The Virgin Galactic space flight seemed to have given America and many around the world the feeling that we were witnessing a major accomplishment. What’s the reality?
Remember how the media allowed Donald Trump to visit them at his whim? Remember how they turned a charlatan into a respectable possibility to become president? Well, Trump became president, and we are still digging out of the mess and in the process attempting to keep America with some modicum of democracy.
I will be honest. I am never sure if the mainstream media is being played intentionally or by design. But today, the launch by Virgin Galactic was enough to draw in just about every mainstream media network. They interrupted serious programming for the spectacle of a billionaire that did nothing to move our space industry forward, no matter the hype.
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I wrote a blog to that effect where I stated the following.
While many were excited to watch rich people get to space on technology developed by us commoners, I’ll be the pooper. I promise this is not wealth envy. It is a complete disdain for a system that has been effective in most of us doing the work. It is a system that uses the intellect of most to benefit just a select few.
I wish I could feel the glee and excitement I see on the faces of too many reporters covering the Virgin Galactic launch of billionaire Richard Branson into “space.” But I cannot help but look at it with contempt as it is the media exhilaration with Trump, just not for something that may not seem as evil but actually worse.
As a mechanical engineer myself, real scientific accomplishments really titillates me. This infuriates me because it endeavors to make money for a few rich people from a few rich people. They are commercializing the technology all Americans paid for over 60 years ago. And they are using some advancements from other technologies Americans paid for. …
I absolutely believe in space travel and all the research for it. But I think having billionaires expand on technology we all developed is a sell-out of the American people. We should continue with our tax dollars investing in research. …
We must be responsible for researching and developing technologies to find and nudge life-extinction meteors and asteroids. That is not a job the limited-risk nature of the private sector would do.
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After I posted the blog to the Coffee Party, I had an exchange that irked me. Here is the exchange.
It’s wonderful. It was a worthy endeavor while also being a joy ride for a billionaire. So what. It promotes even more technology and space travel. The naysayers forget that it was rich people who sank money into “flying machines” a hundred years ago, which brought us where we are today. Only the narrow minded fail to see the advantage of a private citizen pouring money into space travel.
Jerry Armstrong Your response is the one that most frustrates me. If I rob you and then invest some of the loot in something that benefits the few, that makes it OK? Using your wordage, “Only the narrow-minded fail to see that the wealth of the rich is the capital that was not paid to those who afforded them the wealth they have.” We are in a system that sanitized the theft from the masses through financial structures that abstract said theft.
Egberto Willies — My comment = my opinion. I think you are being short-sighted. And I am not naive regarding the ultra wealthy.
Jerry Armstrong You are absolutely right. I am entitled to my informed opinion. But with all due respect, my response to you simply used your sentence construct to answer. It was not an opinion. My response is qualifiable and quantifiable. Unfortunately, because we were all initially wedded to a particular ideology, too often we try to fit reality into it as opposed to seeing things as they are. Here is a quantifiable and absolute statement. No billionaire earned their fortune. The masses created it for them. Our economic model makes that theft legal based on how the economic system works.
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I was impressed with the number of positive responses. Over the years, I have noticed that more and more people understand what a system based on antiseptic legal theft is all about. I have always thought that those oppressed for decades or indoctrinated suffer from a version of Stockholm’s syndrome. I know I suffered from it for the first few decades of my life. It was amazing the freedom one feels when the chains are cut loose from the mind. But the fact that there are women and people of color who support Trump and current Republicans are probative.
Creating an equitable society will always be difficult, but it must be persistent, respectful, and civil. Most importantly, we must try to meet people where they are. I must admit, it takes a lot to maintain civility, respect, and persistence when the ones you know who continue to be taken advantage of continue to be the mouthpiece and are defenders of the culprits and the system.
Today we saw a show, a con, and free advertising for a billionaire. And Bezos’ endeavor is likely to be the same. We need a real public space program that tackles real problems. Let the billionaires play with their toys. But do not make their whims our policy. They are out first and foremost to make a buck. There is nothing wrong with that as long as it isn’t at our expense and paid for with the American people’s intellectual property.
Folks, let’s stay informed and not allow the billionaires, corporations, and billionaires to alter the state of reality.
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