Tuesday, November 18, 2008

USS Barack Obama

Though many believed that he’s destined for greatness by winning the US Presidency through his promise of hope. Would a US Navy aircraft carrier someday be named after President Barack Obama?

By: Vanessa Uy

Even though it is still quite presumptive given that the 20th of January 2009 inauguration day is still a couple of months away. The thought did came across our minds after receiving free brochures about how to reserve for guided tours on board one of the US Navy’s most advanced aircraft carriers, the Nimitz-class USS Ronald Reagan super-carrier. After all, if the former President Reagan’s doctrine of “Peace Through Strength” brought to us the glorification of the Military-Industrial complex by Hollywood. Remember the naval aviation movie Top Gun, it heavily draws inspiration from then President Reagan’s “Cowboy Diplomacy” and managed to make Hollywood action heroes like Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, and Arnold Schwarzenegger gain an air of “sensibility”, then the Obama presidency could be comparable in greatness; Right?

It was just recently announced that a new Nimitz-class super-carrier named after the former president George H.W. Bush – outgoing President George W. Bush’s dad - or “President Bush, Senior” as he is more affectionately called has just been completed and ready for sea trials. Plus a new series of Ford-class aircraft carriers / supercarriers named after former US president Gerald R. Ford are already on the planning and pre-production stage. The “Howls of Protest” can now be heard of some Americans old enough to have lived through and remembered the Ford Administration. Given that President Ford was never elected and worst of all he pardoned then President Nixon over the Watergate debacle raised questions whether to name a series of the US Navy’s next generation of aircraft carriers after President Ford.

Given that someone like President Ford whose somewhat “marginal” – even controversial - influence of the history of the US Presidency gets an aircraft carrier – even a series of them - named after him, then surely the “expected” greatness of President Obama deserve some speculative prognostication. But since there won’t be an aircraft carrier named after President-elect Obama anytime soon, then it’s safe to assume that the vessel will be radically more advanced than existing ones.

Probably it’s safe to assume that the plane-launching system on the USS Barack Obama might use superconducting electromagnet or rail-gun technology as opposed to existing systems that uses a system of steam-driven piston and pulleys to accelerate high-performance jets to take-off speeds. The ship’s propulsion system might work using nuclear fusion, thus ending the problem of long-lasting radioactive wastes. Or it might employ a yet undiscovered technology that works on the principle of entropy-manipulation through a cyclical time-loop. This could give the term “ Groundhog Day” a whole new meaning if an unforeseen accident ever happens. Or what about a really exotic but might be feasible top-secret propulsion technology based on the workings of Sam Cohen’s “enhanced radiation weapons system”. Like the ballotechnic “red mercury” superfluid that mimics that of the “primordial superfluid” that originally permeates throughout the early Universe a few moments after the Big Bang. A newfangled “steam ship” if you will, only this time the working “steam” might be our exotic “ballotechnic superfluid” with a working temperature of trillions of degrees centigrade.

Also, if the now President-elect Obama’s kids choose to have naval careers, they might gain a command posting on a ship with their father’s namesake sometime in the future. Given that our hypothetical super-carrier USS Barack Obama won’t be underway any time soon. But still, given the proposed technology, this vessel might be a proof of concept that might be used as a basis for large volume space travel in the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Republican Party Failures: Lack of African-American Appeal?

As an American political party that grew out of the slavery question, is the Republican Party ignoring its African-American constituency at its own peril?

By: Vanessa Uy

Often referred to as the political party spearheaded by Abraham Lincoln that lead to the emancipation of the slaves who are of Black African descent and thought them the value of free enterprise. Though conceptually it viewed slavery and polygamy as morally reprehensible barbarism, the Republican Party has since then – and still is - played a major part in shaping the United States into the most powerful country in the world. Even though Honest Abe would find that in its current incarnation, the Republican Party is a wholly different animal from the one he founded over a hundred years ago.

The Republican Party does have African-Americans that had done their part in preparing the United States for the 21st Century. It would we inconceivable to imagine America’s victory in the first Gulf War without Colin Powell, or Condoleeza Rice keeping Bush Administration’s Neo-Conservative’s and their “excesses” in check. But the question now is, what the Republican Party must do to in order to distance itself from the women-as-God-fearing-male-subordinate ideologue of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin during her ill-conceived vice presidential candidacy?

Well, not much if you think that the party is already very much corrupted – and co-opted - by extreme right-wing Christianity during the Reagan years. But I do believe that there’s still plenty of life left in the Republican Party. If only they’ll take the steps in reexamining the ideals exemplified by Abraham Lincoln. Which is kind of hard given that the news footage being aired of the recent McCain-Palin rallies consists mainly of the “older White demographic” who might be old enough to remember the days when gasoline was still being sold at 10 or 25 US cents per gallon.

Believe it or not, some political pundits even think that Barack Obama being elected into the US Presidency could be a good thing for the Republican Party. Is it maybe that because Abraham Lincoln’s vision of equality of all men is now one step closer, only at the cost of the victory of a rival party candidate? But hey, as it was noted throughout history, reforms aren’t always painless as their authors and planners might suggest.