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Possibility of Life on One Hundred Planets & Microbes on a Moon

by coldwarrior ( 62 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Astronomy, Open thread, Science at March 28th, 2012 - 3:45 pm

It is starting to really look like we aren’t alone. Liquid water is the key for our ideas of life. Finding Microbes on one of Saturn’s moons would be a huge find as well.

 

THE Milky Way is home to tens of billions of rocky planets – including about 100 nearby – that could potentially harbour life, a new study has concluded.

Astronomers spent six years observing 102 of the most common type of stars in our galaxy, known as red dwarfs, to come up with this direct estimate of planets in the habitable zones around them.

They calculated that about 40 per cent of red dwarfs have super-earths – planets with masses between one and ten times that of Earth – in the not-too-close, not-too-distant zone where liquid water can exist.

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The research team leader, Xavier Bonfils, said about 160 billion red dwarfs – fainter, cooler and longer-lasting stars than the sun – exist in the Milky Way.

”Because red dwarfs are so common this leads us to the astonishing result that there are tens of billions of these planets in our galaxy alone,” Dr Bonfils, of the University of Grenoble in France, said.

Within 30 light years of earth, there are probably one hundred of these super-earths in habitable zones, he said.

While the temperature on these planets would be suitable for liquid water, red dwarf stars commonly experience eruptions or flares.

The x-rays and ultraviolet radiation released by these stellar events could reduce the chances of life existing there, the researchers said.

They used a European Southern Observatory telescope in Chile to make the observations and the results are to be published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

In the past 16 years astronomers have detected more than 700 planets outside our solar system, many of them massive planets, similar to Jupiter or Saturn, more than 100 times bigger than Earth.

The latest study, which looked at changes in the light spectrum of the stars to infer the presence of planets, suggests these giants are rarely found around red dwarfs.

It identified nine rocky super-earths. One was in a triple star system, known as Gliese 667.

This planet, Gliese 667 Cc, is the closest twin to our planet.

AND….

 

Is it Snowing Microbes on Enceladus?

March 27, 2012: There’s a tiny moon orbiting beyond Saturn’s rings that’s full of promise, and maybe — just maybe — microbes.

In a series of tantalizingly close flybys to the moon, named “Enceladus,” NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has revealed watery jets erupting from what may be a vast underground sea. These jets, which spew through cracks in the moon’s icy shell, could lead back to a habitable zone that is uniquely accessible in all the solar system.

Microbes on Enceladus? (seams, 558px)

Dramatic plumes, both large and small, spray water ice from many locations near the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. More than 30 individual jets of different sizes can be seen in this image captured during a flyby of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on Nov. 21, 2009. [more]

“More than 90 jets of all sizes near Enceladus’s south pole are spraying water vapor, icy particles, and organic compounds all over the place,” says Carolyn Porco, an award-winning planetary scientist and leader of the Imaging Science team for NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. “Cassini has flown several times now through this spray and has tasted it. And we have found that aside from water and organic material, there is salt in the icy particles. The salinity is the same as that of Earth’s oceans.”

Thermal measurements of Enceladus’s fissures have revealed temperatures as high as -120 deg Fahrenheit (190 Kelvin). “If you add up all the heat, 16 gigawatts of thermal energy are coming out of those cracks,” says Porco.

Microbes on Enceladus? (fissures, 200px)

The watery plumes of Enceladus come from icy fissures nicknamed “tiger stripes.” [more]

She believes the small moon, with its sub-surface liquid sea, organics, and an energy source, may host the same type of life we find in similar environments on Earth.

“The kind of ecologies Enceladus might harbor could be like those deep within our own planet. Abundant heat and liquid water are found in Earth’s subterranean volcanic rocks. Organisms in those rocks thrive on hydrogen (produced by reactions between liquid water and hot rocks) and available carbon dioxide and make methane, which gets recycled back into hydrogen. And it’s all done entirely in the absence of sunlight or anything produced by sunlight.”

But what makes Enceladus special is that its habitable zone offers itself up for easy access.

“It’s erupting out into space where we can sample it. It sounds crazy but it could be snowing microbes on the surface of this little world. In the end, it’s is the most promising place I know of for an astrobiology search. We don’t even need to go scratching around on the surface. We can fly through the plume and sample it. Or we can land on the surface, look up and stick our tongues out.  And voilà…we have what we came for.”

The source of Enceladus’s heat appears to be Saturn itself. Researchers say Saturn’s gravitational pull causes the moon’s shape to change slightly on a daily basis as it orbits. Flexing motions in its interior generate heat–like the heat you feel in a paperclip when you bend it back and forth rapidly.

Microbes on Enceladus? (plumes, 200px)

On March 27, 2012, Cassini flew just 46 miles above the south pole of Enceladus–and right through the spewing plumes. [more]

“But the tidal flexing occurring now is not enough to account for all the heat presently coming out of Enceladus. One way out of this dilemma is to assume that some of the heat observed today was been generated and stored internally in the past.”

Porco believes Enceladus’s orbit could have been much more eccentric, and the greater the eccentricity, she says, the greater the tidal flexing and resulting structural variations that produce the heat. In this scenario, the heat would have been stored inside the little moon by melting some of the ice to recharge the liquid sea.

“Now that the orbit’s eccentricity has lessened, the heat emanating from the interior is a combination of heat produced today and in the past.  But since more heat is coming out presently than is being produced, Enceladus is in a cooling off stage and the liquid water is returning to ice. There are models to show that it never really freezes entirely, so the eccentricity may increase again, restarting the cycle.”

Whatever is turning up the heat, Porco has a plan of action. It’s simple:

“We need to get back to Enceladus and check it out.”

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62 Responses to “Possibility of Life on One Hundred Planets & Microbes on a Moon”
( jump to bottom )

  1. 1 | March 28, 2012 3:57 pm

    I don’t think the elites want us to get off this planet. If we do, they can’t control us!


  2. MikeA
    2 | March 28, 2012 3:59 pm

    Lot of maybe’s and possibly’s in those articles. Sounds like an Obama speech…


  3. coldwarrior
    3 | March 28, 2012 4:09 pm

    MikeA wrote:

    Lot of maybe’s and possibly’s in those articles. Sounds like an Obama speech…

    we gotta start somewhere…

    maybe there is a passage to the spices from spain if we sail west….


  4. eaglesoars
    4 | March 28, 2012 4:10 pm

    As long as any life we find isn’t sentient I’m ok.

    Otherwise, I’m outta here.


  5. coldwarrior
    5 | March 28, 2012 4:17 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    As long as any life we find isn’t sentient I’m ok.
    Otherwise, I’m outta here.

    i for one, welcome our alien overlords.

    :lol:


  6. 6 | March 28, 2012 4:18 pm

    THE Milky Way is home to tens of billions of rocky planets

    ROTFLMAO… Now that is without a doubt the understatement of the millennium. The Milky Way has between 500 billion and 700 billion stars in it, all recent evidence suggest that stars without planets are extremely uncommon. The currently believed average is 5 to 7 planets per star system with between 1 and 3 being rocky planets. Do the math… :lol: :lol: :lol:


  7. eaglesoars
    7 | March 28, 2012 4:20 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    i for one, welcome our alien overlords

    ACORN would try to register them to vote.


  8. 8 | March 28, 2012 4:22 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    coldwarrior wrote:
    i for one, welcome our alien overlords
    ACORN would try to register them to vote.

    And hopefully get eaten for the efforts… :twisted:


  9. Philip_Daniel
    9 | March 28, 2012 4:28 pm

    @ Rodan:

    At this point in our evolution, we should be colonizing outer space, instead of having to defend ourselves against bloodthirsty seventh-century throwbacks…


  10. huckfunn
    10 | March 28, 2012 4:30 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    i for one, welcome our alien overlords.

    doriangrey wrote:

    And hopefully get eaten for the efforts…

    They are here to serve man… on a plate. :shock:


  11. Philip_Daniel
    11 | March 28, 2012 4:38 pm

    huckfunn wrote:

    coldwarrior wrote:
    i for one, welcome our alien overlords.
    doriangrey wrote:
    And hopefully get eaten for the efforts…

    They are here to serve man… on a plate.

    Maybe we’d deserve it?


  12. Lily
    12 | March 28, 2012 4:38 pm

    House panel clears way for administration subpoenas on drilling, coal reg probes

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/28/gop-house-will-issue-subpoenas-to-obama-administration-for-info-on-coal-regs/#ixzz1qRiCP1ex

    Hopefully this will go somewhere and they are serious with the investigation. *chickens coming home to roost* hopefully for bho.


  13. coldwarrior
    13 | March 28, 2012 4:39 pm

    Philip_Daniel wrote:

    huckfunn wrote:
    coldwarrior wrote:
    i for one, welcome our alien overlords.
    doriangrey wrote:
    And hopefully get eaten for the efforts…
    They are here to serve man… on a plate.
    Maybe we’d deserve it?

    our just deserts?


  14. Lily
    14 | March 28, 2012 4:40 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    coldwarrior wrote:

    i for one, welcome our alien overlords

    ACORN would try to register them to vote.

    How do we know they haven’t already? ;)
    If Mickey Mouse can vote surely some aliens could too!


  15. 15 | March 28, 2012 4:43 pm

    @ coldwarrior:
    @ eaglesoars:

    My big fear is that they are watching our T.V. and will judge our species accordingly. What happens when they watch our Presidential Debates for example, and then see that we in fact elected Barack Obama, or that Lady Gaga won some sort of an award for her, “music.” Think of Will Ferrell making his videos promoting Obamacare, etc.


  16. Da_Beerfreak
    16 | March 28, 2012 4:45 pm

    Flyovercountry wrote:

    @ coldwarrior:
    @ eaglesoars:
    My big fear is that they are watching our T.V. and will judge our species accordingly. What happens when they watch our Presidential Debates for example, and then see that we in fact elected Barack Obama, or that Lady Gaga won some sort of an award for her, “music.” Think of Will Ferrell making his videos promoting Obamacare, etc.

    They’ll never make it past the I Love Lucy reruns… :twisted:


  17. buzzsawmonkey
    17 | March 28, 2012 4:49 pm

    Microbe check!
    Microbe check!
    Microbe check!
    Microbe check!


  18. Da_Beerfreak
    18 | March 28, 2012 4:56 pm

    If an upscale Microbe went to a high end restaurant would it start dinner off with the primordial soup of the day?? Enquiring minds want to know… :cool:


  19. Bumr50
    19 | March 28, 2012 5:02 pm

    I should really expect things like this by now, BUT….

    Hyper-Spin: White House Suddenly Calls Obamacare “A Bi-partisan Bill,” The Individual Mandate “A Republican Idea”


  20. eaglesoars
    20 | March 28, 2012 5:07 pm

    @ Bumr50:

    Actually, the mandate did come from the right originally. Bob Dole I believe.

    And the Heritage Foundation supported it.


  21. 21 | March 28, 2012 5:10 pm

    Bumr50 wrote:

    I should really expect things like this by now,

    OK, that’s 20 lashes with a wet noodle for not seeing that coming from 100 light years away………… :twisted:


  22. Bumr50
    22 | March 28, 2012 5:11 pm

    @ eaglesoars:

    Not recently. And most CERTAINLY not bi-partisan.

    Except for Romney.

    Groan.


  23. coldwarrior
    23 | March 28, 2012 5:12 pm

    frank and dean always said booze is good for ya, baby. how about a martini!

    Men who have had a heart attack and continue to drink moderately, cut their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease almost in half when compared to nondrinkers. The study, which tracked U.S. male health professionals, also found that drinking lowered the risk of dying from any cause.

    The findings, which were published in the European Heart Journal, found that drinking approximately two alcoholic beverages a day lowered the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 42 percent and the risk of death from any cause by 14 percent.

    “Our findings clearly demonstrate that long-term moderate alcohol consumption among men who survived a heart attack was associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular mortality,” said Dr. Jennifer Pai, assistant professor of medicine at Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a research associate at Harvard School of Public Health. “We also found that among men who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol prior to a heart attack, those who continued to consume alcohol ‘in moderation’ afterwards also had better long-term prognosis.”


  24. 24 | March 28, 2012 5:13 pm

    eaglesoars wrote:

    @ Bumr50:
    Actually, the mandate did come from the right originally. Bob Dole I believe.
    And the Heritage Foundation supported it.


  25. eaglesoars
    25 | March 28, 2012 5:13 pm

    Bumr50 wrote:

    @ eaglesoars:
    Not recently. And most CERTAINLY not bi-partisan.
    Except for Romney.
    Groan.

    Oh, the bi-partisan part is COMPLETE bs -- that POS didn’t get one R vote.


  26. Bumr50
    26 | March 28, 2012 5:13 pm

    @ doriangrey:

    “Constitutional? WE WIN!!”

    “Unconstitutional? YOU LOSE!!”


  27. 27 | March 28, 2012 5:14 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    frank and dean always said booze is good for ya, baby. how about a martini!
    Men who have had a heart attack and continue to drink moderately, cut their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease almost in half when compared to nondrinkers. The study, which tracked U.S. male health professionals, also found that drinking lowered the risk of dying from any cause.
    The findings, which were published in the European Heart Journal, found that drinking approximately two alcoholic beverages a day lowered the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 42 percent and the risk of death from any cause by 14 percent.
    “Our findings clearly demonstrate that long-term moderate alcohol consumption among men who survived a heart attack was associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular mortality,” said Dr. Jennifer Pai, assistant professor of medicine at Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a research associate at Harvard School of Public Health. “We also found that among men who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol prior to a heart attack, those who continued to consume alcohol ‘in moderation’ afterwards also had better long-term prognosis.”

    I’ll drink to that………. :grin:


  28. coldwarrior
    28 | March 28, 2012 5:16 pm

    @ doriangrey:

    i always knew dr’s sinatra and martin were right!


  29. 29 | March 28, 2012 5:16 pm

    Bumr50 wrote:

    @ doriangrey:
    “Constitutional? WE WIN!!”
    “Unconstitutional? YOU LOSE!!”

    Ever notice how no matter how badly Israel pounds Hezbollah into the ground Hezbollah always claims they won? Same tactics…


  30. 30 | March 28, 2012 5:16 pm

    @ Bumr50:

    They called this piece of shit bi-partisan when they passed it. This was based on the concept that they held a meeting where Republicans were actually allowed to attend. It was a goofy assed notion in August of 2009 when they first said it, and it is even dumber today. All this is, is an attempt to subject Republican contenders for Congressional office to the ill affects of voting for this thing. It did not work for the 2010 midterms, and it won’t work now. Not because the GOP is packed with great people, but because not a single one of them, outside of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins voted for it. Last I checked, Olympia Snowe was quitting, and burning all of her bridges on the way out of town.


  31. 31 | March 28, 2012 5:17 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ doriangrey:
    i always knew dr’s sinatra and martin were right!

    now if we could just get you to understand the part about hops… :twisted: (proven to prevent cancer I might add, but the required dose is 40 times what is found in most lagers)


  32. coldwarrior
    32 | March 28, 2012 5:18 pm

    doriangrey wrote:

    coldwarrior wrote:
    @ doriangrey:
    i always knew dr’s sinatra and martin were right!

    now if we could just get you to understand the part about hops… (proven to prevent cancer I might add, but the required dose is 40 times what is found in most lagers)

    idont drink lagers. dont like them.

    i like british ales and stouts.


  33. 33 | March 28, 2012 5:20 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    doriangrey wrote:
    coldwarrior wrote:
    @ doriangrey:
    i always knew dr’s sinatra and martin were right!
    now if we could just get you to understand the part about hops… (proven to prevent cancer I might add, but the required dose is 40 times what is found in most lagers)

    idont drink lagers. dont like them.
    i like british ales and stouts.

    Which have 1/10th of the hops required for medicinal purposes… BWAHAHAH…


  34. coldwarrior
    34 | March 28, 2012 5:26 pm

    @ doriangrey:

    i have hop vines in my back yard that came from this place (brought over from europe)

    i used to use them when i brewed beer.


  35. coldwarrior
    35 | March 28, 2012 5:30 pm

    BreakingNews
    BreakingNews Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announces discovery of Apollo 11 rockets at the bottom of Atlantic -- bezosexpeditions http://t.co/skzhRMHy


  36. eaglesoars
    36 | March 28, 2012 5:36 pm

    @ coldwarrior:

    I had no idea Bezos was involved in stuff like that.

    good on him.


  37. Da_Beerfreak
    37 | March 28, 2012 5:43 pm

    Blue Origin is a privately funded aerospace company set up by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.


  38. Buffalobob
    38 | March 28, 2012 5:48 pm

    They’re more likely to find life on an obscure celestial body then finding intelligent life within the CBC.


  39. yenta-fada
    39 | March 28, 2012 6:01 pm

    Lily wrote:

    eaglesoars wrote:
    coldwarrior wrote:
    i for one, welcome our alien overlords
    ACORN would try to register them to vote.
    How do we know they haven’t already?
    If Mickey Mouse can vote surely some aliens could too!

    I just hope that the aliens don’t say “Take us to your leader”

    http://news.daylife.com/photo/0g0Z5P72GRbsU?__site=daylife&q=michelle+obama


  40. Da_Beerfreak
    40 | March 28, 2012 6:06 pm

    yenta-fada wrote:

    Lily wrote:
    eaglesoars wrote:
    coldwarrior wrote:
    i for one, welcome our alien overlords
    ACORN would try to register them to vote.
    How do we know they haven’t already?
    If Mickey Mouse can vote surely some aliens could too!
    I just hope that the aliens don’t say “Take us to your leader”
    http://news.daylife.com/photo/0g0Z5P72GRbsU?__site=daylife&q=michelle+obama

    If that don’t start an intergalactic war nothing will… :shock:


  41. yenta-fada
  42. Da_Beerfreak
    42 | March 28, 2012 6:15 pm

    @ yenta-fada:
    :grin:


  43. Calo
    43 | March 28, 2012 6:16 pm

    b>@ doriangrey:
    Do the math…

    DG, it’s always much more fun to watch you do the math.


  44. Aussie Infidel
    45 | March 28, 2012 6:20 pm

    Good day all you aliens … well you all are from my perspective.

    One only hopes the Gliese 667Cc -ites have high fences lest those Arab ‘refugees’ will be infesting the galaxy as well as Terra Firma


  45. Aussie Infidel
    46 | March 28, 2012 6:25 pm

    Health care works fine for small populations. Big ones … mmm Not so Much.
    It works in NZ and kinda sorta works in Australia (about 15-20 million seems to be about the limiting size of a population.)
    The solution is so obvious that it is crazy that nobody thought of it … yet. Let the States do what States are supposed to do. Let the Feds do what the feds are supposed to (regulate cross state commerce). The drafters of your Constitution knew a thing or two about the human condition.

    Trust ‘em!


  46. Aussie Infidel
    47 | March 28, 2012 6:27 pm

    Da_Beerfreak wrote:

    Scalia: Reading entire health care law would be cruel and unusual punishment

    Those old Justices would get a hernia just trying to lift the legislation off the floor and onto their desks! :)


  47. coldwarrior
    48 | March 28, 2012 6:40 pm

    @ Aussie Infidel:

    g’day mate!

    (how was my accent on that one?)

    :lol:


  48. RIX
    49 | March 28, 2012 6:43 pm

    Greetings & salutations.
    Nobody can predict with certainty how the Court
    will come down on the Individual Mandate & the rest
    of ObamaCare.
    But i’ll bet that the chief weasel & the rest of the den
    at the White House are not so cocky now.


  49. song_and_dance_man
    50 | March 28, 2012 6:50 pm

    well, Macker ought to be here soon. If he’s up for it we might be able to blog together tonight. That is if my wireless modem works with his iPad.


  50. Bumr50
    51 | March 28, 2012 7:18 pm

    THE Milky Way

    Is that like “THE Ohio State University”?

    Like if I find myself doing a TV intro for an intergalactic sporting event someday, I’d say “Bumr50 -- THE Milky Way”?


  51. Aussie Infidel
    52 | March 28, 2012 7:18 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    @ Aussie Infidel:

    g’day mate!

    (how was my accent on that one?)

    Accent??

    Bonza beudddy maaate! :0


  52. Aussie Infidel
    53 | March 28, 2012 7:19 pm

    Interesting commentary. Thought you guys might be interested.

    Elephants Down Under
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
    Published: March 27, 2012
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    Christchurch, New Zealand

    Josh Haner/The New York Times
    Thomas L. Friedman
    Go to Columnist Page »
    Readers’ Comments
    Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
    Read All Comments (306) »
    I’ve learned three things visiting New Zealand and Australia: There is a place in the world where rugby is front-page news. There is a place in the world — the Auckland airport — where the restrooms have digital clocks in the entryway telling you hourly when they were last cleaned and when they will be cleaned again. And there is a place in the world where moderate Republicans still exist — unfortunately, you have to take a 13-hour flight from Los Angeles to get there.

    Indeed, to go from America — amid the G.O.P. primaries — to Down Under is to experience both jet lag and a political shock. In New Zealand and Australia, you could almost fit their entire political spectrum — from conservatives to liberals — inside the U.S. Democratic Party.

    Or as Paul Quinn, a parliamentarian from New Zealand’s conservative National Party, once told a group of visiting American Fulbright scholars: “I will explain to you how our system works compared to yours: You have Democrats and Republicans. My Labor opponents would be Democrats. I am a member of the National Party, and we would be … Democrats” as well.

    For instance, there is much debate here over climate policy — Australia has a carbon tax, New Zealand has cap and trade — but there is no serious debate about climate science. Whereas in today’s G.O.P. it is political suicide to take climate change seriously, in Australia and New Zealand it is political suicide for conservatives not to.

    In Australia and New Zealand, “there are plenty of climate skeptics in politics, but they know it’s a political loser to say so,” explained the Australian environmentalist Paul Gilding. “This became the case after Australia suffered its worst-ever drought, lasting more than a decade.” Now, “there is strong public acceptance of the basic scientific conclusion that the climate is changing and humans are a significant contributor.”

    Tony Abbott, the current leader of Australia’s main conservative party, once crudely dismissed climate change, but after he became the party boss, even he embraced the need to bring down emissions. Instead of cap and trade, though, he argued for industry friendly taxpayer-funded incentives to cut carbon.

    Malcolm Turnbull, Abbott’s predecessor, supported cap and trade, as did his predecessor. “On climate,” Turnbull told me, “there has been an assault on the science, and it has had an impact, but not to the point of the center-right parties adopting a ‘climate-change-science-is-bunk’ platform the way the G.O.P. appears to have done.”

    Conservatives in Australia and New Zealand have also long accepted single-payer national health care systems. The Labor Party ruled New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, when it was replaced by the conservative National Party. During Labor’s tenure, it passed legislation legalizing civil unions, giving prostitutes the same health and safety protections as other workers, and extending income subsidies for families with children, noted Jon Johansson, a political scientist at Victoria University of Wellington. While these moves were resisted by conservatives when in opposition, he said, they have “not tried to repeal any of them” now that they are in power.

    There are many reasons for the narrowness of the political spectrum here, Johansson added. Neither New Zealand nor Australia are strong churchgoing countries, so social issues don’t resonate as much. Both being isolated, sparsely populated, pioneering communities — New Zealand has only 4.5 million people — they have strong egalitarian traditions and believe the state has a role to play in making sure everyone gets a fair shake.

    “We also have compulsory voting,” said Turnbull. You get fined if you don’t vote. “In a voluntary voting system like yours, there is always the temptation to run hard on hot-button issues that will fire up the base and get them out to vote. In a compulsory voting system, your base has to vote — as does everyone else — and so the goal is to target the middle ground.”

    To be sure, conservatives out here have all the low-tax, free-market, free-trade, less-government instincts of their American colleagues, but it is tempered by the fact that campaign donations and lobbying are much more restricted.

    Looking at America from here, makes me feel as though we have the worst of all worlds right now. The days when there were liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, who nudged the two parties together, appear over. We don’t have compulsory voting. Special interest money is out of control, and we lack any credible Third Party that could capture enough of the center to force both Democrats and Republicans to compete for votes there. So we’ve lost our ability to do big, hard things together. Yet everything we have to do — tax reform, fiscal reform, health care reform, energy policy — is big and hard and can only be done together.

    “A lot of us who love your country,” said Johansson, “do not see where change can come from” in America these days. “We see all the barriers you have now to structural and fundamental change. It feels like you’ve lost your amazing ability to adapt politically.”

    A version of this op-ed appeared in print on M


  53. coldwarrior
    54 | March 28, 2012 7:21 pm

    Aussie Infidel wrote:

    coldwarrior wrote:
    @ Aussie Infidel:
    g’day mate!
    (how was my accent on that one?)

    Accent??
    Bonza beudddy maaate! :0

    :lol:

    i’ve been practicing in case me and the wife and the ankle biters have to get retreat from here.


  54. coldwarrior
    55 | March 28, 2012 7:23 pm

    @ Aussie Infidel:

    friedman doesn’t explain why labor got whacked in queensland….i hear it was all about climate taxes and enviro crap.


  55. The Osprey
    56 | March 28, 2012 7:25 pm

    @ song_and_dance_man:

    He sent me an sms message at 3:21 Pacific, 4:21 your time…he was passing through Hatch.


  56. Alberta Oil Peon
    57 | March 28, 2012 7:33 pm

    @ Aussie Infidel:
    Friedman is an ass. NYT, doncha know? Goes with the territory.


  57. 58 | March 28, 2012 7:55 pm

    coldwarrior wrote:

    BreakingNews
    BreakingNews Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announces discovery of Apollo 11 rockets at the bottom of Atlantic – bezosexpeditions http://t.co/skzhRMHy

    Though they’ve been on the ocean floor for a long time, the engines remain the property of NASA.

    Hey Bezos, maybe you should do a little research, in international waters, anything salvaged from the bottom of the ocean belong to whomever brings it to the surface. It’s known as Shipwreck Law, only Military vessels and designated Historic wrecks are immune to that prevision. The engines from Apollo 11 don’t fall under either category.


  58. 59 | March 28, 2012 7:59 pm

    Calo wrote:

    b>@ doriangrey:
    Do the math…

    DG, it’s always much more fun to watch you do the math.


  59. waldensianspirit
    60 | March 28, 2012 8:04 pm

    Wow!, Kagan is an idiot!!!


  60. 61 | March 28, 2012 8:06 pm

    waldensianspirit wrote:

    Wow!, Kagan is an idiot!!!


  61. waldensianspirit
    62 | March 28, 2012 8:07 pm

    @ doriangrey:
    :lol: :mrgreen: :lol:


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