Atom Wave: September 2008

Atom Wave

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Solutions to Weekend Fiscal Blues

When the latest attraction coming to American television is financial collapse, many people are hoping that the economy does not collapse before the weekend is over. Much to the disgust of the American people, Congress is being dragged kicking and screaming into an $800 billion bailout of Wall Street. The way I see it, nobody should be rewarding bad behavior. CEO’s and investment bankers at these companies have been doing very well these past few years, and it should not be the business of taxpayers to subsidize bad business.
I have a counter proposal; sorry it’s not my idea. It belongs to Andrew Feldstein of the Blue Mountain Capital Management. You see, nobody wants to purchase radioactive assets from struggling banks; it violates every rule of sound economics. Very few people even know what they are worth; these assets are complex derivatives of mortgages. They were bought as individual mortgages, cut into pieces, before finally being consolidated into stocks. They will likely be worth far less than the government will be asked to purchase, to the profit of the crony capitalists.
Instead of bailing them out, we let them sit on their pile of radioactive fiscal waste; it is their mess after all. Put the $800 billion where it will do some good, into good investments. There must still be some prime mortgages out there. The government establishes a provisional bank to handle lending with quality assets until this whole thing is over. Once the markets stabilize in a few months or a year, they always do. Solvent banks can buy out the good capital and business can return to normal. It is certainly a better concept than the original.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Swift-Boating of Obama

With the election now less then two months away, a horrific realization is now dawning on the democrats. They might actually lose the presidential election. With the war still raging in Iraq, and the economy in the tailspin, it has all been lost to the public now more concerned with the phony claim that Obama wants sex education for kindergartners, or that he sexually smeared McCain’s selection of Palin. All of these are fabrications, of course. Obama wanted to educate children about sex offenders and the sexual remark was taken out of context.
Unfortunate as it is, these devices work. During the 2004 election, the imaginary claims manufactured by the Swift-Boaters discredited John Kerry’s service in Vietnam. 4 years earlier then that, John McCain himself was defeated in the primaries from fake rumors involving an African child he was accused of fathering. This is the dirty climate of modern American politics.
At the risk of sounding crude, the time has arrived for the democrats to reply fire with fire. When an inattentive public has worn the tools of reason dull, the weapons of misplaced passion might spike them back into action. It should come as no surprise to of all people, Obama; that many voters are ruled by passions. Passions for change are what fueled Obama’s rise to the nomination, and he will need every last ounce of power to cross the finish line. It may at first seem dishonest and cold-blooded, and it is at that. When the option of losing comes to a soldier on the battlefield, he either dies or uses every last weapon in his arsenal. Barak Obama must soon decide if he wants to pull out all the stops or return to the senate next year.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Indecision 2008: Don’t Forget Me

From the United States

Before you vote in November
Don’t forget me
I’m the forgotten firestorm raging in Baghdad
Started years ago by a pothead
From a funny farm

The sky is falling
And the wind is blowing
Don’t forget me
My own city lost to an ocean
Goodbye Katrina

All alone
Standing beside an overpass
The economy is collapsing
My job lost to a tailspin of debt

Fires raging
Smoke and concrete falling
Don’t forget me
my towers lost on 9/11
Did anyone read the attack warning?

Don’t forget me
The presidents endorsed candidate
Eager to go back for more

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Flight of the Kepler

Space may be the final frontier, but the NASA spacecraft Kepler will uncover it. Scheduled for launch at no earlier then April of next year, the telescope is designed to follow in the spirit of the Enterprise in discovering Earth like planets. The plan is to use a photometer incorporated into a .95 meter Schmidt telescope to identify planets by their stellar transits. The actual spacecraft is being assembled under the direction of the Discovery Program, and as such is low-cost and relatively unsophisticated with an expected lifetime of no more then 5 years. The Delta 2 rocket is slated to be its ride into a low-disturbance solar orbit where its observations will be uninterrupted by gravity torques and other solar system objects. In the effort of simplicity, the spacecraft is engineered to look only at a single field of stars for the mission duration and will only need an elementary propulsion system of thrusters and reaction wheels for stabilization. With any luck it will open a new field of planetary astronomy.
This new voyage is still accepting participants.