black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
“Good and great causes don’t advance without resistance. First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. So it was with putting military weapons into the hands of openly homosexual soldiers, and so it shall be with taking military weapons out of the hands of crazy people. It starts off impossible and it ends up done.”
“[O]n the eve of a second Obama term, the images are more complex, and in some ways blurrier. Politically and personally this president functions as a screen onto which different Americans project their fears and fantasies. From the right, the picture is often of a monster whose policies are steps on a scary road to socialism or some other exotic form of tyranny. Many liberals, by contrast, have expressed disappointment at his willingness to compromise with Republicans and his reluctance to fight. At different times and from various angles Mr. Obama is a fiery orator, an aloof intellectual, a policy nerd and a shrewd strategist. He is notoriously resistant to sketch-comedy impersonation and also, perhaps, to simple pop-cultural appropriation. …
Some of the connections between politics and movies are obvious, but we wanted to go beyond the topical resonance of films like “Zero Dark Thirty” and enter into the realms of allegory and national mythology. Here is our highly preliminary, wildly speculative thematic guide to American cinema in the Obama Era.”
A. O. Scott & Manohla Dargis: Movies in the Age of Obama | NYT

[O]n the eve of a second Obama term, the images are more complex, and in some ways blurrier. Politically and personally this president functions as a screen onto which different Americans project their fears and fantasies. From the right, the picture is often of a monster whose policies are steps on a scary road to socialism or some other exotic form of tyranny. Many liberals, by contrast, have expressed disappointment at his willingness to compromise with Republicans and his reluctance to fight. At different times and from various angles Mr. Obama is a fiery orator, an aloof intellectual, a policy nerd and a shrewd strategist. He is notoriously resistant to sketch-comedy impersonation and also, perhaps, to simple pop-cultural appropriation. …

Some of the connections between politics and movies are obvious, but we wanted to go beyond the topical resonance of films like “Zero Dark Thirty” and enter into the realms of allegory and national mythology. Here is our highly preliminary, wildly speculative thematic guide to American cinema in the Obama Era.”

 & Movies in the Age of Obama | NYT

Top 10 Obama gun proposals

1. Require criminal background checks for all gun sales.

2. Take 4 executive actions to ensure information on dangerous people is available in background checks.

3. Reinstate & strengthen the assault weapons ban.

4. Restore 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.

5. Fully ban armor-piercing bullets.

6. Give law enforcement new tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.

7. End freeze on gun violence research.

8. Make our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates, emergency response.

9. Help ensure that young people get mental health treatment.

10. Ensure health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

"We don’t benefit from ignorance."

“We are not a deadbeat nation… So we’ve got to pay our bills. And Republicans in Congress have two choices here. They can act responsibly, and pay America’s bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy … We’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis when there’s this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility, and some compromise. That’s where we need to go. That’s how this needs to work.”

This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For

barackobama:

The official White House response to a petition to secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016:

By Paul Shawcross

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
     
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
     
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky—that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts—American, Russian, and Canadian—living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs—one wielding a laser—roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo—and soon, crew—to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.

Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.

We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.

We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.

If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget

Today in stupendous. 

©2011 Kateoplis