Budget Deficit worse, Trade Deficit worse, but Economy strong?

According to this article in the Washington Post, the trade deficit continues to expand. The Bush Administration sees it as meaning that U.S. consumers can continue to afford to buy imports. Of course the fact that China has pegged the Yuan to the Dollar, explicitly to keep its products cheap in the American market, means that what this really means is that consumers here can’t afford to buy anything else.

Jeff Danziger’s editorial cartoon sums it up neatly.

Mars Society endorses new NASA head

Mike Griffin: A Superb Choice for NASA Administrator
March 12, 2005
For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at www.marssociety.org

Statement of Mars Society President Robert Zubrin on the Selection of Dr. Mike Griffin for NASA Administrator

Mike Griffin is a superb choice for NASA Administrator. I have known Mike for more than a decade. He is a real leader who is technically brilliant, highly creative, open minded to new ideas, well-experienced, and deeply committed for many years to the success of the American space program – emphatically including the new vision of reaching for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

The Bush administration is to be commended for this inspired selection. There is literally no one better qualified to lead the new space initiative than Mike Griffin. For the job of 11th NASA Administrator, Mike is the right man, in the right place, at the right time. As President of the Mars Society, I offer him our full support.

Abandon it, but spend money on it

According to a Reuters story in Yahoo! News, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) has sent a letter to NASA advising that failing to spend the $291 million budgeted in 2005 for a repair mission to Hubble could be against the law. The Bush Administration’s proposed 2006 budget only allots “$93 million for the Hubble program, with $75 million of that set aside to bring the orbiting observatory safely to Earth.”

Meanwhile, some rather spectacular shots — unfortunately in low resolution — taken by Hubble are included in this slide show; it’s a taste of what we stand to lose.

EFF: Best E-voting Bill Reintroduced

This comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

In 2004, thousands of EFF activists helped Rep. Rush Holt’s Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (VCIAA, HB 550) garner immense support before the session ended. The bill contains several critically important election reforms, including the requirement of a paper audit trail for all electronic voting machines, random audits, and public availability of all code used in elections. HB 550 was recently reintroduced, and it already has over 100 bipartisan cosponsors.

The momentum is on our side, and it’s more important than ever to ask your representative to support this bill – many counties across the country are choosing voting equipment now. Tell Congress to stand up for election reform!

Make your voice heard: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=109

Welcome to my Blog

Hello world. Duh.

Okay, this is my very first blog. In fact, it’s my very first dynamic content on a server I’ve been running for years.

But if you’ve following this particular server — hello, homeland security folks — you know I have a rather eclectic collection of interests in politics, foreign affairs, religion, science fiction, and lifestyles which I view from a left-libertarian and Taoist perspective.

You’re welcome to post your comments. Posting pictures doesn’t work yet. I don’t know why, and frankly, that’s kind of disappointing. It’s not doing times the way I’d like, and in some cases it’s just plain doing them wrong. But I’ve got a bug report in.

So we’ll see how this goes. And if it goes well, I may set up blogs under some of my domains. Have fun!