Monday, April 14, 2014

NASA Plans: A Warp Drive, Visit to Alpha Centauri

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

A triple star system associated with Alpha Centauri is now targeted for a visit by NASA! The triple-star system is composed of a binary system - two stars akin to the Sun --and another, larger and hotter star, c
alled Alpha Centauri A. Two other stars are smaller, cooler. Alpha Centauri B is itself orbited by a red dwarf and is more distant. A third star may or may not be a part of the "systems". Called Proxima Centauri, it is just 4.22 light-years from Earth --the closest star outside our Solar System. Recall that our own sun is a star.

This is a "big deal" for at least two reasons.
  1. Alpha Centauri is the closest star system in the sky. Because of that it’s very bright, and because it's very bright, it is well studied. It has been the object of "planet searches" for decades.
  2. At one time and for awhile some toyed with the idea that the small red dwarf Proxima could boast a planet.
Alas --if it has a planet, it may be too small or far out to be detected.

Dopplar Shifts

The signal from the planet is very weak; it was only located because its gravity tugs on the star. The effect of the "tug" is detectable and measurable: it's a wobble! Predictably, a massive star tugs harder on the star it orbits, smaller planets less so. The "wobbles" are very nearly imperceptible. In the case of stars, the "wobble" almost always means: planet!

In the case of planets of "low mass" the doppler shift is less apparent!

Don't Forget the Aiens?

Relatively speaking, the "system" is in our "backyard"! Additionally, the stars seem very much like our own old Sol --the Sun. UFO aficionados have said that this is the most obvious location of "aliens" that some believe have already visited earth. Some believe that one expedition crashed in the planes of Southeastern New Mexico in the 1940's.

Some writers have said that "... we are very close to finding a planet with the same mass as Earth." It is also said that these planets may have water, being its star but not too far. Liquid water may very well equal life. It is one thing to find planets of the "correct mass". It is quite another to find planets having both ideal position vis a vis "their" star as well as having the "right mass".

Several writers, scientists, astro-physicians have said that it is only a matter of time before the first life sustaining planet other than Earth may be discovered.

NASA Seeks Warp Drive

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

My comments are inspired by a story that Jay Diamond had posted on Facebook:
Federal investigators have opened an inquiry into the tragic case of a high school student in Bastrop County, Tex., who suffered severe brain damage and nearly died last fall after a deputy sheriff shocked him with a Taser, a high voltage electronic weapon.

In North Carolina, civil rights lawyers have filed a complaint with the Justice Department, charging the Wake County school system with violating the constitutional rights of minority children by subjecting them to discriminatory arrest practices and brutality by police officers assigned to schools. In one nightmarish case described in the complaint, a disabled 15-year-old was shocked with a Taser three times during an interrogation at school, resulting in punctured lungs. And in New York, civil rights lawyers have sued the city of Syracuse on behalf of two students. One was shocked three times, not for threatening behavior but for lying on the floor and crying, they say, and another was shocked while trying to break up a fight.

--Torturing Children at School

Psychopathic cops should be locked up and tried; in those cases resulting in death i.e, "murder", they should be tried and, when found guilty, executed!


I covered the trial of two Houston cops who were charged with having beaten hell out of an Hispanic war hero who got a little rowdy in club. Twenty-three year old Joe Campos Torres [at right], a 23-year-old Vietnam Veteran, was was beaten by several Houston police officers and then taken to jail. The jailer refused to admit him and ordered the cops to hospitalize him. Instead, the cops (whose trial I covered) took him --in the dead of night --to a bridge over Buffalo Bayou where they beat him to a pulp. Just barely alive, he was leveraged over the bridge and dropped into the inky dark waters of buffalo bayou some 15 ft below.

He drowned. I covered the trial after both cops were charged for murder. Both were acquitted! Outrageous! His death sparked protests and the outcome of the trial was met with rioting.

It is apparent to me that "police brutality" has only gotten worse, has spread like a virus, and routinely goes un-investigated, un-punished! It is apparent to me that COPS have gotten even worse, increasingly psychopathic, poorly trained and recruited from among the DREGS OF SOCIETY.

In a civilized society, a police force is expected to uphold the "rule of law"; they are not required or expected to take the law into their own hands. At the very least, rogue and criminal cops must be arrested, arraigned and made to stand trial for felonies to include assault and battery and murder!

My two cents worth: a nation, an empire is finished when it cannot rule itself, when it cannot distinguish between the rule of law and the ABUSE of law!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Why GOP Administrations Do Not Create Jobs

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

What tycoons of old understood was that if wage earners earn more, they spend more. Jobs are created. Even more spending follows the additional jobs. That's the left/dem/progressive model. But the GOP method is just the opposite and so --too --the miserable results.

The effects of the GOP model are confirmed with official stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Commerce Dept and various studies. A GOP tax cut --from which only elites benefit --is invariably followed by a recession/depression, increased joblessness, higher prices and the export of jobs, most often, to China. [See: CIA'S World Fact Book, onine] For example, Reagan's "infamous" tax cut was followed quickly by a depression of some two years (or longer). It was the LONGEST, DEEPEST depression since H. Hoover's GREAT DEPRESSION.

The Axis of Reagan/GOP are wrong. Wealth does not and has never trickled down. "Suppy Side Economics" was and remains a scam, a con job sketched out, it is said, on a napkin by Arthur Laffer. Laffer is remembered for his "Laffer curve" illustrating the theory that reducing taxes for the very wealthy would result in increased production. That has never happened. It's either a lie, a fraud, a fairy tale or all of the above.The Axis of Reagan/GOP are wrong. Wealth does not and has never trickled down. "Suppy Side Economics" was and remains a scam, a con job sketched out, it is said, on a napkin by Arthur Laffer. Laffer is remembered for his "Laffer curve" illustrating the theory that reducing taxes for the very wealthy would result in increased production. That has never happened. It's either a lie, a fraud, a fairy tale or all of the above.

The GOP claimed that by cutting taxes for their base of wealthy folk, wealth would trickle down and create jobs. It never happened; the opposite occurred. A recession of some two years followed Reagan's tax cuts. It was the deepest, longest depression since H. Hoover's big one! Not addressed with Laffers curve is the fact that elites have the purchasing power to bid prices UP! They also have offshore bank accounts. The results are not inflation! At least since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House, the GOP has tried to peddle tax cuts that have benefited only the eilte classes with various forms of trickle down theory. No GOP plan has ever worked!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Of War and Murder

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The following joke is attributed to Hermann Göring who was at the time on trial in Nuremberg, charged with conspiracy to commit crimes against peace; planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression; war-crimes; and crimes against humanity:
One Englishman --an idiot; Two Englishmen --a club; Three Englishmen --an empire! One German --a scholar; Two Germans --an army; Three Germans --a war!
A mere joke, in bad taste! But consider the source. It is also a simple, if simple-minded, analysis of data. It even hints at the science of emergent properties but I seriously doubt Herr Göring had that in mind.

Across the English Channel – before Herr Göring would have the opportunity to expose the world to his brilliant wit - Lewis Fry Richardson, a brilliant theoretician and mathematician whose work inspired the science of fractals and war gaming, dared to ask: is war inevitable? can it be predicted? can it be prevented? why do we go to war? do war and murder differ? These are hard questions which resist reduction to number. Richardson himself may have had William Butler Yeats in mind when he observed that wars merge and split, or have no clear beginning or end; he said of them: “Thinginess fails.”

Nevertheless, when Richardson reduced war to data he concluded:
  1. War and murder are equivalent – differing only in magnitude.
  2. Wars may be categorized logarithmically like hurricanes and earthquakes.
  3. Arms races leading to wars may be modeled with differential equations.
  4. The occurrences of war may be plotted in a Poisson distribution –like cancer clusters and tornado touchdowns.
Richardson was not the first to explore these possibilities and mathematical models have been refined since. Arguably, however, Richardson himself developed his hypotheses much further and in many ways went off in different directions. His work is still available in journal articles, pamphlets, two posthumous volumes from 1960, and a two-volume Collected Papers of 1993. His work on arms races may be found in "Arms and Insecurity"; his statistical studies are published in "Statistics of Deadly Quarrels".

Other writers claim that Richardson's decision to lump murder and war together was deliberately provocative. Richardson's retort must be considered in the historical context: “One can find cases of homicide which one large group of people condemned as murder, while another large group condoned or praised them as legitimate war. Such things went on in Ireland in 1921 and are going on now in Palestine.” His remarks are as true today as when first uttered over 50 years ago.
Richardson categorized war logarithmically –magnitude one, two, three and so forth –as determined by total deaths. It was an idea borrowed from Astronomy. In a war of magnitude one, 100,000 people will die. Both World Wars I and II exceeded magnitude seven, recording deaths in the tens of millions. Ten or so deaths equals magnitude one; a single murder is magnitude zero. Interestingly, the two World Wars are the only magnitude seven conflicts. However, the number of conflicts of any given magnitude rises exponentially as the magnitude decreases. There are, for example, some ten million conflicts of magnitude zero and the number of deaths by murder is roughly equal to the number of deaths by world war. Richardson listed seven megadeath conflicts in tier two, i.e, magnitude six. They are, in chronological order:
  1. Taiping Rebellion (1851–1864)
  2. North AmericanCivil War (1861–1865)
  3. Great War in La Plata (1865–1870)
  4. Sequel to the Bolshevik Revolution (1918–1920)
  5. First Chinese-Communist War (1927–1936)
  6. Spanish Civil War (1936–1939)
  7. Communal riots in the Indian Peninsula (1946–1948)
Richardson had hoped that by understanding war, war might be prevented. He ultimately concluded that war –like hurricanes, tornadoes, and cancer clusters –is remarkably random and inevitable. Richardson modeled a “death spiral”, an escalating arms-race in which nations respond to one another by adding armaments to its arsenal. Such an arms race may stabilize if and only if the “fatigue and expense” becomes greater than perceived threats.

Richardson had hoped that by tracking armament expenditures, wars might one day be predicted like the weather. Other conclusions –no more optimistic –are based on statistical correlations:
  1. Richardson found evidence of “contagion”; an ongoing war increases the probability that a new war will start.
  2. Richardson drew upon Graph Theory and Topology to determine those nations most likely to go to war.
  3. He found that of 94 world conflicts, only 12 were between combatants which shared no border. The inevitable conclusion: war is a “neighborhood affair”.
  4. Religion is clearly a factor, perhaps a major one. Nations of differing religion are more likely to fight than nations sharing a single religion. In Richardson's study, Christian nations seemed more bellicose, engaging in a disproportionate number of wars.
Like John Nash (A Beautiful Mind), Richardson was nearly ignored. Others now carry on his work. Lars-Erik Cederman of Harvard University’s John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies has replicated Richardson’s results in a new computer model. (Richardson's work largely pre-dated the computer) In the new model, a state of equilibrium between nations is temporary; small disruptions may unleash a “cascading instability”. Princeton University professor Robert Gilpin is likewise studying the small events which “cascade” to chaos –the conditions in which a state of equilibrium moves to one of disequilibrium. Shades of Jurassic Park! Vanderbilt University professor John Vasquez, likewise, explains the very size of wars in terms of cascading system instability.

It must be pointed out that statistics do not govern events; they describe them. A murderer is not likely to win acquittal by pleading that his behavior is within known statistical norms.

Are nations, then, to be absolved for merely playing out a terrible fate? Are religious wars to be tolerated because both sides are convinced that God is on their side? Will neighboring nations be given leave to attack across shared borders? Are we to make war lightly because we have been wronged? Are wars of pre-emption ever justified. Perhaps those questions are unanswerable!

Consider the alternative: by Richardson's scale, a war of magnitude 9.8 will leave no one behind to ask the questions. William Butler Yeats wrote the most appropriate conclusion in 1922 –a year of great disillusionment with World War I:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
  1. International Military Tribunal, The Nudremberg War-Crimes Trial
  2. 1945/46 (Göring was found guilty on all four counts but cheated the hangman with cyanide.)
  3. Hayes, Brian, Statistics of Deadly Quarrels,
  4. American Scientist, 2001, pp. 10-15.
  5. Hayes, Brian Ibid. pp. 10-15. (Richardson's biggest problem was getting data.
"Richardson argued that theories of war could and should be evaluated on a scientific basis, by testing them against data on actual wars....Several lists of wars were drawn up in the early years of the 20th century, and two more war catalogs were compiled in the 1930s and 40s by the Russian-born sociologist Pitirim A. Sorokin and by Quincy Wright of the University of Chicago. Richardson began his own collection in about 1940 and continued work on it until his death in 1953. His was not the largest data set, but it was the best suited to statistical analysis.") Forrest, David, The Edge of Chaos.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

AA: "Flight 11 Did Not Fly on 911!"

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

AA Flights 11 (North Tower) and 77 (Pentagon) did not fly on 9/11. The source for this information is AA itself. WikiScanner discovered that American Airlines had changed the Wikipedia entry to state that Flights 11 and 77 did not fly on 9/11. If they did not fly, they could not have been hijacked by Arab "terrorists".

WikiScanner offers users a searchable database that ties millions of anonymous Wikipedia edits to the organizations making the edits originated. It does this by cross-referencing the edits with data on who owns the associated block of internet IP addresses.
Although these flights were daily departures before and a month after September 11, 2001. Neither flight 11 nor 77 were scheduled on September 11, 2001. The records kept by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics ( do not list either flight that day.


To make the point: the source for these revisions to the WikiScanner entry is American Airlines. The story is not about Wikipedia. The story is how American Airlines corrected a Wikipedia entry. It is about the evidence that Flights 11 and 77 did not fly on 9/11 – and that this information comes from American Airlines.

Everyone logged on to the internet does so from an IP address. In this case, the IP was from American Airlines. It’s traceable. I confirmed the American Airlines IP address with a WHOIS lookup and Google search. Therefore, American Airlines itself is the source for the revisions to Wiki revealing, officially, that neither Flight 11 nor Flight 77 were in the air on 9/11.

My look up returned the following:
Location: United States [City: Ft. Worth, Texas]
OrgName: American Airlines Incorporated
Address: P.O.Box 619616
Address: MD 5308
City: DFW Airport
StateProv: TX
PostalCode: 75261
Country: US
NetRange: -
NetName: AANET
NetHandle: NET-144-9-0-0-1
Parent: NET-144-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
NameServer: DNS-P1.SABRE.COM
NameServer: DNS-P2.SABRE.COM
NameServer: DNS-P3.SABRE.COM
NameServer: DNS-P4.SABRE.COM

RegDate: 1990-10-31
Updated: 2002-06-27
RTechHandle: OG60-ARIN
RTechName: Gelbrich, Orf
RTechPhone: +1-817-931-3145
RTechEmail: ************
OrgTechHandle: ZW72-ARIN
OrgTechPhone: +1-817-967-1242
OrgTechEmail: ************
# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2008-06-29 19:10

# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN’s WHOIS database.
The Four Planes on 10 September 2001

According to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reply from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the last known pre-9/11 flights for three of the four aircraft involved in 9/11 took place in December 2000 -- nine months before 9/11. No pre-9/11 flight information was provided for American Airlines flight 77 (N644AA) by BTS.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Two Bushes Sold Out America

Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

China is a leech in more ways than one. By way of Wal-Mart, it has destroyed decent wages and productive job creation in the U.S. See the CIA'S own list: China is No 1 with the world's LARGEST POSITIVE Current Account Balance; the U.S. (thanks to Wal-Mart) is DEAD LAST with the World's largest NEGATIVE Current Account Balance. (formerly called the Balance of Trade Deficit

We don't have far to look for culprits. They are not hiding behind bushes. They ARE the 'Bushes". Let's take a look at the history before it gets re-written:

  1. Any Democratic President has presided over greater economic growth and job creation than any Republican President since World War II.
  2. When Bush Jr took office, job creation was worst under a Republican, Bush Sr, at 0.6% per year and best under a Democrat, Johnson, at 3.8% per year.
  3. Economic growth under President Carter was far greater than under Reagan or Bush Sr. In fact, economic growth in general was greater under Johnson, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton than under Reagan or Bush. Democrats always outperform a failed party: the GOP!
  4. The job creation rate under Clinton was 2.4% significantly higher than Ronald Reagan's 2.1% per year.
  5. The "top performing Presidents" by this standard, in order from best down, were Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Kennedy. The "worst" (in descending order) were Nixon, Reagan, Bush.
  6. Half of jobs created under Reagan were in the public sector --some 2 million jobs added to the Federal Bureaucracy. Hadn't he promised to reduce that bureaucracy?
  7. Reagan, though promising to reduce government and spending, tripled the national debt and left huge deficits to his successor. Bush Jr's record will be even worse.
  8. By contrast, most of the jobs created on Clinton's watch were in the private sector.
To sum it all up: any Democratic President beats any Republican President since World War II. The GOP eagerly hitched its wagon to the star of elitism. When just 1 percent owns more than the rest of us combined, it is safe to conclude that the GOP --as a viable party --is finished! Good riddance!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Has the GOP Inspired Prejudice about Texas?

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

For some reason, millions of people who have never been to Texas persist in spreading lies, and misconceptions about the state, "dissing it" though they have never bothered to confirm their prejudices by actually visiting the state. Nevertheless --they are convinced or have convinced themselves that Texas is a horrible and backward place. How much blame must be directed at Bush for having destroyed the reputation of a state that had been Democratic/progressive for over one hundred years?

The fact is, Texas is not a 'backwater'. Second only to California with a population of 26.1 million residents, it is, perhaps, the nation's most cosmopolitan state. In Houston, officially the nation's fourth largest city, you will find a population as least as diverse (perhaps even more so) than those of New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. Having often visited all three of those cities, I suspect that that is the case.

The Houston Grand Opera is typical of the trend. Last time I checked, it was the nation's most honored Opera Company having introduced 43 world premieres and six American premieres since 1973. For its efforts, HGO has received a Tony Award, two Grammy Awards, and two Emmy Awards—the ONLY opera company in the world to have won all three honors.

Houston may very well be the nation's greenest large city. Large parks include the very large Memorial Park known for a network of hike and bike trails through virgin wooded forests. Hermann Park, between downtown and the Texas Medical Center, is somewhat smaller but equally green and equally popular with joggers, bikers and nature lovers.

Hermann Park enjoys a choice location in the Museum District half-way between downtown and the Texas Medical Center, famous for having pioneered the science and art of heart transplant. The famous/legendary Howard Hughes was hurrying "home" to the Medical Center but died enroute. I covered that story and was among the press when Dr. Michael DeBakey revealed to us that Hughes had died enroute. Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas.

My title asked the question --has the GOP inspired prejudice about Texas? YES! Dallas suffered as a result of the JFK murder --though the city had nothing to do with it. I suspect Bush was the supervisor in the field and have good reason for believing that to have been the case. Houston has fared somewhat better though Bush Sr lived in a high rise just outside Loop 610 north of the famous Galleria. I can only say this about Bush Sr whom I knew: he was NO Texan. Nor his idiot son!

Here's the kind of information that you might find in a guide book. I offer it for what it is worth:
Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth-largest in the United States, while San Antonio is the second largest in the state and seventh largest in the United States.

Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest United States metropolitan areas, respectively. Other major cities include El Paso and Austin—the state capital. Texas is nicknamed the Lone Star State to signify Texas as a former independent republic and as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico. The "Lone Star" can be found on the Texas state flag and on the Texas state seal today.[9] The origin of the state name, Texas, is from the word, "Tejas", which means 'friends' in the Caddo language.[10]

Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes that resemble both the American South and Southwest.[11] Although Texas is popularly associated with the Southwestern deserts, less than 10 percent of the land area is desert.