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Can technology solve our big problems? Very doubtful

So, we used to solve big problems.

On July 21st, 1969, Buzz Aldrin climbed out of Apollo 11’s lunar module and descended onto the Sea of Tranquility.  Aldrin, following the death of Armstrong last year, is now the most senior of the 12 who went to the moon.

Armstrong and Aldrin were alone, but their presence on the moon’s grey surface was the culmination of a convulsive, collective effort.

The Apollo program was the greatest peacetime mobilization in the history of the United States. To get to the moon, NASA spent around 180 billion dollars in today’s money, or 4% of the federal budget.

Apollo employed around 400,000 people and demanded the collaboration of 20,000 companies, universities and government agencies.

People died, including the crew of Apollo 1. But before the Apollo program ended, 24 men flew to the moon.

Why did they go?

They didn’t bring much back: 841 pounds of old rocks, and something all 24 later emphasized — a new sense of the smallness and the fragility of our common home.

Why did they go? The cynical answer is they went because President Kennedy wanted to show the Soviets that his nation had the better rockets. But Kennedy’s own words at Rice University in 1962 provide a better clue.

(Video) John F. Kennedy:

But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon. (Applause) We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Jason Pontin: To contemporaries, Apollo wasn’t only a victory of West over East in the Cold War. At the time, the strongest emotion was of wonder at the transcendent powers of technology.

They went because it was a big thing to do. Landing on the moon occurred in the context of a long series of technological triumphs.

The first half of the 20th century produced the assembly line and the airplane, penicillin and a vaccine for tuberculosis.

In the middle years of the century, polio was eradicated and smallpox eliminated (They are back with vigor).

Technology itself seemed to possess what Alvin Toffler in 1970 called “accelerative thrust.” For most of human history, we could go no faster than a horse or a boat with a sail, but in 1969, the crew of Apollo 10 flew at 25,000 miles an hour.

Since 1970, no human beings have been back to the moon.

No one has traveled faster than the crew of Apollo 10, and blithe optimism about technology’s powers has evaporated as big problems we had imagined technology would solve, such as going to Mars, creating clean energy, curing cancer, or feeding the world have come to seem intractably hard.

I remember watching the liftoff of Apollo 17. I was five years old, and my mother told me not to stare at the fiery exhaust of a Saturn V rocket.

I vaguely knew this was to be the last of the moon missions, but I was absolutely certain there would be Mars colonies in my lifetime.

 So “Something happened to our capacity to solve big problems with technology has become a commonplace. You hear it all the time.

We’ve heard it over the last two days here at TED.

It feels as if technologists have diverted us and enriched themselves with trivial toys, with things like iPhones and apps and social media, or algorithms that speed automated trading.

There’s nothing wrong with most of these things. They’ve expanded and enriched our lives. But they don’t solve humanity’s big problems.

What happened?

There is a parochial explanation in Silicon Valley, which admits that it has been funding less ambitious companies than it did in the years when it financed Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Genentech.

Silicon Valley says the markets are to blame, in particular the incentives that venture capitalists offer to entrepreneurs.

Silicon Valley says that venture investing shifted away from funding transformational ideas and towards funding incremental problems or even fake problems.

But I don’t think that explanation is good enough. It mostly explains what’s wrong with Silicon Valley.

Even when venture capitalists were at their most risk-happy, they preferred small investments, tiny investments that offered an exit within 10 years. V.C.s have always struggled to invest profitably in technologies such as energy whose capital requirements are huge and whose development is long and lengthy, and V.C.s have never, never funded the development of technologies meant to solve big problems that possess no immediate commercial value.

No, the reasons we can’t solve big problems are more complicated and more profound.

Sometimes we choose not to solve big problems.

We could go to Mars if we want.

NASA even has the outline of a plan. But going to Mars would follow a political decision with popular appeal, and that will never happen. We won’t go to Mars, because everyone thinks there are more important things to do here on Earth.

Sometimes, we can’t solve big problems because our political systems fail.

Today, less than 2% of the world’s energy consumption derives from advanced, renewable sources such as solar, wind and biofuels, less than two percent, and the reason is purely economic.

Coal and natural gas are cheaper than solar and wind, and petroleum is cheaper than biofuels. We want alternative energy sources that can compete on price. None exist.

Now, technologists, business leaders and economists all basically agree on what national policies and international treaties would spur the development of alternative energy: mostly, a significant increase in energy research and development, and some kind of price on carbon.

But there’s no hope in the present political climate that we will see U.S. energy policy or international treaties that reflect that consensus.

Sometimes, big problems that had seemed technological turn out not to be so.

Famines were long understood to be caused by failures in food supply. But 30 years of research have taught us that famines are political crises that catastrophically affect food distribution.

Technology can improve things like crop yields or systems for storing and transporting food, but there will be famines so long as there are bad governments.

Finally, big problems sometimes elude solution because we don’t really understand the problem.

President Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, but we soon discovered there are many kinds of cancer, most of them fiendishly resistant to therapy, and it is only in the last 10 years that effective, viable therapies have come to seem real. Hard problems are hard.

It’s not true that we can’t solve big problems through technology. We can, we must, but these four elements must all be present:

1. Political leaders and the public must care to solve a problem;

2. institutions must support its solution;

3. It must really be a technological problem; and

4. we must understand it.

The Apollo mission, which has become a kind of metaphor for technology’s capacity to solve big problems, met these criteria. But it is an irreproducible model for the future. It is not 1961.

There is no galvanizing contest like the Cold War, no politician like John Kennedy who can heroize the difficult and the dangerous, and no popular science fictional mythology such as exploring the solar system.

Most of all, going to the moon turned out to be easy. It was just three days away. And arguably it wasn’t even solving much of a problem.

We are left alone with our day, and the solutions of the future will be harder won. God knows, we don’t lack for the challenges.

Privately owned Federal Reserve Bank: How the Rothschild family controlled the printing of the Dollars?

The US British colonies had the right to print their own currencies before they snatched their independence. Benjamin Franklin was ambassador in France and delivered a speech in London. He explained how the colonies developed and prospered by issuing money as the internal market expanded to facilitate transactions.

The Rothschild family got the message clear and set about to acquiring the monopoly of printing the US money.

In 1804, Alexander Hamilton, US finance minister and aristocrat during President Thomas Jefferson, coerced Congress to sign a charter with the Rothschild financier family to print US currencies.

This decision came as a price for England loaning Jefferson the necessary money to purchase the Louisiana Territory (all the States bordering the Mississippi River) from Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803.

In 1811, the charter for the Ashkenazi Rothschild family owned the first Bank of the United States and managed to be in control of the US money supply. This control expired and the US Congress voted against the renewal of the charter.

Andrew Jackson, later the 7th President of the US from 1829 to 1837, said:

If the US Congress has a right under the US Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.”

Nathan Mayer Rothschild was not amused and he stated: “Either the application for renewal of the charter for the bank is granted, or the United States will find itself involved in a most disastrous war.”

Andrew Jackson’s response to this was “You are a den of thieves vipers, and I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, I will rout you out.”

Nathan Mayer Rothschild replied:  “Teach those impudent Americans a lesson. Bring them back to colonial status.”

In 1812, backed by the Rothschild’s money, the British declared war on the United States, entered the Capital Washington and set fire on it.

The Rothschild’s plan was to cause the United States to build up such a debt in fighting this war that they would have to surrender to the Rothschild family and allow the charter to be renewed.

In 1816, during President James Monroe, the charter for the Bank of the United States was renewed for another 20 years and the  Rothschild recovered the Control of the US money supply again.

The British war against the USA therefore ended with the deaths of thousands of British and US soldiers, but the Rothschild’s got their bank.

In 1819, the Bank cut-off all credits to the settlers in Ohio and the North-West territory and generated the first big financial crisis.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the US from 1860 till his assassination in 1865) approached the Rothschild’s to try to obtain loans to support the ongoing American civil war. The Rothschild’s agreed, provided President Abraham Lincoln allows them a Charter for another US central bank, at interest of 24% to 36% on all monies loaned.

President Abraham Lincoln was very angry about this high interest rate and so his government printed its own debt free money and informed the public that this was now legal tender for both public and private debts.

By April 1862, $450 million worth of President Abraham Lincoln’s debt free money had been printed by the US government and distributed. Lincoln stated:

We gave the people of this republic the greatest blessing they ever had, their own paper money to pay their own debts.”

That same year, The Times of London publishes a story containing the following statement:

“If that mischievous financial policy, which had its origin in the North American Republic, should be become indurated down (be rooted) to a fixture North-West territory, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on its commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of civilized governments of the world.

The brains and the wealth of all countries will go to North America. That US government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.”

In 1863, The Rothschild’s used John D. Rockefeller, one of their agents in America, to form an oil business called “Standard Oil“, which eventually took over all of its competition.

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln discovered that the Tsar of Russia, Alexander II (1855 – 1881), was having problems with the Rothschild’s for refusing their continual attempts to set up a central bank in Russia. President Lincoln asked the Tsar for help in the Civil War and the Tsar sent part of his fleet to anchor off New York and the other part off California.

The Tsar made it clear to the British, French and Spanish that if they attacked either side, Russia would take the side of President Lincoln. Lincoln subsequently won the Civil War.

In 1865, in an a statement to Congress, President Abraham Lincoln stated,  “I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me, and the financial institution in the rear. Of the two, the one in my rear is my greatest foe.” Later that year, President Lincoln is assassinated.

The US Federal Reserve, an owned private institution, was created on December 23, 1913.

It was planned at a secret meeting in 1910 on Jekyll Island, Georgia, by a group of Zionist bankers and politicians. The power to print money was transferred from the US Government to a private group of Zionist bankers.

The Federal Reserve Act is hastily passed just before the 1913 Christmas break.

Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. warned: “This act establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President signs this act the invisible government by the money power, proven to exist by the Money Trust Investigation, will be legalized.”

US President John F. Kennedy planned to terminate the privately owned Federal Reserve System. In 1963, he signed Executive Orders EO-11 and EO-110, returning to the government the responsibility to print money, taking that privilege away from the Rothschild.

Shortly thereafter, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Another myth that all Americans live with is the charade known as the “Federal Reserve.” It comes as a shock to many to discover that it is not an agency of the United States Government.

The name “Federal Reserve Bank” is not federal, nor is it owned by the government. It is privately owned.  Its employees are not in civil service. Its physical property is held under private deeds, and is subject to local taxation.

It is an engine that has created private wealth that is unimaginable, even to the most financially sophisticated.

It has enabled an imperial elite to manipulate US economy for its own agenda and enlisted the US government itself as its enforcer.

Federal Reserve Bank controls the times, dictates business, affects Americans’ homes and practically everything in which Americans are interested.

It takes powerful force to maintain an empire, and this one is no different.

The concerns of the leadership of the “Federal Reserve” and its secretive international benefactors appear to go well beyond currency and interest rates.

Alan Greenspan, served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, stated at the annual Dinner and Francis Boyer Lecture of The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research on December 5, 1996:

“Augmenting concerns about the Federal Reserve is the perception that we are a secretive organization, operating behind closed doors, not always in the interests of the nation as a whole. This is regrettable, and we continuously strive to alter this misperception.”

The privately owned Federal Reserve has confused the public, lied to them and stole their gold and silver.

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects of the Constitution, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.

Of all the contrivances devised for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes him with paper money.

After many years of blundering toward it, and only a few months before the beginning of the World War 1, Rothschild found the formula for the most efficient credit machine that was ever invented. This was the Federal Reserve System.

Most people are unsure of the meanings of words such as money, dollar, wealth, inflation and credit. The average person would be very surprised if they knew how the money system used to work compared to how it operates now.

The essence of psychological warfare is to confuse the meaning of words, and infiltrate the mind with conflicting concepts. The use of the word Federal in the name federal Reserve leads the public to believe that the Federal Reserve is a government institution, when it is really a private corporation owned by foreign and domestic banks and operated for profit.

The Federal Reserve controls America’s money supply and interest rates, and there by manipulates the entire economy, in violation of

1. Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution that expressly charges Congress with power to coin money and regulate the value thereof, and.

2. Article 1, Section 10 of the constitution says “No State shall make any thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in payment of Debts.”

Over time, gold and silver coins were removed from American money supply and removed as backing for American paper currency and replaced with debt (or credit).

The definition of dollar has changed to hide the fact that a dollar is not money, but a unit of measurement for gold and silver coin. For example:

1. Title 12 United States Code Section 152 says: “The terms lawful money or lawful money of the United States shall be construed to mean gold or silver coin of the United Sates.”

2. Title 31 United States Code, Section 5101 says: “The money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars.”

The recent equivalent to the goldsmith’s receipt for gold is the Federal Reserve Note. The word “Federal” implies Federal government, but the Federal Reserve is a privately owned corporation. The word “Reserve” implies that something gives the paper receipt value, but no gold or silver backs this paper.

The word “Note” implies a contract, because legally a note must state who is paying, what is being paid, to whom and when.

Most people say something like, “I have a dollar bill”. But what is a bill?

A bill is a receipt of a debt owed by one person or company to another. Therefore, a “dollar bill” is a receipt (or bill) of debt of one dollar that is owed.

From 1914 to 1963, Federal Reserve Notes never claimed to be money, nor did they claim to be dollars. A note for five dollars read: “The United States of America will pay to the bearer on demand five dollars.”

How can a promise to pay five dollars be five dollars?

To the left of the President’s picture and above the bank seal, it said: “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private, and is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury or at any Federal Reserve Bank.”

In 1963, the Federal Reserve began to issue its first series of notes without the promise, while taking notes with the promise out of circulation. How can paper become what it promises by removing the promise?

To the left of the President’s picture and above the bank seal, it now read: “This note is legal tender for all debts public and private.”

A note is a proof of debt. It is not possible to pay off a debt with a debt. No debt can be paid in full unless paid in gold or silver, coined and regulated in value by Congress. The name “Federal Reserve Note” is a fraudulent label since each word claims to be something that in reality it is not.

By removing the promise to redeem the note in lawful money, the Federal Government in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, eliminated the monetary system of the United States as established by the Constitution and replaced it with something totally different.

If you are holding a one dollar Federal Reserve Note, the question is: “what is it one dollar of?

The answer is absolutely nothing. The number one measures no substance.

The only thing that give paper money value is the confidence people have in it as is stated in chapter 30 of our textbook.

Federal Reserve Notes are only accepted because people believe they have value.

Note:  The article was from Nalliah Thayabharan in response to my post: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/super-nationalist-zionism-contributed-to-the-rise-of-the-third-reich/

US Reporters’ Dean: Helene Thomas

Helene Thomas (Antonios) is now 89 years old and she resigned her post as reporters’ Dean last week.

She was the ultimate reporter since she was selected in 1961 to report on the Whit House during John F. Kennedy who started dealing seriously with “black civil rights” and ended her tenure with Barack Obama, the first black president to the USA.

Helene Thomas remained in that position for 50 years.  Helene Thomas had many privileges: She was to ask the first question to the President and she had a special room in the White House. She was nicknamed “sitting Buddha” for her long tenure as Dean of reporters.

The parents of Helene Thomas are originally from Tripoli (Lebanon); George Antonios and Miriana Elias Arwadi immigrated to Winchester (Kentucky)  in 1903; they had 9 children.

Helene Thomas graduated from Wayne University (Detroit) in 1942 and then joined United Press International.  She said to one of the Lebanese freshman journalists: “Mind this fact; good news are disseminated from the White House; bad news from the Foreign office.”

Bush Junior refused Thomas to ask him questions for 3 years. As the first opportunity came, Thomas asked Bush Junior: “I want Mr. President to ask you a question related to the invasion of Iraq that resulted in the killing of thousands of US citizens and Iraqis and maiming for life thousands others.  So far, all reasons offered to the public on that invasion turned out to be erroneous. What were your real reasons for going to war?  You stated that it was not for oil or for Israel interests.  Then what are your fundamental reasons?”

During Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in July 2006 Thomas said in the White House: “The US is perfectly able to stop this senseless war and we have huge leverage on Israel.  We decided to exact collective punishments on the Lebanese and Palestinians

On May 27, after the Israeli fiasco on the international “peace boats” convoy to relieving the population of Gaza and killing 20 civilians on the boats and injuring dozens on International sea, Helene Thomas could no longer retain her just sentiments of the apartheid State of Israel and said:

The Palestinian people are occupied and the land is theirs. It is bound of the Jews in Israel to return to their homelands in Poland, the USA, Germany, and France.” Thomas meant that Israel must stop welcoming new Jewish immigrants and given them the Israeli citizenship as they land at the Ben Gurion airport and encouraging them to colonize Palestinian lands in the West Bank.

President Obama sang “Happy birthday” for Thomas 89 years which coincided with Obama’s birthday too.  Thomas campaigned for Obama because she liked his national health plan to cover all US citizens.  The first question Thomas asked Obama in the White House was: “Do you know one State in the Middle East that own nuclear weapons?”  Obviously, Obama knew that Israel was the sole nuclear military State in that region and Obama tried hard to avoid answering. Obama reprimanded Thomas for that difficult question and Thomas laughed saying: “I wanted to test your courage

Helene Thomas wrote her autobiography in 5 books and she participated in Michael Moore movie “Fahrenheit 9-11” and the movie “Dave“.

We expect the Lebanese government and the Palestinian authority to honor Helene Thomas, while still alive, for her courage of working toward human rights of all the occupied people and expressing her opinions that mankind agree with.

Note: Helene Thomas died this July 20, 2013 at age of 93. Would be great to celebrate the day of Thomas passing away as “Freedom of Expression Day”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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