms.

The legal terrorist has been the Israeli army .. yet the media has ascribed 'terrorist' to 'freedom fighters'.

The term massacre relates to the unnecessary killing of a group. In the school-gun-boy situation a massacre would be half to a dozen folks. But, in the Jenin situation they conceed that had 500 been killed it would have been a massacre - yet - a purported figure of 56 (currently floating) isn't seen as a massacre of civillians by an equipt army.


A question the Middle East might ask is

"In one years time - where do we ALL want to be?"
"In five years time - where do we ALL want to be?"
"In ten years time - where do we ALL want to be?"
"In twenty years time - where do we ALL want to be?"

Planning should match the aspirations of those publics with a visionary future.

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