John B. Wells was joined by experts on society, history, and culture, James Bennett and Mike Lotus, who discussed how America is currently going through a painful transition period, but our best days may be yet to come. "The current crisis we are in is not the demise of America," Lotus contended, suggesting that the present polarization of society is a pang experienced by the nation as it transforms into something new and the populace grapples with how to adjust to this evolution. Driving the transformation of America, they argued, is the breakdown of our current system of government, particularly the "welfare state model," which has shown to be unsustainable going into the future.
While the authors were concerned about the increase in police militarization and government spying, they suggested that these trends are symptomatic of systemic failure which they see happening to the country. Bennett explained that as a political system breaks down, it sees diminishing returns from its usual practices which leads to people in power to "double down" on their tactics in an attempt to maintain the status quo. However, Lotus dismissed the notion that the United States is not headed toward a "1930's like Nazi takeover scenario," since America has historically been resistant to totalitarian government or fascist political parties. Additionally, he surmised that transforming America into dictatorship would require "massive support" and could not be done via a small coup or executive order.
Ultimately, the duo predicted widespread positive changes for America that could come into effect within the next 30 years as the transition to 'America 3.0' blooms. Lotus anticipates the end of a large, centralized federal government in favor of one which focuses on its "core functions," such as defense and maintaining free trade throughout the country. He also suggested that technological advances such as 3D printing will revolutionize manufacturing. "Once you can print anything anywhere, the need to transport it from one place to another really diminishes," Bennett observed, noting that 3D printing could spell the end of the shipping industry and, in turn, greatly benefit the environment. Ensuring that the this promising future for America comes to fruition, Lotus stressed, requires "replacing the things that aren't working, repairing the things that are worth saving and preparing ourselves for a better future."
Enveloped by the vast expanse of the cosmos, NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins set about repairing the cooling system of the ISS on Saturday. The spacewalking duo worked so quickly that they completed the day's planned tasks with time to spare and, thus, tackled additional steps of the repair job. As such, the originally expected third spacewalk for the project, scheduled to happen on Christmas Day, may now no longer be required. More on the story at Space.com.
Bumper music from Saturday December 21, 2013