I know that weapons have been a theme of the past two blog entries, but bear with me.
Has anyone else noticed the increasing militarization of American culture? It started back in the 80s, when Reagan declared War On Drugs, thus giving police departments the impetus to start getting paramilitary training and ordinance on an unprecedented level. Now it's rare for ANY city, no matter its size or particular social mileau, to not have a sizeable SWAT team.
And now NASA is increasingly bedding itself with the Pentagon, in hopes of securing funds for research projects that will benefit both science and the military. Ultimately such a marriage of convenience will benefit the generals far more than the scientists, and should be shunned. And yet, I fear the trend will be towards an increasing dependence upon the military-industrial complex on the part of space research.
I can't help but to feel this will lead America even further down the path of empire and closer to the nightmare of constantly fighting armed conflicts across the globe in order to insure "security." Fortunately, there was an old general who saw the nightmare clearly, and warned about the chance of that nightmare becoming prophesy:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953