fresh voices from the front lines of change







Have you heard that China is sending people into space? Have you heard about China’s high-speed rail lines linking their major cities? Have you heard that China has built the fastest supercompouter in the world? These are results of the dreaded “government spending” that Republicans say is such a bad thing. They’re doing it, we aren’t.

Manned Space Flight

I’m old enough to remember America’s first Mercury space flights and Alan Shepard and John Glenn. Then Gemini, then Apollo and our moon landings and our Space Shuttle. (I remember going to a “ticker tape parade” for McDivitt and White in 1965.)

Now we don’t even have the Space Shuttle. Republicans have pretty much killed off American manned space flight because it is “government spending.” (We have to pay Russia to give our astronauts rides to the space station.)

Meanwhile … CBS News: China launches fifth manned space mission (click through to see the video),

A Shenzhou spacecraft carrying a crew of three, including China’s second female astronaut, streaked into orbit Tuesday, heading for a prototype space station module for a planned two-week mission.

… The Shenzhou 10 mission “carries the space dream of the Chinese nation,” President Xi Jinping told the crew before launch. “It will also show the Chinese passion to reach for the stars and reach into space. You have made all of us very proud.”

Yes, the Chinese are very proud today… They are, we aren’t.

High Speed Rail

We slowed down on maintaining our infrastructure after the Reagan tax cuts, because it is “government spending.” Our roads are falling apart, our bridges are deteroriating and some are dangerous. Our rail lines largely rely on (not all that well-maintained) last-century technology and track.

Meanwhile … China has about 5,800 miles of high-speed rail lines, linking their major cities and moving at up to 240 mph. Chinese rail lines include new magnetic-levitation technology.

Fastest Supercomputer

Who has built the fastest supercomputer? Japan? Us?

CNN, June 7: China builds fastest supercomputer in the world,

China appears to have once again taken the lead from the United States in the burgeoning supercomputing wars, developing a supercomputer that is twice as fast as anything America has to offer.

The new Tianhe-2 supercomputer, nicknamed the Milkyway-2, was unveiled by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) during a conference held in late May. University of Tennessee professor Jack Dongarra confirmed this week that the Milkyway-2 operates as fast as 30.7 petaflops — quadrillions of calculations — per second.

… The United States only just reclaimed the top spot this past November after coming up short to Japan, China and Germany over the past three years.

The Rest

We are cutting back the assistance that helps people to get a higher education because it is “government spending.”

We are cutting basic scientific research because it is “government spending.”

We are cutting health research because it is “government spending.”

We are even cutting access to cancer clinics because it is “government spending.”

Republicans object to spending to maintain our nations infrastructure because it is “government spending.”

Do you remember when Republicans even objected to money in the stimulus to refurbish our capitol’s National Mall because it was “government spending?”

Etc., Etc.

And never mind the damage the “sequester” is doing…

(Pics from Wikipedia)


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