23 February 2008

We must Declare War on Gravity. Now!!

Some old numbers and a (possibly) new interpretation.

Back in August of 2006, Reason Magazine ran a story about the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack, and what they concluded was that I have a .0781% chance of being killed by a terrorist of any stripe--and that's "if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity." I also have a .4761% chance of being killed by falling down. That means gravity is 6 times more likely to kill me than a terrorist is.

Gravity, of course, has long been a bane of human freedom. Since Aristotle we've known that gravity was against everything free humans stand for, but it wasn't until Sir Isaac Newton that we were able to more clearly identify the threat--a threat that Albert Einstein has enabled us to fully understand. What we know now about gravity's inner-workings and motivations has, unfortunately, not slowed its machinations against human freedoms. Gravity is a killer that respects no gender, ethnic, or national boundaries; it will strike anyone--the nine-year-old Ukrainian gymnast, the poor Hispanic window-washer, the drunk fraternity boy, or the New Zealand mountain climber. In short, it is a force that will not stop unless we stop it.

Although there is an argument about whether or not the War on Terror is making terrorism more likely there is absolutely no question that fighting an unsuccessful War on Gravity will not worsen its effects. That, coupled with the significantly higher threat that gravity poses, leads us to the logical conclusion that we should be spending a lot more money attempting to destroy gravity as opposed to trying to destroy a less perilous threat like terrorism.

In that vein, I submit a proposal for your consideration. Last year, President Bush requested a budget of $72,400,000,000 to continue fighting the War on Terror. Since gravity is much more dangerous and causes many more fatalities, I propose funding the War on Gravity at $434,400,000,000. Since the threat is 6 times greater, the funding should be 6 times higher than the War on Terror, and this estimate is conservative since the dollar is not worth what it was in February of 2006 when President Bush made his request and since we do not yet have a plan of attack for ridding all free peoples from the specter of gravity.

If we work together on this, I am confident that we will rid the world of this insidious threat and breaker of old people's hips.

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