It’s been seventy-two years, now. and the event is passing out of living memory. We should remember, but given the state of public education, in another generation it will either not be taught at all, or as some sort of demonstration of the intrinsic racism of America.
When the hippies were expelled from the garden?
A new essay from Bill Whittle:
Anduril reminds me that there is no Greatest Generation. There is no sword broken; there is no Golden Age lost and locked in the past. There are only shards lying before us, waiting for us to gather the will to reforge and wield them. It’s a decision, not a doom or a destiny, and we have to make it every day.
I don’t know if we can stop the destruction of everything we love in this world. I don’t know that we can destroy this all-seeing eye that seems to watch us all now, day and night, in this once-free land. I don’t know if all of my efforts will amount to anything at all, in the end, and I don’t know if yours will either.
I only know that every day I will make a decision to do everything I can to make sure my land, my realm, my America does not fall into darkness today.
I didn’t expect the book to be available for purchase at Amazon for another couple weeks. This is the first thing in this project that happened ahead of schedule.
Working on e-versions now.
This isn’t creepy at all.
What color shirts do they get to wear?
[Update a few minutes later]
Related: ObamaCare and the totalitarian mindset:
Suppose some inventor hatches an idea for what he thinks would be a great and revolutionary new product. He raises money from investors, sets up office, hires people–and fails spectacularly. The company’s customer service is atrocious, the product is expensive and lousy, and the whole business plan is fundamentally flawed. Who’s to blame?
The news media, of course. After all, journalists could have put out stories touting the virtues of the product and explaining how to navigate the crummy customer-service system, and maybe then the whole business plan would have worked out.
That, at any rate, is the argument Paul Waldman puts forth in an article for the leftist American Prospect. Of course being a good leftist, Waldman is not blaming the media for the failure of a private business. But then neither would any nonleftist. Yet because the enterprise in question is a governmental one–ObamaCare, in case you’ve been away from Earth for the past two months–the argument somehow makes sense to him.
We find it not only wrongheaded but sinister (in every sense of the word). Waldman argues that journalists have a “responsibility” to provide “audiences with practical information that could help them navigate the new system”–and not just that, but to provide such information “repeatedly or people won’t get it.”
Remember, as the Democrats told us last year, government is the only thing we all belong to.
“Almost everyone in those days accepted that fascism had emerged from the revolutionary Left.”
The Left was just fine with Mussolini and Hitler until the latter turned on Stalin. Then they took over academia and rewrote history.
We’ve come a long way.
The real parallels:
Iran’s motive for proposing to annihilate the Jewish State is the same as Hitler’s, and the world’s indifference to the prospect of another Holocaust is no different today than it was in 1938. It is the dead’s envy for the living.
Dying civilizations are the most dangerous, and Iran is dying. Its total fertility rate probably stands at just 1.6 children per female, the same level as Western Europe, a catastrophic decline from 7 children per female in the early 1980s. Iran’s present youth bulge will turn into an elderly dependent problem worse than Europe’s in the next generation and the country will collapse. That is why war is likely, if not entirely inevitable.
And Obama/Kerry seem determined to increase the likelihood, even if unwittingly.
[Update a few minutes later]
And then there’s this:
Obama’s commitment to rapprochement with Iran arises from deep personal identification with the supposed victims of imperialism. That is incongruous, to be sure. Persia spent most of its history as one of the nastier imperial powers, and its present rulers are no less ambitious in their pursuit of a pocket empire in the Shi’ite world. The roots of his policy transcend rationality. Israel can present all the evidence in the world of Iran’s plans to build nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and the Iranians can cut the Geneva accord into confetti. Obama will remain unmoved. His heart, like his late mother’s, beats for the putatively oppressed peoples of the so-called Third World.
I think that there is a lot of truth to D’Souza’s thesis.
I don’t really have much to say about him, other than what I wrote about space policy, except that I think he is the most overrated president in American history. Not the worst, but definitely the most overrated. Actually, though, I’ll have to confess that he only regained that status in the past few weeks or so, because prior to that, for the past five years, Obama had the crown.
JFK just wasn’t that into you.
My space-related thoughts on the anniversary of the assassination, over at USA Today.
Some thoughts, and a link, from Mark Steyn.
Not all that stunning, really, to close observers. I assume he calculates that he’s already gotten as much political mileage as he needs, or is likely to get, from his faux association with Lincoln.
I have a piece up on that subject over at Reason. It’s a reprise of some of the arguments I make in the book, which I now expect to be available next week (my printer screwed up). I’d hoped to have them available for SpaceUp LA this weekend, but that’s not going to happen.
A takedown of Cass Sunstein’s idiotic theory:
We aren’t seeing a right-leaning populist surge today because of Alger Hiss; we are seeing it because many Americans believe that President Obama’s liberal and technocratic agenda represents a threat to a way of life they value. We are seeing it because many Americans blame the establishment of both parties both for the financial crisis and for the vast transfer of resources to the wealthy that came after the crash. We are seeing it because whether you look at foreign or domestic policy, the technocratic suggestions of the Great and the Good have not been helping ordinary Americans much for the last 20 years.
Via Meadia isn’t a Tea Party house organ, and any tea parties at the stately Mead manor are more about Earl Grey than Ayn Rand. But we don’t think Tea Partiers are wrong to see President Obama’s political goals as fundamentally opposed to their own vision of what America should be. They aren’t angry because they are stupid, and deep disagreement with technocratic liberalism is not a mental disease.
But if it is, ObamaCare will cover it. One way or the other.
Hey, J. Edgar, Herbert? Who cares?
It’s all good. Or bad. Or whatever.
…and bamboo spears. Bill Whittle, on the need for a change in strategy.
This is one of the reasons that I don’t call myself a conservative. The other is that I’m not a conservative.
Is it a job only for government employees?
As a commenter over there says, can’t they find some astronomer other than Tyson for an opinion on this?
I’d go further, and ask why they imagine an astronomer knows anything about it.
More people should laugh at the partisan clowns at CNN:
PAUL: (Laughs) No. I’ve always been a Republican, and I’m one of those people who actually is a real lover of the history of the Republican Party from the days of abolition to the days of civil rights. The Republican Party has a really rich history. In our state, I’m really proud of the fact that the ones who overturned Jim Crow in Kentucky were Republicans fighting against an entirely unified Democratic Party, so I am proud to be Republican. I can’t imagine being anything else.
What an idiot she is. Why would he want to become a member of the true racist party?
I’m not a big fan of the holiday, but I’m also not a big fan of the politically correct brigades who condemn it. Some thoughts from Instapundit.
I’m seeing on my Twitter timeline that he has died. If so, John Glenn is the only Mercury 7 astronaut left.
Yes, Madison anticipated government shutdowns. It was designed that way. What he didn’t anticipate, or at least hoped against, was political parties. He thought that the branches would value their prerogatives more. I’ve heard some ignorami in the past talk about “checks and balances” and “balance of power” as referring to parties. No.
That’s what’s unprecedented:
Obama would like the public to think he can’t negotiate and that to do so would be unheard of. But in this, as in so many other things, he’s lying. What is actually going on here is that, in the past, presidents who have had to deal with divided government (as Obama is; the House is in Republican hands) have always known that in such a situation they must negotiate. Whichever party they have been affiliated with, and whether you think they were good presidents or bad ones, they have kept faith with the basic gentleman’s/woman’s agreement on which our government has always run, and that is that if the other side was duly elected to be in control of another branch of government, that group has some legitimate power and must be negotiated with.
Obama is different. He had the brilliant idea that, although Republicans are in control of the House right now, they have no power unless they agree with him, and it is okay for him to defy them because it will have no repercussions on either him or his party (which is largely aligned with him). Therefore he can Just Say No to whatever Republican demands might be, and blame them for the failure to come to any sort of agreement. And the reason he is able to get away with this is a simple one: he knows the media will not call him on it, but will instead support him and amplify his message.
It’s a toxic combination, and that’s what’s “unprecedented”—at least in this country.
He’s a pretty toxic president.
…and the future of liberty:
it is worth pausing to register the medium in which the ideas unfold: English. Nalapat remarks that “The English language is . . . a very effective counter-terrorist, counter-insurgency weapon.” I think he is right about that, but why? Why English? In a remarkable essay called “What Is Wrong with Our Thoughts?,” the Australian philosopher David Stove analyzes several outlandish, yet typical, specimens of philosophical-theological linguistic catastrophe. He draws his examples not from the underside of intellectual life—spiritualism, voodoo, Freudianism, etc.—but from some of the brightest jewels in the diadem of Western thought: from the work of Plotinus, for example, and Hegel, and Michel Foucault. He quoted his examples in translation, he acknowledges, but notes that “it is a very striking fact . . . that I had to go to translations. . . . Nothing which was ever expressed originally in the English language resembles, except in the most distant way, the thought of Plotinus, or Hegel, or Foucault. I take this,” Stove concludes, “to be enormously to the credit of our language.”
Unfortunately, the people in power right now resonate much more strongly with Hegel and Foucault than they do with Locke and Madison. Not to mention Rousseau. And they care little for liberty, preferring instead “social justice,” which means nothing more than “what I want.”
Blame it for the government shut down. It’s doing exactly what he intended it to do:
As a practical matter, it’s Obama’s refusal to negotiate that matters. A member of Congress can’t get time with the president or his top aides on demand. A president can always get through to a member of Congress — as Obama did, finally, Monday night for a conversation described as “less than ten minutes.”
Astonishingly, Obama said in a prepared statement that no president had negotiated ancillary issues with Congress when a shutdown was threatened. Four Pinocchios, said Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler.
Unfortunately, only one side understands that. Of course, they hate James Madison, and all of his limited-government works.
I’d forgotten how awful they were. Lileks reminds us.
A hundred years of the federal income tax. One of the most disastrous fruits of the “Progressive” era. We got rid of Prohibition (at least for alcohol, but then replaced it with other drugs), but we still have that one.
[Update a while later after the Instatweet]
Link was missing before. Sorry!
More thoughts from Dan Mitchell, who thinks that this may be the anniversary of the worst day in American history.
…and the logic of the Alamo.
Some thoughts on one-way “missions” from Ed Wright:
The settlement of Mars (and space, in general) will entail a large number of one-way missions, by definition. Settling a new territory means people setting out on one-way trips, building new homes, and creating new lives for themselves in a new land.
Space settlement will not be accomplished as a “national objective.” If NASA tries, it will fail. History provides a useful comparison. Spain set out to colonize the New World as a national objective, under the direction and control of the Spanish Crown. Great Britain took a laissez faire approach to colonization, granting charters to private groups such as the Virginia and Plymouth companies. Spain controlled the most desirable portions of the New World, with most of the resources and milder climate. Yet, it was North America, under British control, that prospered, while the centrally planned Spanish colonies remained backward.
Colonel Behnken is correct in saying that NASA cannot undertake arduous missions except in pursuit of a national objective. NASA is the product of intelligent design. Its creators, Eisenhower and Kennedy, put that into their their DNA. But not everyone has that limitation. While NASA may play a role in space settlement, it will not play the primary role.
As I write in the book:
Unfortunately, when it comes to space, Congress has been pretty much indifferent to missions, or mission success, or “getting the job done.” Its focus remains on “safety,” and in this regard, price is no object. In fact, if one really believes that the reason for Ares/Orion was safety, and the program was expected to cost several tens of billions, and it would fly (perhaps) a dozen astronauts per year, then rather than the suggested value of fifty million dollars for the life of an astronaut, NASA was implicitly pricing an astronaut’s life to be in the range of a billion dollars.
As another example, if it were really important to get someone to Mars, we’d be considering one-way trips, which cost much less, and for which there would be no shortage of volunteers. It wouldn’t have to be a suicide mission—one could take along equipment to grow food, and live off the land. But it would be very high risk, and perhaps as high or higher than the early American
settlements, such as Roanoke and Jamestown. But one never hears serious discussion of such issues, at least in the halls of Congress, which is a good indication that we are not serious about exploring, developing, or settling space, and any pretense at seriousness ends once the sole-source cost-plus contracts have been awarded to the favored contractors of the big rockets.
For these reasons, I personally think it unlikely that the federal government will be sending humans anywhere beyond LEO any time soon. But I do think that there is a reasonable prospect for
private actors to do so — Elon Musk has stated multiple times that this is the goal of SpaceX, and why he founded the company. In fact, he recently announced his plans to send 80,000 people to
Mars to establish a settlement, within a couple decades, at a cost of half a million per ticket.
And this lack of seriousness is why we so obsess about safety.
Obama: “I didn’t draw that. Somebody else made that happen.”
It’s always someone else’s fault with this schmuck. And don’t get me started on the hypocrisy, after all the things he said and did as a US senator. I’m waiting for an apology from him, Kerry, Hagel and Clinton to George Bush. I won’t hold my breath.