11 May 2001
1. WEEKLY DISASTER REPORT: THE FAITH-BASED MISSILE DEFENSE.
week, you will recall, President Bush called for a global missile
shield, including space-based elements, but he was pretty short
(WN 4 May 01).
This week, Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld called a press conference to talk about military uses of
space. Many of us expected he would fill in some of the missing
details from the President's speech. He didn't. Rumsfeld
devoutly believes that an effective missile defense is out there
somewhere, but neither he nor the President seems to have any
idea of what the shield would involve or any evidence that such a
thing is even feasible, much less what it would cost, when it
might be deployed or whether it even has to work. Rumsfeld
wanted to talk about the management and organization of a new
national-security space initiative; it would be given the task of
filling in the missing details. Not a bad strategy -- opponents
of a missile shield are left with nothing specific to attack.
2. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: WHITE HOUSE COMMISSION HOLDS MEETING.
Included among the political favors that were granted in the
waning months of the Clinton administration, was the naming of a
White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Policy, with mind-body guru James Gordon as chair
(WN 4 Aug 00).
Congress, meanwhile, increased funding for CAM research to $70M,
and even our most respected institutions leaped into research on
CAM. Next week, the Commission holds a meeting in Washington.
The program will rely heavily on the usual alternative medicine
establishment. However, WN has heard that a few skeptics, such as
Marcia Angell and Arthur Grollman of SUNY at Stony Brook, may
have gotten on some of the panels.
3. UFOS: IT TAKES A LOT OF ENERGY TO GET HERE FROM ANDROMEDA.
The news in Washington is not always depressing. This week, for
example, Project Disclosure held a press conference at the
National Press Club to expose the government's cover-up of the
truth about UFOs. This could have important benefits; Steven
Greer, director of the project, explained that aliens have a
source of energy that could supply our energy needs, save the
environment and lead to world peace. (A lot of humans make the
same claim.) What wasn't explained is why aliens travel this far
just to grope the genitals of Iowa farmers, or steal socks from
the dryer. The "hard evidence" that was promised turned out to
be things like a pencil drawing on cardboard of an alien
spacecraft. Some 20 retired government and military were
witnesses at the press conference, and dozens of other expert
witnesses are listed in Project Disclosure's web site,
Alas, actual names are not always used, perhaps to shield these brave souls from government
harassment, but it's pretty thin cover. "Dr. KKK," for example,
is described as "the editor of Infinite Energy."