Essays to a Liberal - The Space Economy Pt3

Here is the 2nd part, of a 3 part series, on the space economy.  You can read the first part by clicking here.

In this piece, I talk about suborbital space business.

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Essays to liberals - The Space Economy, Pt2

Here is the 2nd part, of a 3 part series, on the space economy.  You can read the first part by clicking here.

In this piece, I talk about suborbital space business.

There's more...

Essays to a Liberal - the Space Economy Pt1

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about space, and promised something more.  I know there are many people who question the purpose, and reason for sending people into space.  Tonight, you get to see the first, in a series, about how space can have a major impact on the economy.  

This diary was originally written in response to some of Senator Obama's comments about the validity and justification for manned spaceflight, but I know that there are more people than just him who question it, and thus, I suggest everyone read it, whether Obama or Clinton supporter (or uncommitted, like me).  

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Big Oil is at it again

The Bush Administration, through the Minerals Management Service (MMS), is proposing to sell oil and gas leases between 2007 and 2012 in the Arctic and off the coast of Virginia.

America's Arctic oceans, are home to native subsistence communities, endangered whales, polar bears, walrus, endangered birds, and some of our nation's most important fisheries, including the world's largest salmon run in Bristol Bay. A catastrophic oil spill in America's Arctic oceans is extremely likely, considering the time period it would take to extract the petroleum resources. And the oil companies have even admitted they would not be able to clean up an oil spill in the icy conditions of the Arctic Ocean.

MMS is also pushing to sell oil and gas leases off the coast of Virginia. The majority of law makers along the Atlantic coast are against this unnecessary expansion of oil and gas development, because it puts their shores at risk.

The best part of all? The MMS is not accepting email comments on the issue. Instead you need to fill out this form AND this form. Oceana has also set up an online petition.

How to Shake Down an Entire State

In Pennsylvania, politicians are salivating over the possibility of opening slot parlors. For the state legislature, it means possibly balancing the budget without having to make tough choices. For my District - which has been chosen to house one or even two of the casinos - it means complete altering the character of unique neighborhoods, increased traffic and crime, and disrupting communities that have existed since the formation of the country.

Politicians in Harrisburg refuse to listen to the neighbors' concerns. The state's Gaming Commission time and time again stifled efforts to get true neighborhood input and has rejected the call from neighbors for studies of the casinos' impact on the community.

My opponents, the owner of a window company and a real estate developer, are both telling the community that casinos are coming no matter what. Neither of them bothered to show up at Gaming Commission Hearing to hear the concerns of District residents. Neither has canvassed District and spoken directly to the voters. Instead, my opponents are content to have the support of the City's party machine.

If citizens want their government to respond to their concerns, they need to elect people who are willing to listen. In my District, I am the only candidate listening to neighbors, utilizing the power of volunteers and direct democracy rather than fundraisers and party endorsements.

Running for office without the party machine poses unique challenges. To win an election without organized labor or committee members, a candidate needs to devote thousands of hours efficiently spreading the message directly to the voters. In my case, I have been fortunate to have the support of hundreds of volunteers who have contributed their time going door-to-door to educate voters and bring them into the process.

After a month of campaigning, my volunteers and I will have met twice as many people as usually vote in the primary. On May 16, my opponents have the support of the party machine, but I will have support of the voters.
After all of our hard work, our reward will be that we will go to Harrisburg without owing favors to anyone. I will make decisions shaped only by my principals and by the needs of the people of my District.

If you'd like to help take on the party machine and help bring the political power back to the people, e-mail Josh at

Anne Dicker
Democrat for State Representative in PA

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