Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bishop Ring

An open air rotating habitat based on a concept by Forrest Bishop; the ring rotates to keep its air near the surface and to provide gravity, while an artificial light source illuminated living surface. Approximately 2000 km across.

PESN: LENR-to-Market Weekly -- July 19, 2012

Keeping up with the E-cat news.  An interview of Andrea Rossi, in two parts-

In the final segment of our two part interview with Andrea Rossi, the inventor of the E-Cat, we continue our discussion on the residential applications of Cold Fusion. We dive deeper into how we will use LENR in our homes and what the future holds for this break through technology. (FreeEnergySystems; July 12, 2012)

Part One (highlight)

FES: We have read that the E-Cat will start going on sale by year’s end to commercial clients and that it will go on sale to private customers in 2013. Is the E-Cat still on schedule to be sold at these times and do you have further release date information?
AR: The industrial version of the E-Cat is already for sale, while the domestic (or home) version is set for 2013. However, although the certification of the residential version is still on course we cannot foresee the scheduling because it does not depend on us.

Part Two (highlight)
FES: Could you envision a day where we had Cold Fusion or LENR cars?
AR: You know, about the future, I can say that this technology will have many applications. I am not thinking to in this moment. It is very difficult to know what will happen in the future. I made this example in another situation. I want to repeat this example. The inventors of the laser, when they invented it, they absolutely could not imagine that the lasers would have been the main telecommunication systems through the optic fibers. You know, the inventors of the laser couldn't even think about that. So, you know, an analogy, in this moment, I cannot imagine how many applications will be there. About the applications to the automotive, in a way, I would think that there will be difficult states to be overcome with the certification process. Because the application to engines for cars, et cetera, all this technology will not have easy issues for what goes to the certifications.

Next Big Future: Elon Musk, Tesla Electric Cars, Predicts Half of

New Cars will be electric in 15 years...: EETimes - In the midst of the Tesla Model S rollout at the company's California manufacturing plant recently, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a st...

Don't bet against Musk.

The best probability that I can determine is the hydrogen fuel cell car.  The LFTR technology will happen, that is very high probability.  One of the applications that could result from that is cheap hydrogen, which would create a market opportunity.  You can make ammonia with a LFTR, for example.

Another missing link for fuel cells is the platinum issue.  Platinum is expensive and it needs to be used as a catalyst in a fuel cell device.  Solve that problem, and you are on your way.  Those who would mine asteroids could bring to the market a lot more platinum, which would reduce prices.  In fifteen years though?  Not out of the question.

As far as distribution of hydrogen is concerned, that should not be a problem.  You can electrolyze methanol or ammonia at the point of sale.  Just transport the hydrogen carrier to the point of sale and electrolyze it there. 

Aurora Shootings

This shooting reminds me of what happened here in Texas many years ago.  There was somebody trying to copy cat the Terminator by driving through the front door and shooting the place up.

That killer back then, George Hennard, had a movie ticket found on him.  The movie was called Fisher King- "a darkly comic fable marked by a massacre".  It seems to me that he combined the two elements from each movie into making his own massacre.   Hennard also hated women, which jibes with the Terminator' mission- to kill a young woman named Sarah Connor.

The most recent mass murderer, James Holmes, thought of himself as The Joker in the Batman movies.

Neither of these men could blame poverty or misfortune for their killing spree.  Hennard's father was a surgeon.  Holmes was a PHD candidate.  Both were loners and were thought to be strange in their behavior.

This was particularly well planned.  Holmes used a gas mask to help himself breathe.  He used gas to immobilize the crowd.  Besides that, he wore body armor.  It was if he anticipated someone may want to stop him, so he prepared himself so as to make that more difficult.  He entered through an emergency exit, which he had exited from himself.  Even if the exit could not be re-used as an entrance, he defeated that intention by propping it open.

It should be noted that the guy is mentally disturbed.  There will be calls for gun control, but there's no need for gun control amongst the law abiding and mentally sound population.  It would make more sense to screen people a little better before allowing them to have guns.   People such as this are not being screened very well.  It is pretty obvious to somebody out there that there's something wrong with the guy.

Towards a reusable rocket system with a fast turnaround

Speculation alert

That's the idea fermenting in my mind as of the moment. I recall that the Saturn IVB of the Apollo Era almost had single stage to orbit (SSTO) capability on its own. Quite impressive.  Now, the idea is to mate that capability with a microwave thruster that Parkins described in his doctoral thesis.  The twist is not to make an SSTO as Parkins envisioned, but to make a staged rocket system that is reusable with a fast turnaround.

From the video of the Falcon 9 launch seen in the previous post, I obtained some trajectory information which shows that the first stage of a similar system would remain within the range of a proposed microwave beam system.  That means that it can stay in contact with the microwave beam on the way up and the way back down.  In other words, it could be made as a flyback first stage that powers a second stage to near space, separates, then returns back to the ground for reuse and fast turnaround.

The advantage of a microwave thruster is its high ISP.  It can reach an ISP of a nuclear thermal engine without having to carry all that weight, since the energy would be beamed toward the craft as opposed to generating it onboard.  This would give it more safety and structural margins while exceeding current conventional rocket designed performance, which could in turn allow the second stage to be configured into a fully reusable system in its own right.

By the way, the high ISP is like fuel efficiency.  The less fuel you have to carry, the less weight penalty there is to pay to get to orbit.  The weight penalty is what makes reusable rockets an elusive goal.  So much of the mass has to go for fuel that it forces very tight limits on what can be put into orbit- which also entails a very high cost per launch.

Parkins thesis proposes the use of truck batteries for power.  This may sound ridiculous, but it isn't really.  The amount of power required is enormous, but only for a short duration.  It would not make sense to use so much installed energy for only such a short term.  Hence, the use of batteries instead of the grid or a separate power station.

The batteries could be recharged for the next launch.  A LFTR may do the charging over a several hour period before the next launch.  Thus, the power system could be trucked in, being that it would be fairly portable.

Below is a jet power requirement for an orbital system.  The amount is in Gigawatts, but the time required is measured in minutes.  Power is measured over time, so 25 Gigawatts over a fraction of an hour translates into less than a Gigawatt hour of power, or a few Gigawatt-hours.  A 100 MW power plant can deliver 2.4 Gigawatt-hrs per day of power.  A LFTR that size can fit on a flat bed truck.

The circled numbers are for orbit, a suborbital jet power requirement should be much less.

The power system would generate the microwaves which would be beamed to the heat exchanger of the aeroshell of the spacecraft.  It would heat the reaction mass, which would be liquid hydrogen, and this would provide the thrust for liftoff.  The first stage would rise to about 120 km at 2g, then separate.  It would be mostly a vertical trajectory.  By the way, this acceleration appears to be less than the Falcon 9, which may entail some reworking of that system if it is to be mated with this one.

That reminds me of the Stratolaunch concept, which mates a Falcon 5 with a large plane that takes off from a runway.  The Parkins concept could work similarly to this concept, so maybe a modified Falcon 5 could be the payload for this proposition.  The added safety and structural margins could make this a good fit for a fully reusable system with the fast turnaround needed in order to bring down launch costs.


With a 2g acceleration to 120 km, the delta v for LEO would be about 4.275 km/sec.  Plugging that into the rocket equation, and assuming an ISP of 450, you could allow for 30k of payload plus dry mass of second stage rocket giving a propellant requirement of 50k.  Converting back to pounds from kilograms, the wet mass comes in at 176k pounds.  Not too bad. 

The Falcon 5 arrangement above weighs much more than that.  Dropping a rocket from a plane doesn't help much in getting to orbit.  A Falcon 5 weighs almost as much as a Falcon 9, assuming the payload is the same.  A Falcon 9 on the launch pad weighs in at 750k pounds.  You're cutting wet mass down by a factor of 4.

With all that extra margin, you could make that sucker fully reusable.  There's enough room for all kinds of bells and whistles.


Next in series, part 2.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Dragon SUCCESSFUL Launch Attempt 5/22/2012 HD

Video includes everything from launch to deployment of solar panels.

I'm thinking up another brainstorm here, which I am working on now. It is a flyback version of a first stage type concept.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ace: YES! Drones Now Rechargeable By Laser

This story gives me an idea.

Speculation alert:

This reminds me of the Parkin Concept, which I covered back in 2010.  Basically, the idea is to use beamed energy to get to space.  But the Parkin device requires too much acceleration to allow humans to be onboard.  What if you could get around that problem in some way?

The Skylon concept proposes to use an airbreather to get to a high altitude,then switch to conventional rocket mode to get to orbit.  Now, my idea is this:  what if you could make the Parkin concept into an airbreather on the first leg, accelerate to what the first stage acceleration would have been with a first stage, then use a conventional rocket system to do the rest and get to orbit?

The reason that this may work is that the conventional first stage rockets are not going that fast when they drop off.  They are also pretty high in altitude, so basically the first stage just gives you altitude and enough acceleration so that a LH/LOX rocket can get you to orbit.  If sufficient acceleration and altitude could be provided by a ground based energy system and a hybrid rocket design like the Skylon could be employed to run on atmospheric gases, and then a LH/LOX mixture, you may be able to get to orbit that way.

 You would need an energy system and a launch from a desert site.  You could use a LFTR for the energy source and Parkin's microwave devices to get the energy to the spacecraft.  The LFTR would not require water for cooling like a typical nuclear device would.  That helps with the desert conditions.  Now, the desert is necessary because the air needs to be very dry to avoid problems with all that energy flowing through the air.

The objective is to make a completely reusable launch system with capability for fast turnaround.

Perilous Times


We live in perilous times. The president acts above the Rule of Law and fights his own wars. Congress acts below the Rule of Law by letting the president do whatever he can get away with. And this summer, the Supreme Court rewrote the Rule of Law.

A thoughtful essay well worth reading.

France Suffocates Its Own Industrial Power

Jobs in the manufacturing sector are vanishing: 400,000 have been lost in the past five years. The country's weight in international markets has not ceased to recede: last year, 13.1 percent of total European exports of manufactured goods originated in France, down from 15.7 percent a decade ago. The share of the manufacturing sector in GDP is the lowest among Eurozone countries: 9.3 percent in 2010, or less than half of Germany's 18.7 percent.

In his book, Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman lauds France's welfare state, which implies that the US should adopt it.   With these results, is that really such a good idea?

Maybe France should build a Berlin Wall?  If you want to leave, the government intends to stop you.
Little wonder, too, that President Hollande has created a ministry of "Productive Recovery" to act as a watchdog against relocations.

What if a pitcher threw a ball at 90% the speed of light?

The Behind the Black blog links to an amusing scenario called relativistic baseball.

The answer turns out to be “a lot of things”, and they all happen very quickly, and it doesn’t end well for the batter (or the pitcher). I sat down with some physics books, a Nolan Ryan action figure, and a bunch of videotapes of nuclear tests and tried to sort it all out. What follows is my best guess at a nanosecond-by-nanosecond portrait:

As Carl Sagan would say, It would Buh low Up!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On churches, revisited

It's probably fair to say that it's not the majority that likes to be preached at.  That's what turned me off to Christianity long, long ago.  I remember the old-fashioned preacher giving that fire and brimstone sermon.  In reaction to that, I think that is what probably made me declare myself an atheist by the time I was a teenager.  I was corrected on that at that time, I was really an agnostic, or so I was told by a teacher.

Later on, I found some validity to Christianity.  I even imagined myself to be quite religious.  But that was kinda typical of me to exaggerate.  I learned from that too, so I try to avoid exaggerations- if I can.  The point is this: if the message is given softer, you may be more persuasive.  Pounding your fist in someone's skull may get your point home, but not the one you may have intended.  As soon as your back is turned, you may find that you may as well as saved yourself the trouble.  For example, if someone said to me that nobody is perfect and needs to be forgiven, I would have accepted that.  After all, that's basically what Jesus was saying.

I just bought the Kindle version of the book I mentioned in the previous post.  Before I did, I read some reviews on Amazon.  Some of those people were reacting the same way I did when I was a kid.  Well, I may be forewarned about the book.  However, forewarned is forearmed as it has been said.  Anyway, I am bringing to the table a bit of skepticism which I learned from the school of hard knocks.  Maybe the book is good, or maybe not.  I saw something I liked, so I will read it.  We'll see.

If there's anything else about what he says that I like, I'll be sure to post on it.

Richard Martin at TEAC4 conference

Talks about the need for energy to keep civilization going. Suggests that Roman Empire fell because of a lack of energy. Posted on Energy from Thorium blog.

Martin is the author of Super Fuel - Thorium the Green Energy Source for the Future


He also quotes from the book March of Folly. I noticed something very interesting in a quote from the Amazon review:
Folly is a child of power. "The power to command frequently causes failure to think."(p.32).

What did I tell you?   Ideology is the Bible to Power.  It is also an excuse not to think, in my opinion.

Damn, that's good

Glenn Reynolds links to a killer point, in my opinion.  What Obama said recently is to be found in Atlas Shrugged!  You didn't build that business?  Hey, Obama can't be that smart if he made a mistake like that.

Here's the quote lifted from Reynold's piece below:
“He didn’t invent iron ore and blast furnaces, did he?”


“Rearden. He didn’t invent smelting and chemistry and air compression. He couldn’t have invented his Metal but for thousands and thousands of other people. His Metal! Why does he think it’s his? Why does he think it’s his invention? Everybody uses the work of everybody else. Nobody ever invents anything.

She said, puzzled, “But the iron ore and all those other things were there all the time. Why didn’t anybody else make that Metal, but Mr. Rearden did?”

I threw in the emphasis.  "Nobody ever invents anything."  Wow.  Maybe we should get rid of copyrights, patents, trademarks, and all other intellectual property.  Nobody invents it, so nobody should own it.

What a moronic thing for Obama to say.  It's going to haunt him from now to November.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

News Anchor Fail Compilation 2011 || YDL

Some embarrassing faux pas from news anchors.

Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: The War on Pattern Recognition

Steve Sailer's iSteve Blog: The War on Pattern Recognition: In Slate , Shankar Vedantam of the Washington Post informs us how Science explains why Juan Williams is made nervous by Muslims on flights:...

I saw this yesterday on-

ParaPundit: Heartiste On The War Against Pattern Recognition

I wrote several times about ideology making you stupid, but here it is being discussed.  Actually, ideology must be designed to make you stupid, if this is any indication.

Don't think about anything, let your betters do that.  Chuckle, chuckle.

I think these ideologues don't have enough snap to find their asses with both hands.  But they are running the damned country.

Time to Clean House at the CFTC

By Paul B. Matthews,  American Thinker

Another example of media incompetence and failure- which is not what this article was about, but that's my take.  Look at this quote:

While most of the American media focused much of the past week on where Mitt Romney invested his money, or exactly what his role was at Bain Capital a decade and a half ago, another major financial scandal has hit the American financial markets with little to no fanfare.

So, Romney's association with Bain trumps this?!  This is big news and the media ignores it.  FAIL.


Here's an adult talking to adults

But what would Chris Matthews say to this?

We need somebody to explain what is necessary as an adult would explain to another adult. A lot of pain is coming and it is unavoidable. Acting like a two year old is not going to do anything to solve the problems we are facing.

The Essential Lesson of the Auto Bailout

The American Magazine

As of the 2008-2009 crisis, American workers in companies such as Ford, Honda of America, and Toyota had won the marketplace battle against GM and Chrysler for survival during hard times. They had planned successfully for a “rainy day,” proving their competiveness in the auto market. Unfortunately, however, they couldn't compete against the politicians in power, the rule-of-czar bankruptcy process, or intelligent design economics. When government wisdom, not consumer choice, decided which companies deserved to be kept alive and which types of cars consumers should decide to buy, it was the two failed companies that were rewarded; perversely, hard work and acting responsibly was not. What the responsible companies got was government-subsidized competition.


Got that?  Two failed companies were rewarded, hard work and responsibility was punished.  This is perverse.  Yet, Chris Matthews wants to think of it as a big success.  It should be noted that the source of GM's sales are the government, so the bailout hasn't really solved any problems at all.  It has only made things worse.

By the way, "rule of law v rule of czar" is a good line.

Here's Matthews on Obama's big "success"

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I want President Obama to focus on something between now and November. What I'd like him to do is speak simply and clearly to this country about what he's accomplished. I said simply and clearly. Remember Denzel Washington in the movie Philadelphia? He played the lawyer who told prospective clients to "explain this to me like I'm a two-year old.". . . He needs to sell his auto-rescue plan, his jobs act, his health-care act as if he were talking to a two-year old. And he can do it.


Do we want a president who runs the country on the basis that he has to explain things to us like we are two year olds? That's not only an insult, but it is coming from someone who is imcompetent if this is regarded as an example of a success.

Romney, on the other hand, doesn't have to run away from this, as Matthews implies. But that would require some adults in the room as he explains why a bankruptcy would have been a better idea.

Mongo only pawn in game of life

Hey, if it is true for Mongo, it must be true in general.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

With respect to capital flight...

An earlier post this morning, I noted that the rich in France are going to leave due to the confiscatory rates about to be imposed upon them.

These confiscatory rates are exactly what Paul Krugman and his ilk want to impose upon America.  He justifies this by saying that America had higher rates in the past and the country prospered.  However, this was in the forties and fifties when most of the industrialized world was still recovering from the devastation of World War II.  With high rates in America, where did the rich have as an option to flee to?  There were not so many good options, and none as good as America.

The situation Krugman wants to recreate is impossible today.  The world has recovered, so there are plenty of safe havens for the rich to run away to.  What's to prevent that from happening to America if Krugman gets his way?  More stringent regulations?  How are these working today?

The last thing this country needs is capital flight.  Krugman is fighting the last war.  Generals who fight the last war are losers.  No need to compound that misery.  There has to be a better way.

Single Women Switch To Romney

Dick Morris TV: Lunch Alert!

Morris is definitely bullish on Mitt.  We'll see.

EDITORIAL: Mind your own business, Obama

Washington Times

The government Mr. Obama worships isn’t a source of economic growth. It retards innovation, prevents jobs from being created and halts business expansion....This is the group that thinks unemployment checks and food stamps create jobs, that the public sector creates prosperity and that raising taxes on the productive to transfer it to the unproductive will create growth...Mr. Obama has no business talking about business. He has never created anything substantive and doesn’t understand those who have made it their life’s work.

Amen to that.

Who creates wealth?

Business leaders hit back at Obama after he says the wealthy AREN'T responsible for their own success
  • America's leading small business association has slammed Barack Obama for showing 'an utter lack of understanding' of the country's entrepreneurs when he told them: 'If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.'
  • The inflammatory campaign speech comments underline the extent to which Obama believes that the state rather than ordinary citizens create jobs and wealth. 
  • An NFIB spokesman added: 'I'm sure every small-business owner who took a second mortgage on their home, maxed out their credit cards or borrowed money from their own retirement savings to start their business disagrees strongly with President Obama's claim. They know that hard work does matter. [emphasis added] 
  • Mr Chavern wrote: ‘Success is apparently a collective effort - but where was that "collective" during the periods of risk-taking and failure? The vast majority of businesses fail. Period.
  • Obama's comments strongly echo controversial remarks made by Elizabeth Warren, a liberal darling and candidate for the US Senate in Massachusetts, in August 2011 when she said: 'There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.'
I didn't see the government making my losses good when my efforts to make a buck resulted in a loss.  They are only interested in you if you make money.  They also like to subsidize failure.  Take from the successful and give to the failures.  What kind of crazy thinking is that?

You have to have incentives in order to get people to take the risks so that they can benefit from the rewards.  If you take the rewards from them, they won't take the risks and society cannot benefit from their risk taking.


People react to incentives? You don't say.

Rich people are fleeing France to escape the confiscatory tax rate hikes.

Prime minister David Cameron angered the French last month when he said he would "roll out the red carpet" to wealthy French citizens and firms who wanted move out and pay their taxes in Britain.
But what do the French expect?  In order to be a socialist, you must believe that people don't respond to incentives.  But here's proof that they do.  So why be angry when people are only doing what you should expect that they would do.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Next Big Future: Various Groups that want to use Population Reducti...

Next Big Future: Various Groups that want to use Population Reducti...: Population matters used to be the Optimal Population Trust (OPT) The OPT pushed for draconian state controls on birth rates and on immigr...

China races ahead, but the West is trying to slow down and even commit suicide.  Who is behind this madness?

Obama's Negative Campaign Against Success

By Robert Tracinski

  • Yet the real focus of the left's negative campaign is on the issue of economic class.
  • What they are really attacking is wealth and success. 
  • Obama is signaling that his goal is not to boost the economy and make everyone prosperous. He wants us to forget about raising ourselves up and focus instead on knocking somebody else down.
  • Whatever you may think of Romney's political career, his career in the private realm is a story of unusual competence and achievement. Yet it is precisely that story that Obama wants to deny, disparage, and even criminalize.
  • The question in November is how many voters will accept this warped message--how many will be like Brownstein's swing voters--and how many will be repulsed by it. That, in turn, will depend on what Mitt Romney does to fight back, not just against the details of the negative attacks on him, but against the world view behind them. [emphasis added]
Excellent.  We are like the frogs in the rising temperature of an anti success mindset that Obama is creating.  It is happening slow enough so that people don't know that it is happening.  If it happened suddenly, they'd run, not walk away from this guy.

Bain attacks just another War on America tactic

Looking at the RealClearPolitics site, there's numerous pieces about the Bain attacks against Romney.

Stop and think about what that means.  Here's Obama gutting Welfare Reform, actively recruiting people to increase the Food Stamp rolls, canceling the Keystone Pipeline, expanding federal power to regulate businesses out of business, raising taxes on everybody who is still working, refusing to expand his executive power to unblock shovel ready projects even though he is expanding his executive power in many other ways- and now blaming a successful capitalist for being successful at creating and saving jobs.   Obama refusing to put people to work and insists upon giving away freebies, yet somehow he's better for the economy.  How's that been working out?  Has the economy been producing jobs?

This country was built on the work ethic.  What has Obama against that?  It was built on Capitalism, not on welfare.  What has Obama against people going back to work?

He is making war on what built this country.  That is so he can tear it down.  Why?

Obama a divider, not a uniter

Obama wants to blame everyone but himself for the polarization of American politics, but what about this?

  • When Rose asked Obama if he was on the list of those deserving some of the shared blame, he responded: “I think there is no doubt that I underestimated the degree to which in this town politics trumps problem solving.” Short answer: No.
  • So when Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) raised an objection in January of 2009 to the idea of a tax credit for people who don’t pay income taxes, the president’s haughty response—”I won. So I think on that one, I trump you”
  • he smirked in October of 2010 that after driving “the economy into a ditch” the Republicans could “come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.”
  • Clearly when Obama said of Rep. Paul Ryan’s deficit plan that the GOP’s “vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about pitting “children with autism or Down’s syndrome” against “every millionaire and billionaire in our society,” he meant it in the nicest possible way. Similarly, the “enemies” he promised to “punish” while addressing a Latino audience must have been someone other than the Republicans.
This is what you should expect from someone who doesn't share our values, nor does he seem to be like the rest of us.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today Is Bastille Day: The Differences In Our Revolutions

Dick Morris TV: History Video!

Morris points out that Obama is out of step with the American Revolution, and in more sympathy with the French.

Paul Krugman seems to admire the French model, so this seems to make sense as Krugman is typical of the left-wing viewpoint.

Nevada isn't a sure bet for Obama

even Democrats complain that the president hasn't done enough to fix the economy.

"We just tell them, 'Well, he's tried, but he can't get past the filibusters and the Republicans.'" At that point, she said, people sometimes hang up.

Blaming the Republicans is just wrong.  Here's an example of why jobs are not really Obama's main priority:
And calls for investment in infrastructure may lead people to recall his chuckling admission that there are no shovel-ready projects, thanks to regulatory and legal roadblocks. 

More excuse making.  But if he really had jobs as a priority, he would have waived those regulations and legal roadblocks like he did with respect to welfare reform of the nineties.   He is willing to make war on America with his imperial decrees, but not one of those decrees are helping people find jobs.  Washington is broken, alright, but he's the main reason that it is.  Blaming others for his own failure will not solve any problems.  When he goes, that will enable some real problem solving to take place.

Peter Diamandis - The best way to predict the future

Is to make it happen.

Uploaded by singularityu on Mar 10, 2010

Al Fin: "Have You Always Wanted to Change the World?"

Quotes- Peter Diamandis:
How many things don’t happen because people don’t believe they can?
We’ve gone from a society where if something wasn’t prohibited then it was legal to a society where if something isn’t explicitly permitted it’s illegal

Things don't happen by themselves.  Things don't happen just because the time has come for it to happen.  Things happen because certain people have the will to make it happen.  That's what I believe.  That's also what I believe to be the thing that's missing in this society.   Better get it back or we're finished.

Offering prizes like Diamandis is doing is a good thing.  But it may not be enough.  You will have to weed out the weak elements.  That may take a bit of a ruthless attitude that nobody is prepared for.  Somebody like Obama may force this will to respond and assert itself or to forever slink with their tails between their legs into the background while letting the forces of decay to take over.