More thoughts from Veronique de Rugy.
As the cancer on this presidency continues to metastasize, with trust in the president continuing to deteriorate, and a growing realization that the federal government is growing, or perhaps has grown beyond the limits and control intended by the Founders, it’s worthwhile to start to consider the possible political implications down the road. The conventional wisdom remains that, at worst, Barack Obama will lose the Senate next year, fail to regain the House, and be the lamest of ducks until the natural end of his term in 2017. But if things get bad enough, there is a much more radical, but completely constitutional scenario, in which the Republicans could get somewhat of a do over of last fall’s election. This will particularly be the case if enough people come to view its results as illegitimate, having been influenced by the tyrannical actions of the IRS and other federal agencies.
How could it happen? ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
I am completely unshocked to hear that schools of education do a terrible job of teaching teachers:
“We don’t know how to prepare teachers,” said Arthur Levine, former president of Teachers College at Columbia University and author of a scathing critique of teacher preparation. “We can’t decide whether it’s a craft or a profession. Do you need a lot of education as you would in a profession, or do you need a little bit and then learn on the job, like a craft? I don’t know of any other profession that’s so uncertain about how to educate their professionals.”
You don’t say.
Bob Zimmerman reports that AIAA seems to have been won over:
Historically, AIAA has not been considered a New Space organization. Its members mostly come from the older aerospace companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Since these companies have generally been hostile to the new commercial space companies like SpaceX and Virgin Galactic — seeing them as a dangerous and competitive threat — I would have expected an effort by AIAA to influence Congress would mean they are trying to encourage funding for Big Space projects like the Space Launch System (SLS). In the past it has been these Big Space projects that has filled the coffers of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The contracts for these project have been cost-plus, meaning that they have been able to rake in a lot of cash, whether or not they even build anything.
To my joy Mr. Shweyk’s presentation described something completely different. Instead, the AIAA is gung-ho for commercial space, and is doing everything it can to encourage Congress to come up with the money to fund the efforts of new companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, Orbital Sciences, and Boeing to build new cheap cargo and manned ferrying spacecraft to low Earth orbit. The Space Launch System was not on their agenda. They had no interest in promoting it. Instead, they wanted money to go to the new efforts, so that more rockets and spaceships could be built by more companies, for less money.
For this organization, dominated as it is by the big and older aerospace companies, to push this agenda suggests to me that the culture truly has shifted, and that private space is definitely winning the political and cultural battle.
You can only defend the indefensible for so long. Remaining with the old approaches will result in a moribund industry, and people are starting to realize it.
OK, it’s not a total data disaster, but basically, it potentially means the loss of almost all my outgoing email for the past three years or so.
When I migrated to Fedora 19 over the weekend, I did it on a new disk, retaining the old installation on the old one. After I did so, I copied my old files over to the new disk from it. Unfortunately, rather than doing it from the shell with a ‘cp -r *’ I just used the GUI tool to drag’n'drop. Which means that I didn’t get the hidden files. Which contain all of my Thunderbird folders. I still have all incoming mail, because I’m using IMAP, but the outgoing was in those folders.
It shouldn’t have been a problem, but when I went back to grab the rest, I’m getting an error message that the drive can’t be mounted, and warnings that the drive is failing. Is the data still recoverable? And if so, by me, or do I have to take it to a specialist?
One of the most amusingly stupid categories of spam I get is emails about how “Congress passed a bill” or “The president signed a law” resulting in lower auto insurance or (as they often idiotically say) “driving” rates. They sometimes try to tie it into current events. Here are two nutty subject lines today:
“President’s G8 Summit Meeting Yields Lower Auto Ins. For All,”
“Following meet with Putin, President announces lower auto ins. for all.”
Sadly, there are enough idiots out there that this probably does work. Until we come up with some cost for emailing, spam will persist.
Just what is that’s “moderate” about this guy, again?
…if we are to speak objectively and without comparison to even more extreme actors, these “pragmatic moderates” are anything but moderate, and their insidious “pragmatism” — i.e., their pose as conventonal political operatives rather than fire-breathing jihadists — makes them more dangerous.
And Assad was a “reformer.” Just ask that idiot, Hillary Clinton.
VDH explains who’s targeted, and who is not:
Note that the IRS is not interested in leaking to Democrat senators or former administration official rumors about George Soros’s income or the details of the tax returns of Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, or Bill Gates. Instead, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate bragged that he knew (falsely as it turned out) that Mitt Romney paid no income taxes. And former high administration official Austan Goolsbee claimed (also falsely as it turned out) that he too knew that the Koch brothers were shorting the IRS.
Note that only liberal groups like ProPublica leak information about the confidential donor lists of conservative activists, apparently given their familiar arrangement with the IRS. So far IRS chiefs are not looking at prominent Democrat politicians for tax violations, although for a time — cf. Tim Geithner, Tom Daschle, Hilda Solis — that might have been a fruitful profile for inquiry. (One encouraging side note: if you are a suspect white, mature, well-off, conservative, heterosexual, Christian male, you can still obtain exemption from federal suspicion by loudly announcing that you also are enthralled by Barack Obama.)
And note that IRS applications of pro-Israel groups were routed to an anti-terrorist unit. And why didn’t the IRS Inspector General do his job? Because he was probably intimidated by the administration.
I hope the outrage continues to grow, and the president’s poll numbers continue to fall, for the next year and a half.
[Update a few minutes later]
The government is completely out of control:
…it’s unclear whether any serious form of congressional oversight of any part of our federal government is still possible. We have 2.84 million federal workers in 15 departments, 69 agencies, and 383 non-military sub-agencies. Private contractors increasingly function as offshoots of federal agencies; and, astonishingly, 83,500 of those private contractors’ employees have top-security clearances — including, until this month, one high-school dropout named Edward Snowden.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, told a Federalist Society conference this month that the unelected, faceless bureaucracy “has become a fourth branch of government that has disrupted our constitutional framework and has a larger practical impact on the lives of citizens than all the other branches combined.” In a typical year, the number of laws that Congress passes is dwarfed by the number of new federal regulations that are issued by a factor of at least 15 to one. A citizen is ten times more likely to be tried by a federal agency than by an actual federal court, which means he’ll have far fewer legal protections.
Federal agencies are also given enormous deference in their interpretation of laws, and the Supreme Court expanded their power just last May when it ruled 5 to 4, in Arlington v. FCC, that agencies deserve deference in determining the jurisdictions of their power. In his dissent in this case, Chief Justice John Roberts quoted James Madison in the Federalist Papers No. 47 as warning that “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” Roberts then pointed out that “the accumulation of these powers in the same hands is not an occasional or isolated exception to the constitutional plan; it is a central feature of modern American government.”
Benghazi. The IRS targeting of conservative groups. Secret e-mail accounts used by top federal officials — such as former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and Labor Secretary nominee Tom Perez — to conduct official business. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s efforts to promote Obamacare with a private slush fund solicited from companies she regulates. Subpoenas for records of journalists. The NSA revelations.
How many warning signs — emerging virtually all at once — do we need to realize that the American people have lost control of their government? Not only that, but large sectors of the government have lost any ability to provide checks and balances or even monitor the bureaucracy.
We need a complete overhaul. This is exactly what the Founders feared.
I don’t agree with this (I assume that it’s his own opinion, not Eric’s):
APM will also make space colonization imperative, but for different reasons than for Eric Drexler’s original quest to find a solution to the impending global crisis posed by The Limits to Growth. What will the millions of people now involved in mining, manufacturing, distribution, retailing, transportation, and other services do if much less of these services will be required and most of them could be performed by robots? How will people earn a living if they can buy a desktop factory—something like a super 3D printer—and can produce most of what they need at home and no longer need to shop at Wal-Mart or Amazon? If people aren’t working and earning a good income they will no longer be able to buy stuff. Henry Ford recognized the problem and chose to pay his people well so that they could afford to buy his cars. By choosing to industrialize the Moon and colonize space, thousands and ultimately millions can be put to work earning a good income.
I think that this technology will enable space settlement, but I don’t see how in itself space settlement creates jobs, particularly for those who are becoming unemployable because they’re on the wrong side of the bell curve. That’s a big problem coming down the pike, and space isn’t a solution to it.
I agree with John Kelly — they’re nothing to worry about, for a long time. As Clark Lindsey said a few days ago, all they’re doing is proving that they too can keep spaceflight expensive and rare.
I have to say, though, that most of the comments over there are (as is unfortunately typical) pretty ignorant.
Bibi Netanyahu is prepared to prevent it, even if Barack Obama (among others) isn’t:
“The leaders of the Allies knew about the Holocaust in real time,” Netanyahu said at the opening of a permanent exhibit called “Shoah” in Block 27 at the Auschwitz- Birkenau State Museum.
“They understood exactly what was happening in the death camps. They were asked to act, they could have acted, and they did not.
“To us Jews the lesson is clear: We must not be complacent in the face of threats of annihilation. We must not bury our heads in the sand or allow others to do the work for us. We will never be helpless again.”
But the administration continues to fantasize that the barrier to the “peace process” is homes on the West Bank, rather than that one side that wants to destroy the other, while the other side refuses to acquiesce to its own destruction.
Is it going out of business?
As late as 1981, Hollywood could still muster up enough energy to care what the audience thinks and want to please it. Today, the American moviegoer is anathema, particularly now that he’s no longer buying sufficient quantities of DVDs to support the lavish lifestyle of Hollywood elites, despite following the advice of Hollywood elites who told him to stop buying DVDs.
It certainly deserves to.
Now they want to know?
Maybe these Washington reporters should have found out who Obama was before they foisted him upon us. Instead anyone digging around trying to find out about his past were called racist. Yet now four and a half years into his term suddenly they want to know who the guy is? Thanks for asking, folks.
Some of us had him figured out in 2008.
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