Monday, May 25, 2009

NASA gets it's First Black Administrator...

Yeah, I found it hard to believe too, but it's true.

Major General Charles Bolden, Jr. , after confirmation by The Senate, will be the new head of NASA!

He's even a former astronaut, something NASA hasn't had in 20 years. In fact, he's only the second astronaut (The first was Richard H. Truly in '89.) to take the post in NASA's 50 year-plus history.

Read the article here (Courtesy of Yahoo News & The AP), or below:


Uncertain NASA gets familiar former astronaut boss

HOUSTON – The nation's turbulent space program will be run by one of its own, a calming well-liked former space shuttle commander.

President Barack Obama on Saturday chose retired astronaut Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden to lead NASA. He also named former NASA associate administrator Lori Garver as the agency's No. 2. If confirmed, Bolden, who has flown in space four times and

was an assistant deputy administrator at one point, would be the agency's first black administrator.

Bolden would also be only the second astronaut to run NASA in its 50-year history. Vice Adm. Richard Truly was the first. In 2002, then-President George W. Bush unsuccessfully tried to appoint Bolden as the space agency's deputy administrator. The

Pentagon said it needed to keep Bolden, who was a Marine major general at the time and a pilot who flew more than 100 sorties in Vietnam.

"Charlie knows NASA and the people know Charlie; there's a level of comfort," especially given the uncertainty the space agency faces, said retired astronaut Steve Hawley, who flew twice in space with Bolden.

Bolden likely will bring "more balance" to NASA, increasing spend

ing on aeronautics and environment missions, working more with other nations in space, and emphasizing education, which the president often talks about when it comes to space, said former Johnson Space Center Director George Abbey, a longtime friend.

"He's a real leader," Abbey said Saturday. "NASA has been looking for a leader like this that they could have confidence in."

Bolden's appointment came during the tail end of the space shuttle Atlantis' mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope one final time. He was the pilot on the fl

ight that sent Hubble into orbit in 1990.

Bolden, 62, would inherit a NASA that doesn't look much like the still-somewhat-fresh-from-the-moon agency he joined as an astronaut in 1980. NASA now "is faced with a lot of uncertainty," Abbey said.

Bush set in motion a plan to retire the space shuttle fleet at the end of next year and return astronauts to the moon and then head out to Mars in a series of

rockets and capsules that borrows heavily from the 1960s Apollo program. The shuttle's replacement won't be ready until at least 2015, so for five years the only way Americans will be able to get in space is by hitching a ride on a Russian space capsule. And some of NASA's biggest science programs are over budget.

Earlier this month, the White House ordered a complete outside examination of the manned space program. The Obama administration hasn't been explicit about its space policy, with White House science adviser John Holdren saying the policy would come after a NASA chief was named.

"These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of America's space program," Obama said of Bolden and Garver in a statement.

Bolden, a native of Columbia, S.C., and his wife donated $750 to the Obama campaign in 2008.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, where Bolden spent about a decade, his impending appointment was quietly cheered on all week long.

The diminutive salt-and-pepper haired Bolden, who lives only a few miles from the space center, on Saturday morning said he couldn't talk until after Senate confirmation. He was busy answering congratulatory e-mails from home. He has his own consulting firm in Houston and sits on corporate boards.

Those who have flown or worked with Bolden can't praise him enough.

Retired astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz interviewed to become an astronaut the same week as Bolden, was picked at the same time, and they flew together on their first flights.

Soon after that much-delayed launch of the space shuttle Colum

bia in January 1986, Chang-Diaz looked at his friend Bolden and saw that the shuttle pilot had a "big, big smile... we were kind of like kids in a candy store."

Hawley and then-U.S. Rep. Bill Nelson were also aboard that 1986 flight. Nelson, now the chairman of the Senate subcommittee on space that will oversee Bolden's nomination and one of the people pushing Bolden's nomination to the White House, commented: "I trusted Charlie with my life - and would do so again."

Kathryn Sullivan was the payload commander on the 1992 flig

ht of Atlantis, which was Bolden's first of two shuttle commands. She said Bolden has all the aspects of leadership that a good chief requires. That includes experience, wisdom and the ability to listen to all sides. She called him "one of the finest people I've ever known."

"Charlie's a great leader," Chang-Diaz agreed. "He takes care of his team.


Major General Charles Bolden, Jr. as a Astronaut in 1992...

... And now

Congrats, bruh!

Happy Memorial Day!!

To all of the people who fought for and sacrificed for this country of ours, THANK YOU!

The USA isn't perfect, but it's ours and only we, the citizens, can make it "be all that it can be!"

Happy Memorial Day!

Don't get to stuffed on burgers and beer!

And don't forget why we celebrate Memorial Day, either!

The Honored Fallen!

We will NEVER forget!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Bill of Rights...

You know, when people try to take away what's rightfully yours, they need a reminder on what can CAN and CANNOT DO!

So for all of you who think you know what's good for us, read the following:



Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution

The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.



Doctors, Single Payer Activists Arrested...

This is bullsh*t.

I got this off one of my Myspace pal's blog.

When it is illegal to express one's opinion?


It has finally happened right here in the United States. Citizens who believe healthcare is a human right have been arrested and are being processed like criminals through the Southeast District of Columbia police station. Their crime? Asking for single payer healthcare reform - publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare - to be discussed during the Congressional hearings on reform.

Doctors and other single payer activists were handcuffed and went to jail today speaking up for single payer to be at the table in the Senate finance Committee's roundtable discussion on healthcare access and coverage. In stark contrast, Karen Ignagni, head of the industry lobby group American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) was escorted into the room like royalty by staff members of the Senate committee. Clearly, the position of the United States Senate is not with the majority of Americans who support a national, public insurance system.

It made me physically ill to see Maryland pediatrician Margaret Flowers cuffed like a criminal and pushed out the door as the Senators waited to begin their staged roundtable discussion. It made me want to scream. It made me proud of them for being bold but ashamed that not one Senator spoke up for their own citizen-protestors and asked that they at least be allowed to speak. But the insistence that the citizens rising in protest be arrested continued from the chair with each incident.

Simply asking to have single payer be included and fully vetted is a crime. Profiting as the for-profit health insurance companies do at the expense of 22,000 American lives every year, however, gets you a run of the table in this healthcare reform discussion. Just ask the Senators who are drafting what this nation's health system will look like - and watch their behavior today - if you want evidence of how your voice will be heard in the process.

The protestors were stoic and respectful but direct. One by one they stood. One by one they asked why single payer reform was not "at the table" of 15 witnesses Senator Max Baucus and his finance Committee gathered to map out what sort of coverage Americans might expect in the Senate reform bill now being crafted.

Sen. Baucus eventually spoke and indicated that he was respectful of those who believe in single payer - as he acknowledged many of his constituents in Montana do - but he made no attempt to explain why no single payer voice has been included in any Senate discussion to date. He urged any others in the audience who might have any designs on speaking up like the protestors did to not do so, and then he moved on to his roundtable discussion.

The press seated comfortably at the press table first looked amused and then puzzled by the procession of protest in the chamber. The C-SPAN cameras fixed on both the Committee's table at the front of the room and the witness table directly across from them could have easily picked up the protests but the network chose to keep their cameras fixed only on Chairman Baucus - though the protestors' words could be heard in the audience. Only two reporters of the 20 or so assembled were curious enough or industrious enough to rise and exit the room to see the arrests being carried out in the hallway.

While neither the Finance Committee or the press allowed their proceedings to be disrupted for very long, the air in the room and the atmosphere had changed -- the giddy and gleeful assembly of industry lobbyists who had been chattering in rapt anticipation of the coming of their carefully chosen witnesses could not deny that some brave and patriotic fellow citizens had just been hauled out for arrest for nothing more than demanding that a point of view held by a majority of patients, nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers be included in the national discussion.

While this Congress may pass something very different than single payer reform, it will not do so without hearing the cries of the people left so openly exposed to personal health and financial ruin by the corrupt system that celebrates only profit. The citizens who stood for the thousands and thousands of dead today will not let this democracy give itself completely over to the big money interests in healthcare. Not without a fight. Not on their lives or yours or mine.


For those of you who don't know what The First Amendment is, read below:

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Nuff said...