Two Military Space Missions – one Chinese; one American – one transparent; one not

June 18, 2012

Shortly after the Chinese publicly announced to the world that it had succeeded with an ambitious space launch that includes time spent in a small space station, an unmanned US Air Force space plane landed in California.

The U.S. military space plane known as X-37 OTV is an unmanned robot plane (with what looks like three windows down the side). This military robot space plane just spent a super-secret fifteen months circling the earth in low orbit with a super-secret package aboard, which could be anything.

The X-37 was built by Boeing Government Space Systems.  It weighs 11,000 pounds, stands 9.5 feet tall and is just over 29 feet long.  This robot space plane was a NASA project before it was turned over to DARPA in 2004.  While NASA has seen its funds cut, the military has seen its funds increased dramatically (more than double what it was in 2001). The 2012 Department of Defense budget is $707.5 billion (oh, and interest incurred on debt from past wars runs between $109.1–$431.5 billion annually).

China’s 2012 defense budget, on the other hand, is US$106.4 billion with no interest incurred from past wars since China hasn’t fought any for decades.

In 2001, US Military Spending was  $307.8 billion; in 2002 – $328.7 billion; 2003  – $404.9 billion; 2004 -$455.9 billion; 2005 – $495.3 billion; 2006  – $535.9 billion; 2007 – $527.4 billion; 2008 – $494.4 billion; 2009 – $494.3 billion; 2010 – $712.0 billion, and 2011 – $658.7 billion.

Since the X-37 is now a military project, there is no way to discover exactly how much was spent unless someone at Boeing leaks the information.

How about the Chinese?  Well, their most recent space mission is no secret. The Chinese have often been criticized in the West for lack of transparency, but when the US spends years on a military space project wrapped in secrecy, the Western media does not complain about that lack of transparency.

On the other hand, I approve of both America’s X-37 space project and China building a space station. In addition, China plans to colonize the moon and visit Mars in the near future. Maybe this will motivate America to seriously get back into the space game. A little competition could be a good thing.

Meanwhile, Sebastien Blanc writing for AFP, reports, “This is China’s most ambitious space mission so far. It is longer and more complex than anything previously done,” said Morris Jones, an Australian space expert.

“It shows that China is serious about its long-term goals in space. …

“Beijing has long maintained that the rapid development of its space capabilities is peaceful in nature, and the white paper reiterated this, saying Beijing “opposes weaponisation or any arms race in outer space.”

“But concerns remain over China’s intentions.”

Is anyone questioning America’s intentions?

After all, what nation has the largest military budget in the world; what nation is waging several military conflicts around the globe; what nation has several hundred military bases spanning the globe; what nation has the largest prison population on the planet; what nation has more than half the world aircraft carriers (eleven with three under construction), while China only has one and it was picked up used from Russia; what nation has the largest global weapons industry ($37.8 billion in 2008– Italy is number two with $3.7 billion in sales) and what nation is the only nation on earth to have ever used nuclear weapons during a war—twice?

Double Standard?

Discover more at Growing Great Honor in One Lunar Leap

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s Expressway Dilemma and the Solution – Part 2/2

August 10, 2011

One element of China’s plan is to not become addicted to foreign oil as the U.S. already has and one-step toward achieving this goal led China to become a partner with Shai Agassi and Better Place — something Washington D.C. has not done.

Time and Foreign Policy magazines recently named Shai Agassi as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.  The reason is that Agassi, an entrepreneur from California, launched a company called Better Place.

Deutsche Bank analysts may have already concluded that the Better Place’s approach to end global “oil” addiction could be a “paradigm shift” that causes “massive disruption” to the auto industry, and has “the potential to eliminate the gasoline engine altogether”.

To achieve a world free of a dependency on oil, Better Place has already partnered with California, Hawaii and Canada, while globally, Better Place is working with Australia, China, Denmark, Israel, Japan and the European Union.

On June 18, 2011, Better Place unveiled Europe’s first battery switching station in Denmark, and you may have noticed that China, as one of Better Place’s partners, is positioning itself to save China from the same fate that has already happened to politically gridlocked Washington D.C.

The station in Denmark, which show cased the company’s battery switching technology, is the first of 20 battery switching stations to be deployed across Denmark over the next nine months.

In the next few years, if successful, Better Place may lower the cost of driving significantly and break big oil’s monopoly on the economies of the world while lowering the cost of cars worldwide by providing an affordable, convenient and sustainable system through a revolutionary switchable battery model.

This means that instead of filling up with gas when the tank is empty, a driver pulls into a Better Place switching station and swaps battery packs in less time than it takes to wait in line and fill a tank with gasoline or diesel.

Return to or start with China’s Expressway Dilemma and the Solution – Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Chinese in the Gold Rush – Part 2/2

June 6, 2011

Guest post by John Putnam

In the mines the Chinese were often forced to work sites that others had abandoned as no longer productive and, by hard work, made these claims pay.

As more men arrived in the gold fields and the amount of surface gold dwindled, tensions increased. Thirty-five Chinese showed up at Camp Salvado in 1849 where men from El Salvador had worked and here they found rich placer deposits.

White miners soon arrived and pushed the Chinese out, but they were taken in at another nearby site called Camp Washington where still more gold was found

Chinese flocked to a place where they were accepted and Tuolumne County’s Chinese Camp survives to this day.

But by 1850, a $20 per month tax on each foreign miner was imposed.

By 1852 Chinese were forced from Mormon Island and Horseshoe Bar along the American River, then from Colombia in the southern mines and Yuba City in the northern.

In 1856 Chinese paid $70,000 for the right to mine in Mokelumne Hill.

By 1868 almost all Chinese had left the mines to work on the transcontinental railroad or in Chinese operated businesses.

Return to Chinese in the Gold Rush – Part 1

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Reprinted by permission. First published May 23, 2011 in My gold rush tales John Putnam is the author of Hangtown Creek, a thrilling saga of the early California gold rush.

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Chinese in the Gold Rush – Part 1/2

June 5, 2011

Guest post by John Putnam

Of all the diverse peoples that poured into California after the discovery of gold, none stood out more than the Chinese. Radically different in dress, language and culture these new men were first welcomed because of their willingness to work hard for low wages at any task presented them.

John McDougall, the 2nd Governor of California, described them as “one of the most worthy of our newly adopted citizens.”

At the start of 1849 only 54 Chinese were in California. By1852 there were nearly 12,000 living here and only seven of them women. Because of turmoil in Canton another 20,000 would arrive that same year.

A community of Chinese Americans quickly grew in San Francisco. They marched in Fourth of July parades and rejoiced at California’s statehood, but celebrated their lunar new year in their traditional way.

In 1852 a Cantonese opera was performed at the American Theater and in 1854 a Chinese language newspaper began publishing.

The Kong Chow Association formed to help the new arrivals adapt to their new home. Then another, the Chew Yick, elected Norman As-sing, an English speaking owner of the Macao and Woosung Restaurant as their leader. Soon there were six associations called tongs that combined to form the Six Companies to better represent Chinese interest.

Continued on June 6, 2011 in Chinese in the Gold Rush – Part 2

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Reprinted by permission. First published May 23, 2011 in My gold rush tales. John Putnam is the author of Hangtown Creek, a thrilling saga of the early California gold rush.

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The First of all Virtues – Part 5/9

January 31, 2010

During the summer of 2007, a teen with his supposed girlfriend, both strangers, wanted to rent a room for an hour or two at a motel. We had just pulled into that motel’s parking lot in Southern California after driving several hundred miles. We heard the motel manager say, “No way!”

The boy turned to me as I was getting out of the car, and he said, “Hey, old man, can you give us a ride to the next motel? They will not rent us a room here.”

I’m sure this adolescent was out for quick sex. He probably didn’t even know the girl’s name or care. But the lack of respect for an older person was obvious. And of course, conservatives don’t help any when they promote their brand of brainwashing like this blog post Liberal Brainwashing for Dummies.

Mudslinging isn’t going to solve anything. What America needs is both ideologies to work together to strengthen the family by teaching parents how to say “NO” and stop encouraging kids to do what feels good.

Go to The First of All Virtues Part 6 or return to Part 4

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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The First of all Virtues – Part 4/9

January 31, 2010

I am sixty-four. I served in the United States Marines and fought in Vietnam. For more than four decades, I have lived with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I spent close to a decade attending universities to first earn an Associate-of-Science degree and next a BA in journalism. The remainder of those ten odd years was spent at night in a variety of universities earning an MFA in writing. I spent my weekdays working as an English teacher. For a few years, I even taught journalism working some days from six in the morning until midnight.

I also held a number of odd jobs like being a maitre d’ for a Southern California nightclub called the Red Onion or as a supervisor for Pacific Motor Trucking. I worked for forty-five years starting at fifteen washing dishes nights and ended a thirty-year career at sixty as an overworked and underpaid, ‘often verbally abused’ teacher in California’s public schools.

Strange, I searched for a Blog that talked about teachers being abused by students and found thousands that did nothing but bash teachers. Then I found Who’s to Blame …  (a dim light in the wilderness). It seems that few in Western cultures care what happens to teachers. We are the one to bask or kick when you want to bash or kick something.

Go to The First of All Virtues Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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