Astronomers have discovered about 600 planets swirling around the stars that could possibly have more intelligent beings than us roaming in their confines. Ten of them are about earth’s size and receive about the same amount or sunlight. Since 1955 we have spent billions of dollars attempting to contact extraterrestrials on these other planets. The program Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) started in earnest in 1960 utilizing a 26 meter radio telescope. Russia joined in with omnidirectional radio antennas sweeping the skies.
In the 1980s we tried to find messages on 131,000 narrow band radio channels. By 1985 we had analyzed 8.4 million channels. The University of California at Berkeley is presently using the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico to listen for transmissions. This single-aperture radio telescope is 1,000 feet in diameter and is operated by the National Science Foundation. Still not a word for us. Not even a sigh from ET. No grunt from R2 the ET Drold. No messages for the Kardashians from anybody in the X- Files. Not even a 10-4.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium and talkshow host of Star Talk, wrote in his book Death By Black Hole that “to declare that Earth must be the only planet with life in the universe would be inexcusably bigheaded of us.” Tyson recently rattled Bible-Thumpers while hosting and narrating TV shows about the universe by discussing evolution’s role in the development of life on earth. The atheist scientist Stephen Hawking has added to the mystery of no contact by saying perhaps humans would be smart to remain wary of extraterrestrial life so we don’t become victims of stronger aliens. He said they may suck our brains out. Tyson has wondered: “Perhaps we have been observed by aliens and upon close examination of human conduct and human behavior they have concluded that there is no sign of intelligent life on earth.” Ouch! Tyson adds: “I think his (Hawking) fear about aliens is a reflection of his actual knowledge about how humans treat each other, not real knowledge about how actual aliens would treat us.”
I wonder if aliens have visited the International UFO Museum and Research Center In Roswell, N.M. Corky loves the idea of UFOs so we had to stop. That place may have convinced aliens not to have anything to do with us. The 1947 Roswell “incident” and the “official” autopsies of the four aliens discovered near their airship are quite convincing. Perhaps Tyson is right. Through careful observation of our culture they may have decided we are not ready for prime time in an orderly universe.
In an interview Tyson made this comment about our dominion over life on earth: “You don’t walk by a worm on the street and say ‘Gee, I wonder what he’s thinking. No, you step on the worm.” There’s not much doubt we have little reverence for the life that surrounds us -- or even for the lives of our fellow human beings. Examples of this attitude abounds. On October 2, four teenagers invaded the Foster Farms Chicken Ranch in California and killed more than 900 chickens with a golf club and other blunt instruments. Think of the effort. Think of the blood and mess. One could also think of the innocent chickens. Maybe they were just worms on the path. What could motivate these kids to commit such an inchicken act? No respect for life? Albert Schweitzer made sure he didn’t step on ants while walking on a path in the woods. He had a reverence for life. Perhaps our observing aliens saw this bizarre act and concluded: “No Way!”
I see Wall Street “farmers” who have never slopped hogs, fed chickens, milked a cow, or stepped in horse manure are trying to get “’Ag-Gag” legislation passed in many states to shield themselves and their corporations from cruelty to animals charges. Films, videos and photos are worth thousands of words in court. Animals consumed by us used to have many good days and only one bad day. That day they ended up In the market. Now almost all animals only have bad days. Chickens live in cages so small they can’t stretch their wings.Pregnant pigs lie in gestation crates so small they can’t turn around. Beef and dairy cattle never see green grass. Aliens can observe the thousands of cattle near El Paso and Sacramento standing in muck or dust, waiting for their daily handouts.
The next time you eat a succulent pork chop, think of the pig that stood in his own excrement all of his life to provide it for you. As a farm boy I have been around animals enough to know they each have a uniqueness. There is an amazing picture taken of four Swiss cows experiencing their first day in spring pasture after being Inside most of the winter. Not a single foot is on the ground in the picture as they dance and prance on the green grass.
One might assume that if we are being observed by aliens they certainly should be more intelligent than us and know something about our reproductive system. If they had observed Dr. John Brinkley of Milford, Kan. back in the 1920s they might have had a good laugh -- if they laugh -- over his radio scam. He claimed he could restore human virility by replacing unproductive testicles in the testicular sac with very virile goat gonads. He made a fortune replacing gonads for $750. The operation took 15 minutes. I wonder how the goats felt about that.
I remember that the four Roswell aliens had some human physical characteristics but genitalia was missing -- and there were no boobs. We could only guess how they reproduced. I do wonder what aliens thought when they observed the English bisexual author Patricia Highsmith who had an obsession about garden snails. According to good authority she raised hundreds of them in her garden, wrote amusing stories about them, and often brought some of them with her when she was invited to dinner parties. She always wanted snails to accompany her, so she hid her rather slimy pets between her boobs when she traveled so the train inspectors wouldn’t spot them. If you wish to learn more about her there is a biography “Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith” by Andrew Wilson. She is an amazing member of the human race while providing a real puzzle for aliens.
According to the “’Encyclopedia of Wars” experts, the world has had 1,723 armed conflicts in the modem era, 123 caused by religious squabbles of one kind or another. Wars are hard to miss. Aliens might not want to get in the middle of another. Maybe if they caught the thoughts of my two favorite Marine generals they might understand our culture a little better. General Chesty Puller, my old Second Marine Division commander, had the best definition of war I’ve ever heard. He said simply: ‘”War is Hell.” Perhaps you have read parts of Marine Major General Smedley Butler’s famous speech about the military man’s role in war. Tough. Even if you have, read it again and again. An edited version should be posted above the door of every Wall Street investment banker’s door:
“War is just a racket … lt is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses ... I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers ... I spent 33 years and four months in active military service … in the Manne Corps. I spent most of my time being a high dass muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the Bankers. In short I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism .... I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues. I helped in the raping of a half dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested ... Looking back on it, I feel I could have given Al Capone (Chicago gangster) a few hints.” So “hell-and-racket” wars between humans dominate the planet, easily observable from space by intelligent beings. Why Join in that mess?
With wars going on in many sections of the world, it must have been very difficult for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to find a recipient for the award among hell and rackets. They finally settled on Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old girl from Pakistan who nearly had her brain blown apart by Taliban in a religious war among faith, reason, and ignorance, and a 60-year-old Hindu man from India who lobbies against child slavery. No president, no prime minister, no secretary of state, no pope or religious leader was selected. It was fitting. Most of them were very busy waging wars, not peace. Many leaders not involved in actual fighting wars just sat on their hands, waiting for the next election. Profiles in political courage are no longer being written -- or performed.
The Taliban is opposed to any education for girls and women because they don’t like anybody screwing around with their property. And women, if educated, might force the men to actually live in a century beyond the 14th. Without women the only accomplishment for fundamentalist Taliban Muslims is learning how to sign Western oil checks. My philosophy in the Middle East mess is to continue to urge Muslims to kill Muslims until they come to their senses. Maybe we can get rid of a billion radical Sunnis before that happens. Remember, this is the 15th Crusade since 700 AD. Can you imagine what a forward observer for an alien nation is thinking when watching the earth’s Middle East? We would have to be crazy to get involved in this planet’s messes!
Research by The Chronicle, an agency that cover the nonprofits of the world, revealed that Americans who earn above $200,000 gave 4.6 percent of their income to charity from 2006 to today. Those earning less than $100,000 gave 9.1 percent. What’s the deal? Are the richer really psychopaths who think only of themselves? It is certainly possible! The rich like to give to arts, music, and theater nonprofits instead of to the poor and homeless because they get more public recognition from TV and newsprint. Citizens of Utah are listed as the most generous, but that’s because the Mormon Church demands 10 percent tithing.
North Dakotans, making mucho dollars from the Bakken and other oil interests, actually had the biggest decline in giving since the oil revival. What is that all about? As newcomers come to the state for well-paying jobs, social services are really stretched for cash because of the desperate numbers coming for jobs. If there are no contacts between aliens and earth, perhaps the aliens recognize that a society that does not take care of all of its members is one they don’t want to contact. Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey, known as the “Happy Warrior” of Minnesota and the Democratic Party, came up with the best moral tests for the purpose of government in a speech given to the Democratic National Convention: “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.” These are words we no longer live by, if we ever did.
Will intelligent aliens ever decide to contact us with “Take me to your leader?” Or will they contact us with “Take me to Malala of Pakistan and Kailash of lndia?” These two could be the real leaders in making Planet Earth attractive for visitation by friendlies. May it come to pass.
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